A simple, delicious vanilla pudding that can be either rich or skinny, depending on which milk you use (whole, low fat, etc.) and if you do or do not add the butter. Comfort food from my childhood with an updated method.
Combine milk, cornstarch, salt, and sugar in a 4 cup microwave safe bowl. Mix until sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Cook in microwave on high until the mixture starts to foam up. Stir, then continue to cook, stirring at intervals, until it becomes thick and smooth. Remove from microwave and add butter and vanilla, stirring well, then pour into serving dishes. May be served warm or cold.
NOTE: Sugar substitute may be used in place of sugar but should be added with the vanilla after removal from the microwave. Butter is not necessary but gives it a richer flavor. If cooked too long, mixture will lose thickness.