Rice is a staple for more than half the world's population because it costs so little to grow. But just because it's inexpensive doesn't mean it can't look positively swanky, as in this riff on traditional rice pudding. Marcia Kiesel of the F&W Test Kitchen simmers black rice and jasmine rice in coconut milk, adds vanilla, pineapple and a pinch of nutmeg, and presents the puddings in elegant black and white layers.
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BLACK RICE PUDDING
1/2 cup black rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
JASMINE RICE PUDDING
1/2 cup jasmine rice
2 cups water
1 1/4 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup finely diced fresh pineapple, preferably golden
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
How to Make It
In a medium saucepan, combine the black rice and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water has been absorbed and the rice is almost tender, about 40 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is tender and pudding-like, about 12 minutes. Stir in the sugar and vanilla and let cool to room temperature.
In a medium saucepan, combine the jasmine rice and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Add 1 cup of the coconut milk and the sugar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the rice is thickened, about 1 hour. Stir in the diced pineapple, nutmeg and the remaining 1/4 cup of coconut milk and let the jasmine rice pudding cool to room temperature.
Layer the puddings in 4 glasses, alternating 3 layers of jasmine rice with 2 layers of black rice. Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled.
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