Arroz Con Leche

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Arroz Con Leche by Amairany Franco
Story and Photos by Valeria Garcia

When Amairany Franco, senior biology major, was asked to prepare a dish for the magazine, her excitement, creativity and unique, competitive personality combined into one source of inspiration.
“They will come for Amairany, they will stay for the food,” she says, after being told about the magazine launch.

“¡Vamos a ganar!” “We will win!”
Franco will be graduating in May and as she waits to hear back from nursing school, she confesses jokingly that cooking wouldn’t be too bad of a profession if things don’t work out.
“To me, cooking is a form of relaxation. Even though it’s not that relaxing sometimes. It’s the after part that is really relaxing,” she says.
Arroz con leche… she had no doubt this delicious dessert would be not only an easy, but tasty way to conquer the hearts and stomachs of the people.
“I started learning how to cook when I was around 13. You know what Mexican moms say, ‘¡Si no sabes cocinar, no te vas a casar!’” she says while laughing.
Franco says that arroz con leche, also known as rice pudding, is known in many places, but her special touch will make it different. This sweet, appetizing dessert is described as a “love or hate” relationship.
“I grew up in a home with a mother and grandmother that made arroz con leche very often and those were always our favorite days!” Franco explains.
There are many dishes that can be passed down generation-by-generation in a Hispanic family, but this one is a must. Franco refers to “patience” as the “secret ingredient” to a perfectly creamy, aromatic dessert.
“Eyeballing ingredients here and there and a pinch of my spark will make this arroz con leche the best you’ve ever tasted,” she says.
She admits the recipe is a fairly simple one, but says that the simplest things in life are always the most life giving.
“You can eat this dessert hot or cold and either way, it will mesmerize you.”
Arroz con leche will not only sweeten your taste buds, it will sweeten your life. Franco concludes by saying not to worry too much about proportions and advises future chefs to have fun while cooking because patience, joy and love will essentially be the most important ingredients.

Arroz con Leche

Ingredients
•    1 cup long-grain white rice
•    7 cups of water
•    1 cup of whole milk
•    1 14-ounce can condensed milk
•    1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
•    1 4-inch cinnamon stick
•    ¾ cups of raisins

Directions
1.    Put the water, rice, and cinnamon stick in a pan set over medium-high heat
2.    Bring to a boil, uncovered, and cook until the rice is tender
3.    Strain out the liquid, discard the cinnamon and reserve the rice
4.    Return the rice to the pan
5.    Stir in the evaporated milk, condensed milk and whole milk
6.    Continue cooking over medium-high heat until the mixture boils
7.    Reduce the heat and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick
8.    Add the raisins and stir well

Makes six bowls.

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