I am so sad that we are now at the end of our journey – the last stop of our Culinary Tour is Puerto Rico. Thanks, Joan, for hosting this wonderful event. Hope to participate in a new Culinary Tour soon. Back to our destination: I learned that Puerto Rican cuisine combines a lot of influences: from the diet of the Taíno people for instance come many tropical roots and tubers like Yuca (cassava), Spanish influence is seen in the use of olives, garlic and eggplant (just to name a few), from African cuisine there come coconut and plantains, and the U.S. American influence is seen in the use of American bacon.
For the Daring Cooks’ Challenges, I recently made a chocolate coconut risotto with poached cherries, and we loved it so much, that – when I stumbled upon the information that there was a Puerto Rican version of rice pudding – I immediately knew this was the dish I wanted to make for the Culinary Tour.
Arroz con Dulce
(I made up the recipe, but was inspired from Whats4Eats)
- 5 cups coconut milk
- 1 cup short-grain rice (I used Arborio)
- 3 oz coconut flakes
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried orange zest
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tblsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 chopped mango (I had a can of sliced mango that we got as a present when we ordered at a Vietnamese take-out restaurant and exceeded a certain amount of money – well, we ordered for 4 adults and 3 kids, so that was a good deal for the restaurant, I suppose)
- Place coconut milk, rice, coconut flakes, cinnamon, orange zest and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Immediately reduce heat to very low and simmer, stirring often and scraping bottom, for about 30 minutes.
- Add raisins and sugar and simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir often to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract.
- Garnish with chopped mango and serve warm.