This is something I grew up making. I first learned it from my great grandmother, when I was around 8 or 9 years old. Both my grandmother and my mother made it frequently (albeit slightly differently).
About an hour or two before I plan to make the rice pudding, I put the vanilla beans in a bowl with the sugar and let them sit. Then when I am ready, I split the vanilla beans, scrape out every last bit of the seeds and put them into my milk. (I save the empty pods for another use).
Next, I preheat my oven to 325F. I melt the butter on low heat. While my butter is melting, I grease a large soufflé dish and put both my rice and my raisins into the bottom of it. I mixt them around and set it aside.
In a large mixing bowl, I beat the eggs, salt and sugar together with a hand mixer. I add the butter slowly, tempering the eggs as I go so that they don’t curdle. Then I add the milk (keeping the mixer going on low) and make sure to scrape every last vanilla seed into the mixture with a spatula.
At this point, I have a large roasting pan waiting. I put up a kettle of hot water to boil. I add my custard mixture into the soufflé dish with the rice and raisins and Sprinkle both cinnamon and nutmeg on the top of the custard and mix it all together so the rice blends evenly with the milk and doesn’t sit on the bottom of the pan.
I carefully place the soufflé dish into the roasting pan. I put the roasting pan into the middle rack of my oven and add enough boiling water to the roasting pan to make it ½ way up the sides of the soufflé dish (essentially making a bain maire). Be careful not to get water into your custard mixture.
The rice pudding will take about an hour or so to cook. You can tell when it’s done when it doesn’t giggle around and is “set.”
The secret to this soup is the stock. It’s one of the soups I make when I have enough scrap chicken carcasses stored in the freezer to make stock. It’s also one of the few instances where I will use a pressure cooker/InstantPot.
If I have celery, I will add it as well. The trick is to balance the savory flavors from the mushrooms with the sweet flavors from the carrots and parsnips. I add this to the pressure cooker and cover it with water (to the fill line). I then pressure cook it for 2 ½ hours. It’s important to let it cool enough to de-pressurize on its own, otherwise you will have a very messy kitchen. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can make this stock on the stove by adding all the ingredients, filling it with water, and simmering (covered) for six-eight hours.
Once my stock is finished, I set up three bowls, one larger than the next. I also grab two mesh strainers that can sit over the bowls and I have a smaller mesh strainer that fits over my storage containers.
In the small bowl, I start to add my chicken carcasses and cooked chicken pieces. In the medium sized bowl, I set the strainer up and begin to add my vegetables. I pull out the carrots and parsnip and put it into my blender. Once all the solids have been removed, I press out the remaining liquid from the vegetables through the strainer. Now – the stock is still inside the InstantPot. I discard (or compost) the vegetables and add a little of the strained liquid from the veggies into the blender and puree the carrots and parsnip with it. The result should be a thick paste. At this point, I will set up the big bowl with a clean strainer, line it with cheesecloth (or paper towels) and ladel the soup stock into the bowl.
At this point, my stock is strained and in the big bowl, my carrots are pureed and in the blender. I now separate any meat from the bones of the chicken and put them aside for the soup (discarding or composting the bones).
I will strain my stock one more time before putting it into storage containers (I put a smaller strainer with cheesecloth over the container).
In a large dutch oven, sauté the chorizo on medium heat until it begins to render its fat. Quickly remove it and put it aside. Add the onion to the pan with the chorizo fat and some olive oil. Season the onions with sea salt. Once they start to turn translucent, add the garlic, fresh carrots and parsnip and mushrooms, season again with salt & black pepper and sauté for about 1-2 minutes. Then add the puree. Put the Chorizo back into the pot. Add the can of chickpeas and its liquid, broccoli, the tomato and tomato paste and chicken stock (to about two inches below the edge of the pot). Bring to a simmer and cook until the carrots begin to soften. Stir in the greens and cover the pot off the heat until the greens begin to wilt.
Serve with grated parmesan cheese and a piece of crusty bread.
I'm a home cook with a lifelong passion for learning, exploring and experimenting in my kitchen. You can find me at @Debs1 on Twitter and @Debs121212 on Instagram.
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