Rice pudding is the ultimate comfort food: creamy, soft, and familiar. This ordinary white porridge takes on the seasoning you add to the pot. Use that chameleon quality to your advantage.
Here, the rice is scented with vanilla bean or cardamom. In both recipes, the grains are simmered in milk until they are tender, then mixed with more milk or softly whipped cream.
The cardamom pudding, which uses the seeds from whole pods, is also flavored with crystallized ginger and rose water, and served with chopped pistachio nuts.
The vanilla version, a Danish Christmas Eve specialty, is mixed with chopped almonds and served with a cherry sauce. Both would be welcome on any mid-winter night.