Nope, that's not a typo! It's a real word -- in another language.
One quarter of me is descended from people from Sweden. I don't really feel Swedish. But I do like to continue with a couple of traditions from that line of my family. One of those is a rice porridge, called risgrynsgrot. It's a stovetop rice pudding, that is traditionally served on Christmas Eve.
It's also a very frugal dish, using leftover rice, milk (cream if you have it), just a bit of sugar, cinnamon, 1 single almond, vanilla extract and salt. You can add dried fruit, chopped nuts and/or a fruit sauce made from raspberry preserves, if desired. It's not meant to be very sweet. However, traditionally, cinnamon and sugar are passed at the table, to sweeten as desired.
Yes, 1 almond. That one single almond has a role. Whoever finds the almond in their dish is said to be married soon. In households of humble means, rysgrynsgrot, topped with a little extra milk or butter, might have been Christmas Eve supper, all by itself. Much like a bowl of hasty pudding (corn meal mush) would have been a simple supper in humble American homes. In modern times, it's a fun dessert after a larger Christmas Eve meal. (Fun because of the "game" of who will find the almond!)
Here's how I make mine:
2 cups leftover, cooked rice
4 cups of milk or milk/cream mix
salt, depending on whether the rice was salted for cooking
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 whole, blanched almond
optional -- chopped, toasted almonds, dried fruit (cherries are my favorite), cinnamon/sugar
- In a medium saucepan (about 3-qt capacity), combine 2 cups cooked, leftover rice (I use brown rice, white rice is fine, too), with 4 cups of milk (or milk and cream, mixed), with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, if the rice was not salted, otherwise skip the salt, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring often to prevent scorching, until thickened, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 blanched, whole almond.
- Optional: you can add some toasted chopped almonds and/or dried fruit (I use dried cherries), then top with more toasted, chopped almonds for garnish.
- Or, after serving, top with a raspberry sauce made from raspberry preserves, melted and combined with a little hot water to thin, about 1 cup preserves to 1/4 cup water ratio.
- Or, traditionally, pass a bowl of cinnamon-sugar for individual topping, and a pitcher of milk/cream
The basic recipe is adaptable to more or less milk. More milk makes a creamier dessert, but may take longer to thicken. You may substitute 1/2 teaspoon almond extract for the 1 teaspoon of vanilla. You can skip the cinnamon, altogether, but add a bit of lemon zest and nutmeg. Use brown or white rice. Use dairy milk or alternative milk.
I frequently make just enough for myself, if I find just a couple of spoonfuls of cooked rice in the fridge. I use vanilla soy or almond milk and skip any extra sugar. It's a quick and easy, dairy-free, gluten-free dessert, breakfast, or snack for one.
If you ever get Chinese take-out, this is awesome for that carton of leftover rice that's drying out in the fridge. It rehydrates that lingering rice into something really tasty.