What I had for dinner:
I am on a slow-cooker kick, now that it's out of the closet and I'm too lazy to put it back. The polenta I made recently got me thinking of another possibility, that of deliberate but controlled scorching. Most people in New York will be familiar with the rice crusts that are a favorite dish in Dominican (and other hispanic) restaurants, and also perhaps with the Iranian version, which is a sort of biryani cooked on the stovetop until a caramelized crust forms at the bottom.
With that in mind, I cooked 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water, i.e. slightly less than usual.
In the slow cooker, set on fast (!), I cooked one small chopped onion in olive oil, then added 2 tbsp of butter, let it melt, then spread the cooked rice over it. I let it cook for about an hour, checking occasionally the bottom to see how it was going. Near the end, when a good crust had already formed, I place 8 apricot halves over the rice (cut side down), and continued cooking until they were very soft.
In keeping with a Middle Eastern theme, this was served with plain, pan-grilled lamb chops, and followed by a green salad.
In retrospect, I think I should have put some saffran together with the apricots. As a side for the lamb, it was fine, but the leftover rice by itself, which I'm having for lunch, lacks something between the sweet and sour apricot and the buttery finish.