Taking Comfort in Rice Pudding

By Sandy Hu
The latest from Inside Special Fork

I returned yesterday from Les Dames d’Escoffier International’s annual conference, held in Boston this year. LDEI is an organization of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. There are 30 chapters across the US, Canada and the UK. Membership, by invitation only, reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality.

I attend every year for excellent professional and personal development seminars, networking, and to renew friendships made over years serving on boards, committees and as a former president of the organization.

This year was a bit challenging: My body is still not sure which time zone it lives in, having returned from Japan to San Francisco, with a 16-hour time difference, a week before packing up for Boston, where I moved the clock forward an additional three hours, to going off daylight savings time, to winding the clock back to Pacific Time yesterday.

At moments like this, some comfort food is required. Along with magnificent meals and gala dinners that included lobster tails, Alaskan crab legs, and entrees such as Mushroom Crusted Sirloin with Aged Cheddar Gratin, I found a simple and lovely Coconut Lime Rice Pudding.

The rice pudding was served during the partners’ luncheon when partners of Les Dames d’Escoffier International are showcased at a buffet featuring their products. The pudding was served by Carolina and Mahatma rice. Both rice brands are from Riviana Foods Inc. Mahatma is sold from the Carolinas to Florida, the Gulf Coast region to California; while Carolina is the brand sold in the Northeast.

I loved the creamy texture of the pudding, the delicate coconut flavor and the mild sweetness. You should be able to make this pudding, start to finish, in an hour.

Coconut Lime Rice Pudding
Serves 8

1 cup Mahatma or Carolina Jasmine Rice
2 cans (13 to 14 ounces each) light unsweetened coconut milk
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 cup sugar
2 ½ teaspoons grated lime peel
Toasted sweetened flaked coconut, for garnish

  1. In a bowl, soak rice in water for 20 minutes. Drain
  2. In a 3-quart heavy saucepan, bring coconut milk, milk, sugar and rice to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and stir in lime zest. Transfer to serving bowl and serve at room temperature or chilled. Sprinkle with toasted coconut just before serving.
Tips:
  • For a rustic presentation, spoon pudding into individual mason jars.
  • Use additional grated lime peel for garnish.

Recipe adapted from Mahatma and Carolina Rice.

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Posted: Nov 2nd by Sandy_Hu