A week of "Not Your Mother's Slowcooker Coobook"
- Katie Nell Nov 23, 2005 10:12 AM
Well, not really a week, but three days! A couple of weeks back, I received my copy of "Not Your Mother's Slowcooker Cookbook" and really enjoyed looking through it. So, I decided to test out three recipes in one week.
The first recipe was, I think, The Lazy Day Braised Pot Roast on pg. 316. (It may have been another recipe, I don't have the book with me, but it was the one with a bottle of beer and chili sauce in it.) It was good... the juice leftover was way too fatty and I had to skim the heck out of it! Other than that, it was pretty good... my boyfriend liked it much better than I did... it was a little too tangy for me to really luh-ove it!
The second recipe I tried was The Easiest French Onion Soup on pg. 65. I don't know what to say about this, other than that it was HORRIBLE!!! The crockpot, for you nay-sayers out there DID carmelize the onions beautifully and when I walked in to my apartment that night, it smelled wonderfully like French Onion Soup. I'm not sure what went wrong... all you do is slice six large onions thinly and pile in a crockpot with 3 T. olive oil. After they carmelize for 9- 10 hours, you add chicken stock and beef stock, s & p, and 3 T. of marsala is optional. I did add the marsala and I did not taste it before I did, but the resulting soup was horribly sweet and indedible, in my opinion. I knew it was bad when my boyfriend was eating his salad instead of the soup! I'm not sure if the marsala made it that sweet, but I wouldn't think 3 T. could do that. Or if I accidentally bought Vidalias and that would make it that sweet, but I didn't think they were in season??? At any rate, I'm curious to try it again because it smelled so good when I got home and I just want to know what went wrong, but I also don't want to waste another six onions! Needless to say, we went through the drive-thru and got cheeseburgers that night!!!
And the third recipe: Confetti Seafood Chowder on pg. 407. This was the best by far. I used all shrimp, because that's my boyfriend's favorite thing in the whole wide world. I added garlic to my celery, red pepper, and onions mix, and also added a little Tapatio hot sauce. It had great flavor and smelled wonderful throughout the day. I would defitely make this again. The only thing I would change is to maybe thicken it a bit... it was pretty soupy, and not very chowdery! (New word!) Definitely add the hot sauce if you make it.
So, that's my "week" of "Not Your Mother's." I still love this cookbook despite only having one HUGE success. I can't wait to try more and am especially intrigued by some of the jams and butters, all of the oatmeal recipes, and most excited about being able to make granola in it!
Thanks for the report! Keep your posts coming, I have this book too and plan on trying some recipes in the coming months. I'ts great to already get a "review" on some of the recipes.
re: ChowFun (derek)
That's what I don't know! I can't imagine it would! I know you're not supposed to, but I used the table wine marsala from the grocery store... is that sweet or dry?? I've used that particular bottole of marsala in other things and not had adverse effects, but it was kind of old....
re: Katie Nell
I don't know what kind of marsala you have, but it should be a dry marsala used in the recipe. Recipe only calls for 2 tablespoons rather than the 3 you indicated. I wouldn't think that canned broths(if you used canned) would have enough added sugar to ruin things, but with the way companies seem to be sweetening up everything these days...
Great report keep them coming! I am interested in getting this book too. As for the sweetness, I can pretty much rule out the vidalia onion issue. All onions basically taste the same after 9-10 hrs in the crockpot. I have done carmelized onions dozens of times with different types and basically its not worth the money to use vidalia.
too bad about the onion soup. I want to try the recipe in Bourdain's cookbook but have to make veal stock first.
I've started tasting onions before I use them - recently purchased a bag of onions that had absolutely no flavor whatsoever. They were crunchy and moist and totally tasteless. They completely ruined a batch of pickled onions, I tossed the entire thing.
Interesting report, even though I don't use a slow cooker.
Your onion soup recipe sounds pretty basic and I'd think that the onions got really complex and melty after 9-10 hrs. My guess about the off flavor is that it's the combo of poor quality marsala and/or chicken and beef stock and not further cooking on heat.
For something like french onion soup, homemade beef stock would be best IMO. I don't typically buy beef stock and have heard other hounds mention that commercial beef stock has a sweetish/artificial flavor. Purchased chicken stock doesn't seem to be as bad. In fact, I often use it, but I think it's important to cook it further to marry the flavors and also evaporate any alcohol (like marsala).
Good luck w/ future recipes!