Recipe for Agua de Horchata

23 Jun

Today is Hadassah’s birthday party!  There are still 3 more hours till the party begins, and besides bringing out the food and placing it on the table, the only thing I really have left to do is cut the watermelon and make limonada.  I just finished making Horchata – it has been probably 3 years since I have made it, and since I didn’t use a written recipe before, I could not remember how exactly to make it.  Sure, I could look on the internet and find recipes, but I am really picky about my Horchata.  Horchata is either delicious or yucky and gives you a headache. 

One thing is for sure, I definitely appreciate the way Mexicans cook.  I learned a lot about cooking without recipes when I lived there.  I would taste something delicious at a luncheon and ask for the recipe, and the kind matriarch would respond with something like, “just throw some tomatoes in with oregano and chiles.”  That is maybe going a bit extreme, but the point is, I would just keep asking for similar recipes from different women and finally venture to recreate the dish.  And the best part of Mexican cooking is, after being in that culture for several years, I developed my own salsas, drinks, and other recipes.  My only problem is that I can’t always remember what I did. 

But I did just mix up my Horchata, and I think it will be perfectly delicious.  I am only waiting to add a little bit of milk, ice and water, which I will add a little bit before party time.  This is a traditional Mexican recipe in that it is a “little bit of this” and “a little bit of that.”  I hope there is enough uncertainty in the recipe where you can make it your own!

Agua de Horchata

Ingredients:

White rice
Water
Milk
Whole and ground cinnamon
Vanilla extract
Sweetened condensed milk
Evaporated milk

This is what I did: (unofficial instructions)

  1. Soak rice in water overnight.  You are going to use A LOT of water in this recipe, so it doesn’t matter how much water you use here.  Just make sure the rice is well-covered.
  2. In the morning, boil some water and place some cinnamon sticks in the water to “brew.”
  3. Place the rice/water mixture in a blender.  Add some vanilla extract.  Sprinkle in some ground cinnamon, but not too much!
  4. Blend the mixture (I used the Puree setting), then strain the mixture into a vat or a big pot (I don’t think I have a pitcher big enough to make this, but you are welcome to try a pitcher).
  5. Place the solids (which are left in the colander) back in to the blender.
  6. Place the water from the soaking cinnamon in the blender.  Throw the cinnamon sticks in to your vat.  Add a can of evaporated milk and a can of condensed milk to the blender.  Blend (I used Puree setting and then Aerate setting).
  7. Strain the mixture in to the vat again.  Discard solids.  Add a few cups of milk, lots of water and ice to taste.
  8. Drink your Horchata!
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