Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rice Cooker Magic

I love my rice cooker. Period.
The rice cooker that we have is a basic PHD (push here dummy) version, just an on/off switch. No fuzzy logic, bells or whistles.

In the past we used it about once a month whenever we made rice, but since last year we use it nearly daily, especially in the winter. That was when I discovered that I could use it to make our breakfast oatmeal. I dump steel cut oats, water, salt and dried cranberries in the night before and when I wake up in the morning I hit the switch and walk away. About 20-30 minutes later we have perfectly cooked oatmeal, ready to dress with maple syrup and eat! Love it!

Then this winter my insightful friend Maggie sent me a recipe for using the rice cooker for making polenta. Ohhhhhh...

I keep medium grind cornmeal for my bread baking, so I tossed it into the cooker and gave it a try. Cornmeal, water and salt, cooked for a little more than a full cycle, dressed with butter and BGF honey, be still my heart! It is my new favorite breakfast. If you have a rice cooker, give it a try!


Edited to add:
Should have included this to start with...

Polenta
4 cups water
1 cup coarse grain yellow polenta
1/2 tsp salt

Place water in rice cooker bowl, add polenta and salt.
Stir 15 seconds with a wooden spoon or plastic rice paddle. cover and set for porridge or regular cycle. A few times (or once!) during cooking, open the cover, stir 15 seconds, then close cover. At the end of the regular cycle , taste the polenta and make sure the desired consistency has been reached. If not, push the button and let it go a little longer.

For breakfast I just dress with butter and honey. If serving at another meal, you can add in 2/3 c. shredded Parmesan at the end.
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