coconut-vanilla rice pudding

Coconut-Vanilla Rice Pudding

Most of us are guilty of doing it from time to time....starting with the best of intentions, we put our leftovers in the fridge, leaving them to fester and get smelly, until they eventually achieve compost status. Last week I stumbled upon a recipe for making rice pudding from leftover cooked rice- something I often have kicking around in the chilled abyss known as my refrigerator. Though the recipe's flavouring ingredients didn't particularly rock my world, its basic quantities served as a great starting point. From there, I took things in a somewhat Asian direction, plus I added some bling of my own. The end result was sweet, soothing and scrumptious- elevated comfort food, if you will.

Coconut-Vanilla Rice Pudding

2 c cooked basmati rice
1 1/3 c 2% milk
2/3 c coconut milk
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
1/4 c brown sugar
2/3 c raisins
¼ tsp salt
¼ c toasted slivered or rough cut almonds
¼ c good fruit jam

Combine regular milk, sugar and salt in heavy saucepan. Using a sharp pairing knife, split the vanilla bean in half, lengthwise. With the tip of the knife, carefully scoop out the pulp from the centre of the bean. Add the bean and the pulp to the milk mixture. Bring to a simmer and add the cooked rice and the raisins. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until thick and creamy, 10-15 minutes. Then add the coconut milk to the rice mixture. Continue to stir, cooking until the pudding has come to a thick and creamy consistency (so the rice is really tender and the extra liquid has evaporated). Remove vanilla bean. Spoon pudding into serving dishes. To garnish, warm jam in a small pot over a low heat and immediately drizzle over the pudding. Lastly, sprinkle with toasted almonds. Serves 4.

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