Wednesday, December 9, 2009

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Review: "Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker" with Fuzzy Logic Technology

If you have read any of the recipes I've shared on this site, then you will know that I have a tendency to veer towards recipes that have very few ingredients. The only time I break this rule is when I am making a slow cooker meal because the best part about preparing a meal in a slow cooker is having many flavors blend together to make something delicious.

In the past, when it was just my husband, myself, and one child, it seemed silly for us to own a rice cooker to make such a small quantity of rice. It just seemed easier to microwave one bag of instant rice. Now that we have two additional members of the family who are eating adult solid foods, owning a rice cooker makes more sense. Where would we put it, though, in our little kitchen? That is one of the great things about the Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker. It is a rice cooker and a slow cooker in one, so we can replace our old slow cooker and gain a rice cooker. Plus it is compact in shape compared to other oval slow cookers with handles on each side.
What I thought about the FRC-800 Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker:


1) I love that the cover is hinged and not a separate piece that you will need to find a heat resistant place to rest it upon while attending to your slow cooker creation. I also like that the interior of the lid is removable for easy cleaning.

2) The non-stick removable cooking pot, which is ample enough to make 15 cups of rice, is extremely easy to clean. Everything came off after just a quick rinse with water.




3) The "fuzzy technology" is a built-in brain that allows this Cuisinart appliance to self-adjust to changes during cooking. This combined with the pre-programmed settings, much like a microwave oven has, ensures excellent results. These settings include, but are not limited to, hard white rice, soft white rice, brown rice, slow cook, steam, and quick cook, which simulates cooking on a stovetop.

4) The locking lid has a tight seal, which prevents the precious heat from escaping. The lid unlocks with just on push of the lid release button.


5) There is a built-in steam release vent that is removable for easy cleaning.

6) This space-saving handle stays cool during cooking. You could take the whole unit with you to a friends house or to place on a buffet table after the food is done cooking for easy serving.



7) There is a handy little clip that can be attached to either the right or left side of the unit for when you do want to serve the food right out of the multi-cooker. I think this is great during transportation or for serving rice, but I would rather use a spoon rest when any food containing liquid is being served, just because the liquid would run down the spoon handle.


8) In addition to the soup spoon, the accessories that accompany this Cuisinart include a rice paddle, a measuring cup for cooking rice, and, my favorite, a steaming tray. I cannot wait to try it out for steaming vegetables and perhaps making homemade wontons. All these accessories are available for purchase separately on the Cuisinart website. This is nice in case something goes missing or if you would like an extra steam tray.


9) The owner's manual is also filled with tips on how to achieve the best results for cooking different foods plus a variety of recipes for your Cuisinart.



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Now let's take a look at how our version of Chef Hubert Keller's recipe for Brazilian Chicken and Shrimp Soup turned out. I had to adjust the recipe to suit my family. My husband does not like nuts in his food, so we omitted the peanuts. I also left out the jalapeno peppers because we were afraid the children may not care for the spiciness. The last change we made was to use white rice because that is what we had in the house.



The Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker did an excellent job cooking this soup. The chicken was more moist and tender than any I've ever tasted. Plus the vegetables all still tasted fresh. For my family, I think next time we will replace a portion of the coconut milk with a different liquid and perhaps add more ground pepper. The taste of the coconut milk is key to the recipe, but I think it needs to be more subtle for our version of this soup.

Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome of our soup and especially with the performance of the Cuisinart Rice Plus Multi-Cooker from set-up to clean up. If you'd like to learn more about this Cuisinart appliance, visit Cuisinart.com, where you can also purchase this unit or find additional online or local retailers who carry it. I think this Cuisinart would make an excellent gift for both a novice or a seasoned chef.


Thank you to Cuisinart for sending us a multi-cooker in order to try one of Chef Hubert Keller's recipes.