the crockpot -- NOT JUST FOR SHABBOS!
try this - it is amazing.
I get home late, via stopping at the store for a few organic veggies. I toss into the crock pot the following: olive oil, collard greens, 2 cans organic cannellini beans, a clove or two of garlic (you dont even need to chop it), some leftover brown rice, and some salt. I turn it on low. If I get up to in the middle of the night I may stir it, maybe not.
In the morning the smell is tantalizing and the food can be breakfast and/or packs easily into Tupperware for lunch.
Tell me there is anything yummier than greens and beans! Tell me there is anything with more antioxidants than a deep green collard green or with more amino acids than the humble cannelini bean! Tell me this doesnt feed a hungry family of 4 for about ten bucks or a single person for their next 4 meals! Tell me it isnt more difficult to cut open all the plastic on a tv dinner and put it in the microwave than it is to put this together! PEOPLE: you don't even dirty the stovetop! And there are obviously tons of variations -- you can use other veggies, other beans, and other grains! Tell me there is anything more joyous than experiencing G-ds grace via a simple meal!
As always -- make sure your trusty crock is plugged into a surge protector and that it is the only appliance plugged into that socket and that the pot is not too close to a wall or anything flammable. Better safe than sorry. Be good to your slow cooker and it will be good for you.
I've been using the same crockpot for 30 years. The outside doesn't get that hot, so I have no worries about safety. I usually leave it on overnight (non-Shabbos) and take the stuff out in the morning and refrigerate it, so any fat rises to the top and can be easily removed. My favorite crockpot recipe is an adaptation of one from a crockpot cookbook that is also about 30 years old:
Bunch of chicken thighs - if I'm ambitious, I brown them first, but it's not really necessary. They can be skinned first or not -- your choice.
About 1/3 cup of orange marmalade
About 1/3 cup of leftover red wine
A tablespoon soy sauce
A dash of hot sauce
That's it. In my old pot, I get best results by cooking one hour on high and then turning to low for the rest of the night.
For real elegance, I transfer it all to an ovenproof serving dish, and then heat up (uncovered) in the oven to get a nice glaze (I often serve this for a holiday dinner since you can cook it in advance and it travels well).
sounds good. my mom uses the crockpot for a lot of things, but i never got into it. I love long braises though and frequently make an all day affair out of it. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
However, I must say that the amino acids/antioxidant benefits you tout would have to be largely negated by the long cooking process.
Safety is a big concern for me. However, we leave our crockpot on (in a surge protector and away from anything remotely flamable) from Friday morning until after Shabbat ~36 hours and have never had a problem. They are designed to be left on for long periods of time.
Thanks for the great-sounding recipe. I assume you could make it with, say, kale and chick peas.
You certainly need separate meat and dairy pots. If your crockpot has a removable insert, you could, in theory, have one heating unit with two inserts, but it would probably be almost as expensive to order, and ship, a second insert as to buy a second pot. And they come in so many colors and sizes, it's easy to have two crockpots that don't look alike - maybe even that match your meat/dairy color schemes.
One huge advance we've discovered via the local Chabad rabbi is to use disposable plastic liner bags. No more messy cleanup!