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Old 06-09-2009, 04:23 PM   #1
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Question How to add rice or pasta?

Let me first explain why I need to know this. I posted a question in the Discuss Cooking Road Forum (it won't let me post a link to the post) titled ISO hotel room recipe ideas,where I needed to get some ideas on cooking on the road. One suggestion that I am going with (I'm going with all, actually) is taking a crock pot with us and plugging it in on the road.

That said, it's important to stress that I cannot carry a ton of cookery with us, obviously. I would prefer to cook everything in the pot, all at once.

One problem I've thought about however is adding rice or pasta to any of the recipes. I cannot cook that stuff separately and while it might be better to do so, we're not going to be picky about it. We'll just be happy to save some money on the trip! The not-so-attractive food and the not-chef-worthy food will be just fine for the two of us.

I also realize that all recipes are different and such, but can anyone share some generalized rules with me?

Specifically:
  • Should I use minute rice or long grain?
  • How much liquid should I add to minute rice? Long grain rice?
  • How much cooking time should I allow to minute rice? Long grain rice?
  • What about pasta? Is there a general rule for pasta?
Are there any other tips that you could share with me? I would be forever indebted to anyone for help!

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Old 06-09-2009, 04:32 PM   #2
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Well, the only one I know off the top of my head is regular white rice. It's ratio is 1 c. of water to 3/4 c. of rice and it's cooking time is around 18 minutes. Obviously, that doesn't mean you add 18 minutes to the recipe's cooking time.

You should just experiment with the ingredients that you will be taking. E.g., measure water and pasta, cook according to package directions and then measure remaining water to see how much was absorbed.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:39 PM   #3
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Hmmm. Do you have a crockpot cookbook or a slowcooker recipe book? Either of those would be able to give you more specific instruction I think. If you are just adding pasta to an existing "stew" or what have you, I think if you add about 1/2 cup of the dried pasta about an hour before serving it would have time to cook. Put an extra cup of water in when you do that. Can you experiment at home first? That might help too.
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Old 06-09-2009, 06:45 PM   #4
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Although I wouldn't ordinarily recommend Minute rice, in this case it seems the best solution. Check the package for how much liquid is needed and make sure your dish has enough to be absorbed and still have extra if the recipe calls for it. Keep testing/tasting until the rice tastes cooked.

As for pasta, it has a generally shorter cooking time, but will take longer when added to a sauce-ey recipe. Again, taste until it's cooked enough.
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Old 06-09-2009, 08:28 PM   #5
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You can certainly add either one uncooked, and for pasta this is usually preferred anyway. For rice I "prefer" to use cooked rice only because I can more easily tell how much to put in, but lots of times I don't have any cooked rice on hand.
Crockpots are very forgiving; you can always add more water later if the rice has soaked up too much. I like to allow for at least half an hour, and probably more if you are using regular long grain white or brown rice. Especially if it is cooking on a low temp. If you aren't going to have a lot of time to cook then instance rice will do just fine.
Another option is barley (which I had to give up for health reasons), as it cooks a little faster, and adds a great texture to soups and stews.
Let us know how it all turns out! I am looking forward to reading about recipes you invented on the road!
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:58 PM   #6
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Cool

Thank you so much to all of you for your suggestions! What an excellent band of cooks they have here!

I can't wait to try all of this and hopefully I'll do good. I will certainly post my results when we get back. In fact, if I can remember to do so, I'll even take pictures of the foods with my instructions. They might be Charlie Brown quality photos, but pictures none the less!

Again, thank you so very much. I am grateful for the suggestions.
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Old 07-20-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
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Before I retired, I used to have a small crockpot at work (1 qt) and would start my lunch at around 9-9:30AM to be ready by 1:00pm lunch. I used dry rice and added whatever ingredients I wanted. Rice on bottom, seasonings and nuts/veggies next, then, occasion, canned meats on top. (Seasoning packets and butter/oleo were prewrapped at home.) Water was roughly double contents. Used the slow setting. Everything was cooked perfectly for lunch and NOT dried out. Same with macaroni and spaghetti (broken into smaller pieces).

Good luck,
Sharlene
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