Rockin' Rice Pudding

There are certain foods that bore me and I’m not afraid to say that out loud.

But then again, these ‘boring’ foods are usually the most commonly used ones. That’s probably why I find some of it to be so blah sometimes. Take rice for example…

I live in an Asian country where rice is a mainstay of the kitchen. My family has rice with everything – curry, soup, stews, meats and vegetables. It’s no surprise. Rice fills you up fast and gives you energy.

Perhaps it’s the way rice is being cooked here. Or the type of rice used. I’ve been eating white rice since god knows when but these days I prefer something more grainy and nutty – think brown rice, red cargo rice, and even buckwheat.

Yes, I do take rice for granted sometimes. Especially white rice. It’s not a food that makes me go crazy.

BUT…

(yea there’s always a but… duh!)

At times you realise that the most plain food can be the most exciting when coupled with other ingredients. Why so? Well isn’t it simple? Think of it as a plain whiteboard. Would you use a black marker on a whiteboard or a black marker on a blackboard? Most probably the white one ya? That’s to ensure high visibility.

Likewise, when it comes to food. It’s better sometimes, to jazz up something plain with ingredients that have strong characteristics than try to make a mish mash of too many strong ingredients all fighting for attention. That’s the way I see it and I really think it’s amazing.

So when I found leftover rice in the fridge the other day…. I knew I had to do something about it. Something I’ve been thinking of doing but never got round to it. I decided to make rice pudding.

I really love puddings because they’re so hearty and comforting. To me, puddings convey a very home-y feel and I find that really appealing. Perhaps it’s the creaminess? Or the fact that it’s full of milk-fat… which is oh so yummy.

I found a recipe that’s been used by The Amateur Gourmet and it looked fool-proof. With a name like Rockin’ Rice Pudding, how can I not be enticed?

It’s a recipe that’s so simple, any kid can do it. Seriously! Great for when you want to clear your leftover rice but can’t bear to bin it. I hate to waste food… so maybe that’s why.

I’m the sort of person who will keep leftover bread that no one wants and turn it into a delicious bread pudding. My friends can attest to that…

Did you think plain rice could taste this good as a dessert? I mean, all I added was some milk, cinnamon, raisins, butter and sugar. I heard that it tastes even better with ice cream. Mmmm..

Gosh, for the first time, I wish the fridge was filled with leftover rice. Maybe I shall start a club or something. So that those of you who are thinking of throwing away your lunch or dinner can actually donate some parts to me… hmm like RICE? hahaha. k that’s too lame.

I have to agree with Tyler Florence; Rice is indeed nice.

Have it warm, or cold, this rice pudding tastes great either ways. Maybe I’ll throw in some nuts next time… give it a bit of crunch.

All right… back to my papers. I have too many deadlines. Thus the inactivity. So pardon me if you had to keep looking at the natto photo everytime you drop by my blog.

Have a great weekend ya’ll!

____________________________________________

Rockin’ Rice Pudding
Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
Show: Food 911
Episode: Rice is Nice

3 cups white rice, cooked
3 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon, grated
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided

Combine cooked rice, milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Add raisins and vanilla. Cook for 25 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Mix in lemon zest and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Spoon pudding into a serving dish and dust with remaining cinnamon. May serve chilled or at room temperature.

Posted on 26th Oct 2007 in dessert, pudding, Rice  |  9 comments

Beach Road Scissors-Cut Curry Rice

Sometimes the simpler the food is, the more glorious it tends to be.

Who says you can only get good food in posh restaurants? Food is food is food. The only difference is the combination of ingredients (how well they meld together, resulting in a gamut of taste and smell) and the packaging.

Hawker food in my opinion, is simply food that is stripped to its bare essentials. It’s naked, exposed for all to see. Most of the time, it doesn’t look as pretty as what you’d get in places where you’d most probably be forking out 3 times as much. It’s all in the branding, marketing etc.

But some food is so good that you really don’t need to market it – that usually happens when the food is so good that it speaks for itself. Having a ‘voice’ of its own, these types of food are themselves legends. Backed with history, each has a story to tell. That is perhaps why I have a soft spot for hawker food. I appreciate the hard work that goes behind each day in the non-air-conditioned kitchen. Some stalls are passed down from generations. So the recipes are old and authentic.

Food might seem simple and plainly functional to some, but to me, it’s multi-dimensional. It’s an entire entity. There’s so many textures, flavours, culture, history that goes into it. I dare say blood and sweat too. But I will delve into that another time.

Today I want to bring to light a certain stall that most of you might have already heard of or dined at. It’s a rather popular place. Open from 11am to 3:30am, this stall can get really packed; especially during suppertime.

Here’s the reason why:

What’s so fantastic about curry you ask? This is no ordinary curry. It’s Hainanese curry rice at its best. The gravy is thick and starchy (i think they put corn starch) and tasty. Eating rice drenched in curry of this sort makes for a different gastronomic experience. Perhaps I’m just too used to normal curry that’s why I find this type a novelty. I’ve eaten Hainanese curry rice before but that was many years ago – Midnight Curry Rice I think (they open only at midnight.. haha).

So how come I’m suddenly so infatuated with this curry rice? Maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s Beach Road Scissors-Cut Curry Rice. I have Winston to thank for this. He brought me to the stall in promise that I will be super satisfied. He says that it’s one of the pioneer Hainanese curry rice stall. I’ve heard that they named their stall Scissors-Cut Curry Rice because they used to use scissors to cut the pork chops. I think it’s an ingenious name and catches one’s attention.

The colour of their curry also caught my attention:

I totally dig the lovely reddish-earth-brown hue. The smooth liquid glides down well and is just so yummy!

Then there’s the pork and cabbage:

Totally adored the sauce as well. I realised that I am very much a sauce person. If the sauce is done well, chances are, the dish would taste good. Well most of the time.

Winston and I ordered many dishes and ate till we were so full! We also had chicken chop and this feisty sambal ikan bilis. It rocks my world:

Our entire meal cost only $14, including a generous bowl of winter melon soup. Here’s the interesting thing – the soup is sold by the drink stall. In it, there’s pork chop, winter melon and soya beans (my favourite) and it only costs $3. It’s refreshing, especially since the weather was so hot.

I like their signboard:

Pretty straightforward; scissors and all. It isn’t exactly on Beach Road though. This stall is actually at the junction of Kitchener Road and Jalan Besar Road. It’s opposite Hong Leong Finance and diagonal to Jalan Besar Plaza. The humble store is part of the Lau Di Fang (Mandarin for ‘Old Place’) coffee shop:

Who knew that such a simple nondescript location would hold such a gem? I recommend this place to all who enjoy food in its simplest form with no pretense and no nonsense – just pure soul food.

Beach Road Scissors-Cut Curry Rice
Lau Di Fang
229 Jalan Besar
Open 11am to 3:30pm

Posted on 21st Jan 2007 in Beach Road, Curry, Rice, Scissors-Cut  |  7 comments

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