For the first four months of living in New York, I did not have a stove. I know this doesn't make me special. Many post-college transplants have to reckon with some recalcitrant landlord who refuses to turn on stoves, part of the crumbling infrastructural bargain that is living in a tiny apartment.
So, every night, I would make dinner in a plug-in rice cooker I bought from Bed Bath & Beyond. In that period, I tried to become remarkably crafty about what I was able to cook with this petite hybrid tub-and-heating-mechanism—perhaps I could cook a pie. Poach an egg. Nonsense. I learned the hard way that my rice cooker had its limits. After some false starts, I stuck to the nightly rubric of brown rice, vegetables, and a pre-cooked sausage or three, dunking in some chicken broth and curry sauce from a jar.
Even after gaining a functioning stove, though, I was bullish about parting from my rice cooker. I'd grown so used to its ability to deliver on its promise of convenience, and its charming compactness.
Good news. I've got the Food52 x Staub Petite French Oven Stovetop Rice Cooker now. It's the size of my old number from Black & Decker, but—get this—it's meant for my stove. She be small but mighty, a cast-iron cauldron with a graphite finish, with a size that masks remarkable depth of its base. It’s perfect for anything you’d need a small pot for, and doubly perfect for a lonely single dude like me, who has the stomach of two people but is unencumbered by the need to feed anyone else. It can basically do anything.
It's the perfect median between this vestige of compromised living I once used daily and the way I cook now. And it's an alarmingly versatile product; I've compiled some stuff you can cook in your Staub Stovetop Rice Cooker below. Now, I can’t stop cooking in my Staub rice cooker. I don’t want to cook in anything else.
Wake up, sleepyhead. It's time for oatmeal! Pour some oats in your stovetop rice cooker. They'll cook in no time.
You can even bake your oatmeal in this little buddy, since it's oven safe—just halve a recipe meant for a baking pan to fit inside.
Let's stay on the topic of "breakfast" here. Who says you can't poach an egg in a stovetop rice cooker? Huh. Ridiculous. Its deep shape will be like a luxurious Jacuzzi for your poaching egg. Throw it in a dish of your choosing—or even someone's face! (Don't do that.)
You can also make a few baked eggs in a rice cooker. Add a few cups of that saucy base. Crack two eggs into it before finishing off, uncovered, in the oven.
And of course, hard boiling eggs is also tons of fun in the rice cooker. The water will heat up faster than it would in a much larger pot. Sizzle!
Couldn't think of a good header for this one. But you know what quinoa is. It cooks quite nicely in our Staub rice cooker—snug as a rug in there, grains blooming to the point of edible consumption even when you're not even looking. (The divots in the rice cooker's lid cause the steam to drip back into the pot, and this keeps the grains hydrated.)
Risotto—not easy, not sorry. Just kidding. It took me a lifetime to realize risotto's a lot easier to cook than it seems at first glance.
Barley—out of your beer and into the streets! And the proverbial "streets" here are, collectively, your Staub rice cooker. Because really, you can cook any grains in it. Wild. Okay. Onto the recipes.
Now these are what we call leftovers. Sort of. Wake up a tub of leftover pasta and bake it, right inside the rice cooker (which is sized pretty ideally for this sort of task). A sauce? Saucy! Fried shallots? Be my guest. Add cheese. Go crazy. This sampling of foods that would re-heat well in the rice cooker that I've compiled here is by no means exhaustive.
Yeah, I know—you didn't see this one coming. Feeling wary of engaging in some mischief with your Staub Stovetop rice cooker? Stick to the basics. (Just make sure that's the only thing that sticks. Haha!)
...And that's how you do it. That's how you use the Staub Petite French Oven Stovetop Rice Cooker.
What other recipes would you cook in our stovetop rice cooker? Let us know in the comments.