Anyone who spends anytime in the kitchen has their favorite gadget or appliance. Martha Stewart writes articles about them, the Food Network makes shows about them. I thought it only fitting then that I write a tribute to my favorite appliance (being as I’m so close to Martha and the Food Network). While I love my Vita Mix and my shiny new food processor, the favorite work horse in my kitchen is my rice cooker. I spent a small fortune on a Zojirushi induction cooker and at the time thought I was a little nuts to do it. Now that I’ve had it for a while I have no regrets. I use it on a daily basis and sometimes more than once a day. Today was one such day when I cooked up the famous Black Forest Oatmeal for breakfast, then cooked up a pot of black-eyed peas for the Hoppin’ John I was making for dinner. Finally as I prepped dinner my little rice cooker actually turned out a perfect pot of steamed brown rice. I use it to cook all sorts of beans and grains, it works especially well on chickpeas for hummus and wheat berries for salads. No reason to buy cans of beans when you have this trusty piece of equipment in your kitchen. Don’t get me wrong…nothing cooked in the rice cooker is instant, but you can set the timer for whatever you’re cooking to be done at a certain time or just turn it on and go about your business and if you’re not home when your dish is done it keeps it warm for you. I like to set up my oatmeal before I go to the gym and when I come through the door I’m met with the fragrance of a hot bowl of steel-cut oats. Nothing better!
Hoppin’ John made from this recipe.