I know it is not really a risotto – OK, so it is really a rice pudding but uses many of the same techniques as risotto to get that over the top creamy texture. Rice pudding is a perfect winter treat served either room temp or slightly warm. Be decadent and add a dollop of honey cinnamon whipped cream. This makes a perfect side to almost any savory breakfast with just the right amount of sweet.
(AKA the best darned rice pudding you have ever had!)
1 cup white rice, medium grain or Arborio
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups whole milk
2 cups half and half
Scant 1/2 cup sugar (some like less)
|Photos by Jenna Strawbridge
1 vanilla bean
3-inch piece cinnamon stick
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
In a saucepan measure the milk, cream, sugar, lemon zest, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Slit the vanilla bean down the middle, scrape out the seeds and add both the seeds and the bean to the milk. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to warm being careful not to boil it over.
In another pan melt the butter, add the rice and stir until the rice is glassy in appearance. With heat at medium all the while stirring, add the hot milk mixture a little at a time allowing it to absorb into the rice. Continue until all but 2 tablespoons or so of the milk is added and the rice has absorbed it. The continual stirring here is what makes the creamy texture. Add the rest of the milk to the beaten egg yolk then quickly stir the egg mixture into the rice at the very end. Remove from the heat, allow to cool to desired temp and serve.
Add the raisins and chopped walnuts.
Allow to cool slightly then remove the cinnamon stick and vanilla bean.
Serve with a fruit honey cinnamon whipped cream, a fruit compote or just as is.
I usually use Carolina medium grain or River rice for this as Aborio can be expensive and the medium grain works well.
Wash off the used vanilla bean and when dry, cover with white sugar in a tight container. Allow to mellow for several weeks. Wallah, vanilla sugar. I keep one of these going with whatever vanilla beans I have used and just keep adding sugar.
Any dried fruit works well. Figs, dates, dried apricots and dried cherries.