Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rosy Rice Pudding

At the Summer Fancy Food Show last year, I noticed a mini-trend (a teeny tiny-trend, actually) of things flavored with rosewater or roses. Yeah, roses as in the flower. It's a popular flavoring in the Middle East and India, but maybe not so much in the western world. Roses taste the way they smell, so I suppose if you're not a fan of rose aromas, your palate might not appreciate their flavor, either. I like it myself, but a little goes a long way.

I purchased some rose water in an Indian market a few years back, and it was so weak as to be unnoticeable. I never ventured back to see if I could find another brand and then forgot about it until the SFFS reminded me.

One company on my list of booths to hit at this year's show was Nielsen-Massey, perhaps best known for their vanilla extracts and pastes. However, I didn't have time to actually pay them a visit, so the nice people at N-M sent me some sample bottles of a few of their various non-vanilla extracts--pure coffee, orange blossom, and rose water. I immediately opened each bottle and took a sniff. Yup - coffee, orange blossom, and rose scents were pretty strong! Couldn't wait to use them.

This time of year, post SFFS, I really wish I could stay home full-time and cook (and eat). I have so many fun things to play with, but they usually have to wait for the weekend until I find a bit of free time. I decided that the rose water games would come first, and I would make a rose water-flavored rice pudding for the 4th of July. Why? because my samples arrived on the 2nd of July, that's why.

Nielsen-Massey included a recipe for rice pudding, but it was the fussy kind with raw rice that requires a bit more time (and stirring) than I had to offer. We already had some leftover cooked rice in the fridge, and I wanted to use that. So I did. When the rice is precooked, it takes less than 30 minutes to prep and cook. Prep basically equals measuring stuff directly into a pot. Once the rice absorbs all the yummy cream and sugar, just stir in the flavorings, let cool a bit, then eat.

I decided since roses are red, and my pudding would be served on the 4th, that blueberries would be an appropriate accompaniment. Red, white, and blueberry!

If you're going to use rose petals as garnish, make sure they are grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides. Do not eat flowers from a florist! It's best if they are grown in your own yard, and they should smell pretty. If they don't have much fragrance (like most of the old, not-well-cared-for roses in my neighborhood), they won't taste like much, either. You don't have to ingest them, of course - use petals as garnish, then pick them off before eating. The Nielsen-Massey rose water will supply plenty of flavoring.

Rosewater Rice Pudding

2.5 cups cooked short grain rice
1.5 cups milk
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon Nielsen Massey vanilla paste
1/4 teaspoon Nielsen Massey rose water
Fresh blueberries
Food grade rose petals (optional)

Combine the rice, milk, cream, sugar, and butter in a saucepot. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Remove pudding from the heat and stir in the vanilla paste and rose water.

Eat warm, at room temperature, or chilled, garnished with blueberries and optional rose petals.

* Any products in this post that are mentioned by name may have been provided to Minxeats by the manufacturer. However, all opinions belong to Minxeats. Amazon links earn me $! Please buy!

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