Rice pudding is one of those foods that "snuck up" on me. I remember being a young pastry chef and the restaurant chef telling me he wanted me to make rice pudding from left over arborio rice. I was totally stumped, as I had never eaten or made rice pudding in my life. This particular chef was truly American when it came to desserts and that means as long as it was sickenly sweet, he liked it. I took the left over arborio rice, mixed it with a very sweet creme' anglaise that was infused with cinnamon and orange. I served it in martini glasses with fresh whipped cream (again, overly sweet). The chef proclaimed it a success. I was off the hook to cook in his kitchen another day!
This rum raisin rice pudding is a little less sweet AND it has rum and raisins in it. I did not have short grain rice on hand so I wanted to cook the rice to very tender, since long grain rice stays noticeably firmer. My husband enjoyed this very much. Sometimes I think I should rename my blog to "cooking for the man who lives with me" or just "cooking for the man" since most everything I make it to please him.
rum raisin rice pudding makes about six 1/2 cup servings
3 cups of cooked white rice
2 cups of whole milk
2/3 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of rum extract
1/2 cup of golden raisins
1/2 cup of dark raisins
Zest of half an orange
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon of vanilla
Combine all ingredients except zest and vanilla in a large sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 - 30 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is quite mushy. Remove from heat and stir in orange and vanilla. I like it served cold but you can serve it room temperature and that is nice, too.