Monday, January 23, 2006

Three Weeks and Two days

...into this new year, and it feels like it’s been around forever already! Sheesh! And just to celebrate, there's a nice picture of something really big and phallic (well sort of!).

My latest fad is the present I received from my father in law (yes they do have their uses!) after Christmas; a slow cooker. Being a great one for turning my nose up at things for no reason other than the colour, I surprised myself by taking to the slow cooker like the proverbial duck.

And no, I haven’t cooked duck in it yet, but I may well try it sometime soon. So far, we have relished Burgundy Beef Stew with Horseradish Dumplings… yum, yum… Spanish Chicken: Chicken in a tomato sauce with chorizo and black olives… I won’t go on… you don’t want to have to clean drool off your keyboard.

So how does it work? Basically make up your casserole as you would have done before and tip into your slow cooker, pre-warmed of course, put on Low and put the wooden spoon down and back away from the kitchen! Eight to ten hours is what most recipes recommend, although I have done bolognaise sauce in five hours (albeit on high for one of those hours!).

Your taste buds will never be the same again. And the real beauty comes from if you’re a working type person, you could prepare before work (or even the previous evening), leave it on all day and come home to a gorgeous aroma permeating your home. Other things to try in it are pot roasts (where you flash fry a chicken or lamb and pop it into the slow cooker) and deserts.

Still not smoking! Posted by Picasa


Messalina said...

It's been ages since I used a slow cooker but I seem to remember that it was best to reduce the amount of liquids used in non-slow cooker recipes because you don't lose anything in evaporation?

I would love to use one - particularly in winter - because I love slow cooked dishes, but him indoors is very faddy and bitches if I feed him too much in the 'stewed' category :o(

Good to see you're still going strong with the stopping smoking! :o)

Cailleach said...

Thanks - as you can see, my taste buds are back!

I have a really good cook-book I'm working out of at the moment...
SLOWCOOKER ... the big secret is a spoon or two of flour mixed in after you've fried the meat (flour+fat+stock= smooth thick gravy/sauce).

I can also give you a fab recipe for bolgnaise (my own) if you're interested. Only problem is, it serves eight! ;¬)

Messalina said...

Ah-ha! Didn't know about the flour trick although, of course, I usually add flour to my softened veggies before the liquid when I make a stew, so I guess I should have figured that one out! ;o)

Would be very interested in your SB recipe - I always make a big pot and freeze portions anyway :o) Maybe you could do it as a new blog entry?