As the cultured among you will undoubtedly recall, Wendy’s used to have a salad bar. Included among iceberg lettuce and probably 23 gallons of ranch dressing, the salad bar also had TWO kinds of pudding, vanilla and chocolate. That meant that, to me, my mom saying “we’re meeting your Aunt Carol for lunch because I’m going insane listening to your plan to put on a production of Cinderella in the backyard for all the neighborhood kids with yourself as the star WHILE trying to make sure your sister doesn’t eat any cigarette butts off the sidewalk”, meant that I was about to get to eat a shitload of pudding. I really love pudding. I will admit that making pudding, from scratch, properly, is sort of a pain in the ass. I won’t judge any of you if, instead of making this recipe, you go get a box of Cook & Serve chocolate pudding from the store, make it, and then eat it while it’s still hot. In fact, if you do that, let me know, I will totally come over.
But, if you don’t mind the time it takes to make it, this pudding is GREAT. If you have homemade vanilla extract, or a vanilla bean, it would be even better. But as it is, it’s creamy and gently sweet and just so very nice. It’s like fleece socks. They might not be sexy, but they sure are nice.
Rice Pudding (Note that this recipe will double very easily, I just didn’t think it wise to have that much pudding lying around.)
1/2 cup rice (I used brown Jasmine rice, because I accidentally have like 3 bags of it. It turned out just fine, and I figure, hey. Fiber!)
1/2 cup white sugar
4 cups of milk (1/2 cup set aside, I used 1%)
1 tsp vanilla extract
dash of salt
Method: In a saucepan on medium-high heat, mix together the rice, sugar, 3 1/2 cups of milk, salt and vanilla.Bring it to a boil, cover it and reduce to low heat. Here’s the annoying part. Cook it for 45-50 minutes. It’s not so bad- you should keep it covered the whole time, and stir it every once in awhile, but other than that you can just let it cook. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/2 cup of milk and the egg, and set aside. After the 45-50 minutes, when the rice is cooked and the mixture is a lot thicker and reduced, mix the milk/egg mixture into the rice, and stir it REAL fast, so it doesn’t cook the egg. If you don’t fancy taking a risk in your cooking, you can let the rice cool awhile before mixing the egg/milk mixture back in. Either way, once it’s in and the egg isn’t cooked, turn the heat back up to medium-high and bring the whole lot to a boil, stirring frequently. Then, let it cool a bit, pop it into a pan or bowl ( I housed mine in an 8×8 baking dish), and let it set in the fridge for a few hours. Sprinkle with a little cinnamon and have at it!