Chai Squash Rice Pudding

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Guess what.  Last week it snowed!  Hooray!  I’m still waiting for a huge snowfall but this is the best we’ve gotten in a couple years, so I guess I’ll take it.  Since DC metro shuts down for the slightest flurry, I of course was at home, working from home. I got hungry while watching the snowflakes fall and working away, so lunch had to be made! right?!

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Right.

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I had some trouble deciding what to make – as I typically do. But, my butternut squash had been glaring at me from the counter for a while so I decided to do something with it.  After going through some recipes that use butternut squash and whatever else I had at home, since I had no intentions of going out in the snow, I finally came upon a recipe I could work with. A warm soft rice pudding with delicious milky sweet chai mixed in and some sauteed butternut squash and apples on top. Sounds pretty great, huh?  I used a recipe from my Food & Wine annual cookbook 2012 for the base of the recipe.  They have some good stuff! I mixed up a few things here and there and added my own touches….mainly to accommodate what I had in my pantry and fridge. It turned out scrumptious!

So, if you’re ready for some delicious wintertime noshing – read on!

Ingredients:

– 1/2 cup pecans
– 2 tbsp unsalted butter
– 1.5 cup diced peeled butternut squash, 1/2 inch dice
– 1 cup diced peeled apple, 1/2 to 1 inch dice

Pudding
– 3 cups whole milk
– 3.5 cups water
– 1 cup long grain rice, coarsely ground in your food processor
Sea salt
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Milky Sweet Chai
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 1 cup water
– 2 tablespoons rooibos chai
– 1 cup coconut milk, just the creamy part!

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Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.

2. In a medium saucepan, dump in all that milk and all that water. Bring it to a boil and add the rice with a pinch of sea salt. Simmer until the rice is tender. This took me maybe 45 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the sugar, cover, and remove from the heat.

3. In a small saucepan, put one cup of water, the tea, and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil and simmer approximately 15-20 minutes until it’s somewhat syrupy. Pour in the coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes. Strain the tea through a mesh strainer to remove the tea pieces.

4. Put the pecans in a dish and place in the oven. Toast for 10 minutes. Remove and let cool, then chop up coarsely.

5. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter and add the diced squash. After 4 minutes, the squash should be browned on one side. Add the apples and then sautee the squash and apples another five minutes, or until the squash is tender.

Now, the fun part!

Get out your favorite little bowl, put in some rice pudding, pour on some milky tea, top with some yummy squash/apple combo and sprinkle on some chopped pecans!

Now get a spoon and enjoy.

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Do you have a favorite snow day dish?

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2 responses to “Chai Squash Rice Pudding

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