Arroz con leche, me quiero casar,
Con una señorita de San Nicolás,
Que sepa coser, que sepa bordar,
Que sepa abrir la puerta para ir a jugar.
If you lived in Ecuador – or in any Latin American country as a child, you most likely remember singing this tune in the playground with your friends. This one, called a ronda (a round – basically a circle formed by people holding hands, like Ring around the Rosie), was a popular one among us kids. Back in kindergarden, this one was a must during recess. We ate our lunch as fast as we could so we could go outside and play. We formed our circle and sang until
the teacher came out yelling to come back inside the bell rang.
Arroz con leche reminds me of simpler times, perhaps because it is so easy to make. It tastes sweet, like childhood. Let’s revert back to simpler times, shall we?
Begin by rinsing off the rice to get rid of the starch. I always rinse it 5 times – by the fifth time the water is almost clear.
Then, bring water to a boil. Once boiling, add the rinsed rice.
Stir every so often until the water is almost absorbed.
At this point, add the milk,
Followed by the sugar,
The cinnamon stick,
And the raisins.
Stir to incorporate. Continue stirring every so often so that the rice puddin doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. The rice pudding will be done when the rice is soft.
Once done, remove from the heat and add some butter,
The vanilla extract,
And a pinch of salt. Stir again to incorporate.
Finally, add two egg yolks whisked with some milk to the rice pudding. Stir again to incorporate. If the rice pudding is too dry, or if you like it a bit more watery, you can add a little bit more of hot milk to loosen it up.
And there you have it – Arroz con leche! Curl up on your couch under your blanket, and skim over those old school yearbooks you have laying around your home. Or hold your friends’ hands and sing “Arroz con leche”. Happy, sweet memories.
- 1 cup (8 oz.) long grain white rice
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup (8 oz.) white granulated sugar
- 2 cups hot, skim milk
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup (8 oz.) yellow raisins (or regular raisins if you prefer)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extra
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tbsp skim milk
- Extra milk (in case the pudding dries up)
- Rinse the rice five times to get rid of the extra starch.
- In a stock pot, bring the water to a boil.
- Turn the heat down to medium-high. Add the rice and stir every so often until the water is almost absorbed.
- Add the hot milk, followed by the sugar, cinnamon stick, and raisins.
- Continue to stir constantly, so that the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. The pudding will be done when the rice is soft. Remove the pudding from the heat.
- Add the butter and the pinch of salt. Stir to incorporate.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the 2 tablespoons of milk. Add the eggs mixture to the pudding and stir to incorporate.
- Serve warm or cool.
- If the pudding dries too much, add a bit of extra milk until the desired consistency is achieved. To heat up the pudding the next day, add a splash of milk to loosen it up.