August 4, 2013

Horchata for a Music-Inspired #SundaySupper

In December, drinking horchata,
I'd look psychotic in a balaclava.
This week's #SundaySupper is hosted by fellow Whovian, Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen, and is all about music. Because seriously, who doesn't like music, and who doesn't like food?

As for me, my taste in music is rather more eclectic than my taste in food. I got a little technopunk, a little industrial, a little indie, a little pop, a little dance, some classic rock, and some show tunes.

And, umm, whatever you would call the songs that the Guild released, like "(Do You Want to Date My) Avatar." Geek rock?

Despite my varying musical tastes, I had a more difficult time coming up with a music-inspired recipe than I thought I would. I was completely sure that I would be able to find a Queen song about food. I mean, really, they have a song about everything else. They've even got one about Freddie Mercury's cat (and it took me longer than I care to admit to realize that Delilah was a cat. I thought she was some seriously deranged chick.). But short of going through the lyrics of every single song in Queen's complete discography, I couldn't find one.

But then I remembered a song by one of my very favorite bands in all the land.

Winter's cold is too much to handle,
Pincher crabs that pinch at your sandles.

"Horchata," by Vampire Weekend.

To be completely honest, it was one of the very first things that I thought of when hearing this week's theme, but I resisted it a bit, since I've never had horchata, never mind made it myself.
Okay, they are like down-right scruffy in this video, it's bizarre. Ezra's wearing a t-shirt. I'm not used to him in anything other than a button-down. It's almost obscene. Ezra, put some clothes on. Kids read this.

Did I ever tell you about the time I sort of met the drummer? They were playing at a theater by school, walking distance from where I was living at the time. This was right before the second album released, and that was when they were just starting to get popular, so it was before their tickets became impossible to get. I had vastly overestimated the time it would take me to walk there and ended up getting to the theater super early (I was not first in line though, I was third). I was texting a friend that was meeting me there, and this guy walks by with this huge grin on his face, and he's like, "Hey guys!"

My mind was a total blank. I could not place where I knew him from. Did I have a class with him? Maybe he was one of the guys from my experimental psych class, or maybe he was in the honor society with me. Meanwhile the two girls in front of me got really excited, and my neurons kept misfiring, because now I'm thinking, hey, how come he's walking right past the line... and into the theater... Well, crap. He's the drummer.

That was my one brush with celebrity, guys. I think I handled it swell.

With lips and teeth to ask how my day went,
Boots and fists to pound on the pavement.

Anyway, back to the horchata, what finally decided me on trying it- other than lack of other options, heh- was the fact that I knew absolutely nothing about it. I do love me some research.
So I found that horchata is Mexican drink made primarily with rice. Now I had to try it, because that sounded kind of awesome.

So I soaked 1 cup of uncooked long grain rice and a cinnamon stick over night. Then I blended the rice (minus the cinnamon stick, although I did read one recipe that said to grind the cinnamon straight in with the rice) with 4 cups of water, 1/2 a cup of sugar, and some lime zest (because I read one recipe that did it, and I have a lot of limes in my fridge). But that tasted a little too sweet to me, so I added an extra cup of water. That was much better on the sweetness, but made it really thin and taste just like water with lime and cinnamon. I think, in the back of my mind, I was expecting it to be like rice milk, so I thought it was going to be creamy or something.

I ended up solving that problem by mixing in some evaporated milk. Now it's kind of eggnog-y, and I like it, but the interwebz is pretty divided on whether adding milk is "authentic" or not.

The measurements I used were pretty common across the recipes I was reading, so I was really surprised by how overly sweet the half cup of sugar made it. Again, I've never had real horchata, so maybe it's supposed to be really sweet. Or maybe it's user error- I read some recipes that said to grind the rice first, others that said to soak the rice in hot water, still others that said to boil the rice and cinnamon stick. And there were still other recipes that used almonds or cashews.

This is definitely a recipe I'll be coming back to in order to perfect, but for now, limey eggnog-y horchata is pretty good, too.

Here comes a feeling you thought you'd forgotten,
Chairs to sit and sidewalks to walk on.
Oh, you had it, but oh no you lost it,
Looking back you shouldn't have fought it.


1 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 cinnamon stick, broken into pieces
5 cups drinking water, divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. lime zest
1/4 tsp. salt
1 can evaporated milk (optional)

Soak the rice and cinnamon stick in 2 cups of water about 3 hours or overnight. Remove the cinnamon stick and add the rice and water to a blender. Blend until the rice is finely ground. Add the remaining water, sugar, zest, and salt, and pulse until well blended. Strain through a cheesecloth into a large pitcher. Stir in the evaporated milk, if desired. Serve chilled, over ice.

