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  #31  
Old 10-23-2011, 11:30 AM
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Reviving this because I've found a few good ones and it's cold now.

First is an adapted version this split pea soup. I add 8 cups of water instead of 6 and sometimes top it off a bit. I also reduce the amount of salt and don't use the celery leaves. The biggest thing with this one is the hamhock/hambone, I made the mistake of getting a really cheap fatty hamhock once and it almost ruined the soup.

The second is an incredibly simple one from a coworker:

Frozen chicken place them in a crock pot with one whole cut white onion and cover the whole lot with green enchilada sauce (usually the bigger can works perfectly). Then I cook it on low for about 8 hours. Once it is done I remove the chicken, shred it and fill up as many flour tortillas as you can. then in a 9x13 baking dish cover them with the liquid from the crock pot and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for about ten minutes and BOOM! Delicious crock pot chicken enchiladas. I have tried a bunch of different stuff in the crock pot but my favorite is still just the onion and maybe some garlic!
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  #32  
Old 01-13-2012, 11:07 AM
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Reviving this thread out of nowhere, because I'm finally kinda actually poking my head out of the "TV games" subforum and seeing what else goes on here at TT.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
Frozen chicken place them in a crock pot with one whole cut white onion and cover the whole lot with green enchilada sauce (usually the bigger can works perfectly). Then I cook it on low for about 8 hours. Once it is done I remove the chicken, shred it and fill up as many flour tortillas as you can. then in a 9x13 baking dish cover them with the liquid from the crock pot and shredded cheddar cheese. Bake for about ten minutes and BOOM! Delicious crock pot chicken enchiladas. I have tried a bunch of different stuff in the crock pot but my favorite is still just the onion and maybe some garlic!
That sounds really good. My wife is a big enchilada fan so I'm gonna have to try that one.

Does anybody around here have a good/tested slow-cooker boeuf bourguignon recipe? We do plain old beef stew here from time to time, which is nice and all, but now that we've cooked the Real Deal the traditional way, I'm reluctant to go back.

I kind of have a plan of action I'd like to try, but I'm not sure how well it would work in practice:
  • Render some lardons of bacon in a heavy pan. Toss into crock-pot.
  • Dredge meat and brown in the bacon fat. Toss into crock-pot.
  • Pour off excess fat, deglaze with cognac. Toss that plus burgandy plus some tomato paste into crock-pot.
  • Brown carrots and diced onion (+salt+pepper) in a bit of butter. Toss that into the pot.
  • Toss in a bouquet garni with I-can't-remember-what (thyme, bay leaf, celery stalk, ...)
  • Slow-cook for ?? hours on low.
  • Peel and brown onions (+salt+pepper). Throw some water into the pan and then reduce until you start to get a glaze on the onions. Toss into ... you get the drill.
  • Finally brown and toss in mushrooms (oyster mushrooms might be my pick)
  • Pull from the heat, then ideally cool it down, refrigerate and reheat on the next day (let flavors meld).

Does this sound sane? It still seems like a lot of work (but not nearly as much as doing it in a dutch oven on the range), so if there are any obvious places where I can simplify things I'd be keen to hear.

Edit: Oh wait:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
Can anyone recommend some good not full of fat crockpot recipes?
My bad; I kind of assumed this was a general-purpose slow-cooker thread. Sorry.
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  #33  
Old 01-13-2012, 08:03 PM
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I use the boeuf bourgignon recipe from the Julia & Jacques cookbook. Not a slow cooker recipe, but the elements are pretty similar to what you outlined.

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Originally Posted by Tangent Vector View Post
[*]Toss in a bouquet garni with I-can't-remember-what (thyme, bay leaf, celery stalk, ...)
Mine is carrot, onion, bay leaf, thyme, garlic.

Quote:
[*]Peel and brown onions (+salt+pepper). Throw some water into the pan and then reduce until you start to get a glaze on the onions. Toss into ... you get the drill.
I'd butter and a bit of whatever wine you're using or broth instead of water.

Mix up a roux for thickening at the end as well.

