Sunday, January 3, 2010
Why Stop at Boiling Rice?
My rice cooker is one of the appliances I cannot imagine living without. I can practically do anything with it, from just rice to soups and sauces and steamed food. But basically, a rice cooker's main purpose is just that, to cook rice. But why stop at just boiling your rice? Why cook rice in the rice cooker, scoop it out then toss it into a pan to make fried or flavored rice?
I hate making fried rice that way, so instead of doing it the traditional way, I did it in a rice cooker! It's pretty basic and there light be some ingredients in fried rice that you may substitute or change, but it pretty much works. For garlic rice, boil the rice as you normally would and when it's done, loosen the rice in the pot with a spoon, add a bit of oil and sprinkle with bottled garlic bits or garlic powder and salt. Turn the rice cooker back on and toss it. You can also just sprinkle the garlic powder, salt and pepper into the uncooked rice (when it's already in the pot with measured water) and you get the same garlicky flavor but without the oil.
This photo here and the one up top are of barbecue/java rice. I used paprika, a bit of curry powder, a pinch of cumin and red and black pepper. Oh and also a little bit of garlic and onion powder. Or you can use some pre-made barbecue powder in the spice section of your grocery, that will work too. Just add a couple of tablespoons into uncooked rice (measurement is for three rice cooker cups of rice) and a little bit of oil and mix it up then hit on 'Cook'.
We made this packed lunched we took to the park. We cooked Spam to go with it (don't worry, we had more than one piece of Spam each!). Good choice.
With it we made Pineapple sangria, which is basically just red wine, soda water, honey and a bit of pineapple juice, shaken with ice. This is a darker version for me, since I like it with more red wine and below is a lighter version (more pineapple juice) for Allan.
We had a great time! For just Php50 (php40 for QC residents like us) per person, you can enjoy the park and the picnic grounds. If you want to try the pool, and we will next time, the fee is just Php80. If we bring packed lunches like these, a water jug for juice or soda, a few shakers of wine and maybe some fruit or cupcakes from the bakery, the cost will definitely be no more than Php400-500, fare included. It's a steal!
For me this is even better than going to the beach because the travel time from our place to the beach is around 3 hours and I'm exhausted even before I hit the sand (what more going home). Ecopark is just around 15-20 minutes away!