Posts filed under ‘Rice Cooker’
I was raised not far from the Pacific Ocean where fish and seafood is not only abundant, but available year round. Yet it wasn’t until I was in college with a limited food budget that I discovered mussels. These little morsels are often less expensive than any other shellfish. Taste wise, they are delicious. Nutritionally, they provide the same amount of protein- ounce for ounce- as red meat. And steaming them in the Aroma rice cooker takes just minutes.
Mussels are sold loose or in mesh bags and can be found in most markets. Commercially raised mussels are already cleaned and debearded and just need to be washed in cold water before using. Allow about 1-2 pounds per person if serving as the main course, or ¼ pound as an appetizer.
Have all ingredients prepped and ready before steaming mussels.
1 pound mussels, cleaned
2 cups water
BLACK BEAN SAUCE
2 tblsp water
1 tsp brown sugar
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tblsp ginger, minced
2 green onions, chopped fine
2 tblsp each red and green bell pepper, diced
½ tsp fish sauce*
1 tblsp black bean sauce*
¼ cup cilantro, chopped for garnish
*found in Asian or International food section of major grocery stores.
Place the 2 cups of water in the inner pot of the Aroma Rice Cooker and set to Steam. As soon as it begins to steam, place the steam tray with the mussels into the rice cooker and close the lid. In about 6-8 minutes check to see if the mussels have opened. If none have opened, close the lid and check again at one minute intervals. Once they are open, they are done! (Discard any mussels that didn’t open.)
Remove the Steam Tray and place mussels on a serving platter or in a bowl and cover to keep warm. Discard the steaming water and clean inner pot before preparing black bean sauce.
To make the black bean sauce, set the Rice Cooker to Sauté-Then-Simmer. Add the 2 tablespoons of water with the remaining ingredients and cook while stirring, about 1- 2 minutes. Add the mussels to the pot and gently stir.
Place on a serving dish and garnish with fresh cilantro. Serve immediately.
One of the things I enjoy most is creating meals. Over the years I’ve discovered some tricks that have served me well. This recipe was the result of a day that got away from me, and my evening plans changed drastically. I found there was hardly time to think, let alone prepare a meal. A quick look in the refrigerator told me there wasn’t much going on there – a couple of carrots and squash, some broccoli and part of an eggplant.
As it turned out, what I fixed up took less time than if we had gone to a fast food place, plus it was a far healthier meal. Best of all, what started out as an un-planned, hardly tried and true recipe, has now become a requested favorite! It is definitely a “go-to” meal when there is a time crunch around mealtime.
This recipe is great for a simple, healthy and satisfying meal. And the cook won’t mind what little time it takes to make!
VEGETABLE CLAM CHOWDER
6 cups (1 ½ c for each person) of assorted vegetables, chopped
2 cans clam chowder, ready to serve, not concentrated
1 tsp curry powder (optional)
Set your Rice Cooker to Saute-Then-Simmer.
Lightly spray with olive oil and saute all the vegetables beginning with those that take longer to cook, then adding the others accordingly.
When the vegetables are ready, pour in the clam chowder and add curry if desired. It is tasty either way. Close the lid and cook until heated through, about 8-10 minutes. Complete the meal with a quick tossed salad and toasted bread. Dinner!
With holidays around and all the decadent treats staring at me from every nook and cranny in my house, I sometimes feel I need a little break from all that sugar and baked goods with some exotic spice to satisfy my palate.
My family and I always make a point to get together between Thanksgiving and Christmas and enjoy dinner at our favorite Thai restaurant in town. We all seem to welcome the different flavors of Thai food and everyone always has their favorite dish they have been craving since the gluttonous Thanksgiving offerings. By a landslide, mine is the sweet, sour and spicy Thai soup that comes in a metal dish with its own fire underneath. Yep it’s on fire!
This soup has all the components I think a perfect cold weather soup needs, it is pure perfection on a plate. Below is my rendition of this simple but delicious treat. Although some ingredients sound foreign, you will most likely find them in your fresh produce section at your local grocers. You can choose to add or minus the amount of chili peppers you use, but it does need some heat to balance the flavors.
While you are at it, why not make some extra and freeze it to use later. This soup is known to have healing properties for when you are feeling under the weather.
TOM YUM SOUP
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups button mushrooms, sliced
6 lemongrass stalks, about inch long each
6 stalks galangal, about 1 inch long each
10 lime leaves
6 tsp fish sauce
10 Thai chile peppers, crushed
3 tomatoes, diced
1 onion, sliced and cut in half
juice of 1 lime
2 cups cubed firm tofu, chicken or whole shrimp
chopped cilantro and green onions
Add vegetable broth into the inner pot and set your rice cooker on steam. Once the broth boils add the lime leaves, galangal and lemongrass and let steep with lid closed for 10 minutes.
Add mushrooms, fish sauce, Thai Chile’s, lime juice, tomatoes, onions and tofu, chicken or shrimp and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.
Homemade treats are on top of my list as gifts, both on the giving and receiving end. I enjoy giving friends and family mouth watering goodies almost as much as I love eating the ones that appear on my kitchen counters in creative displays of love.
As far as these treats go, peppermint bark is by far my favorite thing, probably because I love peppermint anything. I especially like my homemade version compared to store bought ones mainly because I try to keep mine a bit less sweet by using bittersweet chocolate as a base.
32 oz of bittersweet chocolate chips
32 oz of white chocolate chips
2 cups crushed peppermint candy canes
Place 1 cup of water in your Rice Cooker and set on steam for 10 min.
