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Beth, I need your wisdom [it's your favourite subject]!

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by egyptgirl, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    My fiance bought me a slowcooker for Valentine's Day - I've never used one. Give me your favourite alowcooker recipe and I'll give it a go - I may be a convert.
     
  2. *does her Snoopy-esque happy dance!*
    What a wonderful fiance you have! He must love you a lot to buy you such a valuable gift!
    So where to start?
    Remember I have a small (2 person) cooker - but the beauty of slowcookers is that it is easy to adapt for bigger machines.

    Let's have a quick curry: (This is a no-measure curry! Just add what you like!)
    3 or 4 chicken thighs
    One large potato (peeled and chopped)
    a big onion (peeled and diced)
    a can of tomatoes - including the liquid - and a can full of water/Marigold stock
    a big handful of mushrooms
    a blob of curry paste (use your favourite 'heat' of paste, and add a bigger blob if you like!)
    You put everything into the slowcooker, give a quick stir, put the lid on, turn on the cooker and leave for at least 4 hours!
    (The sheer beauty of this recipe is it is infinitely adaptable... look at this version
    3 or 4 chicken thighs
    one sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
    one plantain (peeled and sliced)
    a big onion (peeled and diced)
    a can of tomatoes and a canfull of water/Mariglod stock
    a big handful of okra
    a blob of jerk paste (or...a tspn of allspice, a tspn of thyme, half a tspn each of black and cayenne pepper, a big pinch each of cinnamon and nutmeg, a minced clove of garlic and a finely chopped jalepeno - all mixed to a paste with a glug of cider vinegar!)
    Everything goes into the slow-cooker, stir, lid on, cook for at least 4 hours!)


    How about a casserole?
    4 Sausages (can be any sort you like, including veggie) - cut into large chunks
    1 large onion (peel and chop)...and an option splash of oil
    1 large apple (chopped)
    about 300g small potatoes (use judgement on peeling them - it's up to you!)
    salt/pepper
    between 300 and 500 mls of fluid (less liquid, obviously = thicker casserole! the liquid is up to you.....maybe half red wine half stoock? or cider/applejuice and stock?)
    If you want to pre-fry the onions it's up to you (that's what the oil is for!)
    Then everything goes into the slowcooker, switch on and leave until ready!


    Finally, how about a dessert...rice pudding
    100g pudding rice
    25g butter
    1 litre milk (semi-skimmed is fine - or whole- or even evaporated, but remember to go half/half evaporated milk with water)
    sugar to taste (if you use evaporated milk, it's usually already sweetened)
    fruit - optional (I like a nice handful of chopped dried apricots)
    a generous pinch of either cinnamon or nutmeg
    Everything apart from butter goes into the pot, stir, add the butter in little blobs on top, lid on, cooker on....I tend to cook this on 'high' rather than 'auto'...about 2 1/2 hours will cook it, longer makes it thicker.

    These are all 'simple' adaptable recipes for the cooker....but it is so <u>hard</u> to go wrong! The slow-cooker is just so easy to use!





     
  3. modelmaker

    modelmaker Occasional commenter

    How long do you need to allow between serving the curry and the rice pudding? [​IMG]
     
  4. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Hmmm...I will also mention (at my peril) that he gave me 2 Lakeland poach pods. And he thinks he's funny...
    Thanks, Beth - I didn't know you could do pudding in the slowcooker! I'll give the curry a go on Friday - I've got some chicken thighs in the freezer
    (I'm presuming that I could keep it in a bowl on Thursday night in the fridge and just whack it in the slowcooker on Friday morning?!)
     
  5. Yep this is exactly what I do. So nice to come home and smell a yummy dinner waiting for you already cooked.
    I got a great book 365 Slow cooker recipies - few of them are very american but yummy. I recommend you try barbecure sauce ribs. Sauce goes really thick and stickey in the SC Yummer!!
     
