Feliz el dia de cinco de mayo!
That was what my high school language teacher called “Spain-glish” for Happy Cinco de Mayo amigos/as! In celebration of all things Mexican, culinary, and ice-cream based, a friend of mine suggested I try my hand at making horchata.
The first time I heard this word I thought it was the one producers edited out of telenovelas on Telemundo, but upon further research I realized that in fact it is a delicious almond-and-rice-based drink, heady with cinnamon and a sweet vanilla flavor. Further confirmation found it’s way onto my kitchen table in this month’s issue of Food and Wine. Rick Ortiz’ version of the delicacy- spinning vanilla ice cream and condensed milk into the mix- sounded both comfortable and exotic. Definitely LuvCooks material.
!Que delicioso! Not only was this horchata easy to assemble, paired with churros and a pinata, it was a light and creamy trip to another flavor locale (and even more fun sipped through a straw). Which, with the weather as it is right now in the South, that sun-soaked vacation feeling might not happen until August.
Also, muchos gracias to Stephen Devries for making the shake look muy bonito.
So pull out your finest straws and sip to Mexican food, cinnamon milkshakes, and mas dias de las fiestas! (Lo siento Senora Downs…)
Horchata Milk Shakes (taken from Food and Wine’s Food Travel Special)
What You Will Need
- 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed well
- 3 cups water
- 4 medium cinnamon sticks, cracked (I whacked my cinnamon sticks with a mortar and pestle until they were in large chunks or slivers. !Ole!)
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 banana (2 ounces)
- 1 pint to 1 1/2 quart vanilla ice cream (depending on how thick you like your milkshakes)
- 1/2 cup ice
What You Will Do
- In a bowl, cover the rice with the water. Add the cinnamon sticks and let stand at room temperature for at least 3 hours or overnight; discard the cinnamon sticks. You might have to use a spoon to make sure any little pieces of cinnamon bark didn’t find their way into your rice.
- Meanwhile, in a skillet, toast the almonds over moderate heat, tossing, until fragrant, about three minutes. In a small bowl, blend 1 tablespoon of the ground cinnamon with the sugar.
- Transfer the rice and its liquid to a blender. Add the almonds and puree for 2 minutes (keep on pureeing until all of the rice is blended and it is a uniform white color). Strain the horchata through a fine sieve into a bowl. I used a spoon to press the thicker mixture at the bottom of the blender through the sieve to release any remaining liquid. Rinse out the blender.
- Return the horchata liquid to the blender and add the condensed milk, banana and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and puree. Add the ice cream and ice and blend (I like my milkshakes super-thick so I actually used a whole quart and a half to keep the shakes dense).
- Pour the shakes into glasses, sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar on top and serve. !Comer bien!