Greece—Rice Pudding

 

Greek Dessertrice pudding

Rice Pudding
Rizogalo
(Serves 8-10)

Sweet and creamy rice pudding with a hint of cinnamon. A favorite Greek dessert.

6 C milk
2/3 C white long-grained rice (uncooked)
1 C sugar
2 eggs (beaten)
1 can (13 oz.) evaporated milk
ground cinnamon (garnish)

Over medium heat, combine milk, rice, and sugar in a large saucepan. Cover and cook 20 minutes, just to the boiling point.

Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, another 30 minutes. Rice should be tender and mixture should be thick enough to coat a spoon. If not, cook another 5-10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Beat eggs and add evaporated milk. Take out 2 T of rice mixture and stir into egg mixture. Repeat with another 2 T and keep stirring. (The point is not to cook the egg.) Return the egg mixture to the rice mixture, stirring constantly. Reheat for 5 minutes, but be careful not to bring to a boil.

Spoon into a large bowl, sprinkle with cinnamon, and chill till ready to serve. Or serve warm, immediately.

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Tips & Glossary

You may not have a number of ingredients used in Greek cooking in your spice shelf, but you can find them at Mid-Eastern food stores. So to avoid frustration, make a list of the items you need before trying out the recipes.

Filo: aka phyllo, paper-thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough. Purchase frozen in most grocery stores and follow directions on package for thawing. When working with a sheet, keep others covered with a damp towel to prevent drying out.

Grape Leaves: Grape leaves are sold canned in salted oil. Rinse off the salt before using. If you want, prepare your own: find fresh, tender young leaves and plunge them for 1 minute into boiling water (with 1 or 2 T lemon juice). Then proceed with recipe. After blanching, you can freeze them for later use. Here’s how: blanch as above, dunk in iced water, pat dry with towels, and seal in an air-tight plastic bag. They're safe for 6 months, but use quickly when thawed.

Nutmeg: Use small whole nuts and store them, tightly covered, in a dry dark area. Grate what you need using the smallest grating edge or grind in a food processor. What a difference from store bought nutmeg!

Pine Nuts: edible seeds of pine trees used in many Greek dishes. Before cooking, release flavor by lightly browning in a heated skillet

Skewers: Use metal or wooden skewers for kebobs. If wooden, soak 30 minutes before using to prevent them from catching on fire.

Rosewater: distilled from rose petals and used to flavor Mid-Eastern and Asian cooking. You can make your own. But, seriously, why would you? Purchase it at Asian or Mid-Eastern stores.

Semolina: aka farina or Cream of Wheat; a coarsely ground wheat grain. You also know it as couscous. If made from durum wheat, it is used to make pasta.

Tarama: poor-man's caviar. From carp roe, it is pinkish-orange and is what (along with food dye) gives taramasalata its lovely color. Buy it jarred in Mid-Eastern food stores.

 

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