This Bowl of Comfort

Cruel winter will be gone soon, and I for one am glad. May it pack its rags and take with it its earthquakes and tsunamis and never show its ugly face again.

Our friends, Luis and Keiko are visiting her family in Japan. Thankfully, they are in the south and not in the north where most of the devastation took place. Sachiko emailed and told me that she and her family are okay, and she is holding her head high. As for my little friend, Nakita . . . well, I have not heard back from her yet.

Somehow, it's hard to breezily tell you all about arroz con leche as if nothing has happened. In a few days it will be the first day of spring. I will sit in my little peaceful corner with this bowl of comfort and I will pray for my friends. I pray that Luis and Keiko, Sachiko and Nakita and their families feel soft cool breezes and rays of bright sunshine. May they tend to their azaleas and enjoy good food and drink pure water. I wish them sakura—sweet cherry blossoms—and a life filled with indescribable beauty, the kind I found when I visited their country.
Arroz con leche
Mexican Style Rice Pudding with Tequila Soaked Raisins

I used medium grain rice by mistake. Your arroz con leche will look slightly different. If you prefer not to add canned evaporated milk, replace it by using your own homemade version by simmering 3 cups of milk in an uncovered medium sized saucepan until it is reduced by half.
3 cups water
1 ½ cups long grain rice
1 big fat stick of cinnamon
a 2 ½ inch strip of lemon peel. Remove the white pith.
a pinch of salt
up to 1 ½ cups of sugar, brown sugar, piloncillo or any kind of sugar you prefer
1 can of evaporated milk (12 fluid ounces)
1 teaspoon vanilla 1/3 cup of dark raisins, or more to taste (optional)
¼ cup or more of tequila, brandy, or rum (optional)
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the tequila.
In a covered medium sized saucepan, bring the water and the cinnamon stick to a boil. Turn off the heat and let it sit for about 30 minutes to an hour to bring out the full flavor of the cinnamon stick.
Bring the cinnamon water to a boil. Add the rice, lemon peel strip and the salt. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
Add the evaporated milk and the sugar to taste and stir until well blended. Add the raisins and the rest of the tequila if you want. When it is heated through, turn off the heat. The rice will continue to thicken on its own.
If you want to thin it a bit, just add more milk.
Serves about 6 to 8 people.


Anonymous said...

hope all is well for your friend.
the recipe looks mighty yummy. i've been thinking of making arroz con leche lately. now i will try your recipe.


Clementina said...

Thank you for your kind words. I hope so, too. Take care, and tell me how the arroz con leche turned out.

La Dama said...

I love your blog reminds me of my Mamas cooking back in California.
I been wanting to to arroz con leche ,but since I gave up rice for Lent. I will have to wait anyways its always cold here in England.

Clementina said...

Hola, La Dama!
Love the pic. Can you play corridos??

La Dama said...

gracias. I wish no mas le hago al cuento. :)
my dad and granpa know to play accordion. I love corridos.

kobico said...

I love rice pudding! The addition of tequila-soaked raisins sounds yummy. Thanks for checking in on me, Clementina... and the permission to take a break!

Gloria said...

Hi Clementina. Nice to read you. I hope your friends are doing fine. We pray for Japan and it's peoples. How strange that you posted about Arroz con Leche and here I sit reading your post eating some. This morning there was leftover rice from a day ago and so I made some arroz con leche with raisins. Have a great day.

Clementina said...

Nice seeing you here again. Please take care. Now that you've kinda sorta jumped back on the bloggy treadmill, I'm looking forward to reading some more!
I love arroz con leche whether it's cold or hot or room temp. Take care!

adal g. said...

Con Tequila! I dont really like Arroz con Leche but maybe it is time to give it a second chance... ha! saludos, Adal.

Clementina said...

Saludos, Adal G.!

Yvette said...

I love arroz con leche! It was one of my favorite breakfast foods growing up! Now it’s time to add a grown-up spin and spike it with some tequila! LOVE that idea!

I will say a prayer for your friends in Japan. Take care!

Clementina said...

Hola, Yvette!
Thank you. Three weeks after this devastating earthquake, I finally got the news: my little friend Nakita and her family are alright. What a relief!

Kristin H said...

The Rice pudding looks delicious!

Clementina said...

Gracias, Kristin!
I took peek at your blog. I was fascinated by those beautiful but menacing botanical watercolors. I will certainly visit again.
Please come back!

Monica said...

Love this post, Clementina. I will have to try and make this for mis niƱos...maybe without the tequila?