Place white chocolate chips in a bowl that fits snugly on top of the inner pot to form a double boiler. Stir chocolate until melted. Pour onto a cookie sheet and let cool in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Repeat melting process with bittersweet chocolate chips and spread melted mixture on top of the cooled white layer. Immediately sprinkle crushed candy canes on top and pat down slightly to assure they stick.
Let cool in refrigerator for another 30 minutes or so and break into bite size pieces. Wrap in gift boxes or bags and spread the sweetness.
Years ago a friend of mine was selling little potpourri pots that filled the house with the scent of apples and cinnamon. She assured me the family would love it and be thrilled that I’d bought one. I told her if my family came home to such wonderful scents only to discover there wasn’t any apple cider to be found, both I and the little pot would be in big trouble.
Before you read any further, let me assure you this recipe does not start with fresh apples. You will buy your own cider or apple juice. Both have great health advantages; cider goes one better in that it contains the pulp. Either way, there is no need for strainers, juice filters or cheesecloths. You only have to decide which of these recipes you want to enjoy first.
A nice pot of hot cider really fits the bill. With your Rice Cooker you can fix it and forget it…until you need to make another batch that is. With family and friends around, a second pot is very likely, especially if they know you have two recipes. Yes, I’m including another favorite one that is almost like dessert for me, as well as a calming effect!
So relax and remember the adage: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Here’s to your health!
SPICED CARAMEL APPLE CIDER
32 oz apple cider
½ cup caramel flavored syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tblsp lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks
Combine and heat all the ingredients in the Rice Cooker. Cook for two hours or until heated through. Discard cinnamon sticks before serving. Pour into cups or mugs and garnish with whipped cream.
SPICED MANGO CIDER
22 oz mango nectar
2 cups water
4 tblsp lemon juice
4 tblsp brown sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
3 whole cloves
Combine all the ingredients in the Rice Cooker and cook until heated through. Discard cloves and cinnamon sticks before serving.
If desired, place fresh cinnamon sticks in cups or mugs.
There are peanut clusters, and then there are peanut clusters. But this is one recipe you will want to use for many occasions. Years ago when our Dad put this one together, he wasn’t sharing the secret ingredient but we soon pried it from him….butterscotch chips! All we knew for sure was we couldn’t eat just one.
With just three ingredients, they can be made up in no time at all. Packaging is up to you depending on your occasion. Be sure to keep your pantry shelf well stocked with these ingredients. Then when a spur of the moment solution for a gift giving opportunity or a special treat for your family arises, you are prepared.
So enjoy, but don’t torture yourself with just one!
DAD’S PEANUT CLUSTERS
12 oz package chocolate chips
12 oz package butterscotch chips
16 oz jar dry roasted salted peanuts (I find Planters gives the best result)
Place the chocolate and butterscotch chips in the inner pot of the Rice Cooker. Set to Steam and stir every few minutes until they begin to melt, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove pot and continue to stir another 5 minutes until smooth and satiny. Add peanuts and stir until well combined.
Place chocolate mixture into small baking cups or drop by tablespoonsful onto parchment paper. Allow a few hours for them to firm up. Store covered in a cool place or keep in refrigerator.
Usually when one first hears of this spread there are a lot of questions, namely in the line of “You’re kidding aren’t you?” or “Why?” and “What would you do with it?” As you would imagine, all these comments come with matching facial expressions.
Well, if you’ve not experienced Bacon Jam, do yourself a favor and give this recipe some serious consideration. I first heard of it while living on Vancouver Island; seems it was a big hit in both Canada as well as the Seattle area. But the word “jam” made me think of all that work, sterilization, etc. and I just didn’t have the time. But as it turns out, my Rice Cooker makes it really simple. Plus, it is the kind of jam that doesn’t need all the canning steps I’d thought.
At this time of year it makes a really great, and perhaps different, kind of gift for the host or hostess, but be sure to make some for yourself. Once you start using it you’ll find there is little with which it can’t be paired.
The very first time I made it I stuffed beef patties and grilled them. They were fabulous, regardless of what other condiments were added. Great for your parties too. As a spread it joins both crackers and crudités. It is simply heavenly as a topping for baked brie, or an accompaniment with most cheeses. Stir it in your soups or sauces, add a dollop alongside your breakfast or tuck it into an omelet…so tasty, so many ways. Here’s one more way I like to serve this jam: shave a bit off the top of mushroom caps so they won’t roll, remove stems and steam in the Rice Cooker/Steamer. After steaming, drain caps immediately on paper towels. When cool, fill with the Bacon Jam, cover with plastic wrap and they are ready to go when the party starts!
If you are not ready to try this out soon, then either you are a vegetarian, not a bacon fan or something is seriously wrong with my writing!
1 lb thick smoked bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium onion, sliced thin
4 tblsp dark brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
¾ cup strong coffee
¼ cup maple syrup
Set your Rice Cooker to Sauté-Then-Simmer, cooking the bacon until cooked but still limp, not crispy. Remove bacon and all but 2 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat.
Add onions to the pan and saute until they become translucent. Add the brown sugar and continue sautéing until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for an additional minute. Add the vinegar to help deglaze the pan, scraping up all the browned bits at the bottom. Add the coffee, maple syrup and bacon. Let cooked uncovered for three hours or until it is thick like jam.
In a food processor or blender, pulse the bacon jam until it is coarsely chopped.
Keep covered in the refrigerator.