While in lock down, did you find yourself craving something sweet only to find that you had nothing sweet in the fridge or pantry, and your favorite restaurant wasn’t offering take-out Well, my family and I were in the same boat during this quarantine, and my mom had the perfect solution to remedy our sweet tooth.
My mom is from a small country in the heart of Europe called Slovakia. She often cooks meals from her native country, and we enjoy them immensely. Let me introduce you to a very simple recipe for the times when you have those sweet cravings but have no ice cream in the fridge and no chocolate in the pantry. This is my mom’s recipe for Ryžový Nákyp, or Rice Pudding in English. This recipe in Slovakia doesn’t actually count as a desert; it is a dish that is served as a main meal even though it is sweet, something that is unusual in American cuisine. However, whether eaten as a meal, a desert, or just as a snack, this meal is sure to satisfy any
sweet cravings you may have!
All you will need is:
2 cups of water
2 cups of milk
2 cups of rice
¾ cup of powdered sugar (You can adjust this based on how sweet your tooth is)
¼ stick of butter (2 tbsp)
your favorite canned fruit
Here’s what you do:
- Bring 2 cups of water and 2 cups of milk to a boil in a saucepan.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt and then add the rice. Simmer the rice on very low heat. We use Mahatma rice, which takes about 30 minutes to cook. Regardless of what rice you use, make sure it is wet, not dry.
- Preheat the oven to 355°F – 375°F, depending on how strong your oven is.
- Butter a 2 qt. ceramic or glass baking pan. Then, lightly coat the buttered pan in breadcrumbs. This will prevent the rice from sticking to the pan and give it a nice crust-like flavor.
- When the rice is cooked, dump it into a large bowl to cool down a little bit.
- Crack the 3 eggs, but separate the yolk and whites. An efficient way to do this is to carefully crack the egg in half, and then pass the egg yolk back and forth between the two eggshell halves, letting the egg whites drip into a separate bowl. When all the egg whites are gone, put the egg yolks into the bowl with the rice. Do not throw the egg whites away; we will need them later.
- Mix the butter, egg yolks, sugar, and rice.
- Whisk the egg whites until you have a foam. We’ve found that adding a pinch of salt into the whites makes it easier to make the foam. Make sure that the egg whites are not runny but that they form a nice puffy “snow”.
- Add the whisked egg whites into the bowl with the rice. Mix lightly and carefully, making sure that the rice is fluffy and airy. *Some people like to add some fruits already into the mix now.
- Dump the mixture into the buttered baking pan and smooth out the top. Be careful not to scrape the breadcrumbs off the sides of the pan.
- Put the pan in the oven and cook for about 45 minutes, or until the top and sides are a golden-brown color.
- While warm, cut into pieces of desired size (No cutting for me; I would eat the whole pan by myself!), sprinkle powdered sugar on top, and decorate it with fruits. Pour some of the syrup over the rice or around the piece of Ryžový Nákyp; it depends on how wet you like your food.
- The Ryžový Nákyp is ready to serve.
If there are leftovers, refrigerate, and when you’re ready to have more, just heat it up. If you don’t have a microwave, don’t worry; Ryžový Nákyp even tastes good cold!
My family and I love this dish. It is excellent because it not only fills us up, as a main entrée should, but it also satisfies the need for a desert. It’s like a 2-in-1 meal. Ryžový Nákyp is pretty easy and simple to make, and it requires very little prep time. We normally use home-canned peaches or loquats, since those are the fruits we grow in our own garden and can at home. Other commonly used fruits are canned apples, pears, or apricots. However, you can really use whatever fruit you like. Even if you don’t normally enjoy eating sweets for a meal, or you don’t eat sweets at all, I would definitely recommend trying this recipe out; you might change your mind.