Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Triumphant Return of the Thursday Cookbook Series

This week, its even posted on Thursday (I think. I checked before I started typing this time instead of accidentally publishing when I should be scheduling).

Today, in honor of the wonderfully winterish St. Louis weather, I'm featuring my Best-Loved Slow Cooker Recipes cookbook. Everyone needs a crock pot. Maybe even more than one. We have a nice, programmable 6-quart one that we use a couple of times a month (sometimes more), and a tiny 1-quart one that is perfect for chocolate fondue, hot cheese dips, and the occaisional overnight oatmeal.

This cookbook has a nice variety of recipes including everything from appetizers to soups, meat dishes, and even dessert. I don't know if I've ever tried their desserts though (I sense a New Thing coming on).

Some of the recipes that I know we've tried include Jamaica-me-Crazzy Chicken Tripicale, Thai Chicken, and Hot Beef Sandwiches Au Jus.

Other uses for our crockpot have included: chuck roast, chili, mulled cider, barbequed ribs, and bulk-cooking barley.

Don't look at me like that for the barley comment. Cooked whole barley makes an excellent substitute for rice, especially when you have family members whose digestive systems don't handle the, ahem, thickening power of rice. Barley takes a while to cook, so I occaisionally do a whole crockpot full, then portion it into ziploc bags and freeze. Nuking frozen cooked barley is much faster than steaming rice, btw.

Also on the slow-cooker-whole-grain topic, I mentioned the overnight oatmeal. If you have a small crock pot (or a large guest list), you can cook steel cut oats overnight for an early morning, super-soft cooked breakfast (it's excellent with some chopped apples and cinnamon). Just add oats and water according to the package directions, add seasonings, and turn on low overnight. Do be prepared to scrub (or use a disposable liner) because the oatmeal sticks like the devil :)


sarah said...

Thanks for this post, I will be getting this book. I love the crockpot, but only have about four things I make in it. The steel cut oats recipe is genius! I love oatmeal, but it just takes so long in the morning.
Can you recommend any other favorites from the book?

Kristi said...

Part of the reason I didn't post more specific recipes is that I don't always follow the recipes. It's more of an inspiration thing--they have so many options for different kind of meat or flavor options and I usually tailor it to what we have in the fridge. So when I pulled out my book to write my blog post, I had trouble remembering what I've actually made, and what I've just drooled over (its full of photos too...).

Also, many other regular cookbooks have crockpot recipes or ones that can be adapted for a crockpot (if it calls for hours of simmering or roasting, and the ingredients physically fit in the crockpot, then you can usually cook it there--on low all day or high half a day).

Enjoy your book and happy crockpotting :)