Saturday, January 22, 2011

Coconut Rice Pudding with Poached Oranges

Happy Saturday!  Here's a recipe I whipped up the other day because I was trying to figure out what to do with this enormous bowl of oranges that my mom gave to me.  I went diving into the backs of my cupboards and also found a can of cream of coconut.  That with some rice, soymilk, and other basic ingredients, and this recipe was born!
There's likely quite a bit of fat in it because of the coconut, and definitely a good amount of sugar, but really everything is relative.  This pudding is sweet, creamy, and decadent to the point where it's as satisfying as ice cream, but definitely healthier (or at least less-unhealthy) than your average dessert.  It's also easy to make, so whip this up some night when you're craving a sweet treat.  If you're pressed for time, you don't have to make the orange topping.  The pairing of oranges and sweet coconut is a perfect tropical treat to help you forget how damn frigid it is outside.

Coconut Rice Pudding with Poached Oranges


5 navel or other variety of seedless oranges
2 Tablespoons orange juice or orange liqueur 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water

3/4 cup uncooked white rice (I used Jasmine)
1 1/2 cups water
1 15oz. can cream of coconut (not coconut milk)
1/2 cup soy milk
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, make the poached oranges.  Peel the oranges and make sure that all of the white pith is removed.  I found that the easiest way to do this is to cut off the top and bottom of each orange with a sharp knife, so that it can sit on a cutting board without rolling.  Then, using a very sharp knife, start removing the skin and pith in about 1" strips, moving the knife from the top of the orange to the bottom.  Continue working your way around the orange until most of the peel is removed, then use your knife to go back and cut off any spots that you missed.  You will lose a little bit of the fruit this way, but it is much faster and far less messy than trying to peel with your hands.  Once the oranges are peeled, cut them into segments.  Mix the 1 cup water and 1 1/2 cups sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.  Add the orange juice/liqueur, vanilla, and oranges, and simmer for 15 minutes.  The oranges should be starting to fall apart into the syrup, but there should still be some whole pieces left.  Remove from heat and chill in the syrup until ready to use.

While the poached oranges are chilling, begin the rice pudding.  Boil the 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan.  Once the water is boiling, add the rice, stir, and immediately turn the heat down to low.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes.  Once the rice is cooked, add the cream of coconut, soy milk, sugar, and salt.  Raise the heat to medium and cook 20 minutes or until thick and creamy.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.  Serve either warm or cold. 

For a fancy-schmancy presentation, spoon some of the syrup from the poached oranges into the bottom of a small bowl or glass.  Fill glass with rice pudding and then top the pudding with some of the poached oranges and another drizzle of syrup.  Garnish with mint to make it super pretty!

Note: you will most likely have a ton of extra oranges/syrup after all the pudding is gone.  If you don't feel like making more pudding, the poached orange mixture is also great as a pancake/waffle topping.  I'll probably be whipping up some kind of delicious orange breakfast treat myself this weekend to use up the extra - possibly another recipe using the poached oranges is on the way!

Hope you enjoyed that little tropical escape!  This fur ninja will be cooking up a storm this weekend so more recipes will be posted soon.  Everyone keep warm and happy cooking!

<3, The Fur Ninja

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