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 :)