Slow Cooker Cookingby Lora Brody
When someone says "slow cooker," do you think of pot roast or chili? Now you can think Slow Cooked Salmon, Caramelized Onion Soup, falling-off-the-bone Lamb You Can Eat with a Spoon, and Flourless Pear Anise Soufflé. If these dishes whet your appetite, it's time to take that slow cooker out of the closet, plug it in, and get ready for Slow
When someone says "slow cooker," do you think of pot roast or chili? Now you can think Slow Cooked Salmon, Caramelized Onion Soup, falling-off-the-bone Lamb You Can Eat with a Spoon, and Flourless Pear Anise Soufflé. If these dishes whet your appetite, it's time to take that slow cooker out of the closet, plug it in, and get ready for Slow Cooker Cooking.
Lora Brody knows her appliances. She inspired a whole new generation of bread bakers with her best-selling bread machine books. Here she pushes the slow cooker to places no one ever expected it to go, inventing fruit bases for soufflés and ice creams, reducing milk and sugar to make Dulce de Leche, and infusing oils with herbs. In addition to creating innovative takes on one-pot meals such as classic New England Boiled Dinner, Venison Stew with Mushrooms, and Osso Buco with Gremolata, here you will find recipes for ingredients that are the basis for other dishes, such as Duxelles, Braised Chestnuts, and vegetable and chicken stocks. Vegetarians will enjoy recipes such as Ragoût of Leeks, Fennel, and Celery and Virtuous Lentil Soup, and dessert lovers will rejoice when they see recipes for Hazelnut Chocolate Fondue and Coconut Rice Pudding.
Creative cooking in the slow cooker doesn't mean giving up any of the convenience associated with this popular appliance. You still add the ingredients to the pot and go about your day (or evening), letting the slow cooker do all the work.
Thanks to the pot's sealed insert and consistently even heat, food cooks under ideal conditions to make it tender and bring out maximum flavor. Come home to a kitchen perfumed with an aroma that promises good things to eat and find a perfectly cooked dish to enjoy.
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Read an Excerpt
Virtuous Lentil Soup
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Cooking Time: 5 to 6 hours on HIGH
Slow Cooker Size: 4 quart
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
2 celery stalks, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 parsnips, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed, drained, and picked over to remove any bits of dirt and debris
1 teaspoon dried thyme
8 cups vegetable broth or Vegetable Stock (page 9), plus more if needed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vegetarians and folks watching their fat intake will love this soup.
Combine the onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic, lentils, thyme, and 8 cups of broth in the insert of the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH until the lentils are soft and the vegetables are tender, about 5 hours. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add additional heated broth if the soup is too thick.
Yield: 6 servings
Cooking Time: 12 hours on LOW or 6 to 8 hours on HIGH
Slow Cooker Size: 5 1/2-quart oval
Ingredients:For the Marinade
1 large carrot, peeled and slicedFor the Stew
3 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
4 cups dry red wine
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
4 sprigs fresh thyme
3 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
4 to 6 tablespoons vegetable oilPreparations:
4 ounces pancetta or thickly sliced bacon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
8 ounces white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
16small white onions, trimmed and peeled and left whole (see Note)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Wine from the marinade
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 bouquet garni (2 bay leaves, 3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, and 4 sprigs fresh thyme, wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with a piece of twine)
This is not your mother's beef stew -- unless your mother used a slow cooker and really good red wine. Browning the meat first is a crucial step that gives substantial taste to the finished dish.
To marinate the meat, place the carrot, garlic, wine, bay leaves, parsley, and thyme in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag or a large nonreactive bowl. Add the meat and seat the bag or cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 6 to 12 hours.
To make the stew, drain the meat and vegetables in a strainer set over a large bowl. Set the vegetables from the marinade aside in a bowl, and reserve the strained wine. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Brown the pancetta or bacon lightly, and place it in the insert of the slow cooker. Add more oil to the sauté pan, if necessary, and brown the reserved vegetables from the marinade. Place them in the slow cooker.
Dry the meat well with paper towels. Add 2 more tablespoons of the oil to the sauté pan over medium-high heat and brown the meat; you may have to brown it in batches so as not to crowd the pan. Transfer the meat to the insert. Put the mushrooms, onions, flour, minced garlic, pepper, salt, reserved wine, broth, and the bouquet garni in the insert. Cover and cook on LOW for 12 hours or on HIGH for 6 to 8 hours, until the meat and vegetables are tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife.
NOTE: To peel small onions easily, plunge them into boiling water for 10 to 15 seconds. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water. The skins will slip off when loosened with a small, sharp knife.Slow Cooker Cooking. Copyright © by Lora Brody. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Meet the Author
Lora Brody is the author of twenty-two cookbooks including The Kitchen Survival Guide, The Entertaining Survival Guide, Bread Machine Baking: Perfect Every Time, Desserts from Your Bread Machine: Perfect Every Time, Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet, and Pizza, Focaccia, Flat, and Filled Breads from Your Bread Machine: Perfect Every Time. Her recipes have appeared in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, the Boston Globe, and the Los Angeles Times. She lives outside of Boston.
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I have had this cookbook out from the public library for 2 months. This is definintely a book to own.It has wonderful receipes that have more flavor than so many other slow cooker cookbooks.
Wonderful full flavored dishes.