But this recipe for Rice Pudding is a real winner! Yes, I know some people consider pudding of any type dessert, but you can think of this like a super-easy and tasty breakfast food, making your typical breakfast cereal pale in comparison. It's got the basics--a healthy grain, milk, and is lightly sweet, similar to other breakfast foods we like. Not to mention for us here in Asia-land, breakfast foods (westerner-friendly, that is--I'm not counting left-over stir fry or rice porridge with pickled vegetables) can be difficult to come by. Our local mega grocery stores have been out of cereals for weeks now, so improvisation is necessary. As an added plus, this pudding is a great use for leftover rice, something we often have in our frig. So try out this simple recipe and maybe your kids will ask for thirds, like mine did this morning!
2 1/4 cups (approx) cooked rice (Alternatively, cook 3/4 cups rice in 1 1/2 cups water until water is absorbed) ** Do not use instant or converted rice--it will not absorb the milk properly!
1/2 cup sugar (more or less, to taste)
4 cups whole milk
1 cinnamon stick (if desired)
1/2 tsp vanilla
Combine the rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon stick (if using) in a saucepan. Bring the milk to a simmer and cook gently for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toward the end of the cooking time stir more frequently--the pudding is done when the rice and milk have amalgamated (there's a word for the day!) into a thick porridge. Do not overcook or the pudding will be solid, rather than creamy, when cooled. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon, if desired. Serve warm or refrigerate--it can also be eaten straight from the frig! Enjoy!