Hidden in the depths of my pantry was lurking a mysterious kitchen gadget. At one time .... many years ago it held much promise. The promise of perfect rice. Ten cups of rice at a time, all cooked to perfection. Ahhh - the dream!
After a few failed attempts it was relegated to the depths of my appliance garage – which actually is in the garage. It joined the ranks of the bread machine and lonely steamer.
I bought this gem about 5 years ago, on a whim. Once or twice I danced around the kitchen with this impulsive buy. But the chemistry between us just wasn't there....no spark, no love at first bite. Indeed, sometimes the rice was
like glue, others it was crunchy – my relationship with the rice cooker was terminated and I returned to my TNT method of rice in a pan on the stove.
First, the STUPID measuring cup that comes with the rice cooker is NOT a cup! What is with that? Finally, I figured it out and how simple it was! What wasted time!
Measure 2 cups rice into the rice cooker.
Rinse the rice in cool water several times until the water is not milkly. Pour off as much water as you can.
Measure cool water into the rice cooker until it comes up to the line that says, “2” . When you place your finger tip on top of the rice the water should reach the top of your cuticle.
Turn to cook and wait until the machine turns to warm – perfection.
Okay – that takes care of cooking rice but I have now embarked on cooking whole meals in the rice cooker.
I have discovered that there is a lot more that this little applicance can do besides cook rice! It is perfect for cooking whole meals with out heating up the whole house.
Although the new models have a multitude of settings they are a bit more difficult to fool into cooking some other foods for long
periods of time. In the following recipes I am using the standard 10 cup rice cooker with two settings, warm and cook.
When it is hot as heck we all look to our slow cookers – when was the last time you looked to your rice cooker for comfort food in the heat of summer? In the next
few days I will be featuring several recipes that are cooked in the rice cooker.
This beef stew is very easy and I was amazed at how good it was.
In this recipe I use left over BBQ steak – cubed, use whatever you have available.
Beef Stew in the Rice Cooker
1 lb beef, cut into cubes (this can be left over BBQ Steak, stew meat or what ever you have.)
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic crushed and minced
½ Onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (optional)
2 cans beef broth, 14oz each
10 -12 fresh green beans
2 stalks celery diced
2 T cornstarch mixed with ¼ cup water – to make a slurry.
Close lid of Rice cooker and turn to Cook – let the rice cooker heat up.
Add olive oil and garlic – stir & add cubed beef – stir and cook the beef for a few minutes
Add Onion and stir
Add carrots & potatoes,
Add salt and pepper.
Add the beef broth, stir and close the lid of the rice cooker. Cook for about 20 - 30 minutes – until beef and potatoes are tender.
Add green beans and celery – close lid and cook an additional 10 minutes.
Add cornstarch slurry and stir well – sauce should thicken quickly.
Reduce heat to warm setting – close lid and keep warm until ready to serve.
Next in line is Breakfast
The great thing about this breakfast is that it is so versatile. You can use left over cooked potatoes or frozen hash browns or a couple of russets. I like to throw this all together and then hit the shower and get dressed.
Breakfast is ready and waiting when we are ready to eat.
Breakfast in the Rice Cooker
Serves 2-3 Adults
1 Tbl oil – EVOO, Vegetable or Canola
2 small Potatoes – diced small
½ Red or Green Bell Pepper (optional)
½ Onion, diced
4 Eggs, scrambled with
2 T Milk
Pre-cooked Ham, sausage or bacon (optional)
Grated cheddar or Jack cheese (optional)
Add the oil to the Rice Cooker, preheat for a few minutes on “cook” while you dice the potato and onion .
Add potatoes, bell peppers and onions. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir and close lid cook for about 5 - 10 minutes. (Use the “cook” setting)
Add eggs and meat if desired stir and close lid. Turn cooker to warm and cook for 10 minutes or until you are ready to eat.
Open lid, check that the eggs have set and add the cheese. Close lid and let cheese melt 1 – 2 minutes. Let sit as long as you want - until you are ready to serve.
In this recipe I stirred the potatoes and eggs together. Since then I have browned the potatoes and let them form the bottom crust. I like it this way much better.
Contributed by AR member YingaLing -
Steel Cut Oatmeal - one of our BEST breakfasts!
1 Cup Steel Cut Oats
3 Cups Water
Soak in the oats in the rice cooker over night.
First thing in the morning, add wheat germ or flax seed meal, cinnamon and turn it to cook.
By the time everyone's ready for breakfast, it will be done.
Only add sweetener after it is done cooking.
Serve with blueberries, slices of banana, apples or your favorite fruit.
(I personally have not made this yet but really wanted to share this with everyone. I think I would add a pinch of salt to the oats - your choice though.)
Mac & Cheese in the Rice Cooker
The next dish I would like to feature is a baked Mac & Cheese. This was very easy to throw together and although I am not a huge fan of Mac & Cheese my husband and grandkids really liked this. You can use any combination
of cheeses and this doubles or triples easily. Enjoy!