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Thread: Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Reviews

  1. #1

    Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Reviews

    I'm not sure if this has been done already (I didn't come across one in my search). I got this cookbook after reading about it on the boards.

    I made the Caribbean Jerked Chicken last night. I didn't have a rack that fit in my crockpot, so I skipped that part. I also used all thighs and took the skin off. The jerk paste is a bit of a production in the food processor, but based on recipes I have seen I think all homemade jerk seasonings are. I loved the chicken. It was tender and had the perfect amount of spice. I have never had jerk chicken out before, so I can't say how authentic it is. My DH doesn't like sweet food and I think he disliked the allspice. I don't mind because I get the leftovers all to myself!

    If you have tried other recipes from this books, I'd love to hear your reviews. There are so many great recipes that I don't know where to begin!

    Stacey

  2. #2

    Red face

    I'm almost embarassed to post this, but I have made the hot dogs. They work out really well for us for Saturday lunches after a busy morning doing errands or at baseball. They're not as good as ones from the grill, of course, but they're a pretty handy thing to know about.
    How do you know I'm not just pretending to have an imagination?

  3. #3
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    Can you please post the jerk recipe please? I've been eyeing this book for a while, I just might have to add it to my collection!
    I love cooking with wine sometimes I even put it in the food.

  4. #4
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    I made Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce this week and my whole family loved it. The book gives credit to Cooking Light magazine (I must've missed it then). I served the pork with shredded carrots, chopped peanuts, sliced green onions and chopped cilantro and served it over steamed jasmine rice. Definitely a repeater!

    Other recipes I've tried from this book are:

    Fresh Apricot Jam (loved the way the jam didn't scorch like it can on the stovetop)
    Orange Cranberry Marmalade
    Cindi in KC

    "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." Jim Elliot (1927-1956)

  5. #5
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    Caribbean Jerked Chicken

    I have the book handy and am putting off studying, so here's the recipe:

    Caribbean Jerked Chicken

    Jerk sauce has gone from being a national specialty of Jamaica to something you can order in many American restaurants. Of course, the first time you hear "jerk sauce," it is hard to take it seriously in a culinary sense, but it has a long and beloved history. The sauce was cooked by Jamaican slaves, who found their freedom after escaping from the sugar plantations on the island. One of their classic dishes was pork seasoned with a rub of local spices and hot chiles, cooked over an open fire until completely dried out, which preserved the meat. These spices can be used to season chicken or beef, as well as pork. When cooked in the slow cooker, the jerked meat is moist and succulent. Serve this with long-grain white rice, minced green onion, and papaya slices.

    Serves 4

    Cooker: Medium or large round or oval
    Setting and cook time: LOW for 5-6 hrs

    1/2 c sliced green onions
    2 T grated fresh ginger
    1 1/2 t ground allspice
    1/2 t ground cinnamon
    1 T olive oil
    3 jalapenos, seeded and coarsly chopped
    1 t black pepper
    1/2 t salt
    pinch red pepper flakes
    1-2 cloves garlic, to your taste, pressed
    2 T firmly packed dark brown sugar
    1 T cider vinegar
    1 T orange juice
    2 t Worcestershire sauce
    4 bone-in chicken thighs, with skin on, and 4 drumsticks

    1. In a food processor, combine the green onions, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, oil, jalapenos, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, and garlic and process until very finely chopped, almost smooth. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, orange juice, and Worcestershire to form a paste. Using a brush, apply the jerk sauce so it completely coats the chicken; use up all of the sauce.

    2. Put a wire rack in the slow cooker. Place the chicken on the rack. Cover and cook on LOW until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 5-6 hours. Serve immediately.

  6. #6

    Thanks SaucyChef!

    Thanks SaucyChef! I have the book in hand and was just about to start typing. The leftovers wer great for lunch today!

    Stacey

  7. #7
    Thanks for the review of the jerk chicken -- I've been meaning to try that myself.

    I have this book at home... and I'm trying to think what we've made from it. I know we've done one of the rib recipes, and it was good. But without the book in front of me I couldn't tell you which one.

    I'd LOVE to try a few of the overnight cereals... but I really need a smaller crock pot for that.

    Does anyone know how to manage a recipe with a shorter cooking time if one is to be at work all day? I'm generally gone from 8am - 6pm... so the 4-6 hour recipes really throw me for a loop.
    It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. --Julia Child
    BURP! Where Food Happens

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by lorilei
    Thanks for the review of the jerk chicken -- I've been meaning to try that myself.

