The Essential Rice Cooker Cookbook: Take Your Appliance Beyond the Rice with 60 Complete Meals Made Perfect Every Time, written by Shree Mitra, features some fun and unique ways to use your rice cooker! A few highlights include Easy Smoked Haddock Kedgeree, Silky Leek and Roquefort Orzo, Bengali Lamb Curry, Loaded Taco Soup, and Chai-Spiced Pears with Mascarpone. I will also be sharing her recipe for Warming Bacon and Potato Soup following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Shree Mitra is a recipe developer and restaurant reviewer. She is the creator of Truffle and Toast and she was named one of Square Meal’s best London food bloggers. Her work has been featured with IKEA, George Foreman Grills, KFC, Heinz, Sainsbury’s, Old El Paso, and Lee Kum Kee.
Shree is currently based in London.
The Essential Rice Cooker Cookbook
Shree begins The Essential Rice Cooker Cookbook with a short introduction and how she developed the idea for the cookbook. She has put together quite the collection of different ways to utilize the rice cooker!
Many of the dishes were influenced by her Indian heritage and other flavors from around the world. Before getting to the recipes, she has a short guide with rice cooker tips and tricks to help get started.
Chapters are divided according to the following: Rice-Based Entrées, Pastas and Noodles, Meaty Mains, Grains and Soups, Small Plates, Brunch, and Desserts. The contents have a list of the included recipes with page number for easy reference.
The photography is provided by Ha Le and Shree Mitra. Every single recipe is paired with a full-page photo of the finished dish.
Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Titles are written in English and the original language when applicable. Each recipe includes a headnote with background information, helpful tips, menu ideas, and yield.
Warming Bacon and Potato Soup
Since the weather will (hopefully) start to cool soon, I was particularly drawn to this Warming Bacon and Potato Soup. It was so easy with the rice cooker too!
Bacon pieces are fried in butter until crispy, then combined with onions, herbs, potatoes, and garlic. The entire mixture is simmered in vegetable stock until the potatoes are tender.
The soup is finished with a bit of light cream and whole grain mustard. With the help of a hand blender, the mixture is carefully blended just a few times to create a combination of silky and slightly chunky textures. Serve warm with reserved crispy bacon and sliced green onions for garnish.
If you don’t have a hand blender, you can carefully (it will be hot!) transfer half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth before adding back to the rice cooker and serving.
Shree mentions you can add cheese for a more indulgent version. She recommends some shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese at the end of cooking and giving it a couple of minutes to melt.
I also made Indulgent Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe; Nourishing Chicken, Ginger and Rice Soup; Spanish Chorizo in Red Wine; and Autumnal Apple Pie Oatmeal.
The Indulgent Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe was one of my favorites. Floury potatoes are cooked in the rice cooker until tender, then mashed and combined with flour to form the homemade gnocchi. To finish, it is cooked in quite the indulgent and creamy Pecorino-based sauce.
The Nourishing Chicken, Ginger and Rice Soup was such a comforting meal! Everything came together easily too. Pieces of chicken are simmered in stock until tender with ginger, garlic, and rice. It is served with scallions, peanuts, green chilies, and chili oil for even more flavor.
The Spanish Chorizo in Red Wine was quite the easy and flavor-packed appetizer. Slices of Spanish Chorizo are simmered with garlic, onion, red wine, and honey until the mixture is thickened and almost syrupy. It was perfect for pairing with a crusty bread.
I made the Autumnal Apple Pie Oatmeal as one of the first fall-based recipes of the year. Oats are simmered in a mixture of milk and spices until tender and creamy. It was delicious topped with apples, walnuts, granola, and cinnamon.
The Essential Rice Cooker Cookbook is a great pick for those looking for different uses for their rice cooker. Many of the recipes come together in as little as 30 minutes or less with minimal prep. There is a nice variety of appetizers, meat, seafood, vegetarian meals, and desserts.
Many of the ingredients can be found in the average American supermarket. Further searching may be required to locate items such as palm oil, scotch bonnet chilies, moong dal, glutinous rice, dried shiitake mushrooms, saffron, cardamom, gochujang, semolina, dark soy sauce, curry leaves, Kasmiri chili powder, mustard seeds, Sichuan peppercorns, and more.
Warming Bacon and Potato Soup Recipe
Excerpt from The Essential Rice Cooker Cookbook
Warming Bacon and Potato Soup
- 1 tablespoon (14 grams) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces (115 grams) bacon diced
- 1/4 cup (40 grams) diced red onions
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 pounds (910 grams) Yukon gold potatoes peeled and cut into small pieces
- 2 teaspoons (5 grams) minced garlic
- 3 cups (720 milliliters) vegetable stock plus more if needed
- 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) light cream
- 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon (5 grams) chopped scallions to serve
- Turn on the rice cooker, set the mode to Cook and add the lid to let the rice cooker preheat for about 1 minute.
- Add the butter to the rice cooker pot and put on the lid. Give the butter 1 to 2 minutes to melt.
- Toss in the diced bacon, add the lid back on and fry it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it's crispy. Reserve 1 teaspoon of crispy bacon to use later for serving.
- Now add the onions to the pot and fry them, covered, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until they soften.
- Then add the thyme, rosemary and bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Cook them for a few seconds and then add the potatoes and garlic.
- Toss the ingredients well and pour in the stock. Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- At this stage, pour in the cream and add the mustard. Stir it well. Remove the bay leaf and change the rice cooker mode to warm.
- Use a hand blender to carefully blend about half of the soup. We essentially want a mix of very silky and slightly chunky textures in the soup.
- Alternatively, you can just remove half of the soup with a ladle and add it to a blender. Blend it until it's smooth and return it to the pot. Mix it well.
- Add more salt and pepper if needed. Serve the soup in bowls topped with the reserved crispy bacon and scallions.