Really. If it were up to me, I'd live without eggs. I don't like the flavor of them and I don't care too much for the look of them once cracked open. I can taste them no matter how you try to mask them in a dish. I know when an egg is inside. Eggy cookie dough? Ick. Same thing for egg drop soup. Egg salad sandwich? Oh my; no way! I don't care how much mustard you put in a deviled egg, I won't eat it. Egg whites are so slimy, I just can't get past those either. I never used to be like this. I used to enjoy eggs just like everyone else. I can't stand them anymore.
This isn't good, particularly when it comes to one of my favorite comfort foods on the planet: rice pudding. For years, I've played around trying to get rice pudding I think is perfect. It can't have eggs and it can't have raisins. There aren't too many recipes out there that don't have the incredible binding power of the egg. I've found the secret though. It's in the rice. Starchy, beautiful rice. Specifically, arborio rice.
Here is my recipe for creamy rice pudding.
In a stainless steel pan or the top of a double boiler combine the following:
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (any other rice will yield only rice soup)
12 cups (yes twelve) whole milk-this is dessert so whole milk is OK!!!
1 cup of sugar (whole milk is sweet enough)
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 vanilla bean sliced lengthwise and scraped. Put scrapings in the pan along with both sides of the bean. (if you don't have a vanilla bean, you can put 1 tablespoon of real vanilla extract in but don't add it until you're done cooking. It's better with vanilla beans. If you're feeling adventurous, instead of vanilla, put a tablespoon of rose water in at the end of cooking for a totally different and surprising flavor. If you need rosewater, just go to any Arabic food store and you'll find it there.)
Turn on the heat and bring to boiling, cover and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring every 10-15 minutes (a labor of love) for an hour and a half. Remove the vanilla bean and pour rice mixture into a bowl. It'll be soupy but I promise, it'll set up. Lay plastic wrap directly on the rice so it doesn't form a skin. Refrigerate until icy cold.
When serving, drizzle with honey and crushed pistachio nuts or walnuts.
It's heavenly, trust me. And not an egg in sight.