There are few things that my brother loved as a child more than Kozy Shack Rice Pudding and Tapioca Pudding. I wasn't quite so fanatic, but I was known to sneak a spoonful or two from time to time. Ok, so maybe I ate the whole container. Who asked you? Anyway, last week, I was testing recipes. The recipe called for 5 cups cooked rice. I thought to myself, "Hmmm...I wonder how much raw rice that is..." I dumped 5 cups raw rice into the pot -- knowing that it would give me more than I wanted, but certain to have enough. Just between us, I made more rice than New Jersey has landfills. Since I abhor the idea of throwing out perfectly edible food, I got to thinking. Mmmmm....rice pudding. (For the record, I made so much rice that I also made a batch of congee.)
Now, rice pudding at the core isn't exactly healthy. Still, a co-worker presented me with an interesting thought. First, I made it. I know what I put in it. I controlled the process, and I attempted to use somewhat healthier alternatives. Yet, something that I have failed to consider until this point is that the actual process of making food - rice pudding, in this case - is keeping me active and up off the couch. If my fridge were stocked with Kozy Shack (as delicious as it may be), it would be world's easier to curl up under an afghan on the couch and put away the whole container without even the thought of exertion. I do, however, give you permission to lounge on the sofa, enjoying every last grain of your homemade rice pudding.
We chose basmati rice because of its lower glycemic index level. We also used date sugar, instead of cane sugar, for the same reason. Skim milk and heavy cream were what dairy we had on hand when the idea came to us. Feel free to use any combination of milk, cream etc that you have in your fridge. So that you are better informed than I was, 1 cup raw rice equals about 2 cups cooked rice!
1/4 cup currants
2 tablespoons brandy
4 cups cooked basmati rice
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup date sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped
1. In a small bowl, plump currants with brandy for 20 minutes.
2. In a large flameproof casserole, combine all ingredients. Bring liquid to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes. Serve warm or chilled - but, I think it's best right out of the pot.