This is from the L.A. Times SOS column, adapted from “Wine Bistro Pierre Lafond,” an amazing rice pudding with a sort of middle-eastern-y flavor (the cardamom). The original recipe called for ¼ c sugar but I found that way too sweet and cut that down to about 1/8. You could use real maple syrup as well, or brown sugar. I also used the dry roasted pistachios from Trader Joe’s. And instead of cream, can use low fat milk since the pudding is really rich and creamy on its own. Enjoy.
Chilled banana and pistachio rice pudding
½ tablespoon butter
½ tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 c. sugar
½ c basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 c milk
1 c cream or half and half
¼ c pistachios, shelled and chopped, plus extra for garnish, if desired.
1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Stir in the cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and sugar and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. Stir in the rice, milk and cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer over high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Cook the rice, uncovered, until very tender, stirring occasionally, 20 – 25 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and set the pan aside, uncovered, until the rice cools to room temperature, about 30 minutes to 1 hour. (The pudding will be very soupy at first, but will thicken as the rice continues to absorb the liquid as it cools in the pan.) When the rice is almost cooled, peel and dice the banana.
4. Stir in the pistachios and banana, then cover and refrigerate the pudding until well chilled. Garnish with whipped cream and extra pistachios if desired. Makes about 3 cups rice pudding.