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The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook: 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, Puddings, and More, from Start to Finish in Your Rice Cooker Paperback – January 17, 2012
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"If the rice cooker is buried in a cupboard, this book can restore and enhance its usefulness. Cooks who already swear by the perfect-every-time rice made in this electric pot can move to the next level of cooking."
From the Back Cover
PRAISE for THE ULTIMATE RICE COOKER COOKBOOK "A rice cooker is a must in all Asian kitchens and should be in every kitchen, and so should this cookbook! My friends Beth and Julie show you how to cook hundreds of different dishes with one simple kitchen appliance. Plus they will teach you all there is to know about rice--the main staple for more than half the world's population." - Martin Yan, host of "Yan Can Cook" and author of "Martin Yan's Invitation to Chinese Cooking "and "Martin Yan's Feast" "If using a rice cooker enables you to enjoy more home cooking, then consider the definitive "The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook." Authors Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann use this handy pot for more than just steaming rice. Their recipes are truly innovative." - Rebecca Wood, author of "The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia" and the Julia Child Cookbook Award-winner and James Beard Book Award-winner "The Splendid Grain" "It's great to see a book dedicated to an appliance that is integral to creating the core of so many dishes, regardless of the origin of the dish." - Ming Tsai, host of "East Meets West" and co-author of "Blue Ginger: East Meets West Cooking with Ming Tsai"
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Top Customer Reviews
However, the book is nearly useless to me. Every single recipe in the pudding section calls for using a "fuzzy logic only" cooker. I checked the oatmeal and porridge section as well -- and found the same.
So, it might be a good cookbook for people who own $200 rice cookers, but for the majority of us, the book is just not worth it. There are too few recipes for regular old rice cookers.
(And I find it disingenuous that, when the authors talk about the differences in cookers in the beginning, they fail to note that the majority of their recipes only work in the expensive machine.)
I unpacked it a few days ago, and I'm like a kid in a candy store. I'm making all my oldie fav's ---
-- Risi i Bisi (rice and peas) -- I tweak the recipe to make it with long grain brown rice (I'm a health but), and it tastes AMAZING. (I'm eating a second bowl of it now as I type) ;-p
-- Vegetable Paella -- to die for. I tried many times to recreate the recipe while the book was in storage, and I failed utterly. I made it last night, and it was just as I remembered it.
-- Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto -- I have the mushrooms and asparagus cut and cleaned, in the fridge, waiting to be made tomorrow.
-- Italian sausage risotto -- I make this with Tofurkey brand vegetarian Italian sausage. Scrumptious.
-- Thai curried rice -- I have NEVER tasted rice this good in a Thai restaurant. The flavors are exquisite.
-- Moroccan Brown rice -- I love this, except that I convert it to an Indian dish: I add some Garam Masala and a bunch of veggies (carrots, onion, potatoes, as wells as peas and pan-seared cauliflower at the last minute) to turn it into the best vegetarian Biriyani I have ever had.
There is a long list of recipes that I WANT to try, but I am so enamored with the ones that I mention above that I never get around to the other recipes. I mean, really, how much rice can a family eat? Excuses aside, I must discipline myself to try the other recipes....
Can you tell that I like this book?!
Oh, and although I have a fancy rice cooker, I usually cook the recipes in my cheapo Black and Decker rice cooker (also bought on Amazon.com). I have to catch it just as it clicks to "Keep-Warm" and take the bowl out of the cooker right away... otherwise, the bottom gets a bit browned. This is yummy in some recipes, but undesirable in others. However, this comment has nothing to do with this book, other than the fact that you don't need a $250 rice cooker to make these wonderful recipes. (I use my cheapo rice cooker because it's smaller, easier to get out of the cupboard and easier to clean.)
= = = UPDATE 22 December 2012 = = =
I have a large collection of cookbooks, but I rarely use them. There are, however, three cookbooks that I keep in my kitchen... and this book is one of them.
As mentioned, I use a cheapo rice cooker, and I have no problem with the recipes. My only "gripe" is that the recipes use six-ounce "cups" -- I mentally convert each recipe to REAL cups, otherwise I can't "think" with the recipes. And yeah, sometimes I have to adjust the remaining ingredients of a recipe, but I've never had a problem. The recipes are really forgiving, and I've rarely had a dud. (The only duds have been when I had too much liquid in relation to the amount of rice. So I usually slightly underestimate the water. I can easily add more water, but I can't salvage a soggy batch of rice.)
Some of my new "favs" are:
-- French Pilaf (page 103) -- This produces the most AMAZING rice for when I serve vegetarian (or meat) shish-kabobs, and pairs EXTREMELY well with Middle-Eastern dishes such as Turkish lentil soup. Just make sure you saute the onions and rice long enough before adding the water. Also, slightly underestimate the water. This is way better when it is slightly a-la-dent.
-- Mexican rice and beans (page 80-81). I add one chile in adobe sauce for added kick. Excellent one pot meal with a side salad, salsa and chips. (Add some cheese if you eat dairy)
-- Butternut squash rissoto (page 120) -- OMG!! Did I die and go to heaven? I roast the butternut squash and then add it at the last moment. I also cook the rice with a little sage and thyme and a can of white cannellini beans for a one-pot meal (we are 80% vegan with the occasional lapse to keep our tummies happy)
In all, this is a really useful book. Sometimes I use the recipes exactly, and sometimes I use them as a starting point. The important thing to keep in mind is the RATIO of rice to water. Usually, the ratio is 1 cup rice to 2 cups water... minus a little bit if you like your rice firm (which is how I like my rice), but the ratio can change a little depending on the type of rice. I always check the package of rice to see what the manufacturer recommends, and then I adjust a recipe accordingly.
I've found the recipes to be really forgiving. I can have more or less of most any ingredient. The only thing that is CRUCIAL is the ratio of rice to liquid, and I solve that by slightly underestimating the liquids.
And remember, vegetables are 70 - 80% water. Because I like to add lots of vegetables, I always subtract a suitable amount from the water/broth. If I add a cup of vegetables, I subtract 1/3 or 1/2 cups of water from the recipe. (I like to "overload" my rice dishes with vegetables -- it reduces calories... yay!)