Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Year-Round Slow Cooker

by Dina Cheney

I was a bit disappointed when I first browsed through these recipes because they require a little more food preparations than I am used to.  When I think of slow cooker I generally think I'll throw all the ingredients in, put on the lid, and go about my business.

Then I got to thinking ~ I am willing to put quite a bit of effort into a nice meal, on occasion.  Where is it written that a slow cooker can't be used for a gourmet meal.  Why not use the slow cooker as one of the different tools we have in our kitchens to make delicious, elegant meals as well as fast, easy meals.

This book is divided into 4 sections ~ one for each season.  Just look over these delicious sounding recipes in the summer section. (I jumped to the summer section first because I'm so tired of winter!)
Summer Brisket with roasted Red Peppers
Pulled pork Sandwiches with Peach Barbecue Sauce
Pulled Chicken with Cherry-Chile Barbecue Sauce
Beef Peppers stuffed with Latin Beef Picadilla
Triple-Apricot 'French Toast' Bread Pudding with Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
Corn-Vanilla Pudding with Triple Berry Sauce
As you can see these are not your run-of-the-mill slow cooker recipes.  And, yes, they do require a little more effort but I'm looking forward to trying some of these for those times I feel adventurous and when I want something especially tasty.  You can tell by the few recipes titles I listed above that these recipes are something special.  I've always been turned off by slow cooker cookbooks that only include 30 different soup recipes and a few bland casseroles.  That is NOT this cookbook.

Throughout the book Cheney provides tips such as getting the most flavor from slow cooker dishes, why it's important to brown some meats first, power ingredients, and information on certain ingredients.  I learned that I shouldn't overload my frying pan when browning my meats because it steams them instead.   I need to leave space in between each piece.

I received this book from NetGalley on behalf of Dina Cheney and The Taunton Press, Inc. in exchange for my review.   I received no other compensation.  The only thing I didn't like was the book had to be read on Adobe Digital Editions, which meant I had to sit at my computer to read it.  That also means I cannot print out a copy of a recipe to take into the kitchen so it makes it difficult to try any of the recipes.


Zibilee said...

I have a few slow cooker books like this one, that require you to do a little prep work, or only cook the meal partly in the slow cooker, and some of the recipes in that book are family favorites. It sounds like I might enjoy this one. The recipes seem really inspired and different. Thanks for giving me a peek into this one. I am going to try to check it out!

Holly (2 Kids and Tired) said...

I love my slow cooker and use it quite often. This is a new book to me. I like the idea that the recipes aren't simply meat and canned soup, which is what so often happens.