A lot has happened so far this Spring / Summer. I signed up for my first pottery class, which has been a whole other creative outlet for me that I've enjoyed immensely. It's calming, challenging, physical and exhilarating all at the same time, and it's given me renewed appreciation for all ceramicists and artists out there. Work has ended, and I am taking the summer off before heading to Columbia Business School this fall. Remember as a kid when school ended and summer vacation started, how simultaneously long and short it seemed? These days pass by much more quickly than they used to.
I also just got a new kitten. He's 7 weeks old and we call him Booie. I say with pride that he is more like a dog than a cat. He's sweet tempered, loves cuddles and people, but plays with the intensity of a rambunctious puppy. Once he is leash trained, he'll be keeping me company in the garden upstate on the weekends, which I cannot wait for.
I wish I could say I've been doing more cooking, but in truth, I've been making the same things on repeat: pasta with greens, tossed salads with shrimp, heavily spiced roasted vegetables, and pizza with whatever we have on hand. It's easy, but unfortunately doesn't make for a frequently updated blog. This coconut rice pudding recipe came about from what else but an intense craving for the ubiquitous coconut sticky rice and mango dessert you get in Thai restaurants. If you can, buy a box of Atulfo mangoes, which are still in season. It seems like a big commitment, but we've easily gone through two. Freeze any excess for smoothies and enjoy this dessert while the mangoes are delicious and ripe.
Coconut Rice Pudding (makes about 6 servings)
- 1 cup short or medium grain rice (I used medium grain brown, which was fine, but a short grain rice would be much creamier!)
- dash of salt
- 1/4 cup sugar, preferably raw
- 1 can coconut milk
- 2 cups water for cooking the rice
- 1 additional cup water kept on hand for the rice pudding
- ripe Atulfo mango, diced
Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then stir in the rice. Simmer on very low heat, covered, until rice has absorbed all the liquid, about 20 minutes. (A good trick to not burn the bottom is to turn off the burner when almost all the liquid is absorbed, then put on the lid and let it finish steaming for the last 20 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook it in the rice cooker, if you have one. Set this aside.
In a large saucepan (I used a 3 quart one), gently heat up the coconut milk, pinch of ssalt, and sugar over low heat. Apparently it can curdle if you heat it too vigorously, so low and slow is the game here. Stir to dissolve the sugar. When it starts to get warm, add in the cooked rice and continue to stir until it begins to simmer, about 15 minutes. Continue to cook on your lowest heat setting until the rice has absorbed most of the coconut milk and thickens. Taste the rice periodically until it reaches your desired consistency. I like mine on the mushier side, so I added additional water throughout until it was more like a porridge. If serving immediately, serve it warm, with cold (refrigerated) diced mango. Or, if serving later, present it chilled, with room temperature mango.