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Review: The Ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook

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The ultimate Rice Cooker Cookbook
By Beth Hensperger & Julie Kaufmann
ISBN: 1558322027
Publisher: Harvard Common Press
Publication date: Jan. 2002
Format: hardcover
List price: $24.95 (Canada, UK)
Type: Single Subject: Appliance: Rice Cooker 
Sample recipe: Steamed Ginger Salmon & Asparagus in Black Bean Sauce 
intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive Biblical stature coffee-table
competition: outclassed also-ran midrange strong challenger leads the pack
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 >300
practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% >80%
# of ingredients: <3 <6 <9 <12 >12
ingredient hunt: 7-11 pantry supermarket online airfare required
recipe complexity: baby steps simple medium intense professional
instructions: inadequate bare bones full figured educational verbose
time conscious: outright lies speed of light fairly quick takes time takes all day
photos/drawings: skimpy adequate generous instructive glorious
recipe results: dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
flavor quotient: disappointing fair good delicious exceptional
layout: ick cluttered clean kind to cooks work of art
legibility: microscopic challenging adequate clear brilliant
production quality: cheesy questionable years of service gift-quality stunning
value: ouch! a little pricey on the money excellent worth splurging
Ease of Use
page numbers: invisible hard to find spotty adequate obvious
table of contents: missing frustrating passable useful helpful
index quality: none tragic adequate good excellent
page flipping: infuriating tedious acceptable rare never
writer: hack cook turned writer writer turned cook comedian auteur
cook: self-taught non-restaurant chef teacher celebrity
overall rating: fair good above average excellent Ochef Top 100
Comments: If you don't have a rice cooker yet, chances are you will soon — their popularity is soaring. If you have one and don't use it — gasp! — here is a book that will help you make full use of it. It goes well beyond the realm of rice, encouraging you to cook whole meals at once in the rice cooker. Soups, desserts, porridges, bean dishes, and much more show up, as do the pilafs, risottos, and other rice dishes that you would expect in a book on this subject. There is also lots of information on types of rice, and on different brands of rice cookers.

Following the comprehensive approach Hensperger has taken in her thousands of other cookbooks, the instructions and related information here are clear and comprehensive. We are not smitten with the light orange and light green type throughout the book, though, which are just a little hard to read.

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