When I was growing up, my mother was a pro at re-purposing leftovers.
Extra meatloaf became sandwiches (still a favorite), cold mashed potatoes and cracker crumbs made potato cakes the next day, excess pie crust was turned into cinnamon rolls… and of course, when there was leftover rice, it was made into rice pudding.
In my house now, there is rarely leftover rice. I’ve got it down to a science for making exactly how much we need for dinner. Either that or my menfolk make it their life’s mission to eat it all in one night. I can’t say the same when we order out Chinese food.
A lot of rice can be packed into those little waxed cartons, and if I don’t want them taking up space in the fridge, I have to reuse it somehow. Lately, I’ve been jonesing for some pudding.
I could make it according to my mom’s recipe, but where’s the fun in that. I tweaked her ingredient list a little, substituting Jin Jin’s jasmine rice for Uncle Ben’s converted, and coconut cream for regular milk.
There seems to be two camps regarding rice pudding: pro- and anti-raisins. I like raisins in mine, so that’s how I roll. But, the menfolk both are in the anti- camp so for this batch, I made it sans raisins.
Take-out Rice Pudding
One carton cooked take-out rice (about 3 cups)
1 15oz. cab cream of coconut, plus enough milk to make 3 cups
1 teaspoon vanilla
½-1 teaspoon cinnamon, to taste
dash of salt
½ cup raisins (optional)
In a large sauce pan, add cooked rice, stirring to break up any clumps. In a large measuring bowl whisked together cream of coconut, milk, and vanilla; pour over rice and stir to combine. (Add raisins in this step.) Sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon.
Simmer over medium heat until bubbly and mixture begins to thicken (about 15 minutes), stirring often. Pour mixture into serving bowl, garnish with more cinnamon if desired. Serve warm or chill until set.
*Make sure you’re using cream of coconut, and not just coconut milk. The sweeter cream replaces sugar and butter in regular rice pudding. This pudding is not as sweet as regular pudding, but the subtle coconut flavor is delicious.