    I have this book at home... and I'm trying to think what we've made from it. I know we've done one of the rib recipes, and it was good. But without the book in front of me I couldn't tell you which one.

    I'd LOVE to try a few of the overnight cereals... but I really need a smaller crock pot for that.

    Does anyone know how to manage a recipe with a shorter cooking time if one is to be at work all day? I'm generally gone from 8am - 6pm... so the 4-6 hour recipes really throw me for a loop.
    I think I read in that book that they recommend one of the crockpots that has a timer on it and will switch to a "warm" setting after the allotted cooking time. I've also read about people using just a regular timer (like you can buy for lights), but that doesn't seem real safe as it would just shut off completely. Your reason is part of the reason I've never used this book. I'm not really sure that just leaving a recipe on for longer would make a huge difference though, but I've never tried.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by juliew
    I think I read in that book that they recommend one of the crockpots that has a timer on it and will switch to a "warm" setting after the allotted cooking time. I've also read about people using just a regular timer (like you can buy for lights), but that doesn't seem real safe as it would just shut off completely.
    I use the lamp timer and I think it's perfectly safe. It makes the crockpot so much more flexible and usable if you work and you're gone all day (which is the reason to have it in the first place). The "warm" setting on the programmable ones can way overdo your food.

    If you are not comfortable having it cook and turn the crockpot off and sit like that for awhile, then you can always time it to start later and complete cooking right when you get home or a little after, which is what I usually do.

    Loren
    The term "working mother" is redundant.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Gracie
    I use the lamp timer and I think it's perfectly safe. It makes the crockpot so much more flexible and usable if you work and you're gone all day (which is the reason to have it in the first place). The "warm" setting on the programmable ones can way overdo your food.

    If you are not comfortable having it cook and turn the crockpot off and sit like that for awhile, then you can always time it to start later and complete cooking right when you get home or a little after, which is what I usually do.

    Loren
    Loren -
    I have one of the programmable types, and I'm not sure how that would work with a timer. Still, it might be worth a try.

    That said, don't you worry about the food sitting and reaching a bacteria-friendly temperature before it starts cooking (if you use the latter method)?

    Maybe I'm over thinking this...
    It's so beautifully arranged on the plate - you know someone's fingers have been all over it. --Julia Child
    BURP! Where Food Happens

  11. #11
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    No problem, ssgold! I've had this book for a few months now, and for some reason never make anything out of it. I always go through it when I'm meal planning, but always end up making something from a different cookbook (Jack Bishop's AYIAVK has been getting heavy usage lately). I'm glad to see such great reviews. I'll have to make a point to cook from it next week

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lorilei
    Loren -
    I have one of the programmable types, and I'm not sure how that would work with a timer. Still, it might be worth a try.

    That said, don't you worry about the food sitting and reaching a bacteria-friendly temperature before it starts cooking (if you use the latter method)?

    Maybe I'm over thinking this...
    No I don't worry about the food becoming bacteria-friendly. Maybe I should but nothing's happened to us so far in all these years!

    I'm don't know if you can override a programmable crockpot to use a lamp timer - there must be some way you can just "cook" without timing on that type of crockpot and if you put it on that setting and plug it into the lamp timer, that would seem to work. I have a non-programmable one just for that reason and as a bonus it was much cheaper. A few years ago I bought the Rival timer that was able to be used on any brand of non-programmable pot but the available times were just as restrictive as the programs so I went back to my lamp timer.

    Loren
    The term "working mother" is redundant.

  13. #13
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    i appreciate this book for all the general info it taught me about crockpot usage. also, it includes things you don't usually see--jams, chutneys, desserts, veggie meals.

    Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce is great
    Basic Poached Chicken Breasts is a terrific way to get that job done
    Chicken Cacciatore is good
    Black Bean and Brown Rice Chili is easy and very good
    Corned Beef and Cabbage is very good

    the one recipe i didn't care for was the Chicken Curry. i followed it to the letter, but it came out thin and watery, and needed more flavor/depth.
    What one understands is only half true. What one does not understand is the full truth. ~ Zen saying

  14. #14
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    I love this cookbook! I don't think I've had a bad recipe yet. We've had:

    Chicken Tortilla Soup-wonderful...only thing I left out was the corn. Not a fan of corn in soup.

    Parmesan Risotto-not as creamy as stovetop, but still yummy.

