Monday, June 25, 2007

The Rice Cooker

For many years I avoided buying a rice cooker. I did not see the need for one because they seemed silly and unnecessary. My Aunt Peggy brought one to my house one day and I watched her use it and quickly changed my mind. Not being one to resist change, I bought this inexpensive Salton brand (Bed Bath & Beyond $14.99) to try it out, and I have enjoyed it so much that I will probably invest in a more elaborate one soon.

There is not a timer on it, but it will automatically shut off when the rice is done. The way it works is, water boils at 212 degrees, and as long as there is water in the pan, the rice cooker will continue to cook. When the rice absorbs all of the liquid, the temperature will begin to rise. When the thermostat in the rice cooker senses that the temperature has risen above 212 degrees, the machine turns off the heater automatically and switches to the “keep warm” cycle. It's actually a very cool invention.

In this post, I am not only recommending the rice cooker, but a particular kind of rice, which is a brand called Royal Blend Whole Grain Rice, and the blend I chose was Texmati Brown & Wild Rice with Soft Wheat & Rye Berries (both pictures, above). I bought it at Publix. Go by whatever your particular rice cooker recommends, but I use the same amounts that I would if I were cooking rice the conventional way. I use chicken broth instead of water, and this time I added about 3 tablespoons of butter. It was truly the best rice I have ever eaten. Very nutty and flavorful. And 100% whole grain.

I served it with boiled shrimp, which was a nice combination, but I could have eaten just the rice.


Melissa said...

Love the idea of the rice cooker, but does it clean up easily? I am always looking for the easiest way! ha!

Vickie said...

It has a removable pan in it that is dishwasher safe that I usually spray with cooking spray before I put all the ingredients in it. Sometimes the rice still sticks on the bottom, so I just soak it in warm water and wipe it off with an SOS pad. It is actually the same process I go through with a regular pot when I do rice the conventional way. So, to answer your question, clean-up is a little easier, but there is still some that you have to do. I like to look for the easiest way, too. :)