Thursday, February 21, 2008

La cucina di Nicola: Arroz con leche.

Welcome back to "La Cucina di Nicola." We are back after a short hiatus due to vacation from school. Nicolas has chosen a family favorite for today: "Arroz con Leche" or rice pudding. This dish is another loved traditional dessert from Colombia -as well as any other rice-consuming country in the world!
Every child growing up in my beloved Colombia knows a song that goes:
"Arroz con leche me quiero casar,
con una señorita de la capital,
que sepa coser, que sepa bordar,
que sepa abrir la puerta para ir a jugar."
Now that I see it written on the screen, I am happy that I never paid any attention to the words, as it translates:
"Arroz con leche I want to marry,
a girl from the capital,
one who knows how to sew, one who knows how to embroider,
one who knows how to open the door to go out and play."
Not a bad ending, right?
But this post is not about marriage, or embroidery, or games, it is all about the sweet treat stapple of my childhood:

(rice pudding)

1 Cup rice (I use arborio with excellent results, long rice works well too)
2 Cups water
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
1.1/2 Cups evaporated milk
1.1/2 Cups whole milk
2/3 Cup condensed milk
3 Tablespoons sugar

Cook the rice in a medium sauce pan. We let the water boil first, then we add the cinnamon stick, oil and rice; we stir a little, cover, set to low heat and wait 15 minutes. Rice would be a little wet.
Rise to a medium heat. Take the cinnamon stick out and add 1 cup of milk, stir continuously. When the milk is absorbed add 1 cup of the evaporated milk, stir. When absorbed add the rest of the ingredients and stir often (sugar needs to dissolve and milk can burn.)
Pudding is ready when it starts to get thick but it still looks very runny. Turn off the stove, cover and let the rice absorb the extra liquid.
We like to eat ours warm with a little sprinkle of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!

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