A view from my side.
So yesterday, Saturday, was a rest day. I totaled 28 miles in 5 days of running and 2 days of rest at week’s end. Saturday was the second rest day of the week. I’ll start up again today with a long slow run this evening. When my rest day falls on a weekend, I often find myself in the kitchen. Yesterday was no different and I made up a rather tasty batch of Arborio Rice Pudding.
Arborio rice is a short grained white rice used mainly to make Risotto. It has a higher starch content than most other rices and that’s what gives it such a creamy, velvety texture. It is oval shaped and almost pearly white in color. It is best prepared al dente meaning it is still slightly firm on the inside.
Each of these features combine to give its unique flavor and texture. Rice pudding made with Arborio rice produces a creamy richness. If served warm, as I prefer it, it begins with the smells as they waft up from your dish. The vanilla and cinnamon intermingle to present an exotic scent. Visually, the pudding presents pearly white. The grains, infused with whole milk, their starch released giving it the smooth creamy consistency Arborio is known for. All of these scents and textures and flavors combine in a truly wonderful experience when you finally bring the pudding to your mouth. It is silky smooth and delightfully delicious.
Now, to the recipe. Like so many truly good things in life, this is sinfully simple to prepare. This recipe comes from The Food Network and is linked below.
1 cup water
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup Arborio rice
2 cups whole milk
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Few dashes ground cinnamon
Whipped cream, for serving
Bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice, return to a boil, and then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Shake the pan occasionally and cook until rice has absorbed the water but it still al dente, about 15 minutes.
Bring milk, sugar, vanilla, and a few dashes of cinnamon to a simmer in a separate saucepan. Add the cooked rice and cook at a simmer over medium-low heat until rice absorbs most of the milk and mixture starts to get thick and silky, about 10 to 15 minutes.
I found that it took much longer than the 10-15 minutes to absorb the milk. This is where I wish I had a gas range as opposed to electric. A much tighter temperature control would be useful here.
I let it cool a bit before eating, but since I prefer mine on the warm side, I did not wait for it to get too chilled. For me, the warmth compliments the creamy texture and brings out the vanilla and cinnamon. A dash of cinnamon on the top also provided some visual contrast to the dish, making it even more appealing. This one is going to cost you on the calorie counter I’m afraid. The rice and the milk combine for more than just rich flavors and velvety textures. A 1/2 cup serving of this will run about 250-300 calories. But since I was fueling up for today’s run, a full cup of Arborio Rice Pudding on a Rest Day was just what I needed.