Book Review: The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, 2nd Edition – Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann [TSS]

Title: The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook, Revised – 250 No-Fail Recipes for Pilafs, Risottos, Polenta, Chilis, Soups, Porridges, and More
Author: Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann
ISBN: 9781558326675
Pages: 368
Release Date: January 17, 2012
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Genre: Cookbook
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

I have a fancy rice cooker, but don’t really use it for anything other than making white and brown rice.  Therefore, I was very intrigued by The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook. An entire dish made within my rice cooker?  It sounded like a fabulous way to get the most out of my rice cooker, not to mention the ease of cleaning up.

It’s worth mentioning that this is actually the second edition of this cookbook.  It contains fifty new recipes not included in the previous edition.  However, since the book has been updated to focus on fuzzy logic rice cookers, I would guess that some recipes have been revised or eliminated as well.  If you are interested in a rice cooker cookbook and don’t have the first edition, I would definitely pick The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook up, but if you do have it, I’d check this one out before purchasing.

The cookbook begins with a discussion of rice cookers (not sure what a fuzzy logic rice cooker is, or if the one you have falls into that category?  Neither was I until I read this section) and different types of rice.  This is invaluable to read before starting, as each recipe calls for a specific type of rice.  It’s good to be familiar with the different kinds before embarking on these recipes.  The rest of the book is divided into sections based on the different types of dishes one wishes to make.

I’ll admit that of the two recipes I’ve tried from this book, both are risottos.  The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook has many different amazing sounding recipes, and I’ll definitely be making other types in the future, but the risottos really surprised me.  If you’ve never made risotto, they’re stick-to-your-ribs good, but take about 25 minutes of constant (and I mean CONSTANT) stirring.  The thought of being able to make this labor intensive dish in my rice cooker was really appealing.

I began with the butternut squash risotto.  Preparation was simple – these recipes don’t have many ingredients.  However, it’s not a matter of simply dumping ingredients in your rice cooker and setting it to cook (it’s not a slow cooker).  I had to add ingredients in order, and do a little cooking – sauteing onions in the rice cooker, for example.  You also can’t leave the cooker completely alone.  Cooking times are different than pre-programmed settings, so I usually use a separate timer and manually turn off the rice cooker when the book instructs me to.

Both the butternut squash risotto and the Italian sausage risotto (the second dish I made) were completely delicious.  I was really surprised at how easy they were (10 minutes prep each, maximum) and how amazing they tasted.  The risotto had the perfect consistency, and I am thrilled to have discovered a shortcut to making this difficult dish.  While I don’t have a picture of the butternut squash risotto, here’s a picture of the Italian sausage risotto:

All in all, I am thrilled with The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook.  There are so many delicious recipes within its pages, and I’m so excited to actually use my rice cooker for something a little more complicated.  These recipes are simple but packed with taste and, from my own experiences and flipping through the book, they are surprisingly easy to make.  I can tell I’ll be relying on this book for quick weeknight dinners quite a bit in the future.  If you have a fuzzy logic rice cooker and want to get more use out of it, this book is a must-buy!

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Comments

  1. Beth Hensperger is one of my favorite cookbook authors — and she has small kitchen appliances down pat. Try her bread machine book and her slow cooker book too. I don’t know why I don’t own this book because I have owned a rice cooker for decades. I make my risotto in the pressure cooker, but I would love to try it in the rice cooker.

  2. Beth Hensperger is one of my favorite cookbook authors — and she has small kitchen appliances down pat. Try her bread machine book and her slow cooker book too. I don’t know why I don’t own this book because I have owned a rice cooker for decades. I make my risotto in the pressure cooker, but I would love to try it in the rice cooker.

  3. I don’t own a rice cooker, but if I could make meals like that I just might have to buy one.

  4. I don’t own a rice cooker, but if I could make meals like that I just might have to buy one.

  5. Sounds like a great cookbook. I’m always thinking of new things to throw into my rice cooker, with or without the rice…

  6. Sounds like a great cookbook. I’m always thinking of new things to throw into my rice cooker, with or without the rice…

  7. My husband is a wonderful cook and always on the hunt for rice dishes. I think he’d really like this cookbook!

  8. My husband is a wonderful cook and always on the hunt for rice dishes. I think he’d really like this cookbook!

  9. Great timing on this post for me as I am looking to purchase a rice maker but wasn’t sure it would be worth it. What kind do you have?

  10. Great timing on this post for me as I am looking to purchase a rice maker but wasn’t sure it would be worth it. What kind do you have?

  11. Amanda – I have this rice cooker (http://www.amazon.com/Weil-9802-Healthy-Kitchen-Cooker/dp/B000T7JERE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328468226&sr=8-1) which has clearly been discontinued, but I love it. I’ve heard great things about the Zojirushi rice cookers.

  12. Amanda – I have this rice cooker (http://www.amazon.com/Weil-9802-Healthy-Kitchen-Cooker/dp/B000T7JERE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1328468226&sr=8-1) which has clearly been discontinued, but I love it. I’ve heard great things about the Zojirushi rice cookers.

  13. I hope you don’t mind that I linked you up to Weekend Cooking

  14. I hope you don’t mind that I linked you up to Weekend Cooking

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