I don't see that it's much less work than the way I do it. One thing to note, though, is that you can totally divide up the work over a couple of days, if you don't want to bang it all out in one shot. I do that pretty much every time.
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  #34  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:10 PM
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Yeah, it doesn't seem like the slow-cooker would save much time in the end. Also, good point on the onions; I'd used butter, but getting some of the wine in there too would be nice. My wife doesn't like onion that much, so that part is all for me.

When I did it in the Dutch oven I didn't find that I needed to thicken it at the end. Lucky, really, since I seem to mess up a roux more often than not (despite it being a relatively simple process).

Do you have a favorite starch to go with it? I just used a baguette last time because I couldn't stand to do any more cooking.
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  #35  
Old 01-13-2012, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent Vector View Post
Do you have a favorite starch to go with it? I just used a baguette last time because I couldn't stand to do any more cooking.
Normally, I make buttered toast points. Get some decent white bread, cut off the crusts, cut the slices diagonally. Smear a couple of tablespoons of butter on a cookie sheet (with sides) then work the bread triangles in the butter on both sides. Toast in the oven @ 400 for about 8 minutes or so. I've also enjoyed the Alexia french rolls. The first time I made it, I made some cheesy mashed potatoes, but the stew was so rich that we felt like we didn't need it.
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  #36  
Old 01-14-2012, 12:50 AM
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Sear the meat and develop a nice crust on the pieces before stewing or braising. Before you sear, dredge in flour. This should help you thicken the stew as it cooks without the need to thicken toward the end. You can also put flour in with your onions when you brown those.
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  #37  
Old 01-14-2012, 07:48 AM
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I almost got this America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution book for Christmas but got their new general recipe book instead. Apparently many recipes in the book also require a microwave oven, in case anyone doesn't own one.

Lots of good slow-cooker recipes aren't fast because of all the up-front prep, but if it's helpful to have some of the cooking finished in the morning (or prior evening, if the recipe allows that) and have an easy dinner after work, it might balance out.
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  #38  
Old 01-15-2012, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tangent Vector View Post
My bad; I kind of assumed this was a general-purpose slow-cooker thread. Sorry.
Nah, no worries. I did intend for it to be a general thread, the initial impetus was just low fat stuff.

Anyway, this is my potato leek soup.

You could do all of this without a mandoline but it would be a hell of a lot of chopping. I use the thickest setting on the mandoline for all of this.

You could also do it in batches in a food processor instead of using the immersion blender.

We have a 6 quart crockpot and this filled more than half of it. So maybe 6 servings? We definitely always have leftovers.

If you only have 2 pounds of potatoes I've supplemented with instant mashed potatoes at the end of the recipe and it's fine.

2-3 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
2 large leeks (the fresher the better, the leeks really affect the final taste)
half an onion
4-6 ribs of celery
4-6 cups Chicken stock (broth works too)
6-10 peeled baby carrots (I'm sure you can use regular ones)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp Minced garlic (adjust how you like it)
6oz bag of spinach
Quarter pint of cream
6 tbsp unsalted butter
Salt as desired

  • Peel potatoes, mandoline into the crockpot.
  • Wash and chop off the roots of the leeks, mandoline all of the white flesh into the crockpot.
  • Same procedure for onion and celery (except chopping off leaves instead of roots). You can mandoline the baby carrots or throw them in whole, both work. I usually mandoline them out of paranoia of jamming the blender.
  • Sprinkle some salt over everything (4 shakes of a shaker seems good)
  • Fill with chicken stock until all the vegetables are covered with liquid. There shouldn't be enough liquid for anything to float but nothing should be completely dry.
  • Top with two bay leaves, turn on low and let cook for at least 6 hours.
  • About 15 minutes before you want to eat, place the butter and cream into a saucepan. Heat until butter is melted, then turn down to medium low. Add a handful of spinach, this will wilt in a minute or so. Continue adding handfuls and wilting it until the whole bag is in the pan. I suppose that if you have a big enough pan you could add the whole bag at once, I need to wilt some for all the spinach to fit.
  • Once all the spinach is in the pan, stir on medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and continue stirring for two more minutes. I usually do a couple more shakes of a salt shaker here.
  • Turn crockpot to keep warm or off. Remove bay leaves. Pour creamed spinach mixture into crockpot.
  • Take immersion blender and blend to desired thickness. If too liquidy add instant mashed potatoes.
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  #39  
Old 10-31-2012, 02:46 PM
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It's slow cooking time! We just got ourselves a cooker, to go along with a new cookbook recently released by Ricardo that's full of slow cooker recipes (the book hasn't been translated into English yet, but I think many of the recipes in question are up on his website). I'm super jazzed to try some of these recipes out this weekend, although that might be a little optimistic of me. We're hoping to do the preparation in the morning while baby has his nap, then use the programming feature to have the food cook itself over the course of the day. If it goes well, we'll be able to make large quantities of tasty food without having the little guy underfoot while we cook, which is basically impossible if one of us is alone with him. The slow cooker that we picked up is huge, a lot bigger than I thought it would be, but the recipes in the book call for one this size (5.6 quarts). It wasn't very expensive, so if we find that it's just taking up space in our kitchen and never being used, we can offload it without taking too much of a hit.

