Sunday, May 16, 2010

Urban Pantry

Wow, I love this book. I just got it from the library and I've already made one thing out of it, even though it completely didn't fit with the meal we were having. Fried rice followed by vanilla-quinoa pudding? The combination was a little weird, yes, but oh-so-good.

I think I must share a similar palate and a similar sensibility with the author - I want to make every single recipe in the book AND I love her down-to-earth approach to eating. I'm not actively looking to adopt a particular eating philosophy (beyond being very much pro-home-cooking), but "thrifty, sustainable, and seasonal" (the book's sub-title) definitely matches up with where I'm at right now, food-wise.

Take the pudding, for example. Pennington writes that she loves the flavor of "rich cinnamon-scented rice pudding" but that white rice really doesn't work for her - "not nutrient-dense enough." I couldn't agree more. This recipe isn't health-food, exactly (it is dessert, after all), but I don't feel guilty eating it, either. Also: yum! I made a few additions, and I'll likely continue to tweak it. This is definitely a recipe I'll be making again, and soon.

Vanilla Quinoa Pudding
adapted from The Urban Pantry

  • 1 C quinoa, washed and rinsed VERY well
  • 3 C milk (I used a combination of skim and half-and-half, since I needed to use up the half-and-half, and we don't have whole milk in the house - she calls for whole milk)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, beans scraped into pot (I saved the bean and put it in a jar of sugar for vanilla sugar...)
  • 1/8 tsp orange flower water
  • pinch kosher salt
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring to a low boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes (stir occasionally to prevent scorching). Remove from heat and allow to rest, lid on, for another 30 minutes. Serve warm.
makes 4-6 servings
update 5/17/10: it also makes a delicious breakfast the next day!


  1. Wow, that is cool! So glad you liked it. This pudding is turning out to be a STRONG contender for best recipe in the book. And for the record, I love love love Orange Flower Water in this (and other desserts or fruit salads, etc) so you're right on in thinking we may have similar palates. Thanks for the shout out! amyp

  2. Well, thank you for stopping by! I'm enjoying the book a lot, and planning to make more from it later this week.

    ETA: I was going to post this at your blog, but couldn't get the comment function to work. Anyway, although I enjoy thinking of myself as mysterious(!), you inspired me to write a bit about myself for the sidebar. Thanks again :-)

  3. Is there any way I can make orange flower water? It's not sold around here where I live :(

  4. You might be able to pick some up via Amazon or similar. However, this pudding is a long-time favorite of ours at this point, and is definitely well worth making even without it.