Comment: Rice pudding is second only to bread pudding in Louisiana. While some special occasion versions add a splash of brandy to the recipe, this variation nods to the Creoles by including raisins and a bit of rum.
Ingredients: 2½ cups long grain rice ½ cup dark rum ½ cup golden raisins 6 cups whole milk 2 cups half-and-half, divided 1 tsp pure vanilla extract ¼ tsp salt ? tsp cinnamon 4 egg yolks 2½ cups sugar
Method: Rinse rice until water is clear. In a saucepot, bring raisins and rum to a boil. If rum flares up, remove from heat and allow it to burn out naturally. Remove pot from heat and allow raisins to steep in remaining rum. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, combine rice, milk, 1 cup half-and-half, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. Heat to simmer, but do not boil. Cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar and remaining half-and-half until well blended. Slowly add ¼ of hot rice mixture, a little at a time, carefully whisking so eggs do not scramble. Pour mixture back into pot and heat it gently until pudding begins to thicken. Do not boil or stir excessively as custard will break and pudding will become dense. Place pudding into a serving bowl and sprinkle with rum raisins. Serve immediately. If a cold pudding is desired, cover bowl with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface so a skin does not form. Refrigerate until ready to use.