Rice Custard is another old-fashioned favourite. You just can't beat the recipes that Nana used to make. Nostalgia is making a huge comeback to our world, as we all remember a time when life was simpler, and the time that someone spent cooking and serving good meals was an extension of their love. Convenience can never replace those feelings of warmth and belonging that a home-cooked meal can offer. Once upon a time, we looked forward to our futuristic world that was full of promise but now, I find us looking back, reminiscing about what is missing from our busy, time-poor lives.
Vanilla Rice Custard
1/2 cup white rice
4 cups milk
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 egg yolks
Fresh berries to serve
Rinse uncooked rice and drain well.
Mix rice, milk, sugar and vanilla essence in a large saucepan. Stir constantly over medium-high heat until boiling. Turn heat down to medium-low and simmer 15-20 minutes until rice is cooked and tender. Stir occasionally during the first 15 minutes and then stir constantly for the last 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir beaten egg yolks through rice mixture, making sure yolks are blended thoroughly. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. (Custard will set firmer when left to stand).
Serve topped with fresh berries and a sprinkle of nutmeg (optional).
Note: This recipe makes quite a thick mix. If you prefer a thinner consistency, stir through 1/2 cup extra milk before serving.
Add 100g finely chopped chocolate after simmering and allow to melt through.
Powdered milk is a staple in my pantry. It is an economical substitute for recipes like this one that use a lot of milk. I also use powdered milk in my muffins, cakes, Béchamel sauce, etc.
When the cupboard is bare and I have time to spare, I make quiche. You can always pull together a filling for quiche using whatever is left in the fridge or pantry. Often I grate up the last of my cheese, and add the last rashers of bacon in the freezer or use up the last bits of vegetables in the bottom of the crisper.
However, there are many times that I make a quiche with a choice of filling in mind. My favourite quiche is Pumpkin, Leek, Fetta and Pecan nut. I used to make these for a food outlet and they were extremely popular on the lunch menu. I have included a number of variations below for you to try.
1 quantity Shortcrust Pastry (see here)
(For a gluten free rice base - please see below)
Your choice of filling (see below)
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Follow step-by-step directions for Shortcrust pastry case or gluten free rice base. Reduce oven heat to 180°C. Spread filling over base. Top with grated cheese. Whisk eggs and cream together and pour egg mixture over filling. Move filling around slightly with a fork to make sure egg spreads evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the centre is set. Remove from oven and stand 5 minutes before cutting. Serve slices hot or cold.
Make your own combination from any of the following:
Gluten free rice base
1 onion, finely diced, sautéed
1 ½ cups cooked rice
1 egg, lightly beaten.
Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix thoroughly. Press into greased pie dish* and top with filling, cheese and egg mixture.
* Note: a flan tin doesn't work as well for a gluten free base as the egg mixture used in quiches can seep through the rice base and leak through the gaps in a flan tin.
This is by far one of my favourites and the most requested recipe from my collection. Up until now, it has remained a culinary secret. The recipe sarts with a basic onion and garlic pilaf. I have listed 3 tried-and-tested combinations of this pie, but I encourage you to be brave enough to experiment with your own creations.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 ½ cups white rice
2 ½ cups vegetable stock *
Heat oil in a heavy-based, large saucepan. Sauté onion and garlic for 1 minute. Add rice and stir until translucent. Add stock. Bring to the boil, stirring. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed; stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stand covered for a further 10 minutes until rice is swollen and tender.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Cool rice and transfer to large bowl. Lightly whisk 3 eggs and mix through rice with any combination of ingredients listed below.
Cut into slices. Serve hot or cold.
Life for us has been all about survival on a shoestring budget. I cook from scratch and don't buy prepackaged mixes of anything. I've learnt how to live on very basic (and cheap) staples. I've raised happy and healthy kids and I believe that good food is central to a good life!
The Economics of Eating App is now available for purchase!
I have an unpublished cookbook manuscript that lives on my kitchen bench. This is the collection that I have fed my family from for many years, all made from a core list of practical and economical ingredients. The manuscript is splattered with butter, flour and milk from daily use. It moves between the kitchen and the office as I edit and test-kitchen the recipes.