I'm so sorry to have been away so long (almost 2 months, ouch!) but I've been too busy saving up to buy a vanilla bean. Have you seen the price tag on these babies? After weeks of circling the baking aisle at the store, staring down the spice section and hoping for a sale tag, I finally pulled the trigger. Then, more weeks passed because I felt hesitant. It was if I didn't want to disrespect the bean by making this lovely pudding on a night when there wasn't quite enough time to really enjoy this dessert, or I felt rushed in the slightest. I've been waiting for the perfect moment. But then I couldn't take it anymore. So here I sit, at 1:40 on a Monday afternoon, typing this post as the pudding simmers on the stove in $15 of pure vanilla bean goodness. It's good to be back.
Vanilla Bean & Orange Rice Pudding:
this recipe is tweaked from an Everyday Italian episode from about 4 years ago, and from The Smitten Kitchen where she uses almond extract instead of orange zest.
4 cups milk
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup sugar
zest from one orange
1 vanilla bean, scraped. (I had forgotten satisfying it is to pull that stuff out of the middle of the bean with the tip of a sharp knife.)
1 bay leaf
Stir everything in a large saucepan and cook on medium-high heat until it starts to boil softly. Turn heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is cooked. Takes about 45 min. This pudding is equally good served warm or cold. For breakfast, lunch or dinner.