Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rice Cooker = New Best Friend

You've heard me vent my frustrations about my crock pot. I like it in theory, but in never really works out for me in practice.

My new favorite kitchen appliance is my rice cooker. Amazingly, I've had it for nearly 20 years now and we've just gotten better acquainted.

Until recently, the only thing I did with it was cook rice -- and even that proved too tricky for me (Avo always had to remind me it's two cups of water to every cup of rice and still I sometimes confused the measurements).

I didn't even realize that you could cook complete meals in a rice cooker. What a revelation!

I've been feeling too crummy this week to cook or even to eat much, but last week, I had great success with this rice cooker recipe:

Spiced Lentils and Rice
(thanks to Fat-Free Vegan Kitchen)

2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup lentils
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
6 cloves
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 cup minced parsley

I put all of the ingredients (except parsley) into the rice cooker. Then I added four cups of water, stirred and turned on the rice cooker. By the time the cooker shut off, the rice and the lentils were tender.

I dug through the rice to recover the cinnamon and cloves, fluffed the rice, and added minced parsley. Voila. Dinner -- or at least a tasty side dish -- is served.

"I like that you're trying out all of these vegetarian dishes," said Avo," but I think it's time to move beyond the Middle East.

Okay, I get the message, honey. No more lentils and chick peas for a while.

Meanwhile, I bet you didn't know that Roger Ebert is a big fan of the rice cooker.


Susan Blumberg-Kason said...

Thank you! I was just trying to find your French lentils recipe, but this one looks great, too. And I have all the ingredients! I love rice cookers and have used one for years. I can't cook, but I can use the rice cooker pretty well.

Undomesticated Me said...

Glad to be of service, Susan. Let me know how it turns out. It's pretty easy -- even for the non-cook!

Bernie Bernstein said...

It's Me, Mom - Now you're teaching me. I never thought to use our rice cooker for anything ofther than just plain rice. Thanks.

Kathy N. said...

I like to give rice cookers as wedding presents. It's a gadget, but it's really amazing. It's worth having in a handy spot, or, as it is in my sister's house, on the counter at all times!

Undomesticated Me said...

I can't believe I taught my mom something about cooking!

Cat Sitter in the City said...

I got a rice cooker a few months ago after insisting for years that I didn't need one. I was so wrong. I love it and use it every day!