We cracked too many eggs for our scrambled eggs at breakfast this morning, so I quickly searched for a recipe that included rice and eggs. I wasn't feeling very fried rice-ish, so I quickly focused on the rice pudding recipes. Not all rice pudding recipes include eggs; usually the baked ones include eggs and the stove top ones do not.
I finally settled on a Paula Deen recipe from the Food Network website and set about to make it my own. No raisins for us as my kids hate them. I swapped in orange zest for flavoring, upped the vanilla, and threw in a cinnamon stick for good measure. I only have two pictures for this recipe because I had somehow set my camera on video. Thankfully, it is a pretty easy recipe: stir, pour and bake.
The bottle in the brown paper bag is our homemade vanilla. It keeps better if you keep it dark. Having it in my kitchen gives me a "sure, I might be drinking in the middle of the afternoon" feeling. I'm not sure how I feel about that.
First, I started with a little over a cup of leftover rice. It was probably just about a cup if you really packed it in there, but I didn't want to get my hands dirty and I was just going to have to separate it anyway. This rice was your basic medium grain white rice.
I put the rice in a bowl and added 2 1/2 cups of milk (I used low-fat and it was fine), the three beaten eggs, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, one cinnamon stick (because I had it) and 1 teaspoon finely chopped orange zest.
Once mixed together, I poured it into a heavily buttered 8 inch square glass baking dish. I then placed the dish in a roasting pan with about 1/2 inch of water in it. When I placed the baking dish in the roaster, it pushed the water up to around 1 inch high.
I put the pans into a 325 degree oven and baked for about 60 minutes, or until it felt cooked when touched lightly on top.
The strange spot at the top is where I plucked the cinnamon stick out and licked the pudding off before I remembered to take a picture.
I thought this was amazing! Creamy and warm with mild vanilla and orange flavors, I could hardly keep my spoon out of the serving dish. My husband, who doesn't like rice pudding, said it was "uncommonly good," but it was hard to tell if he was serious or sarcastic. He did not keep scarfing it down like I did. Daughter #4 grabbed a spoonful on her way out the door and declared that she didn't like rice pudding. Eventually, I was able to get everyone to try it and they all declared it yucky. They are clearly insane. I liked it so much that while writing this, I had to get up and eat all the leftovers before I could come back and keep typing.
If I make this again, I will add even more vanilla or a vanilla bean, and increase the amount of orange zest. I also think you could sneak more rice into this recipe without changing it much. It was definitely a pudding and not a rice dish.
Orange Rice Pudding, serves 8
one cup cooked medium grain rice
2 1/2 cups milk
three eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
one teaspoon grated orange zest
one tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
one cinnamon stick
Mix together all ingredients and pour into greased 9 inch square glass baking dish. Place baking dish in larger dish and pour water into larger dish until it reaches around 1 inch in depth. Cook for approximately 1 hour at 325 degrees, or until it is firm.
Eat hot out of dish or be civilized and allow to cool before slicing into squares or scooping into dishes.