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The Slow Cook

Updated on December 20, 2014

How slow can your kitchen go?

I'm a slow cook junkie. Unashamedly

I 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.

Susanna with coffee
Susanna with coffee

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Place the chicken breasts in the slow cooker
  2. In small bowl, combine coriander, lime juice, cider, garlic, salt and pepper
  3. Spoon the mixture evenly over the chicken
  4. Cook on LOW for 4 hours
Cast your vote for Slow Cook Chicken with Cider, Lime and Coriander

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

Instructions

  1. Peel and slice the onions and zucchini. Peel and chop the eggplant. Mince the garlic. Chop the tomatoes into quarters.
  2. Layer in the cooking bowl in order - onion, eggplant, zucchini, garlic, green peppers, tomatoes.
  3. Sprinkle with half the herbs and half the seasonings
  4. Dot with half of the tomato paste.
  5. Repeat.
  6. Drizzle with olive oil
  7. 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.

Ingredients

  • Packet devil's food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup Kahlua

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium for about a minute.
  2. Spray some vegetable oil on the inside of your slow cooker.
  3. Carefully pour the cake batter into the cooker.
  4. Cover and cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  5. You can see when the cake is ready, test it at 7 hours.
  6. Slice up the cake and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

A Set and Forget Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe, 6-Quart (33967)
Hamilton Beach Set 'n Forget Programmable Slow Cooker With Temperature Probe, 6-Quart (33967)

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

Chicken with coriander and lime in one, eggplant and tomato mixture in the other
Chicken with coriander and lime in one, eggplant and tomato mixture in the other

The Double Slow Cooker

Sensio 13493 Bella Cucina Double Slow Cooker Buffet Server
Sensio 13493 Bella Cucina Double Slow Cooker Buffet Server

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
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?

See results

© 2011 Susanna Duffy

Leave a Message for the Slow Cook

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    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      I was just thinking that I wanted to make some Ratatouille and was going to search for my recipe today. Now, I will just use yours. Thanks.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 

      5 years ago from California

      I haven't had a slow cooker for several years. Maybe I should think about getting a new one. I used it quite a bit for cooking beans, which is a pain on the stove if you're absent-minded like me. ;)

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      5 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I love my slow cooker, keeping in all the goodness.I have your get recipe for Ratatouille from here and use it often.

    • profile image

      grannysage 

      6 years ago

      I have been thinking about getting a slow cooker again (my old one died) but for some reason keep walking by that section in the store. It would be great for the RV because we don't use the stove or over, just the microwave. Going to have to find that aisle again.

    • profile image

      RecipePublishing 

      7 years ago

      Wow, what a treat!

    • Richard-H profile image

      Richard 

      7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      I think there's a slow cooker in the house somewhere. Even I could make that cake!

    • Addy Bell profile image

      Addy Bell 

      7 years ago

      I don't have room for a slow cooker, but it certainly sounds appealing.

    • raffael lm profile image

      raffael lm 

      7 years ago

      Congratulations on your purple star.. dear, lady Susanna :) All our presentation of slow cook here is so wonderful. I really like it. Tweeted to all my fans. Have a wonderful time.. always ;)

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 

      7 years ago

      Hmm...I love slow cooking too, but to this day have never tried a cake. Gotta try it soon! I'll be back to look at more of your recipes. They sound great!

    • LadyFlashman profile image

      LadyFlashman 

      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      I really want a slow cooker after reading this! I never knew you could bake a cake in one, genius! Thanks for the info, I will invest in one of these.

    • Shoputopian profile image

      Karnel 

      7 years ago from Lower Mainland of BC

      I love my slow cooker in the winter months, its great come home to a hot cooked meal...I loved your lens, well done...

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 

      7 years ago from East Central Florida

      Well, it obvious from my quiz score that I don't know diddly about a slow cooking device... I don't own one. My brotoher has one, though and he even knows how to use it.

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 

      7 years ago

      Susanna, I like your style! I don't use the slow cooker as much as I could. Haven't found many good recipes for it. That cake looks mighty tempting though!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      7 years ago from Arkansas USA

      I love your double slow cooker! I love my single one, but I could use another. Thanks for the recipe suggestions, too!

    • taryneast profile image

      taryneast 

      7 years ago

      Nice lens. I love slow-cooked food, but I actually have a more traditional slow-cooker: a tagine. https://hubpages.com/food/tagine

      I never knew you could cook cakes in your slow cooker, though. That's pretty amazing :)

      Now I'm imagining the possibilities of rich christmas pudding! Nom

    • simplyoasis profile image

      simplyoasis 

      7 years ago

      Well I failed that class ha ha. Ratatouille I just don't know about that but your chicken and cake slow cooked look awesome!! Thanks for sharing your lens!

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 

      7 years ago

      Wow! A cake in the slow cooker? Awesome! I've never seen that! Can't wait to try your yummy recipes. Thanks for sharing!!

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 

      7 years ago from California

      Great lens! I use a slow cooker from time to time. I can be an absent minded cook. It's great for things like beans which take a long time and can make a mess in a regular pot.

    • balancebydesign4u profile image

      Carol 

      7 years ago from Arkansas

      Great lens. I can't wait to try the recipes. BTW, what is dry cider? I've never heard of it.

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 

      7 years ago

      Your recipes sound delicious - I don't have a slow cooker (unless you count my hubby?), but they sound like a great idea

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I love slow cooking. Thanks for the recipes.

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 

      7 years ago

      I had never seen a double slow cooker before this lens, nice! I have a large slow cooker and love to cook my roasts and whole chickens in it, do need to expand my recipes for slow cooking...yours sounds delicious:-)

    • ChaosAndCritters profile image

      ChaosAndCritters 

      7 years ago

      I love my slow cooker, too. It's the first thing I use to teach my kids how to cook since it is nearly impossible for them to burn themselves on it. Never tried cake, though...

    • Wendy L Henderson profile image

      Wendy Henderson 

      7 years ago from PA

      I love my slow cooker. I use it several times a week. Great Lens.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 

      7 years ago from So Cal

      You just may be my newest best friend. This is a great lens with wonderful recipes. I use mine all the time and can't really live without it.

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 

      7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Lovely sounding recipes - I truly love my slow cooker, it's right up there with my food processor as a favourite gadget that never lingers unloved in a cupboard.

    • GonnaFly profile image

      Jeanette 

      7 years ago from Australia

      My father in law just recently bought a slow cooker and my husband is most impressed. I know what I'm getting him for his birthday! Thanks for the recipes.

    • AbsoluteJeanius1 profile image

      AbsoluteJeanius1 

      7 years ago

      What a great lens! I've been trying to use the slow cooker more and these great recipes are just the ticket to get me going! Thanks!

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 

      7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      This looks like a great way to cook.Must try it with some of your lovely recipes.

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      7 years ago

      Wow, I've used my slow cooker for stews and venison and chicken but I haven't tried cake! I can't wait to try ratatouille. My husband and I love that kind of stuff.

    • rewards4life info profile image

      rewards4life info 

      7 years ago

      I'd love to have one (especially to cook a though meat). Great lens, love the recipes. Thanks for sharing!

    • Gamganny profile image

      Gamganny 

      7 years ago

      Great lens on slow cooking, made me hungry

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 

      7 years ago

      Good one and an useful thing too!

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