Taking It Slow…

I have wanted a slow cooker for ages.  I’m pretty well equipped when it comes to kitchen gadgets and appliances, but a slow cooker (and an ice cream maker, swoon!) had remained on my wish list for years but for some reason never graduated to my “to buy immediately” list.

I think part of why I hadn’t caved and bought myself a slow cooker earlier, is that I kinda always felt like they were for super moms.  I’m pretty much the opposite of a super mom – I’m usually just cooking for myself, so the idea of making 8 servings of anything made me anxious.  Turns out they make smaller slow cookers these days, so that solved that problem.

I was so excited this past Christmas when my folks got me this 3.5 quart slow cooker by Cuisinart.  I couldn’t wait to start experimenting.

{Image from Cuisinart}

So far I’ve made a beef stew that was unremarkable in every way.  I would characterize it as being edible, palatable, just fine or “meh”.  Last night I made steel cut oatmeal with dried fruit… that was a really nice breakfast this morning.  My record on the slow cooker so far is 1-1.

I would love to hear some of your favorite recipes!  I know there is a huge slow cooking community out there in blog land, and I’m a bit overwhelmed by everything that’s out there.  If you know of a good cookbook, or have a recipe that I just can’t do without – pretty please leave me a comment and let me know.

Thanks in advance.

16 thoughts on “Taking It Slow…

  1. I got the “Crock-Pot Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes” book as a gift and have really enjoyed it. Just tried the recipe for “Like Grandma’s Chicken ‘N Dumplings” and it was very good and VERY easy. (Note: Grandma will likely not approve of using canned biscuits as dumplings, but what a time saver.)

  2. From the paper. Pork Posole:

    3 (15- to 16-ounce) cans white or yellow hominy, drained
    3 (10-ounce) cans green enchilada sauce
    1 large onion, chopped
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon pepper
    2 1/2-3 pounds boneless pork loin roast, trimmed
    1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    Mix hominy, enchilada sauce, onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper in the crockpot (6-quart or larger). Add the pork, and spoon the hominy mixture over the meat to coat it well. Cover and cook on low 7 to 9 hours or until pork is fork tender. Take out the pork and let it rest about 5 minutes before you cut/shred into bite-size chunks. Add cilantro and lime juice and return the pork to the crockpot and stir. Serve in bowls.

    Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food/recipe_database/article/Recipe-Database-Recipe-Details-822183.php#ixzz1Bb4MWDxN

  3. There seems to be quite a few pork recipes so far, but I have to add another to the list – it’s delish!

    I also like to make chicken tortilla soup in the slow cooker. You can adapt nearly any recipe you like – just toss everything in (including raw chicken breasts!) and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Pull the chicken out and shred it before you serve. I like to add in lime juice and cilantro at the end to brighten up the flavor a bit. It’s easy and tasty!

  4. I love your new cooker – it’s fancy! I was going to post the same recipe as Kate – it’s TO DIE FOR and so freaking easy. My husband is not a huge fan of pork and he loves this stuff.

    My problem is that any beef dish tastes the same to me – so i limit my use of it to BBQ, Green Chile, stuff like that. Although I have a red beans and rice recipe that I’m trying sometime soon – I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  5. I adore my slow-cooker. Between making some killer short ribs, I also have a pork tinga that is PERFECT for Superbowl Sunday – http://cookinginstilettos.org/2010/02/04/score-one-for-a-great-superbowl-soiree-pork-tinga-with-potatoes-avocado-and-fresh-cheese/

    One of my fave Tried & True Short Rib Recipes:

    You will be amazed at how often you use it :)

  6. Oh, yum! Slow cookers are the greatest invention. Since it’s been so cold lately, I’m a HUGE fan of the easiest soup ever – ham and bean soup. It’s seriously just a package of cubed ham, a bag of beans (white or pinto) and some water, salt, and pepper. Yum yum yum.

    (The West Virginian in me eats it with corn bread).

    Enjoy your new slow cooker!

  7. Addendum to earlier post:

    I just made the Pork Posole today and am underwhelmed, even with cheese, lime juice, cilantro, sour cream, and avocado. It needs jalapenos (or something spicy), heating up the dish, I think.

    If you get slow cooker crazy and try this one out, make sure to experiment with flavors. The recipe is a good base but needs some major pizzazz!

  8. Kosher Split pea soup

    1 bag of split green peas
    4 smoked turkey wings
    2 c mirepoix
    2 tbsp chicken fat (or butter if you must)
    salt, pepper & cumin to taste
    ~4c chicken stock

    1 reynolds oven bag (to line the cooker so you’re not scrubbing later)
    immersion blender
    storage container

    Line your slow cooker
    Dump it all in
    put the cooker on the high & long setting
    fish out the wings & scrape the meat off onto a plate and discard the bones.
    transfer the peas into the serving plate (or a storage container).
    give the peas a quick once over with the immersion blender.
    stir in the turkey meat.

    Kosher Coq Au Vin

    ~ 3-4lbs of chicken legs & thighs
    1/2 package of pearl onions
    2c mirepoix
    1 package of sliced mushrooms, rinsed
    2 cloves of garlic
    4 tbsp chicken fat
    1c chicken stock
    4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
    1/2 a bay leaf
    salt & pepper
    Red Wine, cook with what you’re serving

    1 reynolds oven bag (to line the cooker so you’re not scrubbing later)
    large saute pan
    serving dish

    Line your slow cooker
    lightly coat your chicken pieces in flour, salt & pepper
    add 1 tbsp of chicken fat to the pan & melt
    saute the pearl onions untill lightly brown
    add the pearl onions to the slow cooker
    add the mushrooms & mirpoix to the slow cooker
    add the spices to the slow cooker
    add 1 tbsp of chicken fat to the pan and melt
    sear the chicken well on both sides
    add the chicken
    add the rest of the fat and enough flour to form a rouix to the pan
    cook the rouix to dark, but not burnt
    stir in the chicken stock then dump into the cooker
    add enough red wine to bring the liquid level up to about 1/4″-1/2″ from the top of the ingredients
    add salt & pepper to taste
    put the cooker on the high & long setting

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