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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Swappable Spotlight: Coconut Lime Rice Pudding

Although the calendar says it's September, the past few days have certainly seemed like August! As excited as I am for sweaters and scarves and apples and cider (and did I mention sweaters?), I do love the flavors of summer. This coconut lime rice pudding bridges the gap between seasons: the comforting creaminess of the rice with a tropical punch of a beach vacation combine seamlessly in one bowl.

Coconut & lime is one of my absolute favorite flavor pairings. In drinks, with fish, and especially in dessert, it's a resort holiday for my taste buds. In this rice pudding, the nuttiness of the coconut and rice are the substance while the lime adds the brightness. Stir in some shredded coconut for texture and it's easy breezy delicious squeezy.

Rice pudding is best made with cold cooked rice. Whether you precook a large batch of brown rice for the week or have leftover white rice from your Chinese takeout, this is a fantastic way to use your extras. Waste not, want not... even in dessert!


• 2 cups cold, cooked rice (Note: any rice will do, but if making from scratch, a short grain like arborio adds creaminess)
• 2 cups coconut milk (Note: you can swap out up to 1/2 of the liquid with water or milk for a lighter flavor)
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 Tablespoon butter
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
• Pinch salt
• Zest of one lime
• 1/2 cup shredded coconut

1. Combine cooked rice and coconut milk over medium high heat. Stir until rice is no longer in large clumps.
2. Stir in sugar, butter, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt. Bring to a low boil.
3. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
4. While the pudding is still loose, remove from heat and stir in shredded coconut and lime zest.
5. Serve chilled or warm in individual ramekins.

This rice pudding is thick. If you prefer a thinner version, use a 2:1 ratio of liquid to rice instead of 1:1.

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