I am excited for slow cooking times!
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  #40  
Old 10-31-2012, 07:11 PM
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Coincidentally, my wife and I just used our slow cooker for the first time this past week. We made a lentil dish that came out really good and delicious. And then today I made potted chicken.

The biggest problem, of course, is that it's her slow cooker for one she got when she lived on her own. So we're getting a big one soon.
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  #41  
Old 11-01-2012, 08:05 AM
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We picked up a Hamilton Beach Set-and-Forget for $50 on Amazon, since it reviewed well and had everything we were looking for (size, programmability and three heat settings). Can't speak to how well it works, though, since we haven't used it yet.
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  #42  
Old 11-01-2012, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
The biggest problem, of course, is that it's her slow cooker for one she got when she lived on her own. So we're getting a big one soon.
Don't ditch the small one, though! I got a nice big one just before my girlfriend-now-wife moved in, and we've found that there's a lot of tasty recipes that more or less require a smaller slow cooker.

Lots of ones that work better with a larger one too, mind.
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  #43  
Old 11-05-2012, 11:33 AM
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I made my first slow cooker recipe yesterday! It was a pork and beef chili recipe and it turned out...good. Not quite the culinary revelation I was hoping for, but totally edible, and it made a large quantity of food for cheap without much effort. The chili could probably stand to be a bit sweeter, if I try the recipe again I might toss in a bit of maple syrup to that end. Despite my (slight) disappointment, I'm really keen to try some other recipes from this book. Also, I love how using the slow cooker makes me feel like I'm cheating at life. I may be giving the baby a bath/wasting time on the internet/snorting cocaine off this hooker's naked body, but I'm also making dinner! Just looking over at the counter and seeing it working from time to time was fun.
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  #44  
Old 11-05-2012, 12:44 PM
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And coincidentally, the father-in-law got us a vegetarian slow cooker recipe book this last weekend. Lots of fun stuff to try in that.
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  #45  
Old 11-05-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
I made my first slow cooker recipe yesterday! It was a pork and beef chili recipe and it turned out...good. Not quite the culinary revelation I was hoping for, but totally edible, and it made a large quantity of food for cheap without much effort. The chili could probably stand to be a bit sweeter, if I try the recipe again I might toss in a bit of maple syrup to that end. Despite my (slight) disappointment, I'm really keen to try some other recipes from this book.
That's pretty much exactly what we've found with our slow cooker. Most recipies out of books or found online aren't quite as good as similar recipes made conventionally. But they're a hell of a lot simpler, in some cases so much so that they go from "inconceivable!" to "oh, that's easy". And with some tweaking, you can generally make them way better - a lot of slow cooker recipes tend to be very conservative about flavor for reasons that I do not understand.
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  #46  
Old 11-05-2012, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Egarwaen View Post
a lot of slow cooker recipes tend to be very conservative about flavor for reasons that I do not understand.
I have heard that spices used in a slow cooker go a lot further than spices used in other cooking methods and this is why slow cooker recipes tend to use less than if you were, say, sauteeing. But I have never seen any proof for this claim.
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  #47  
Old 11-05-2012, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
I have heard that spices used in a slow cooker go a lot further than spices used in other cooking methods and this is why slow cooker recipes tend to use less than if you were, say, sauteeing. But I have never seen any proof for this claim.
I found the amount of cumin called for in that chili recipe to be insulting on a personal level. 1 mL? That's a fifth of a teaspoon! I gave it 2-3 and it didn't even come close to overpowering, but then I am a big fan of cumin.

