Spanish comfort food

This is without doubt the best rice pudding I have ever eaten, including my Mum’s, and Nigel Slater’s. bowlful1 6-1-14Comfort food in its true sense, I could eat it out of the saucepan. It’s a Spanish classic, the recipe is from Omar Allibhoy’s book Tapas Revolution, and is ridiculously easy to make.

1 litre full fat milk
½ cinnamon stick
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped [or 1 tsp vanilla extract]
1 lemon, the zest pared into strips [without white pith attached]
100g Spanish bomba rice [alternatively, any short-grain or pudding rice]
110g sugar
30g unsalted butter milk & flavourings in the pan 6-1-14Pour the milk into a pan, add the cinnamon stick, vanilla pod & seeds, and about three strips of lemon zest. Place over a medium to high heat and bring to the boil. Stir the milk a few times as it heats up to stop the bottom burning.

Be careful with the milk, don’t let it catch on the bottom of the pan, don’t let it bubble up and boil over. You really need to stand by the hob and stir, don’t leave it. rice - close-up 6-1-14Just as the milk starts to bubble and rise up, add the rice and stir. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring at all times. Next, stir in the sugar and cook for another 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the butter. Keep stirring so that the butter emulsifies as it melts. Remove and discard the lemon zest, cinnamon strip and vanilla pod. Allow the rice to cool, stirring every 30 minutes or so. close-up of pudding 6-1-14I defy you to wait that long before eating it. We ate half for supper, and the other half for lunch the next day. Transfer the rice into a clean saucepan before reheating. bowlful2 6-1-145 to remember
la comomidad – comfort
ridículo/a – ridiculously
cada – every
recalentar – to reheat
derretido/a – melted
Tapas Revolution - book cover 2-9-13

‘Tapas Revolution’ by Omar Allibhoy

13 thoughts on “Spanish comfort food

  1. Corina

    I wish I had the patience to stand by the stove and stir the rice pudding so it cooked properly like this. It sounds delicious and I just wish I could try it without having to make it!


  2. ladyofthecakes

    My Spanish neighbour, when we both still lived in London, used to make a mean rice pudding. She’ always bring me a bowl full, yum!
    My friend has just pressed a book on English desserts into my hand and told me she’d make me whatever I want. I can barely contain my excitement… ahrgh, now I have to make a choice!!!


  3. roughseasinthemed

    I hate Spanish rice pudding. My neighbour is always trying to force it onto me. Too sweet, bland, and just yuk.

    On the other hand, I did like my mother’s, lots and lots of nutmeg, very rich and creamy, and I adored the burnt skin. Our school one was crap. I think it was large tins of ambrosia and the skin on that wasn’t burnt, it just sort of sat there horridly. Vile.

    Spanish rice should be saved for paella. Or to add to bean casseroles.



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