I bought an oval-shaped, 3-1/2 quart crockpot this weekend and, after making beef stew on Saturday, I'm hooked! There's a pot roast cooking right now and I can't wait to get home!
Do you have any favorite crockpot cookbooks and/or recipes you'd care to share with me? The booklet that came with the machine had just a few. I know there are plenty of specialized cookbooks out there, but I don't know where to start.
I've only done this once but it turned out great. Slice a bunch of onions (I think I used 5 or 6 big onions) and toss in the crockpot with a stick of butter. Let cook on low for 24 hours or so. Voila! Caramelized onions!
I did this last summer, and then got some supermarket pizza dough, rolled it out on a rectangle cutting board, fired up the BBQ, brushed the grill with some oil, flipped the dough off the cutting board onto the grill, cooked the dough on the grill for a few minutes, flipped it and topped it with the caramelized onions, some leftover BBQ chicken and some shredded fontina cheese, closed the grill cover then let it cook for another few minutes until the cheese melted. Easy, and most importantly for summer cooking, it didn't heat up the kitchen.
re: Chris VR
re: Chris VR
I can't beLIEVE this! Last night at 9, I put 4 big chopped Vidalia onions into my 6 quart Rival crockpot with a stick of butter (!) and let them caramelize till noon. I'm going to make onion soup gratinée tonight. You must be using Lora Brody's excellent SLOW COOKER COOKING, which calls for the stick of butter.
Anyway, the apartment smells like a French provincial kitchen on a Sunday afternoon.
The Brody book also has a really good recipe for corned beef and cabbage and potatoes, carrots, small onions, slow-cooked in Stout, Dijon mustard, dark brown sugar, beef stock, and (dried) dill weed, that I'm going to try this weekend: "New England Boiled Dinner."
Slow cookers are wonderful for certain things, but if I had to choose between that and a pressure cooker, the latter would win out. But I don't have to choose, do I? So I'll keep both. The caramelized Vidalia onions are truly a work of art.
I got a round 3 1/2 quart pot and then took it back for a 4 quart round. It also just has two settings - HI and LOW - and I wonder if the cookbooks will accomodate for the varied brands and features. I guess that's enough to feed four hungry people.
I had used my friend's crockpot one time when I was babysitting his cat. I made a Mexican soup with canned hominy (instead of just corn) that I had been served at an outdoor Christmas party (catered?). When I had previously made it on the stove top, it was just not quite right. I found that the pot really melded the flavors and moistened the meat, actually drawing out more of the flavor into the mix.
And, isn't it wonderful to walk into the houseful of aroma!
re: kc girl
"And, isn't it wonderful to walk into the houseful of aroma!"
Oh, yes, it sure is. The delicious scent of pot roast was wafting down the hall when the elevator door opened tonight. And it was coming from our apartment. All we had to do was throw a quick salad together and sit down to eat. I am an absolute convert.
I think you'll find other uses for your crockpot as well. Think of it as a fondue container - things won't burn easily in it. There are several recipes for fondue around. (Of course, it will have to be near an outlet - maybe this is possible?)
Also, for a party, try this mixture for a hot dip (or a thick sauce for meats - burgers, london broil, etc.):
1 tube of Mexican Chorizo (I just get it in the grocery store near the cheeses.)
8 oz. cream cheese
a little skim milk OR a little more creme fraiche to thin it.
That's it. Nothing fancy.
For a 3 1/2 quart, you can double and triple this recipe.
re: kc girl
My stove died and the new one isn't coming for three weeks. I went out and bought a crockpot, after reading the last thread on Chowhound. At first I was appalled--how am I going to cook all these family meals?? But what ended up astonishing me is how much cooking firepower I still have at my disposal without a stove or oven: crockpot, rice cooker, toaster, toaster oven, microwave, electric sandwich press, electric waffle maker, bread maker (which has been relegated to the basement these many years)--not to mention an outdoor gas grill. Good god! And to think I lived all those years in Africa and cooked over a little kerosine campstove....
Here are some recipe books:
--Crockery Cookbook/over 120 Delicious Recipes for Your Crock-Pot Slow Cooker
--Betty Crocker's Slow Cooker Cookbook
--Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook: Feasting with Your Slow Cooker
I can't remember which one, but I think one of these books is avaialable for cheap at Sam's Club - if there is one near you.
Olympia Jane posted a couple of great-sounding ones just a few weeks ago at:
The big crockpot discussion was also covered extensively in a recent issue of ChowNews (all editions). You're missing out if you're not subscribing!
Crockpot recipes can be as easy or as complicated as you are interested in making them. I first learned to cook in a crockpot from my mother who would call me from work and tell me to throw things into the crockpot for dinner.
- Pot roast using a roast, onion soup mix, and some water. Potatoes and Carrots if you wish.
- Chicken pieces covered with spaghetti sauce from a jar. That's it. Serve over pasta.
I now have graduated from those days and have a bit more time. I am currently using my crockpot a lot for making chili (the recipe is a bit involved but I can forward it if you'd like), and things like pinto beans (haven't perfected this yet).
I often use allrecipes.com, because I get more from the tweaks made from the reviewers than from the recipes themselves. There's a section just for slow cookers as well.
There's a great one on the site for french dip - you'll probably find it pretty easily, because it has lots of positive reviews. It's just a 4 lb. rump roast, onion soup mix, beef broth and beer.
One day I found Johnny's French Dip (concentrated) Au Jus Sauce and liked it better than many other packaged onion soup mixes. It's just as simple, though.
I haven't made a pot roast with it, but have made French Onion Soup with it. The final product was better with Johnny's that with any packaged mix I found.
I admit, I doctored it up a little by sauteeing the onions in butter before adding the sauce to steep them.
It is manufactured by Johnny's Enterprises. Inc. in Tacoma, Washington 98421 USA. I got it at a chaine grocery store in Southern California, Orange County, but I can't remember where or they don't have it anymore. Can anyone help me find some?
re: kc girl
Included is a link to Johnny's...I'm from Seattle and I guess I thought Johnny's was just a local thing. They also have a restaurant called Johnny's Dock that's really close to the Tacoma Dome...I once met a friend there for a drink before seeing Springsteen play at the Dome, and only after seeing the rows and rows of products for sale did I "make the connection".
Thank you, Brook!
I openened the site and felt my body tense a little in anticipation while the picture slowly appeared. I looked at the array of products, hoping, until finally - There it was! The red, white and blue Johnny's label in the lower left.
And, I can order online if it is not a local store.
Below are a couple of good sites for recipes. There is a lot of junk on some of them, and a bit of repitition. But I think it's fairly easy to suss out from the ingredients and whatnot which recipes will work and which wont. (the last one listed is probably the grandaddy of 'em all - - very spare design, but 4,000 plus recipes and good orginization).
There are a couple old standby faves of mine on recipezaar, Taco Soup and Costillitas en Naranja - you can do a search for them:
--This inauthentic recipe is a favorite at mi casa.
CHILE COLORADO (Mexican beef stew)
Buy some cheap beef on sale -- enough so you end up with about 3lbs after trimming. cube it and dump into the crock pot.
Chop up an onion and add to the pot.
Pour in one can (16 oz. or 28 oz.) red chile sauce or red enchilada sauce.
Pour in one 8 oz can tomato sauce.
Cook for however long it takes your pot to make beef stew.
Serve with tortillas and rice, or make wet burritos from this. Garnish with cilantro and/or sour cream if you wish.
You may have sauce left over -- it's nice with eggs or enchiladas.