Edible Alphabet is a free English Language Learning (ELL) program offered by the Free Library's Culinary Literacy Center. The mission is to teach English language and literacy skills through hands-on cooking projects. While Free Library locations remain closed to the public in the interest of public health and safety, we will be sharing weekly recipes from our class curriculum and past participants.
This week, I’m sharing former Edible Alphabet participant Anna Maria’s recipe for Colombian Rice Pudding: Arroz con Leche. This simple and delicious recipe is highly customizable to what you have on hand in your kitchen. Anna Maria made it for our class last year with long-grain white rice, cinnamon, condensed milk, and raisins, but you can use whatever rice you prefer, easily swap the condensed milk for more regular milk and sugar if needed, and experiment with the spices as you wish (I added cinnamon, cardamom, and lemon peel to mine this time and left out the raisins).
I also want to share a Free Library resource you can access from home with tons of Spanish-language content that Edible Alphabet participants have found helpful in the past: Hoopla. Hoopla offers more than 28,000 ebooks, audiobooks, movies, television series, and music albums in Spanish. You can borrow 4 items every month with your library card. I’ve got my eye on El Bulli: Cooking in Progress, the 2011 documentary that looks inside famed Spanish chef Ferran Adria’s award-winning and groundbreaking restaurant.
Happy cooking, reading, listening, and watching! ¡Buen provecho!
Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)
- 3 cups of rice
- 4 cups of milk
- 1 can condensed milk (14 oz.)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon (or one cinnamon stick)
- Sugar (to taste)
- Raisins (to taste)
- Salt (to taste)
- Optional additional spices/flavorings: cardamon, bay leaves, lemon peel
Note: You can substitute 12 oz. evaporated or whole milk and 1.5 cups of sugar, if you don't have condensed milk at home and are limiting grocery trips.
- Add rice to a large pot with 3 cups of water. Heat on high until water is boiling and then lower heat to simmer for 10 minutes (rice will only be partially cooked). Drain the rice and return to the pot.
- Add milk, condensed milk, cinnamon, sugar to taste, and any additional spices you desire. Bring mixture to a boil, lower the heat and simmer until rice is soft (15-20 minutes). The rice should not be completely dry.
- Remove from heat to cool for at least 15 minutes.
- Add raisins and salt to taste.
For more information about Edible Alphabet and the Culinary Literacy Center, visit freelibrary.org/cook or email kitchen @ freelibrary.org. Enjoy this recipe? Leave a comment and stay tuned for another Edible Alphabet recipe next week!