Recipe adapted from Food Network and

Are you ready for an orchestra of goodies?

Prelude (Beverages):
Calimocho (Red Red Wine Cocktail) from La Cocina de Leslie inspired by Red Red Wine by UB40
Dark & Stormy Cocktail Recipe from An Appealing Plan inspired by Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen
Horchata from Treats & Trinkets inspired by Horchata by Vampire Weekend
Orange Crush from Magnolia Days inspired by Orange Crush by REM
Pineapple Lemonade Slushy with Coconut Water from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz inspired by Lemon Tree by Peter, Paul & Mary
Strawberry Tequila from Shockingly Delicious inspired by Strawberry Fields Forever by The Beatles

Overture (Appetizers):
Mustard Dill Beer Bread from Curious Cuisiniere inspired by In Heaven There Is No Beer a German Polka

Intermezzo (Entrees & Sides):
Chicken and Bacon Cheddar Waffles from I Run For Wine inspired by Glady’s Knight
Classic Fried Chicken from The Food Army Wife inspired by Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band
Margarita Chicken from In The Kitchen With KP inspired by Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffet
Meatball Duet from Cindy’s Recipes and Writings inspired by On Top of Spaghetti by Tom Glazer
Pan-Seared Halibut with Corn Hash and Asparagus Puree from Crazy Foodie Stunts inspired by Saturday Night Fish Fry by Louis Jordan
Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy BBQ Pulled Pork from Neighborfood inspired by Something Like That by Tim McGraw
Spaghetti and Pork Meatballs from Family Foodie inspired by On Top of Spaghetti by Kidsongs
Teriyaki Burger from Juanita’s Cocina inspired by Cheeseburger in Paradise by Jimmy Buffet

Finale (Desserts):
Banana Cream Pie Bars from Peanut Butter and Peppers inspired by Tra La La Song by The Banana Splits
Banana Pancake Ice Cream with Maple Brittle from Foxes Love Lemons inspired by Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson
Cherry Pie from My Cute Bride inspired by Cherry Pie by Warrant
Cherry Marshmallows from Pies and Plots
Chocolate Cappuccino Cream Puffs from Runner’s Tales inspired by Choux Pastry Heart by Corinne Bailey Rae
Chocolate Chip, Walnut and Caramel Banana Bread Ice Cream Sandwich from Ruffles & Truffles inspired by Hollaback Girl by Gwen Stefani
Chocolate Covered Caramels from Big Bear’s Wife inspired by At Last by Etta James
Coconut Rum Blondies from Gotta Get Baked inspired by I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts by Danny Kaye
Easy Blueberry Recipe: Fruit Tart from Growing Up Gabel inspired by Blueberry Hill by Fats Domino
Espresso Nib Ice Cream from Vintage Kitchen Notes inspired by Black Coffee by Ella Fitzgerald
Fancy Watermelon Lime Popsicles from Daily Dish Recipes inspired by Watermelon Crawl by Tracy Byrd
Fresh Peach Pie from Killer Bunnies, Inc. inspired by Sweet Sweet Pie by PWEI
Jammin’ Oatmeal Cookies from What Smells So Good? inspired by Jammin’ by Bob Marley
Many Flavors Whipped Cream from Noshing with the Nolands inspired by Whipped Cream and Other Delights by Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass
Peach Basil Pie from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen inspired by Peaches by POTUSA
Pina Colada Poke Cake from Cookin’ Mimi inspired by Two Pina Coladas by Garth Brooks
Peach Donuts with Brown Sugar from Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks inspired by Peaches by POTUSA
Peach Strudel with Honey Bourbon Frozen Yogurt from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures inspired by My Favorite Things from The Sound of Music & Wild Honey by U2
Rainbow Pops from The Urban Mrs inspired by Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice
Salted Ripple Chip No-Churn Ice Cream from Cupcakes & Kale Chips inspired by Ice Cream by Sarah McLachlan
Salted Peanut Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream from girlichef inspired by Salt Peanuts by The Quintet
Shall We Dance? Fairy Cakes from The Ninja Baker inspired by Shall We Dance from the Japanese Film
Sugar Crusted Zucchini Bread from That Skinny Chick Can Bake inspired by Sugar, Sugar by the Archies
Tangerine Sorbet from Webicurean inspired by Tangerine Speedo by Caviar
Yeasted Banana Bread from Jane’s Adventures in Dinner inspired by I Like Bread and Butter by The New Beats

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