The guy from Sea Breeze Farm was talking up his buttermilk at the farmer’s market this weekend. He said it was real buttermilk, not the contrived kind the supermarket sells. According to the Food Lover’s Dictionary:
Buttermilk of times past was the liquid left after butter was churned. Today it is made commercially by adding special bacteria to nonfat or lowfat milk, giving it a slightly thickened texture and tangy flavor. Some manufacturers add flecks of butter to give it an authentic look.
So his was the real kind; he probably didn’t add extra flecks of butter. I bought some, hoping I could find a way to use it that actually highlighted the taste of the buttermilk.
I made rice pudding using the buttermilk and forbidden rice, which turns a lovely shade of deep royal purple when cooked. The pudding was lovely to look at, but it turns out I’m not a huge fan of buttermilk when its flavor is put on stage. But my husband (whose approach to any flavor is usually “the stronger, the better”) liked it much more than the coconut-scented black rice pudding I made a few years ago, which he found too sweet, even though I added tons of ginger. Anyway, see for yourself.
Recipe for Buttermilk Rice Pudding
Recipe 58 of 365
I first used forbidden rice to make rice pudding when I came across a recipe for Black Rice Pudding in Gourmet Magazine (December 2005). I followed their general guidelines for this recipe.
Look for forbidden rice in compact packages in the health food section of your local grocery store. If you can’t find it, you can substitute short-grained brown rice.
TIME: 10 minutes active time, plus 1 1/2 hours cooking time
MAKES: 8 (1/2 cup) servings
1 cup forbidden (black) rice
3 cups water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the rice, water, and salt in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
Stir in the sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla, and bring to a boil again over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer again (this time without the lid on) for another 30 minutes, stirring two or three times during cooking. The rice should be al dente and still a little liquidy.
Allow the pudding to cool for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Divide it between 8 (1/2 cup) ramekins or small bowls, and serve warm or room temperature. The pudding can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 5 days.