Arroz con Leche
Arroz con Leche is Mexican rice pudding made by simmering rice with water and milk, allowing it to slowly take in moisture and release starches until the grains are tender and float in a beautiful pudding. Cloves, cinnamon, and a bit of sugar add sweetness and complexity, making this a simple and delicious dessert that (bonus) you probably have the ingredients to make right now. It has definitely become one of our go-to recipes when we are craving sweets and don’t have anything on hand.
It also makes a delicious vanlife breakfast for mornings when you don’t feel like cooking or just want to hit the trailhead early. So, make more than you need for dessert and put it in the fridge. You’ll never want to eat oatmeal again.
And don’t worry, the raisins are, of course, optional. I like them as a textural component, and they plump up nicely, but all you raisin haters out there are free to leave them out.
Arroz con Leche
½ cup long grain rice
2 cups milk
¾ cup water
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
⅛ cup sugar
Pinch of salt (~⅛ tsp)
2 tbsp raisins (optional)
Put the rice in a skillet and add ¾ cup water. Bring the water to a boil with the rice, then reduce the heat to medium and cook until the water is mostly absorbed. Add the cinnamon and cloves.
Add ½ cup milk and simmer, stirring often, until it is mostly absorbed. Repeat this process until all the milk is used. If you are using raisins, add them just before the last ½ cup of milk. After the final addition of milk, reduce the heat to low and cook to the desired consistency.
When all the milk has been absorbed (at least as much as you want for a nice pudding consistency), remove from heat. Add the salt and sugar and stir to combine well.
Garnish with a bit more cinnamon and a few raisins and serve warm or cold.