There's something about rice pudding that says cozy.
As far as comfort items go, it's right up there with your softest blanket, oldest sweater and fuzziest slippers.
But to be truly comforting, it must be the right kind of rice pudding. No fancy rice, no coconut milk, certainly no bananas or chocolate.
This recipe is a keeper.
1/2cup golden raisins
1 cup boiling water
1/3cup slivered almonds
3 1/2 cups cooked medium- or long-grain rice, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
In a bowl, place the raisins and cover with the water. Let sit until plumped, five minutes. Drain. In a skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds until golden and fragrant, three to five minutes. Remove from the heat.
In a large saucepan, combine the rice, milk, cream, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer, stirring, over medium heat. Reduce the heat slightly to maintain a low simmer and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the mixture starts to thicken, about 30 minutes. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from sticking, until a spoon is just able to stand up in the pudding, about five minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the raisins, almonds, orange zest, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest.
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse, at www.foodtv.com.
The Wichita Eagle—10/28/09