Monday, April 19, 2010

Everyday Yumminess: My Friend's Mom's Horchata

I first had Horchata in Portland last year when out to lunch with my friend, J. I assumed it would be more effort than it was worth to make, but decided that I wanted to give it a try this weekend, anyway. Rick Bayless has a recipe for Horchata in my favorite book of his, and there were several online, but I figured the safest bet would be to make J's mom's Horchata. For those who haven't experienced the yumminess before, Horchata is sort of a sweetened, cinnamon-flavored rice milk. This batch turned out exactly how I wanted my Horchata to taste, so I can't imagine trying any chefs' recipes for it in the future. Yay, moms! Here's how you make it: Take a cup of long-grain rice and soak overnight to soften.
Drain the rice and add to a blender with 3 cups of water and two Mexican cinnamon sticks, then blend until it looks like a liquid with fine sand floating in it. Now it's time for the first straining.
You can proceed straight the the second straining at this point, or do like I did and try to forgo it by adding the half-gallon of milk, can of condensed milk, and sugar to taste (1/2 to 1 cup, depending on your preference. I went with just over 1/2 cup for this batch...). After the sugar had mostly dissolved, I admitted to myself that the texture was too gritty, and moved on to the second straining phase, this time using coffee filters to get out the finer particles.
It's important to do the first straining before you move on the the coffee filters, since the larger particulates are going to give you a situation where you leave for 40 minutes and come back to find a solitary tablespoon of liquid has passed through the filters... not that I know this from experience or anything... Once everything is all strained and delicious, just toss it in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy. Mmmm... Horchata...

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