read, cook, eat: Rice and Quinoa Pudding Just Like Mother Never Made

February 9, 2012

Quinoa and Rice Pudding uses half rice (all I had was arborio, worked fine) and half quinoa. Great texture. Still creamy. Photo by Denise Duguay. Some rights reserved. Call me.

I’ve been craving old family favourites lately. Last month, it was the lemon slice. Which, by the way, I figured out a cooking method for, with the help of a friend. Read the updated post here, giving credit where it’s due.

Then, at a rabidly good sale at the Montreal cookbook store Appetite for Books, I picked up the spectacular Wholesome Kitchen: Delicious Recipes with Beans, Lentils, Grains and Other Natural Foods. And wouldn’t you know it had a recipe for rice pudding. But this version was all about vanilla. And I’m tired of vanilla. Aren’t you? I dunno. Even fabric softeners are vanilla scented. I’m numb to it.

Really, if you're going to go with nutmeg, and what's rice pudding without it, go to trouble of grating a few sprinkles. The bloody knuckle is a small price to pay. Photo by Denise Duguay. Some rights reserved. Call me.

Also, the cardamom fell out of the cupboard a month ago or so and wouldn’t you know? It’s not so old that it had lost all its floral pungency. Plus it put me in mind of a fabulous cup of coffee served by a carpet seller in the Old City of Jerusalem. Lovely. Amazing. But where was I?

Oh yes, a final note of inspiration: quinoa. It’s great in everything. And since there’s a stupid amount of butter in this pudding, I gambled and made it half rice, half quinoa. Victory. Tastes exactly like the rice pudding that Mother would make (in a roasting pan, hoping the large amount would make it last, though it didn’t, of course). Bonus? It’s delicately crunchy, owing to the quinoa. Even my friend and hiking enabler Pierre, who doesn’t love everything, gave it the thumbs up (and kept the leftovers after I brought it to the Super Bowl party at his new home).

So here’s the recipe, which captures the taste of Mother’s and borrows a bit from this (otherwise) wonderful cookbook, but mostly is mostly mine. So thanks for the inspiration, Ross Dobson. Here’s my recipe.

Original recipe called for cream. I cut that to 2 per cent milk with no besoin. The sugar, on the other hand, could be cut down, which I will try and report back. Photo by Denise Duguay. Some rights reserved. Call me.

Rice & Quinoa Pudding Just Like Mom Never Made

  • 1/2 tsp each nutmeg and cardamom
  • 1/2 cup raisins or more to taste
  • 4 cups 2 per cent milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup short-grain rice

The original recipe did not - gah! - call for raisins. But I always use raisins in rice pudding. AND SO MUST YOU!. Photo by Denise Duguay. Some rights reserved. Call me.

In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, sugar and spices until well mixed.

In a casserole dish, melt the butter in the microwave (or slave away at the stove, dirtying a pan for no good reason, if you must), add the rice and quinoa and stir until the grains are well coated.

Add in the milk mixture. Add the raisins. Stir. No lumps svp.

Bake at 300 F until deliciously brown on top (maybe 30 minutes, but use your eyes).

Let cool slightly. I like it plain, to get the full hit of nutmeg and cardamom, but whipped cream, or ice cream, would not be out of place if you’re feeling quite fancy. Rum sauce, maybe with a spike of lemon in it, would be lovely. If you have any let me know!

Denise Duguay


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