    Pumpkin Cheddar Grits- great as a side dish for baked ham

    Orange Hoisin Chicken-The sauce for this is so delicious. I'm tempted to double it the next time I make this. I serve it with rice and broccoli.

    Mexican-Style Lime and Cilantro Whole Chicken-so simple to throw together in the morning after prepping the chicken the night before.

    Orange and Honey Chicken Drumsticks-the kids loved this after I made sure none of the chiles were stuck on their chicken

  15. #15
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    I've only made the Chicken Caccatore which we liked.

    I have to try some more of these as soon as I clean out my freezers.

    Sami
    Don't give up, Moses was once a basket case.

  16. #16
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    I made the Vegetarian Black Bean Chili last week, and we loved it, except the instructions clearly hadn't been proofread. It called for toasting then grinding some spices but never had you use them (I did, threw them in with the veggies) and called for WAY too much water (so much that after all that crock pot time I still had to transfer it all to a pot and simmer on the stove for over an hour to get something that resembled chili instead of broth with beans.)

    Lots of other recipes look good, but I'm a little worried about uncovering other mistakes.

    Michelle

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by sdcook
    Parmesan Risotto-not as creamy as stovetop, but still yummy.
    could you post the recipe please? i just tried risotto for the first time ever last weekend, and fell in love! i also love my crockpot, but am willing to try either method.

    tia!

  18. #18
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    I'll second Gracie about the timer. I'm also gone all day, and use a simple lamp timer to turn the crockpot on at 11 AM or noon or whatever is required for the correct time. It's still cooking when I come home around 6. I seldom use my crockpot when the weather is warm, and my guess is in winter the food doesn't get warm enough in 3 or 4 hours to be a problem. I'm not very paranoid about food temperatures, but we've never had any ill effects.

  19. #19
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    Here ya go! (Gee, I really *am* avoiding studying today, aren't I?)

    Parmesan Risotto

    Serves 3-4
    Cooker: Medium or large round
    Setting and cook time: HIGH for 2-2 1/2 hrs

    1/4 c olive oil
    2 med-sized shallots, minced
    1/4 c dry white wine
    1 1/4 c Arborio, Vialone nano, or Carnaroli rice
    3 3/4 c chicken broth
    1/2 t salt
    3/4 c freshly grated Parmegiano-Reggiano cheese

    1. In a small skillet over medium heat, warm the oil. Cook the shallots until softened, 3-4 minutes; do not brown. Add the wine and cook, stirring, for a minute or so. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it turns from translucent to opaque (do not brown), about 2 minutes. Scrape w/ a heat-proof rubber spatula into the slow cooker. Add the broth and salt. Cover and cook on HIGH until all the liquid is absorbed, but the rice is still moist, 2-2 1/2 hrs. The risotto should be only a bit liquidy, and the rice should be al dente, tender w/ just a touch of firmness.

    2. Stir in 1/2 c of the cheese and pass the remainder for sprinkling. Serve immediately, spooned into bowls. Risotto will keep on the KEEP WARM setting for an hr or so.

  20. #20
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    thanks so much! you made my day

  21. #21
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    Oh, you're welcome! (btw, *love* your art and the website)

  22. #22
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    thanks! i am in such serious need of an update! i just haven't had time. soon, though!

  23. #23
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    I have heard this book talked about so much that I am going out and buying it! I love cooking with the crock pot but have been making the same boring recipes over and over again!

    Time for something new! Thanks everyone

  24. #24
    The Good Cook Bookclub finally lured me back and this was one of the books I chose. Thanks for the reviews. Now I just have to go out and by a slowcooker
    All That's Left Are The Crumbs

    "You can never do a kindness too soon, because you never know how soon it will be too late"

    "Great minds talk about ideas; small minds talk about people" - Eleanor Roosevelt

  25. #25
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    Bumping this back up since I just bought this cookbook.

    Thanks for all the reviews! Must try the baked potatoes.
    Blogging Fun
    Don't eat anything your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food. -Michael Pollan

  26. #26
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    BUMP! again as I just received this from my initial joining of The Good Cook.

    I put the Crock Pot Beef Fajitas on this morning and loved how easy everything came together.

    I chopped all the veggies up last night and pulled together the sauce so that they flavors had a chance to meld a little more and just dumped everything in this morning.

    Can't WAIT to get home with some fresh tortillas and rice for this tonight.

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