Even though the recipe is ancient, horchata, a sweet, cold rice beverage, is still quite popular in the taco stands of the Wild Horse Desert. Also considered an agua fresca, horchata has a light, sweet creaminess perfect for cooling your mouth down after a fiery salsa. Commercial horchata mixes are always disappointing; homemade is infinitely better.
1/2 cup rice
2 cinnamon sticks (Mexican if possible; see page 29 of the book)
1/2 to 1 cup sugar, or to taste
COMBINE 2 quarts water, the rice, and cinnamon sticks in a 4-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, until rice is tender. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
REMOVE the cinnamon sticks. Place the rice and liquid in the container of a blender or food processor (you may have to do this in a couple of batches). Purée well until there are no visible particles. Pour the purée into a pitcher. Stir in the sugar and add enough water to make 2 quarts of horchata. Chill well, and serve over ice.
Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert
Norteño Cooking of South Texas
by Melissa Guerra
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created August 2006
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