Posts Tagged ‘soups’

June 11, 2011

If it were not for Auguste Escoffier we would be eating to get by or simply eating as a fact of life. Food takes on a different flavor when treated with skill and understanding. All too often quality food is purchased, hidden away in a bag or drawer in the fridge, pantry or cupboard and left to the demise of time.

For some they like to look over Good Housekeeping, GQ, Taste of Home and magazine of all style of food presentation offering up a variety of cooking techniques. Suffice to say Auguste went down that path before any of these modern day versions of the quick fix recipe came to print. In 1903 he published what I believe is the mother of all magazines, cookbooks, guides and articles on taking cooking seriously.

True, I like to have fun in the kitchen but when the oil hits the skillet I like to rely on basic foundation principles. So when the latest copy of Le Guide Culinaire hit the bookshelves I was more than interested in using it for classroom instruction, and was beyond excited when a good friend from John Wiley & Sons, Inc contacted me to see if I would like to use it for educational purposes.

In the next several months I will digest the recipes as Auguste had written them, then later revised a second, third and lastly in 1921 for a fourth time. I’m also looking forward to imparting some of Escoffier’s time tested culinary skills to those paths i cross during my travels.

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Cuisinart Rice Plus™ Multi-Cooker with Fuzzy Logic Technology

December 15, 2010


I like the Cuisinart Rice Plus™ Multi-Cooker with Fuzzy Logic Technology for one very important reason, it cooks with little guesswork on my part. As a professional chef it’s an easy setup and go cooking method and I really didn’t need to use the directions. I have noticed that a few review said that their rice cooking times seemed very long. On average cooking uncooked long grain or short grain brown rice does take some time. We are accustomed to having pre-done rice or minute rice, and cooking quality, healthy rice is simply not the same.

This is direct from the manufacturer: Cuisinart introduces a smarter way to cook rice…and a lot of other dishes, as well. Introducing the Rice Plus(tm) Multi-Cooker, the first product from Cuisinart with advanced fuzzy logic technology. This built-in “brain” senses fluctuations in cooking and automatically adjusts operation to ensure perfect results. With pre-programmed settings for six types of rice, plus oatmeal, soup, steam, slow cooking, and more – and easy dishwasher cleanup – this is destined to become a favorite.

I’ve used it’s many settings from cooking rice to making bean soup and everything has turned out perfect. I love it for cooking my brown rice. I simply add the rice, fill to the water level on the side based upon rice added and set it for brown rice and it’s done in about 1.5 hrs. Quick cooking is not necessarily the best for you even though it may be the simplest method of getting food to the table. If you want to eat healthy then you need to cook and prepare properly and this little cooker does the job. The interior wipes clean and the bowl for rice is easy to wash and wipe clean and the steaming insert just needs a quick rinse and you are ready to cook again. It doesn’t take up much counter space and I’ve kept it right by the sink to extend the faucet nozzle right into the cooker after adding rice to make the filling process that much simplistic. Lastly the nicest feature is the keep warm setting that allows you to hold the rice in the cooker without overcooking and turning to mush.

I did go back and spend some time on the directions after the initial setup and cooking and I must admit it is confusing and I could see how the common user would really have some difficulty in figuring out the cooking times and buttons. I give this rice cooker four stars for the quality of cooking and ease of setup, cleanup and service it offers but not five stars due to the complexity of the instruction manual. I think the steps and instructions could be written a little clearly and more towards the average consumer.

Just remember that quality cooking is more tan throwing food together it’s spending the time to create and bring out the best in your food. Do spend some time on the instruction manual if you are used to cooking minute of fast rice, because if you simply put rice in to cook 15 minutes before the rest of you meal is complete you will be waiting for your rice to complete the meal.