There's a joke in my family about rice. Whenever my parents go overseas, they only seem to visit certain countries in a certain order. Allow me to explain. After university I went to live in Japan to teach English and my parents came to visit me. My mother rang me one day from their Tokyo hotel.
"We're going back to Australia earlier than expected. Your father couldn't find the rice that he likes here!"
I thought she was joking - after all, we were in Japan where there is plenty of rice. But it was true, my father didn't want to try the koshihikari rice in Japan and insisted that he and my mother high tail it back home where he could have the rice that he liked. I am not kidding...
Thankfully he has gotten better after that trip. Now he can visit Europe with a minimum of fuss (although all European holidays must be buttressed at each end by a visit to Hong Kong). One thing about rice that I did find curious when I lived in Japan was that although they loved rice, the idea of rice pudding turned many off and that when I'd talk to my students about it their noses would wrinkle at the thought. Sure there is congee and rice cakes but English rice pudding wasn't common at all.
I saw this recipe for rice pudding griddle cakes on Deana's fantastic site Lost Past Remembered and wanted to make them straight away. The next day in fact when we were "busy" relaxing and enjoying the four day Easter weekend. For any Finnish people out there, these are like a hot cake version of the Finnish Karelian rice pie and although they don't have any rye pastry, the filling is very similar to rice pies.
The flavour is subtle and comforting with a lift from the nutmeg and vanilla and the rice gives it a bit more body. Please don't mistake my word subtle as a polite way of saying boring though - they are absolutely delicious. We always seem to have some sort of rice left over so this is for when you want to try something different than fried rice with your rice leftovers. Deana tried it with brown rice and declare it a success too. The original recipes comes from Miss Beecher's Domestic Receipt- Book by Catharine Beecher and if you are interested in historical recipes, Deana's site is a gold mine of fascinating recipes and their background stories.
And I think I could serve these to my father and he'd be happy :)
So tell me Dear Reader, what is the one thing that you always take with you on holiday? And what did you get up on this Easter long weekend?
Rice Pudding Hot Cakes
Recipe adapted from LostPastRemembered
Makes approximately 24 or so 7cm pancakes or pikelets
1.5 cups boiled rice (white or brown)
1 cup milk
1.5 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1.5 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bi carbonate of soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
butter or oil for frying
Step 1 - Soak the boiled rice in the milk overnight (you can use cold, hard rice too).
Step 2 - The next day, in a medium sized bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, breadcrumbs and nutmeg. In a jug, whisk the milk, eggs and vanilla until combined through. Stir in the milky egg mixture into the flour mixture ensuring there are no lumps. Add the dissolved bicarbonate and water and then the soaked rice and milk. Stir together.
Step 3 - Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add butter or oil. I use egg rings because this is a slightly runny mixture but they're not strictly necessary, Deana didn't use them and hers looked great. Fry until the bottom is set and then turn over and quickly cook the other side. I actually loved these plain as they had a nice flavour to them but of course add jam or syrup.