Good Recipes for Slow Cooker
So I recently dug out our mini slow cooker, determined to put it to good use. My online recipe search has yielded little though, does anyone know of a good source (preferably ones that don't involve cream of mushroom soup or maraschino cherries)?
Mabel Hoffman's Crockpot Cassoulet is really great...you can use turkey smoked sausage for a healthier meal and I think I flat out omitted the bacon altogether when I made it; sons have requested it again, too...there are many threads here on this board for crockpot/slow cooker recipes with excellent recipes that don't use canned soups.
CC- I regularly forget how easy it can be to have dinner ready after a long day. The slow cooker option my hearty eating family likes is made with a pork shoulder- spread over a few Tbls of Brown sugar lay in crock on top of two bay leaves and pour on 1/4-1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar(alternatlythere is one using apple cider) Cook for as long as possible- I do it on high for the full amount the pot with allow and some more time on low. Once you take two forks to the meat and remove the bones you end up with mounds of grand shreaded pork in a nice sauce for sloppy sandwiches or on top of egg noodles. A bit of slaw or pickes or a salad, corn bread. Feeds a gang and freezes very well. Nice alt to chili.
I "bake" chicken and cornish hens frequently in the crockpot. I thickly slice onions (shallots work very well also) and lay the chicken on top of them. Sometimes I stuff the cavity with herbs, shallots and lemon slices for extra flavor, sprinkle paprika over the whole chicken and let it cook on high for a few hours. It comes out nicely browned and very moist. I also agree with stlSarah, pork shoulder is very versatile and feeds a crowd.
These aren't online resources, but we've been test driving a few carefully chosen slow cooker cookbooks lately, and of the 3 we have, I'd rate them thus (best one first):
175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics by Judith Finlayson
Cover and Bake from the folks at America's Test Kitchen
Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann
I really like the Lamb with Artichokes and the Santa Fe Ribs from the 175 book, but all three books have good gourmet-style recipes that are easy to make. The benefit of the ATK book is that they do a lot of useful explaining about how/why certain things work and other things don't, so if you're the kind of person that likes to experiment, this is a good primer for the boundaries within which you'll get the best results.