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Sep 25, 2011

Sunday...Wherein I Love Me Some Rice Pudding...

Fall's spice/herb to study is... cinnamon.  That's right, folks.  It's inordinately predictable, but I don't care.  And so, to start off the cinnamon study... I used something that wasn't cinnamon.  Okay - so maybe that's a bit like art class where you draw the negative space around an object in order to draw the object itself (it could seem backwards to some), but it worked today.  

One thing I am not great at in cooking and baking is knowing what spices and herbs, even what ingredients in general can be grouped together.  Case in point, I love rice pudding.  This has not always been the case, but lately I've been a RP fanatic.  And I know that rice pudding is good buds with cinnamon.  HOWEVER, today I made Coconut Rice Pudding, and while I was in the last fews minutes of simmering, a phone call from a friend led to the suggestion that the cinnamon likely wouldn't pair well with the coconut, and that I use cardamom instead, as both cardamom and coconut were used in Indian and Eastern cooking.  Now, we don't have fresh cardamom here - in fact, ours is likely at least ten years old.  My dear grandma gave us that little vial years and years ago.  She has since passed away but I was glad for the excuse to unearth it and look at her handwriting again, and think of how she'd feel receiving my excited phone call about using it in the recipe today.  (:

{RP and Grandma's cardamom}

If you're raring for some RP, and you REALLY like coconut, here you go:

Coconut Rice Pudding
3 cans coconut milk, 14 oz each (I like rice pudding thicker, so I'll probably go less on this next time)
1/2 cup sugar (increase slightly if your coconut is unsweetened)
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened)
2/3 cup rice (I used white, but will try brown with an increased cooking time next)
3/4 tsp salt
dash of vanilla extract

Combine everything except the vanilla in a large saucepan.  Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat and then simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once the rice is cooked and the pudding is thick, remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  Serve however you like - cold or hot!  (And the cardamom works well!)  Enjoy!

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