forum: Food, Wine and Gardening
- Member Occupation Student
- From California, USA
- Member since Sat 05 Jan 13
I'm new here, so I thought I'd start a new discussion
I'm a busy student living in California, and I'd like to make use of this crockpot sitting in my kitchen! I'd love to be able to cook something at the start or mid-week, and nibble on it for lunch and dinner as a fallback on those nights you simply don't have enough time to cook.
Any and all recipes are welcome and much appreciated!!!!
- Member since Mon 07 Jan 13
You can do so many things with a slow cooker. It is also great to put a joint of meat in either very late at night or first thing in the morning, and come home to the smell of cooking food. I have found that one of the best things about a slow cooker is that it makes the cheaper cuts of meat taste fantastic. This is usually because the cheaper ones are tougher (like mutton) but when slow cooked the flavour is just out of this world.
For your situation though where the weather is a lot warmer than it is here in the UK you might be stuck with doing things that are a bit heavy. I would look at the Indian cuisine for things that can sit for a few days without spoiling. you could come home and put on some rice, ladle out some curry and your meal is ready. also if you get bored with that particular thing, just freeze it and you have a micro dinner ready for you to ping to life. Soups are also a good thing to have on the go. A £1 bag od veg from the supermarket, washed, peeled (optional) and using a thick cut cheese grater, grate them into the pot. Add boiling water, a stock cube and some cut up meat if you want and let it cook away all day. if you are running low or you want to boost the flavour a little, just add a cup-a-soup mix, and a bit more water. The soup mix can also be used to thicken it up if you have not got any lentles etc.
Is that they type of thing you are thinking of using the slow cooker for?
- Member since Fri 04 Apr 08
I use mine very often, soups, meat dishes, dried beans...Jambalaya
Here is a slow cooker post that will give you a few ideas...enjoy!
http://www.jamieoliver.com/forum/viewto … 14&p=1
and more help here:
Last edited by Kye (Tue 08 Jan 13 11:38pm)
I'm a big fan of this site:
She set herself a challenge to cook with the slow cooker every day. Most of the recipes turned out well. Some were flops. The flops make amusing reading. The blogger lives in California, and loves her crockpots in the summer because she doesn't have to turn the oven on!
I use my (enormous) slow cooker all the time. My favourite is meatballs:
Heat up canned tomatoes with salt and sugar to taste. You can add any sliced or diced veg you want, garlic is great, whatever herbs take your fancy, or it's great just plain tomatoes. Don't miss out the salt and sugar or it will be sour and flat-tasting. You want enough tomatoes, veg etc. to half-fill your slow cooker pot. Cover and set on High.
Then mix up the meatballs. The ratio of the mix is for every pound of mince (ground meat, any kind) you want two eggs and enough breadcrumbs, cracker crumbs or oatmeal to make it up into a stiffish dough. I like to add crushed garlic, salt and pepper to the meatball mix. How much mix you need depends on the size of your slow cooker; I use 4-5 pounds of mince, but I have a 6.5 litre slow cooker. I suppose you can work it out for a smaller one (Maths is Fun!).
Then just roll the mix into balls and drop into the slow cooker (make sure they're going into hot sauce, or they'll tend to fall apart). Cook on Low for 6-8 hours or High for 4-5. Serve with mashed potato, rice, spaghetti or just in bowls with bread. They freeze well.
My CrockPot brand slow cooker is so over-powered that I can put the tomatoes etc. in cold and they are heated up by the time I've finished making the meatball mix. Most slow cookers are not this powerful, so you will need to bring the mix to the boil on the stovetop first.
I also did pulled pork recently using this recipe:
http://www.chow.com/recipes/30356-easy- … ulled-pork
I LOVED it.
- Occupation avoiding housework
- From The land of song.
- Member since Tue 04 Oct 05
Untill recently I had not thought about this....
My neice makes lasagne in her slow cooker, she just layers up all the ingredients as she would normally in the slow coker but she starts with some tomatoes , then puts it to slow cook .
Shes a busy working mum and often due to her job works late , her family are young adults now. So making a lasagne like this is somethig that she has worked out .
I can see that it would work , but the issue to me would be missing that lovely ven baked top that you get with an oven baked lasagne.
I bought me sister-in-law a little slow cooker recently , it small and meant for just 2 people , she has tried this and said with a bit of a blush that the lasagne was so delicious that she ate the whole thing , she had meant to save a portion for the next day , but clearly that didn't happen
anyone else tried this ?
- Occupation Just being me
- Member since Fri 28 Mar 08
Maybe I should try that mummza because I don't like dry, crisp noodles on lasagna at all. All the noodles should be soft and coated well in sauce for me to enjoy it. I am using rice noodles as I can't find quinoa in lasagna sheets, which is a nicer product, IMO. The rice noodles tend to scorch if they puff out of the sauce and that is not a nice flavor or texture, more like torture to eat.
- Member since Wed 20 Mar 13
I love slow cooker recipes, I have found some really good ones at pinterest under their recipe section. The also have a lot of amazing gluten free ones which really help me with my son!
I only tried slow cooker lasagne once and it was a bit soggy - I think maybe you need to be careful about the cooking time? I'm not that good at lasagne in the oven, anyway, so maybe my failure tells you more about me than about the recipe!
As for the crispy top, if you have a big slow cooker you could cook the lasagne in a pyrex or metal dish in the slow cooker, then put it under the grill/broiler to brown it when it's done. I have an oval pyrex dish that fits in my slow cooker and I make pie fillings in it, then top with pastry and finish in the oven. Slow cooker stoneware inserts are often oven-safe but not always grill-safe, and anyway, they're kind of an awkward shape for putting in the oven (too deep).
- Member Occupation Retired
- From Surin, N.E. Thailand
- Member since Mon 29 Dec 08
I may have indicated previously that I'm not really up to speed on slow cookers. On Friday last I dug out the slow cooker and cooked 4 pork loins (around 1.5 kg in total) together with condensed tomato soup, onions, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soya sauce, etc. (I also added cube potatoes for good measure). The recipe stated 6-8 hours, however, my cooker has a maximum cooking time of 4 hours, so after 4 hours, I dialed in another 2 hours. The result was satisfactory but nothing to write home about. The pork seemed to me to be overcooked. I am told by local well-meaning souls that you cannot overcook food in a slow cooker but this appears to me to be in contradiction to the laws of physics (which I failed in high school). Another thought is that modern slow cookers are now more efficient and therefore the cooking time should be shorter.
I'm not sure what question I'm asking here now.
You can definitely overcook pork loin! It's a tender cut and will disintegrate if cooked too long. Lots of people use pork loin chops in the slow cooker but to be honest, it's not a great cut for slow cooking.
It is not true you can't overcook things in slow cookers. It's not even true that you can't burn them - that depends on the slow cooker. Mine has burnt things in the past.
When people say things like "you can't overcook things in the slow cooker" what they mean is that if it was ready at 6pm, it will easily go for another hour, maybe two, without spoiling, so you don't need to worry about when you serve dinner as much as if you had something in the oven.
To get good results with a slow cooker, you're best to stick to tougher cuts of meat - pork shoulder, for instance, or beef brisket.
I'm puzzled by your slow cooker not cooking for more than 4 hours. That's a bit strange - many slow cooker recipes are designed to be cooked while you are out at work, for 8-10 hours. What's the make and model?