In Spanish class, my teacher decided to have a restaurant "project". In other words: make groups of 3-6, bring food from a specific Spanish-speaking country, choose a waiter, and eat! I was in a group of 3 with Annabel and Jonathan, both of them Sophomores I don't know very well, but generally pleasant people. We chose Mexico as our country and I volunteered to bring dessert and appetizer, Annabel brought fruit salad and drinks, and Jonathan brought his dad's tortilla soup. The drink was Sprite, but the fruit salad was tasty; it included apples, grapes, and oranges. The tortilla soup was strange. It tasted good, but the texture was like liquid goo... I don't know what went inside the pot, but I think cornstarch gives this kind of texture.
Anyways, down to the most important part: Me! As a starter, I decided to make Jicama [heekahmah] salad. I had bought pre-cut jicama during the weekend, but I needed more than just that. I looked in the fridge and I found packaged pre-cut lettuce and grated carrots. I just tossed everything together and put it in a Tupperware. Done!
The Arroz con Leche (rice pudding with cinnamon and raisins) was more complicated. The problem with rice pudding is that you have to stand in front of the pot stirring constantly. This was a problem because I had homework and I can't concentrate if I have to get up every five minutes to stir. Earlier in my life, I had made rice pudding in the oven, and I wondered if I could adapt the baked recipe to arroz con leche. I boiled milk with a cinnamon stick, sugar, and raisins. When it started to bubble I poured it into a buttered oven dish and added the rice. I gave a quick stir and cooked it in a 250 oven for 50 minutes. After that amount of time, it wasn't done yet, so I mixed it again and put it back in for another ten minutes. When I brought it to school it was pretty good, but on the dry side. As there was a large quantity of leftovers, my family and I ate some for dessert for dinner. My dad had the great idea of adding some milk to the rice in his bowl. I followed suit, and I agree that it gives the pudding a better texture. Maybe adding more milk to the rice before cooking it would eliminate the need for this, but I don't know yet. If I ever try this recipe again, I will attempt to fix this problem.
Also, the rice pudding was brown instead of white, probably because the raisins were there the entire time. Most recipes instructed adding the raisins during the last fifteen minutes, but I wanted them nice and plump. The color was not bad, just surprising.
Now for the recipe!
My version of Mexican Style Baked Rice Pudding (Arroz con Leche)
- 5 c. milk
- 1 cinnamon stick with a lot of flavor, or add a little powdered cinnamon as well
- 1/2 c. raisins
- 1/2 c.–more to taste sugar
- 1 1/4c. uncooked rice