  6. I am going to have to get myself a slow cooker.
     
  7. jeswes

    jeswes New commenter

    Can anyone tell me if I switch on the slow cooker at 8 am I am not going to be home til 8.30pm. Is this too long to leave it? I know it is meant to be 8-10 hours so not sure if that is too long? I only have the high/low setting on mine. I am planning to cook a curry in it using beef.
     
  8. glitter kid: YES! Go for it!

    jeswes: That is what the slowcooker was made for! I'd put it on 'low' - it will be fine. I used to leave the house at 6:30am and return at 10pm when I worked 'late' (and no overtime!!!) and never had a problem.
     
  9. Been thinking about getting a slow cooker for ages. Finally found one on Asda online that has been reduced from &pound;50 to &pound;20 - hurrah!! It'll be here on Friday so will have a go at some recipes over the weekend. [​IMG]
     
  10. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Trying the rice pudding tonight - but I've added some spice to it. Can't wait to see how it turns out - never thought I'd be so excited about it!
     
  11. This might sound daft- but don' t you heat the liquid before putting in slow cooker or have things moved on ?
     
  12. No, I never heat the liquid before putting it in the slowcooker.
    I've never seen the need, and I've only seen a couple of recipes asking you to do this.
    I don't brown meat very often either! Although, modern cookers allow you to brown in the crock.
    When I was working ridiculous hours, one of the big plus-points was that slow-cooking was pretty much pfaff-free. Just throw everything in at once and switch the cooker on as I left to run (waddle!) for the bus!
     
  13. Egyptgirl - how did your spiced rice pudding turn out?
     
  14. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    It was brilliant - thanks for the guidance on amounts...I'm trying your chicken thigh curry recipe tomorrow. It's in the fridge waiting to go as we speak!
     
  15. So I have had some success and some fails so far.

    The silverside of beef was fantastic. Will do that again.

    My spaghetti Bol was gross. I didn't brown the mince so I seemed to have a layer of fat floating and the whole thing tasted greasy. I would like to make chilli, spaghetti Bol, cottage pie (the mince bit only of course) but will it work?

    My casseroles have been varied but that I think is because of what I put in it. I also use low salt stock or home made veg stock as I cook for my baby too. You really notice when you don't have a little bit of salt in your cooking. I think that affects the taste quite a lot.

    Today I will try your rice pud. Hopefully that will work well.

    Also can I use chicken breast for the curry, I hate meat with bones :)

    Any nice pork recipes Beth or anyone else?
     
  16. For mince dishes I always brown the meat before shoving it all in the pot for the day. It's the only time I bother.
    Except for a couple of stew recipes that I like browning off the veggies too. It isn't necessary but I like doing it to get everything covered in flour, just like my Nana taught me decades ago.
    My shy young thing is now all clean and shiny and ready to go. My sloco book is on the table, to give Climber a hint, and we are all ready to go.
     
  17. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    Is this true Bethy? The book that came with my slow cooker said to always use boiling water and to brown the meat first to seal it.That is what I have always done-but having to brown meat at 7am in the morning before work is a right pain. I won't bother any more.
     
  18. BelleDuJour

    BelleDuJour Star commenter

    Use boneless, skinless thighs. Cheaper than breast and so much more flavour!
     
  19. Would I lie to you my little one?!
    I do not use boiling liquid (usually it is cold - not even 'warm') and there are no ill-effects.
    Browning meat is not always necessary....I think I have explained before....browning is nice in some sausage dishes - depending on the sort of sausage and the type of sauce you use - sausages can look rather pale and 'aenemic' if not browned! They will still be cooked through, but it can look more appealing to have a browner sausage. (If I use a 'darker' sausage and a tomato sauce then I don't brown them).....and if you use a cheaper mince then you might want to pre-ccok - not so much as to brown but to remove some of the fat.
     
  20. Yes, you can use chicken breast....but thighs are better! Thighs keep their texture better under long, slow cooking (Belle will no doubt have some scientific explanation about muscles and fibre/sinew differences between the thighs and the breast! [​IMG])...and as Belle has said, the taste of thighs is better, especially for a curry.....boneless thighs are rreadily available.
     

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