Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker Review: Gift Idea

In our house, hubby is the cook. If he's at home, he's in charge of dinner, and on the nights I fend for myself, I eat plenty of eggs and leftovers. (Though my 5-year-old will attest, I make a mean grilled cheese.)

We recently had the chance to try the Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker with Fuzzy Logic Technology. Now, if you're me, the first question is, what's "fuzzy logic technology?" According to Cuisinart, it's a built in "brain" that senses changes in cooking and automatically changes the machine's operation to ensure perfect results.

Tonight, hubby relinquished the apron to me. Me, all alone. I was armed with the new appliance, the instruction manual, and the occasional mini-me helper.

I decided to make something simple to start: white rice with steamed veggies and chicken. And it turned out well. The rice was fluffy and perfectly cooked. The veggies were dropped in during the last 10 minutes of cooking and steamed in the steaming insert included with the cooker. And because of the "keep warm" feature, which automatically kicks on after cooking, it was okay that the chicken wasn't ready when the rice was.What I Love
The Rice Plus Multi-Cooker takes up very little counter space, but can cook up to 15 cups of rice. Plus, it was very easy to set up, just wash and start cooking. Once turned on, it is so easy to choose a cooking mode. Simply scroll through the on-screen choices.
The Rice Plus Multi-Cooker also offers a ton of cooking options. Hence, the "Plus." It makes various types of rice, risotto, oatmeal, soups, and sushi rice. It can slow cook, steam, and reheat.

Mom Improvements
Although very simple to use, trying to follow the directions seemed confusing at first. Maybe it's because there is such a vast number of ways to cook, or maybe it's because I rarely read directions anymore. (Who has time?) I would love to see a quick start guide, or to have the different cooking mode directions organized differently. As a novice in the kitchen, seeing so many instructions on only 2 pages felt a little overwhelming.

Our Thoughts
First of all, dinner was delicious! Everyone devoured the meal, and we still have plenty of leftovers to reheat in the cooker tomorrow.

Secondly, I really appreciate the versatility of the Rice Plus Multi-Cooker. You can even brown meat in it using the Quick Cook option or use the Finish Time feature to program in a time you'd like to eat and walk away.
Coming Soon
Up next, hubby's going to try out a recipe from Chef Hubert Keller, hosts of the PBS cooking series, Secrets of a Chef, and owner of Fleur de Lys, Burger Bar and SLeeK Steakhouse.

Brazilian Chicken and Shrimp Soup
Serves 8
5 chicken thighs, skinned
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion (about 1 small)
1 cup diced green bell pepper(about 1 medium)
1 can (14.5 ounces)diced tomatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped toasted peanuts
1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 bay leaves
1-1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups coconut milk
8 ounces raw shrimp (medium size), peeled and de-veined
10 ounces frozen peas
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 cups cooked jasmine or basmati rice for serving

1. Prepare rice using the long-grain directions on the cooking chart for Cuisinart’s Rice Plus™ Multi-Cooker. Rice can also be prepared the day before.
2. Place the chicken in a medium mixing bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the lime juice and rub chicken with minced garlic. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
3. In the cooking pot of the Cuisinart Rice Plus™ Multi-Cooker, add the olive oil. Set to Quick Cook and press start. Once the olive oil is hot, after about 3 minutes, add the onions and peppers and sauté for about 4 minutes until soft and fragrant.
4. Stir in the canned tomatoes including juice, peanuts, jalapeno, bay leaves, salt, pepper, broth, and coconut milk. Note: be sure to stir the coconut milk prior to pouring from can). Add the chicken and marinade and stir until well combined. Turn the unit off. Close the lid and select the Soup function and set the timer for 5 hours. 5. 15 minutes before the timer is done, rinse the shrimp well and pat dry. Place in a mixing bowl with the remaining lime juice and a pinch each of the salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 5 to 8 minutes; no longer or the acid of the juice will begin to cook the shrimp.
6. Once there are 5 minutes remaining on the timer, open the lid and add the frozen peas and the shrimp, with the juices, and close again to finish cooking.
7. Once the timer tone sounds, open the lid. Discard the bay leaves. Take out the whole chicken pieces and place on a cutting board. Remove the meat from the bone, cut into bite size pieces, and return to the pot. Stir in the cilantro to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
8. To serve, place some warm cooked rice (approximately 1/3 to 1/2 cup depending on portion size in the bottom of each soup bowl and ladle the soup on top. If desired, sprinkle with additional chopped cilantro and/or chopped peanuts.

Buy It
The Rice Plus Multi-Cooker can be purchased at Cuisinart for $149.

A Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker was provided free for our review. But all opinions are our own.


Simply Being Mommy said...

Okay, so I really want of these now. I'm a pretty novice cook too so I can use all the help I can get.

Brittany said...

I got one and LOVEEEEE it! So awesome! Gonna try your recipe now too!

Ms D said...

I have always wanted one of these! Thanks for the great review, now I know where to look!

NinaSay said...

OMG your post is making me so excited to get mine!

Robin G said...

I would love one of these

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