Sunday, 12 September 2010

Cinnamon Hazelnut Rice Pudding

I guess sexy is relative. What I thought of as sexy when I was young has little to do with what I find sexy today. At some point sexy becomes less about danger and more about comfort.
Little things, like these cool nights that have allowed us to put the feather duvet back on the bed and snuggle up with just our noses and toes sticking out. That's sexy.

As I was looking for a dish for this week's cooking club theme, I started in the desserts section and it wasn't too long before I came across my favourite - rice pudding. This one is slow baked and ultra creamy without added cream or eggs, and warmly spiced with cinnamon - a favourite fall flavour.

My son and husband loved it, as did I. But when I asked them if they thought it was sexy, my son said "for old people" and my husband said "and toothless people". So there you have it. Somewhere there are old and toothless people saying, "Damn, that's Sexy!"

Cinnamon Hazelnut Rice Pudding
adapted from Mark Bittman
How to Cook Everything Vegetarian

MB - There are dozens of rice puddings, but this is the one I like best. The rice almost melts into the milk, creating a custardlike consistency with a subtle rice flavour.

1/3 cup white rice
½ cup white sugar, or to taste
pinch salt
1 quart nut, soy or whole milk - I used vanilla soy milk
2 3-inch cinnamon sticks
Ground cinnamon for garnish
Toasted flaked hazelnuts, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Combine the rice, sugar, salt, milk, and cinnamon sticks in a 3 or 4 quart casserole or ovenproof saucepan. Stir a couple of times and put, uncovered, in the oven. Cook for 2 hours, stirring every ½ hour.

Remove cinnamon sticks and check for doneness. Stir and check every 10 minutes after the 2 hours are done. When you are happy with the consistency - remove from oven and let stand, covered, until a little cooler.

Serve warm garnished with nuts and powdered cinnamon.