Funny thing, as I was taking my leftovers out of the microwave at work, a coworker looked at them and correctly identified the recipe (as the book is quite recent). She thought the recipe was delicious and quite spicy, whereas I found it to be decent and not at all too hot. Different taste buds, or did hers somehow come out better than ours? We just don't know.
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  #48  
Old 11-05-2012, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
I have heard that spices used in a slow cooker go a lot further than spices used in other cooking methods and this is why slow cooker recipes tend to use less than if you were, say, sauteeing. But I have never seen any proof for this claim.
I've noticed that things tend to be slightly more flavorful than one would otherwise expect given the amount used, but not by so much that the cut-down spice levels are really justified.
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  #49  
Old 11-07-2012, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
We made a lentil dish that came out really good and delicious.
I'm interested in this.

I bought a Crockpot and made a pot roast for Thanksgiving last year, which turned out pretty well. It's been sitting idle since then.
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  #50  
Old 11-09-2012, 01:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkdn42 View Post
I'm interested in this.
(Note, we cut this in half to get it to fit into our tiny slow cooker)

3 cups dried lentils (1 pound)
3 cups water
1 can (~14 oz) vegetable broth
1 can (~14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium carrot, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried marjoram (we substituted fresh rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon cider vinegar (we substituted red win vinegar)
4.5-5 cups hot cooked couscous

Directions:
Combine top ingredients in slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours or until vegetables are tender

Stir in oil and vinegar. Serve over couscous.
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  #51  
Old 11-13-2012, 12:36 PM
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Made another recipe from that same book, and it turned out a lot better than the first one did! This was for bolognese sauce, and I'm pretty happy with the result. Which is good, because it made enough for like 12 portions. I will continue my experimentation and post back after my next recipe.
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  #52  
Old 12-11-2012, 08:48 AM
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Edit: Never mind! Wrong thread!

Last edited by Violentvixen; 12-11-2012 at 09:20 PM.
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  #53  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Violentvixen View Post
Which of the following would you prefer to receive?
a) half eaten arm
b) leg that was crushed by a boulder
c) skull crushed in with a mighty hammer


I'll go with the leg. It's outdoorsy!

Additionally if you were forced to endure one of the following deaths which would you prefer?
a) death by asphyxiation while orbiting mars
b) slow conversion into zombie
c) eaten by ants


Definitely Mars! Between the vacuum and the cold it'd be quick, and I'd get to see Mars!
I love that this was posted in the Slow Cooker thread.
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  #54  
Old 12-11-2012, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Hedgehog View Post
I love that this was posted in the Slow Cooker thread.
Holy crap how did I screw that up.
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  #55  
Old 02-16-2013, 06:43 PM
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I took this recipe for lentil-sausage-chard soup and did it in the slow cooker, worked beautifully.

We did use prepackaged sausage (because I forgot to buy fresh), which worked quite well if you don't want to be cooking sausage in the morning.
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  #56  
Old 02-16-2013, 07:51 PM
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On the subject of spices working better in a slow cooker, the longer cooking time allows the food to absorb the flavours more thoroughly than is possible with a quick stovetop project. This is really noticeable if you're attempting good Indian curries; they're recipes designed to take advantage of the tastes you achieve through very lengthy simmering. Same general principle as marination.

It's actually not a bad room of thumb to make spicy soups the day before you plan to eat them for exactly this reason. They'll always taste more intense the second day.
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  #57  
Old 02-16-2013, 08:56 PM
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Made the Trust Fall chicken from CookingComically.



Actual flavor was rather smoky. Nice and smooth.
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  #58  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:33 AM
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I tried making that recipe a few months ago, but I borked it up. When I went to the store to buy the tomato sauce, I wound up buying one can of sauce and one can of paste, and didn't notice until I had both cans opened.

I tried to dilute the paste and add some spices to give it some flavor, besides 'tomato turned up to 11', but it didn't work out. It was still edible, but no one was all that impressed. :/
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  #59  
Old 02-17-2013, 07:55 AM
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My wife doesn't let me use the slow cooker.

=(
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  #60  
Old 02-17-2013, 12:33 PM
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What did you do?
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