Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Arborio Rice Pudding

This weekend, I happened to come across a print-out of Dave Lieberman's recipe for rice pudding
in a kitchen drawer at the home of my partner's mother here in Oceanside (Long Island), NY.

Dave Lieberman is the chef who hosted, "Good Eats with Dave Lieberman," on Food Network a few years ago. I would watch this show every Saturday morning thinking, He's cute. I would totally do him. Ha!

Dave Lieberman's rice pudding tastes similar to the rice pudding I get down the street at the A & S Italian deli. Both use arborio rice, which is a short-grain Italian rice that releases a ton of starch and becomes creamy when cooked. Yum!

As I frequently do when making desserts, I substituted Splenda for sugar to help knock down the per serving calorie count. While this dish is quick and easy to prepare, some planning ahead is required, as it does need to be cooled before serving.

Arborio Rice Pudding
Serves approximately 4

1 cup water
Pinch salt
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup arborio rice
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons sugar or Splenda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon
Whipped cream, for serving (optional)

Add the first three ingredients to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the rice and reduce to heat to low. Continue cooking the rice until it has absorbed most of the liquid but is still al dente, about 10-15 minutes.

In another saucepan, bring the milk, sugar, vanilla and a couple of dashes of cinnamon to a simmer. Add the cooked rice. Continue cooking the rice over low-medium heat until it has absorbed most of the milk and the mixture starts to thicken and become creamy, about 10-15 minutes.

Pour the contents of the saucepan in a large bowl or baking dish. Cool to room temperature. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon over the top. Cover and place in the refrigerator and chill for at least three hours. Serve with whipped cream.