Friday, January 9, 2009

Access forbidden.

Deb's post today reminded me to rummage in the fridge for the last of the black-rice pudding I made a week or so ago. This is the most ridiculously easy recipe in my whole repertoire, I think -- three ingredients (water & salt don't count, right?) and minimal exertion by the cook result in a dish that is both an excellent dessert and a lovely breakfast. Today, it was also a good lunch.

This is one of the rare desserts that I'll make on a Tuesday just for the hell of it, but have also made for company. It's the perfect finish to an Asian-y meal: nutty and a little bit sweet -- but not too much. (If Melvin were reading over my shoulder, he'd say: "Just like you!") It's also a simultaneous creamy/chewy experience that I find very satisfying. The black rice, which turns a terribly exotic dark purple when cooked, is sometimes labeled forbidden rice (ooh la la!) and is mighty expensive if you buy it at a chain grocery. I picked up a small bag last month from the sad little clearance shelves hidden away at the back of my nearest Dominick's -- the original price was ree-diculous. Try an Asian market or a natural-foods store for a better deal.

Black-Rice Pudding

1 cup black rice
1/2 cup sugar
1 can unsweetened coconut milk (I use lowfat), stirred well

Place rice in a 3–4 quart heavy saucepan with 3 cups water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 45 minutes. (The rice will still look pretty wet at this point.)

Stir in the sugar, another 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1 1/2 cups coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. Give it a stir occasionally.

Remove the pan from heat and cool the pudding for at least 30 minutes (the mixture will thicken a bit more as it cools). Serve it warm or at room temperature, in plain white bowls to maximize the gorgeous purpleness of the rice. If you have any coconut milk left, drizzle a bit over each serving.

Leftovers keep for a week or so in the fridge, and are very tasty cold, warm or at room temperature.

No comments: