So... cooking carbs for two is sometimes too small an amount to do properly. I tried brown rice in the Star Chef this evening and, well, it didn't turn out quite right. And the reason was pretty much that there wasn't enough to cook. 100g rice and 130ml water is barely enough to cover the base of the pot, so it was never going to work very well. But I tried it anyway. However, it wasn't a disaster either :o)
I think the failure was mostly in the estimation of how much water is required for 100g rice. The recipe for rice that came with the Star Chef was for 300g rice with 400ml water. So for 100g rice, I thought 130ishml water would be fine. The rice turned out quite crunchy. Evidently not enough water. But. They key point was that it was perfectly cooked for the amount of water. Not too al dente in the way that undercooked rice can be and not a squishy mush the way overcooked rice can be. It was perfectly cooked, but just with not enough water, so it went a bit crispy with the starch on the bottom.
The pan was easy to clean up (it's proper non-stick, so if you treat it like you treat any other non-stick pans, it does what it is supposed to) and the rice was completely fine once I added a bit more water, stirred it about a bit and then mixed it in with the re-heated chilli.
So. Not a horrible mistake and next time I'll either add more water or I'll make more rice, but it's a hell of an improvement over cooking it in a pan - no gelatinous mush if I forget there's rice on, no icky-looking foam on top, no over-boiling pan to fiddle with. It's just perfect for an inattentive cook like me. Some things I really don't have the attention span to stand over; a pan of boiling/simmering rice/potatoes/pasta for example. So the Star Chef is a bloody god-send for avoiding that. I'm cure I'll work out what rice cook settings equivalent works for pasta and couscous (though that's far less faff anyway).
I know I was given this kitchen toy and I didn't spend any of my own money on it, but it's hugely appealing to how I like to do things in the kitchen. I'm awful with patience around things like rice and having the oven on for hours heating up far more space than it needs to etc. This solves those problems and more and to be brutally honest, based on what I've tried so far I'd be happy to spend the money on it if I'd known about it before now. Can't wait for the Ocado delivery tomorrow so I can do a beef stew!