Wednesday, June 17, 2015

What's in my rice cooker?: Lasagna

What is a rice cooker you ask? It's a wonderful kitchen appliance which allows you to cook rice to perfection without the stirring and babysitting. It originated in Japan but like any item of convenience spread beyond  the Asian continent into the Western world. In spite of all that, I never encountered one in the Caribbean and it was quite the surprise to me. It reminded me of the Anansi story of the magical pot that cooked any food at command. 

After using a rice cooker for four years, I wished I knew of this as sooner. Unlike the name suggests, rice isn't the only food that you can cook in this. Once you understand the mechanical working of a simple rice cooker, you can manipulate it into anything: pot, deep fryer, steamer etc. Basically the cooking takes place in a removable metal container which is surrounded by an insulated pot. The metal container presses on a spring which controls the thermostat and responds to temperature change. When the contents are in place, heating is activated. When the food is cooked (all the water has evaporated into steam and the metal container temperature begins to exceeds 100 C) the thermostat responds by releasing the spring and altering the cooker to warm setting of 65 C.

As a college student, having one pot with the ability to cook everything, besides one pot meals, is a relief. So let's get into dish numba one. Lasagna baby. 

Honestly you don't need a special recipe or particular adjustment. Just prepare it exactly as you would for an oven lasagna and watch out for the extra fragile structure.

After second meat layer

After final meat layer
There you go!!

Look out for more in this series...Up next Home Made Yogurt!