As I've mentioned before, I'm fortunate enough to have some truly magnificent lady friends here in the mountains of North Carolina. I was again reminded of this last night, when, in the company of a group of both new and long-established lovelies, we laughed, conspired, cackled, imbibed, and chowed down.
Liz White, costumer-extraordinaire (she makes wedding dresses, too, AND she has 14 chickens in her urban backyard!), opened her home for a girl's night-in. We all brought a little something to nosh on, while Jen whipped up exquisite cocktails (ginger brandy-need I say more?). Meg, Alisa, Nicole, Jenny, Kelly, Janell, Sara, and co. all offered up their special something or other.
Me, I brought rosewater, cardamom & pistachio rice pudding. It's my go-to pudding of choice; it couldn't be easier to make and it combines all of my favorite flavors in one pot. Invite your favorite ladies over, whip up a pot of this pudding, and enjoy the easy laughter that comes from good times with inspiring friends.
Rosewater, Cardamom & Pistachio Rice Pudding
*Recipe from here. Keep in mind that this is a traditional Indian rice pudding, meaning it will be both lighter (i.e. more liquid) and less sweet than western rice puddings. In my mind, those are assets, not drawbacks.
1/2 cup uncooked white basmati rice, rinsed
1/2 gallon 2% or whole milk
5 green cardamom pods
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon rose water
-Boil rice and 2 cups water in a medium pot over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, or until rice is about one-quarter of the way cooked. Drain well and set aside.
-In a saucepan, bring milk and cardamom pods to a boil over medium heat. Add rice and cook for 40 minutes, or until rice is soft and milk is very thick. (Stir occasionally at first and then constantly when the milk begins to thicken, after about 30 minutes, to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pan.)
-Add sugar, almonds, ground cardamom and nutmeg and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and set aside. Stir in rose water. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with grated nutmeg, if you like. Serve warm or chilled.
*Image from here.