Arroz con Leche*
Arroz con Leche was one of my favorite dishes in Spain. The family I stayed with added grated orange peel, which I highly recommend. I’ve tried it without, and it’s just not the same!
3 cups milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup rice, short or medium grain
2 cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 to 1/3 of a 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk** (from the health food store so it doesn’t contain high fructose corn syrup)
2 tsp. vanilla
grated orange peel (I used the zest of one mandarin orange. Adjust to taste.)
Bring milk and water to a slow simmer in a large pot over medium-low heat. (This takes a while.) Stir in rice and cinnamon sticks. Barely simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. When rice is soft, remove cinnamon sticks and stir in sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, salt and orange peel. If necessary, return to a low simmer for 10 – 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice has a pudding-like consistency. Serve hot with a sprinkle of cinnamon if desired.
*Adapted from this recipe: http://mexicanfood.about.com/od/sweetsanddesserts/r/arrozconleche.htm
**The recipe I originally used called for a whole can of sweetened condensed milk. I definitely recommend cutting it back to more like 1/3 of the can. It would be way to sweet with a whole can. The remaining condensed milk can be refrigerated for up to two weeks.