Comfort food: a bowl of creamy arroz con leche, lightly sweetened and flavored with cinnamon and lemon zest
This is my entry for the 2008 edition of the Comfort Food Cook-Off hosted by Eve from The Garden of Eating.
This type of rice and milk pudding is, for me, the ultimate comfort food. The texture is velvety and speckled with pleasantly chewy rice kernels, while the flavor is delicate without being bland or cloyingly sweet. It is also easy and quick to make—perfection is simple.
From the original recipe by Calleja
In: “La Mejor Cocinera”, 19….? –Spain
1 qt (1 l ) whole milk
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 cup (200 g) short-grain rice
1 cinnamon stick
zest of 1 (organic) lemon
ground cinnamon to serve
Rinse and drain the rice and set aside.
Place the milk, sugar, cinnamon stick and lemon zest in a large saucepan and bring slowly to the boiling point, add the rice and, on low heat, let it cook in the milk until the
kernels are tender and the mixture turns creamy. Stir often to prevent scorching, and keep the heat low. It will take about 20-25 minutes, depending on the rice. If it
thickens too much and the rice is not cooked through yet, add a little hot milk and continue cooking until the mixture reaches the right consistency and the rice is tender.
Transfer the pudding into individual serving bowls (discard the cinnamon stick and lemon zest strips) and sprinkle lightly with ground cinnamon.
Serve either warm or chilled.