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Cooking rice and other things

September 12, 2011 - Kathie Evanoff
As a food blogger and Tribune Cooks feature writer, I am sometimes asked to review newly published cookbooks.

I don’t have time to look at every new cookbook that is published, but once in a while one will capture my attention.

This was the case recently when I received a request to review a new cookbook, “300 Best Rice Cooker Recipes,” by Katie Chin.

I only just received the book and haven’t yet given any of the recipes a test run, but just browsing through it makes me want to go out and buy a better rice cooker.

I love my rice cooker, as small and simple as it is. According the book, there are three types of rice cookers: those with on and off switches; those computerized with a sensor call fuzzy logic (I loved this term because that’s exactly how I feel on Mondays); and induction heating models. It doesn’t matter which type of cooker is used to make the recipes in the book, they all cook rice and other grains, including oatmeal, risotto and quinoa.

The problem with my rice cooker is that it is too small for these recipes. It only makes three cups, which up until this book walked into my life, was enough.

As it is, I only use my rice cooker to cook rice. I don’t use rice every day and often when I cook a three-cup batch of rice, I use it in recipes for three or four days.

But now I’m looking at recipes that call for rice cookers with 15 to 20 cups capacity, not the meager three cups my cooker will hold. And there’s good reason for needing all this extra room, because we’re not looking at just rice anymore.

This cookbook mentions dishes like, Wild Rice and Pork Stew, White Turkey Chili with Chipotle, Pancetta and Pea Risotto, not to mention (be still my heart), Quinoa Banana Chocolate Cake.

Cake in a rice cooker?

Not only cake, but several dessert recipes that include blueberry cheesecakes, steamed custards and flan.

I could put a new rice cooker on my Christmas list, but I can’t wait that long to try some of these recipes. Besides, I have my eye on the Beef Bourguignon.


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