Thursday, January 27, 2011

Cooking in the Rice Cooker

I kept trying to think what to write...I'm not really "crafting" anything right amazing energy spurt was rather short lived....BUT, I've actually been preparing meals!  My dad is a bit clairvoyant, and just *knew* that we needed a new rice cooker for Christmas.  I received a plain-jane cooker as a wedding gift- little metal pot, held about 6 scoops of rice, with an "on" button that popped up when the rice was done.  This new one?

Aroma 3 Quart or 4-20 Cups Rice Cooker & Food Steamer with Sensor Logic Technology - Recipe Book Included

For one thing, this one is BIG.  A 20-cup capacity means no more asking Aunt LoLo to bring rice to family functions!  A non-stick pot means no more hours of soaking after every batch of rice.  It even has a little cup near the lid hinge to collect the condensation before it drips on the counter, how nifty is that?

My kids adore white rice.  Actually, my kids love most anything white.  Bread, mashed potatoes, rice, cereal, pasta, tatties and neeps, crackers...if it is processed and pale, they are all over it like ...white on rice.  So, predictably, there have been big salty tears at the dinner table this week, especially when the toddler girl comes running to the table, clapping and cheering in anticipation of me opening up the rice pot...only to find NOT white rice.  Poor baby.  Someday she'll forgive for not letting her subsist on a diet of processed foods.

Anyway.  Recipes!  I've had way too much fun with this rice cooker (do you do anything fancy with yours??)

  • Oatmeal for breakfast.  Super easy way to get a hot breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning.  Takes longer to cook, but there's no tending!
  • Brown/wild rice cooked in chicken stock with black pepper and onions.  I love cooking quinoa this way too.  But be aware, this took nearly an hour and a half in the rice cooker on the "brown rice" setting.  It turned out amazing, but don't be putting your rice in at 5:00 and expecting dinner any time soon.  Just saying.
  • Rice with squash.  I cubed a danish/acorn squash, threw it in the steamer basket sprinkled with dried rosemary, and just let the squash cook while the pot of rice bubbled away.  It turned out FANTASTIC, especially served with a quick dipping sauce of soy sauce/peanut butter/sweet chili sauce/and a bit of water.  Oh, I'm not kidding anybody: I hogged most of the sauce and dumped it straight into my bowl.  Too bad no one else in my family likes spicy and peanut all in the same sentence!
  • Steamed gyoza-  I haven't done this in years, since I prefer my potstickers pan fried, but it's super easy to throw frozen pot stickers into the steamer basket to cook while your rice cooks below.  Plus, it flavors the rice a bit.  Yummy!  I'm excited, because I have bags and bags of homemade potstickers in the freezer that I know the kids will LOVE, even if they're steamed and not pan fried!
  • Tapioca pudding.  This was probably the messiest thing I've done, because it bubbled up a bit and I ended up cleaning out a gummy lid.  But still, to soak the tapioca for a bit and throw everything from my favorite recipe into a rice cooker, and just walk away?  Definitely worth a bit of cleaning up afterwards!  Just don't walk away too far- most recipes call for using a "porridge" setting that I don't have, so you DO want to stick around to check on it once in a while and stop the process when it's thickened.
So, nothing TERRIBLY fancy yet from our rice cooker, but still so nice to shut the lid and press a button!  It's like a crockpot...but faster.  And it cooks rice perfectly.  Yeah.


Aunt LoLo said...

Woohoo for things that are easier!!

Bobbi Lewin said...

I tell my husband that I don't know how to operate the rice cooker (which came with the husband. kind of a bygo thing) so he has to cook the rice;)

Tammy said...

Totally jealous of the giant rice cooker... I have a tiny one, perfect for 2-3 of us (as the girls only count as 1), but not big enough for the red beans and rice I was going to make for my SuperBowl party next week... unless you want to send yours over for the weekend!

Teresa said...

I've had a rice cooker for years....and just cooked rice in it.....seems I've been missing out....from now on it will be used more.
Thanks for the tips

Elizabeth said...

So, okay, I'm behind the curve and still use pots for everything. So...the great thing about rice cookers is not having to worry about burning something? You just put the ingredients in and walk away? H.m.m.m...I'm wondering if this is a good investment. I have a crockpot, but I never put rice in it. Is there info that comes with the machine that tells you how long each type of rice should cook? I do like cooking things up ahead and freezing them. :)

I love gyoza. I just made some and steamed them, rather than the usual, which was frying them. They turned out delectable. Yum, yum.

You just reminded me that I need to eat more of my quinoa.

Have great one! :)

What I Did Today said...

That sounds wonderful. I'm going to have to save that in my Amazon shopping cart.....I have a lot of things saved there. :)