Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Rice Pudding

I've had the book French Women Don't Get Fat for about 5 years now and have never really looked at it. I got it when I was working as a page in the green room at the Early Show and the author, Mireille Guiliano, came on the show to promote her book...there were a few extra copies floating around. I flipped through the book and was disappointed to see that it was only about 20% recipes and 80% her personal story, so I stuck it in my bookshelf and didn't look at it again until now.

I opened it yesterday because I wanted to see what recipes were in it, and ended up actually starting to read the book. I've only gotten as far as when she goes to Weston, Massachusetts for a year-long student exchange program as a teenager, and gains 15 pounds. She arrives home and her father comes to pick her up and tells her "Tu ressembles à un sac de patates" (you look like a sack of potatoes).

And on that note, one of the recipes in the book is for chocolate rice pudding. I have been wanting to make rice pudding for awhile but kind of forgot about it. Plus I thought it had to be done in a slow cooker. A lot of recipes are for a slow cooker, but this one is on the stove and only takes about half an hour. I made just plain vanilla rice pudding instead of chocolate, but I'll include the instructions for chocolate too. This is a magical French rice pudding that you can eat buckets of and not get fat. Kidding!

2 cups milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 oz. dark chocolate, 80% preferred, broken into small pieces (optional)

Pour the milk, sugar, and salt into a sauce pan and bring to a boil over low heat. Add the rice and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the milk is absorbed (if the mixture becomes sticky, add a bit more milk to keep the rice creamy). Stir in the vanilla.

Pour the rice pudding into 4 ramekins or one large bowl. **Optional - insert chocolate pieces into the middle of each ramekin, or into the middle of the bowl, and push them into the rice. Leave at room temperature. The chocolate will slowly melt and mix with the pudding.**

I added just a little more vanilla since I wasn't going to be adding chocolate, and I sprinkled some cinnamon on top and put the bowl into the fridge because I like my rice pudding cold, and because I'm not going to eat it until tonight. But I did taste it, and it was very good - sweet and creamy. I can't wait to taste it again after it's set in the fridge. Make sure you keep an eye on it while cooking, and stir often because the milk will form a skin from the heat.

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