I wasn't expecting to fall in love with this rice pudding recipe so much. But after a few spoonfuls of the sticky sweet flavors of vanilla, orange zest, maple and salted peanut - I couldn't resist. What started out as a simple breakfast brown rice pudding recipe turned into a gourmet dessert treat that certainly deserves gold-spoon status. Dive into my recipe for Salted Peanut Orange-Vanilla Rice Pudding and find out how sophisticated rice pudding can be...
before adding garnish..
Alluring Rice Pudding. One of the greatest tools a cook can use in the kitchen is their taste buds. You hear it all the time watching any cooking reality show, Gordan, Tom or Bobby will shout to the contestants: "Taste your food! Did you taste your food?" You always know that the contestant that answers "no" to this question is on their way out.
So I always taste my food - especially when crafting a new recipe.
This pudding was intended to be a peanut butter-y brown rice breakfast pudding - minimally sweet and cozy in flavor. And while it certainly fit the bill as a delicious breakfast porridge of sorts, I decided to give it the gourmet treatment and really infuse the 'peanut rice pudding' base with a few bold accent flavors...
..First I added in a heavy handed microplane of orange zest. Then another splash of vanilla extract. Then more grade b maple syrup. Then I found a bag of salted blister peanuts (basically extra large roasted/salted peanuts) - and I folded those into the pot. Lastly, I added on a spoonful of arrowroot powder to thicken it a bit. I plated the mixture, garnished and tasted.
Wow! That orange zest really hit me hard. I was uncertain about adding it with peanuts (orange and peanut butter/peanuts?) but it really worked. The vanilla softened the entire flavor bouquet and the cinnamon brought it all together. Plus a generous drizzle of maple syrup was the perfect sweet accent.
..I'll admit it. In some ways the rice is simply a vehicle for all the intense, luscious flavors: citrus zest, vanilla and ribbons of maple syrup. You can really taste those accents loud and clear.
Unlike some classic milky rice pudding recipes, this one is not too white-n-creamy at all. No raisins either. It has a pure flavor that really lets you taste the rice. I plated the pudding so that you can add however much warm soy milk/soy creamer at the end as you'd like. You control the 'cream'.
You also control the peanut butter. I added in about 1-2 heaping Tbsp to mine, but you can add more or less. The pb makes the pudding a bit heavier - but lends a thick richness perfect for savory-sweet dessert. The citrus plays off the peanut butter and lightens the mood of the flavors.
It's High Brow Meets Low Brow Rice Pudding. The low-brow blister peanuts that you might see served at a ballpark and humble brown rice pair exquisitely with the high brow vanilla and maple flavors.
love grade B maple syrup...
UPDATE! Pudding for lunch. Just had some of this warm from the pot rice pudding spooned over top my chilled Zesty Light Cole Slaw. OMG. Delicious. The combo of cool, crunchy cole slaw with warm peanut buttery sweet rice was divine. Add a few cubes of pillow-y tofu or warmed chickpeas and you have yourself a meal! (modify recipe to get a more 'savory' peanut rice by leaving out the extra maple syrup and reducing the vanilla) - quick pic of it...
So if you are looking for a recipe for rice pudding that truly has a gourmet flavor and presentation - give this one a try. Rice Pudding gets all gourmet on you...
here's the my vegan rice pudding recipe...
Salted Peanut Orange-Vanilla Rice Pudding
vegan, makes about 4 cups
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup soy milk
1 1/4 cups brown rice
1/2 tsp EVOO (helps prevent rice from sticking)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup soy milk
1/4 cup maple syrup (grade B is best, but A will work as well)
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup salted/roasted peanuts
1-2 Tbsp salted creamy peanut butter
1 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (optional)
garnish: zest, warm soy milk or creamer, cinnamon, maple syrup
1. First you will want to fully cook your brown rice using a mixture of soy milk and water. You can also use only water, but I like some creamy soy milk cooked into the rice. I used long grain rice because it is what I had in the pantry. But I love short grain rice pudding as well (short is actually more traditional). Both will work fine. Bring rice ingredients to a boil, then cover with lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook until all the liquid has been absorbed - about 30 minutes or so.
2. Next, keep the pudding on low heat and fold in the remaining ingredients. Play with it like a risotto - allowing the additional liquids to absorb into the rice as you stir. Remember, as the pudding cools, it will plump and firm up a bit.
3. Do a taste test and modify any elements you'd like. Spoon the rice pudding into clear glasses...
4. Over top add a drizzle of maple syrup a dash of cinnamon and a large pinch of citrus zest. Also add a few spoonfuls of warmed soy milk. You can also use soy creamer for a more decadent dessert.