Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fun with a Rice Cooker?

Recently I was introduced to the Rice Cooker.  I was under the impression that all Rice Cookers were large and expensive kitchen gadgets that only performed one function-cooking rice.  This is not true!  The Aroma 3-Cup Rice Cooker and Food Steamer,,  retails for around $16, is surprisingly small and is great for steaming vegetables.    

This evening I found myself, once again, running late from afternoon errands and wondering how I was going to get dinner on the table for my impatient toddlers and hungry husband.  At 5 p.m. I started the rice cooker, put some brussels sprouts in the oven and a pork tenderloin on the grill.  At 5:30, I had perfectly cooked brown rice, and by 5:45 my toddlers were happily eating dinner and asking for more.  More rice, not brussels sprouts!  

I cooked half of a $.89 bag of brown rice, which yielded 6 cups of rice.  A 1 cup serving size bag of Uncle Ben's Instant Brown Rice retails for around $1.50.  That is a major price difference and I have leftovers for tomorrow.  I love that I didn't have to watch the rice to make sure it wasn't burning and I didn't have to worry about a hot pot on the stove while I was outside tending to the grill.  

The Aroma Rice Cooker includes a steamer tray for steaming, which cooks vegetables and fruit without stripping them of their nutrients.  The Cooker also cooks lentils and many other grains, such as steel cut oatmeal, quinoa, millet, wheat berries, etc.  Whole grains packaged in bulk are much cheaper and healthier than treated grains packaged with additional ingredients like sugar and sodium.  

I realize that Rice Cookers have been around for a while and that most of you may already own one.  I just wanted to share my excitement for my new kitchen tool and hopefully inspire you to get yours out of storage!

Tonight's Dinner Menu:   
Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Cream Sauce
 Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  Brown Rice

Pork Tenderloin with Mustard Cream Sauce 
    An Occasion to Gather, Milwaukee Entertains
Recipes from the Junior League of Milwaukee, Wisconsin

2 (1 pound) pork tenderloins       1/4 cup bourbon
                   1/4 cup soy                                      2 tablespoons brown sugar

Mustard Cream Sauce
2/3 cup sour cream                1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
         2/3 cup mayonnaise               1 to 2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons finely                                        salt to taste
                                     chopped scallions

For the tenderloin, arrange the tenderloins in a baking dish.  Combine the soy sauce, bourbon and brown sugar in a bowl and mix well.  Pour the soy sauce mixture over the tenderloins, turning to coat.  Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 to 24 hours, turning occasionally.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour, basting occasionally, or grill over hot coals until cooked through.

For the sauce, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, vinegar, dry mustard and salt in a bowl and mix well.  To serve, carve the tenderloins diagonally into thin slices and top with sauce.  

**I substituted Nonfat Greek Yogurt for the Sour Cream and red onion for scallions.  My husband said this was the best sauce ever!



  1. Sorry about the recipe alignment. It looks okay in my draft and I'm not sure how to change it!

  2. YUM - wish I could get either of my kids to eat Rice!