It’s been a bit of a crazy January around here. I’m working on painting and redecorating (which means a trip to Paramus to get another slip cover for the Ektorp sofa… Oh, please! Twist my arm to go to IKEA.) and that has left my home in a state of complete disarray.
Mealtimes are no longer planned. In fact, it’s usually a glance at the clock at 5pm that reminds me I have a hungry second grader who needs a nourishing meal to fill his belly. My pantry is stocked with easy-to-piece-together foods and once a week I make it to the supermarket for green veggies. We even have some potatoes, onions and butternut squash left here at the farm so I have options, which is very good.
The other night I had some broccoli that needed to be used, so I defrosted a handful of shrimp and made a quick shrimp-broccoli stir fry. The sauce was a mishmash of soy sauce, hoisin sauce, stock, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and cornstarch for thickening. Please don’t ask me for amounts… at this point I was lucky to have whipped up something before I got “OHMYGOD MOMMY! I’m STARRRVVIINNNGGG! I haven’t eaten all day and I’m gonna faint if I don’t have dinner NOW!”
I’m pretty sure that was you, my darling child, who inhaled a plateful of crepes this morning and sucked down a steaming (but not too steaming… of course. BAER.) mug of green tea with local honey. And I know I packed a lunchbag today, complete with snack. Who was that for if not the fruit of my womb? And if NOT for you, dearest, then I want to get paid for packing some other kid’s lunch.
[HOLY HELL! I just had to push the computer monitor further back on my desk. I swear, you pass forty and the eyes just KNOW it’s time to hit the crapper.]
So I cooked up this stir fry and we put it on a bed of jasmine rice. As usual, I prepared too much food. I had lots of rice and in contrast, I had very little interest in leftovers (let alone leftovers for 5 days).
Rice pudding it was… but with a Thai twist!
Coconut-Ginger Rice Pudding
The amount of rice you need here is approximate. I didn’t have quite 3 cups. 2 1/2 cups would be fine with this amount of milk. If you have a bit more than 3 cups, feel free to add more milk to keep the consistency.
3 cups cooked jasmine rice
1/2 cup vanilla sugar OR 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 t vanilla extract (add extract at end of cooking time)
19 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)
1/8 t salt (big pinch)
1/2 t fresh grated ginger
1/2 t fresh grated lime zest
Place the rice in a small saucepan (this one is non-stick). Carefully measure sugar and pour over rice.
Don’t watch tv as you pour the sugar into the rice or it will get all over the counter.
Pour milks over rice and sugar. Be sure to shake the can very well and scoop out every last bit of (flavorful) coconut cream. Lesson to youngsters: pour quickly enough so that the milk doesn’t follow the side of the can and make a mess on your counter. If that happens you may need to supplement with more cow’s milk 😉
Stir in lime zest.
Grate fresh (or frozen) ginger and stir that into the rice mixture. I like to get a ‘hand’ of ginger at the supermarket and peel it then pop it in the freezer in a heavy plastic bag. When I need it, I grate it right from the freezer using a microplane grater (essential kitchen tool). The ginger is very fine and it melds with sauces and baked goods wonderfully.
Place saucepan over medium heat and, stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the mixture is thickened and creamy.
Serve warm or at room temperature topped with a bit of toasted coconut and some grated lime zest.
Or portion out the pudding into small ramekins or glasses, hang out for a while and wait for it to cool.
For a ‘creme brulee’ effect, sprinkle sugar over cooled pudding then melt/brown with a kitchen torch (not as crazy as it sounds…) or under the broiler.
I love how the toasty rice contrasts with the sweet crunchy caramel.