BAKED RICE PUDDING USING LEFTOVER RICE

The trick to using leftover rice is to reheat the rice until it’s soft again, before adding it to the pudding mixture.

SERVES 4-6
Butter to coat the inside of an 8-inch square glass baking dish
1/2 cup, golden raisins (optional)
1 cup, cooked rice
(best is medium grain such as Calrose, Goya or arborio)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup, sugar
1 teaspoon, vanilla extract
2 cups, milk
ground cinnamon for sprinkling
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees. Lightly butter an 8-inch square glass baking dish.In a medium saucepan, bring 1/3 cup water to a simmer over low heat. Add the cooked rice and cover the pan. Simmer until the rice is quite soft – about 10 minutes. Drain if necessary (if all the water has not been absorbed by the rice).In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Gradually whisk in the milk, blending well. Stir in the rice, and the raisins if using. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish.

Place the dish in a larger baking pan. Pour enough hot water into the larger pan to come halfway up the sides of the dish containing the pudding mixture. Bake the pudding in this “water bath” until a knife, inserted about 1-inch from the edge of the custard comes out clean – about 45 minutes. [NOTE: The center will still seem wobbly – it will complete cooking as it stands.]

Remove the pudding dish from the water bath and cool slightly. Sprinkle the top lightly with cinnamon. Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Variations:
For Rum-Raisin Rice Pudding:
Do not add raisins as described (optionally) in above recipe. Instead, place 1/2 cup of raisins in a glass bowl with 3 tablespoons, dark rum. Allow to stand, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour – or until raisins are plumped; OR Cover the bowl containing the raisins and rum with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 1 minute. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
When the raisins are plumped, add them to the recipe, along with the rum soaking liquid, when you add the rice to the pudding mixture (just before pouring it into the prepared dish for baking).

Recipe adapted from On Rice by Rick Rodgers (Chronicle Books)