Friday, July 6, 2012

Coconut Sweet Rice Deliciousness

I first tasted sweet sticky rice a couple years ago at our fabulous local Thai restaurant. It was warm and chewy and smothered in mango sauce. It was a spiritual experience. Like the Dalai Lama of starches. I wanted to be able to experience it at home, but had some hangups about the lack of nutritional value in white rice. We don't even keep white rice in our pantry.


When a friend of mine posted a link to this recipe for Black Rice Pudding on Facebook, I took it as a sign that we were meant to be lifelong friends. The rice, I mean. I was already lifelong friends with the girl. I was all over this recipe like white on...well, never mind. I made it. I ate a lot of it. I loved it. You can get the recipe here.

The other day I decided that I wanted to make it again, only using brown rice which is more readily available. All the recipes I found were super complicated and took hours upon hours to make. I love this stuff, but not enough to slave over a hot stove for three hours in the middle of summer. Fugetaboutit. So I made up my own version. The only guidance I used was the established Crock Pot ratio of 2.5 cups liquid for every 1 cup rice. The rest I just made up. I wanted it to be simple, healthy and delicious. I think I accomplished those goals. As always, make it your own!

This is my beloved Crock Pot. I won it at my high school's Senior Night. I lost the knob years ago. Isn't it charming?

Sarah's Crock Pot Sweet Brown Rice

  • 2 cups long grain brown rice (regular, not instant)
  • 1 can light coconut milk (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 can regular coconut milk (approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 cups milk (I used So Delicious Original coconut milk in the carton; but soy, almond or dairy milks would work fine, too)
  • 1 tbsp honey (I used the raw stuff from our farm share)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
 

Use more or less to taste or depending on the size of your sticks. I didn't mean to get personal just there.

Preheat your slow cooker/Crock Pot on the high setting. Place the rice in a food processor and pulse a few times to break up the individual grains a bit. It will absorb more water and thicken better with the germ exposed. I'm a science major, I know these things. Pour the rice into the preheating Crock Pot.


Meanwhile, combine the milks, honey, brown sugar, vanilla and cinnamon sticks in a large saucepan. Heat until hot but not boiling; stirring occasionally.


Add the hot liquid to the rice and stir. Cover and cook on high for about 90 minutes.


Uncover and stir briefly. Recover and reduce heat to low. It should look something like this:


Cook for another 1-2 hours or until liquid is very nearly or completely absorbed. Stir. Remove and discard cinnamon sticks. Place in bowls. I like to pour a little more cold coconut milk over the top. I also like peach or mango sauce made from fresh or frozen fruit. We used frozen mango chunks this time and heated them in a small saucepan. My husband used an immersion blender right in the saucepan to purée some of the chunks, making a chunky mango sauce. It was delicious!


This makes a delicious, hearty dessert. We also eat it for breakfast like oatmeal. Yum! It is healthy, sweet but not too sweet, and full of coconut deliciousness. To reheat, I simply pour some milk over the top, cover bowl in plastic wrap, and nuke for a couple minutes, stirring halfway. It is just as good if not better (i.e. creamier). Enjoy!

This picky lil' monkey gobbled it up. Actually, a turkey gobbles. I mixed up my animals. I swear I passed preschool.
 

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