American type casserole in a rice cooker?

That was really weird, never even considered it.
Last night I really wanted a casserole type meal. Something rich, creamy and full of gooey flavors that didn’t take too terribly long. I was far to lazy and tired to deal with assembling the standard way, along with the extended cooking times. This would be a staggering 45 minutes to an hour, this wasn’t going to do.
For the last week have been heavily using my Hello Kitty rice cooker to make rice & peas for dinner. Butter & chicken broth bring the flavors up so it’s a meal that I can deal with. Was sitting there last night thinking, “What if I use the rice cooker, as a cooker?” Everyone knows when you’re cooking rice, keep you paws off the lid so it can do its business. But what if I cooked a meal in it, opened the lid every 10 minutes to stir and add water or broth as needed?
I pretended I was making that casserole and added a cup of rice, knob of butter, can of cream of mushroom soup with a can and at least of water/broth along with some dumb ol’ frozen peas? Put it all together and hit the “on” button. Every 10 minutes or so I opened it up to stir and check on moisture content, wanted a certain juicy constancy. The automatic function turned off before it was done, so hit the “on” button again to jack the heat. While all this was going on I browned off a few sausages on the gas range.
Within about 25 minutes I had myself an excellent white trash meal and enjoyed it thoroughly. If you feel the need to thrash me for not eating locally produced, organic this and that, I don’t care. It got me through the evening and satiated my palate. And I have to say, if you’re doing College Food or Dorm Food, this can’t possibly go wrong. The Japanese rice cooker not only does rice well, but it can double as a faster than normal food cooker. 2 of these and a hot plate could do wonders, don’t pass it up as just a “rice cooker”.
Remember though, with that amount of salt infusion, copious amounts of liquid will be required.
xo, Biggles

16 thoughts on “American type casserole in a rice cooker?

  1. Being Chinese, the rice cooker was the one cooking appliance I had in my dorm room at university. I only had a basic model (1 button), and used it for soups and lots of flavoured rices. A girl down the hall had hers be a crock pot, using the congee function.
    My favourite dish had to be rice cooked in chicken broth, with thin slices of shitake mushrooms, chinese sausages and marinated chicken thigh meat thrown in at the end to steam on top of the rice.

  2. Hey Everbody,
    Sorry ain’t been attentive, but way too busy to even get the time.
    I used peas! They’re green you know.
    Michelle, I think I’d opt for the rice cooker, it really jams right along. Not sure what the congee function is, googled it and still wasn’t able to find much about it. Never been a fan of the crock pot, takes to darned long and it’s tough to adjust the flavors as you go. What you end up with is usually pretty much what you get. I don’t like that.
    Carl, They were quite tasty! Housemade Italian rigs from a butcher up in Calistoga I picked up a month ago or so. Vacuum sealed and frozed, perfection.
    Amelia, A hello kitty pressure cooker? That, would be cool.

  3. Man!,
    Them sausages look great.
    Much better than the bread-filled rubbish you get in some places over here.
    I always enjoy a good spicy sausage.
    I would never have guessed there would ever be such an appliance as a Hello Kitty rice cooker, the mind boggles really.

  4. Hey Mike,
    Yup, Hello Kitty Rice Cooker, never seen another one either. Used to have a HK microwave as well, but that went a way a few years ago. Pretty cool if’n you axe me.

  5. Mike,
    Oh yeah, now I remember. That’s what my friends who lived in NZ mentioned, the sausages were really different. He’s big on grilling and for where he was, wasn’t able to get his standard faire that he was used to here.

  6. Congee is rice porridge, often consumed for breakfast in east Asia. If a rice cooker has the congee function, it cooks lower, slower and for a much longer time than for regular rice, much like a crock pot.

  7. Hey, thanks Michelle, that clears a lot up. When my Hello Kitty Rice Cooker goes, will search for the congee action on my cooker. I have to admit though, probably won’t use the congee function though. What I would like to have is a rice cooker that has a rotisserie above it. That way you could weave your pork or skewer a chicken, cook it, and have the drippings fall in to the rice mixture.

  8. Hey Owen!
    The most awesome publisher of all time steps foot back in at the Henge! It’s good to see you, hope all is going okay over there.
    Dang, now I need to go out and find me some new fancy hardware rice cooker rig. One a little bigger, Hello Kitty only does enough rice for 2 people.

  9. No, no, no! No fancy rice cooker needed. My old one (in which many a risotto has been made) finally died last year after 16 years of service – not kidding at all. I got that one for $3 when the old Whole Earth Access store in Berkeley went out of business. So my fantastic family found me the same model at Goodwill. Cost more though – $4 this time. Holds rice for at least 8. (although little known fact of rice cooker is that they can’t really work as well at full capacity. best to shoot for 2/3).
    Anyway – plain simple cheapo cooker works fine. Must have auto-off though (I think they all do). Mine is made by Panasonic.
    Having said all that the word is that the fancy expensive ones with ‘fuzzylogic’ chips really are great and can in fact do a better job – but they cost over $100 – maybe even $200.

  10. Hey Owen,
    I kinda misspoke, I used my personal definition of rice cooker. I’m not going to buy one of those multi-hundred dollar rigs, nope. It has to be badass, cool and have some Elvis to it. But above all, be inexpensive!
    And totally hip to the capacity thing, which is why I only use 1 cup of rice in mine. I could use 2, but the damned thing would rise to the top of the cooker bowl, that ain’t cool.
    Thanks for stopping by, it’s really good to know you’re still kicking and causing trouble. How’s your pool doing these days? Are you and your family at home during the week at all?