Rizogalo (Rice Pudding)
Chef Demetrios Haralambatos
When I make this, I use a double boiler. This way, the rice and milk are not scorched, and the mixture becomes quite smooth. Caution: do not use converted or parboiled rice, as it will take forever to thicken.
In a sauce pot, add the rice, sugar, cinnamon stick, lemon peel, and 7 cups of milk.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and stir frequently. Simmer for 60 minutes, or until the rice is soft.
While it is simmering, you may notice the rice getting too sticky/thick. When this happens, add ½ cup milk at a time.
Once the consistency is good, whisk the eggs in a separate dish and temper them. To temper the eggs, break and whisk them in a bowl. Take some of the hot rice mixture, and add it to the eggs, mixing well. This will ensure the eggs will not curdle. Add them to the sauce pot along with the vanilla extract, and mix well.
When mixed thoroughly, remove the mixture from heat, ladle into bowls, and allow a few hours to cool. Then place it in the refrigerator.
The dish may be served warm or cold with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.
The finished product may be refrigerated for two to three days. If the pudding thickens too much in the refrigerator, simply add a little cold milk and mix well until a pudding texture is achieved.