Cook it slow, cook it smart
Leave it to the experts at Martha Stewart to figure out the best ways to use this favorite appliance. The 110 recipes in this book make the most of the slow cooker’s assets (low heat, hands-off cooking), while also uncovering its hidden potential. Readers will find that they can not only braise cuts of meat until meltingly tender and let soups and stews simmer away untended, but also gently poach fish, cook up creamy scalloped potatoes, and bake a perfect cheesecake. This book has everything home cooks need to maximize flavor and make life a whole lot easier.
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Barley Risotto with Fresh Mushrooms
You can find recipes for slow-cooker risotto made with traditional Arboriorice, but we prefer the texture of barley here. It holds up beautifully and doesn’t get gummy. Earthy mushrooms flavor the dish the whole way through, while two cheeses and fresh chives round things out at the end.
7 cups vegetable broth, store-bought or homemade, or water.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces fresh mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake, or oyster, trimmed and sliced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 cups pearl barley
2 ounces fresh goat cheese (about ½ cup), crumbled
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (2 ounces), plus more, shaved, for serving
Snipped fresh chives, for garnish
Preheat a 5-to 6-quart slow cooker. Heat 6 cups broth in a saucepan over low.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium. Add half the mushrooms and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Add remaining tablespoon oil and tablespoon butter, and sauté remaining mushrooms until tender, 4 minutes. Return reserved mushrooms to pan. Add shallots, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and thyme; sauté for 2 minutes. Add barley, stirring to coat well. Increase heat to medium-high, add remaining cup broth, and cook, stirring to combine, until completely absorbed, about 4 minutes.
Transfer barley mixture to the slow cooker. Pour in broth and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high until barley is tender but still firm, 2 to 3 hours (or on low for 5 to 6 hours).
Before serving, stir in both cheeses with a fork until melted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with shaved cheese and chives.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was truly excited to get this book in the mail, because it’s always my goal to utilize my crock pot more than I currently do. Especially with cooler months coming along and the days are dark so much sooner. To be honest, I’ve always been a bit leery about trying Martha Stewart’s cooking books, partially due to her crafty side that I always tended to attribute her skills towards. But, after watching her on the public television station, when I had the opportunity to try out this cookbook, I jumped at it. The book overall is well put together and speaks quality. It isn’t something where the pages are a thin quality and cheaply put together. A lot of time and effort was spent in the design process. Many of the recipes sound truly delightful and the carrot/honey was very tasty. The one thing I had a problem with was that the recipes I would not necessarily classify in the “easy” category. There are a slew of ingredients, many of which, the typical home would not have on hand. Therefore, it would require a stop at the grocery story to stock up. For me, the main issue was the amount of steps before placing all the ingredients into the crockpot to cook. Typically, when I start the slow cooker, it’s in the morning before work. So I do not have a lot of time to do very much prep to get the meal ready. What I can do in the evenings, I do. This is a book that would be great if you had someone who could do all the work for you, so that when you arrive home in the evening it is done. Or, you prepare on the weekends when time is a bit more plentiful. All in all, I did enjoy the cookbook and will use it more in the future. Once I get all the ingredients and a weekend ready to try another recipe out. This review contains my own thoughts and opinions. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.