The Slow Cook
How slow can your kitchen go?
I'm a slow cook junkie. UnashamedlyI spent years cooking for a large family and, though rewarding enough while it lasted, my time is now my own. These days I cook when I want, what I want, for whoever I want.
And for the convenience, I love my slow cookers!
Cooking a meal is as easy as throwing ingredients in a slow cooker in the morning then forgetting about it while I waltz off to do whatever I fancy. And at the end of the day dinner is ready.
There's more to Slow Cooking than you think
Slow cooking is convenient, I found it indispensable when I had a large family and little time.
But there's a lot more to slow cooking than canned vegetables, canned creamed soups and pretzel bar 'party mixes'.
You can make gourmet meals in your slow cooker. Slow cooking transforms the texture of food as well as enhances the natural flavours. Keep an eye on your cooking, lift the lid .. and taste!
Slow cooking is an ancient art form.
A Day in the Life of a Slow Cook
Once a fortnight a couple of my girlfriends come over for dinner. I want to enjoy these occasions, not worry about what the heck to put on the table. I also want to serve them something which looks as if it's been ordered in a good restaurant. But one thing I don't want to do is fuss around over the stove!
A quick whiz around with the vacuum cleaner followed by a damp sponge attack on the bathroom is all that's necessary between friends.
One easy and delightful menu is chicken breasts with lime,cider and coriander (cilantro), zesty ratatouille of seasonal vegetables followed by rich chocolate Kahlua cake. All made in the slow cooker!
So I can relax outside with a cool drink.
The chicken is only cooked for 4 hours - so it goes on last.
- 4 skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup dry cider
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- Chopped fresh coriander about a packed 1/4 cup
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker
- In small bowl, combine coriander, lime juice, cider, garlic, salt and pepper
- Spoon the mixture evenly over the chicken
- Cook on LOW for 4 hours
Slow Cook Ratatouille
- 2 large onions
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 zucchini
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 large green capsicums - bell peppers
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- small bunch fresh flat leaf parsley
- pinch of pepper
- pinch of oregano
- a little olive oil
- Peel and slice the onions and zucchini. Peel and chop the eggplant. Mince the garlic. Chop the tomatoes into quarters.
- Layer in the cooking bowl in order - onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes.
- Sprinkle with half the herbs and half the seasonings
- Dot with half of the tomato paste.
- Drizzle with olive oil
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours
Slow Cook Kahlua Chocolate Cake
You can make gorgeous cakes in your slow cooker too. This rich chocolate cake with Kahlua liqueur, always a hit with guests or for any special occasion dinner, is incredibly simple to make..I'm being lazy and using a packet cake mix.
- Packet devil's food cake mix
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup Kahlua
- Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium for about a minute.
- Spray some vegetable oil on the inside of your slow cooker.
- Carefully pour the cake batter into the cooker.
- Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
- You can see when the cake is ready, test it at 7 hours.
- Slice up the cake and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.
A Set and Forget Slow Cooker
With a stainless steel base for easy storage and clean-up, plus separate temperature probe for large cuts of meat.
You can cook an entire meal with just one appliance. let the meal cook while you're out - this slow cooker boasts power-interrupt protection.
My Double Slow Cooker
The Double Slow Cooker
I love my double slow cooker! Two stoneware removable cooking pots, each with 2-1/2-quart capacity and separate control knobs for low, high, and warm temperature settings<?p>
Benefits of Slow Cooking
There are heaps of benefits in using a slow cooker.
Meat cooked over a longer period of time becomes more tender and cheaper cuts suddenly come into star status. Beef shin is a good example, .The shin is filled with connective tissue but when you go down the slow-cooked route, you'll find it holds its shape and has incredible richness of texture. Beef or veal shin is most often sold as osso buco.
I like using just one pot - less cleaning and less clutter!.
Learning to use a slow cooker is easy for even the most inexperienced of cooks. They're not expensive to buy and come with basic recipes to start you off. Then you venture out with your own recipe variations! You don't have to "keep the lid on" as the cookbooks tell you. Take off the lid. Stir. Taste. Add seasonings. It's up to you.
More Slow Cook Recipes
Lamb Shanks have changed remarkably since my mother cooked them. The lamb shanks themselves are still the same, it's the ingredients and method of cooking that's different
Do you slow cook?
How often do you use a slow cooker?
© 2011 Susanna Duffy