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20 August 2013 @ 01:24 pm
using things  

Just like everybody else, we have a slow cooker. Just like everybody else, we never use it. But in my quest to use things or get rid of them, I have stated emphatically that I’ll make something with the slow cooker at least once a month, and if I don’t, in six months I’ll get rid of it.

To that end, I’m using it. I got a slow cooker cookbook, and could make a difference recipe every week for the rest of the year before having to repeat myself. The inagural recipe is a bean and chorizo stew, which smells pretty good and will be consumed wich corn bread this evening. And probably tomorrow evening, too, which is one of the bonus things about slow cookers: they do tend to make enough for a couple days, and since I don’t particularly like cooking…win!

Oh, crap, that reminds me I have to make brownies for Ted’s work tomorrow! (Because I like baking, if not cooking. :))

The Using Things project means I’m going to have to draw something in the next six months, and sew something. I’ve already made a batch of jam, so hey, maybe this will be a good incentive.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on August 20th, 2013 08:49 am (UTC)
I have a slow cooker and about four or five cookbooks for it. I still don't use it much :-) Although it is great for making applesauce in the fall, when I have a bounty of Golden Delicious from my two trees.
anthony_lionanthony_lion on August 20th, 2013 09:26 am (UTC)
you know, I've only ever seen ONE store here in Norway that sells slow cookers?

And as best as I can figure out, they only sell it because no one else did and they thought they could steal the market. Except, it doesn't seem like anyone is buying them.
kitmizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC)
Perhaps Norwegians have an innate sense of what will actually be used, and can take one look at a slow cooker and go "ahahaha no"?
(no subject) - anthony_lion on August 20th, 2013 03:26 pm (UTC) (Expand)
The Bellinghmanbellinghman on August 20th, 2013 09:45 am (UTC)
Slow cooking is definitely a different way of cooking. It's all about turning those boot-leather cuts of meat into the most tender and tasty dishes.

Having noted that, one thing you get used to is how some things will not cook at all. At the same time as your ox cheek is turning almost into a jelly, you can have some vegetables almost untouched.

(Our oven has reasonably good low temperature control, so I don't use a stand-alone slow cooker much any more. But a joint of beef cooked at 65C over the day can be rather nice.)

(Yes, yes, I would like that sous-vide machine please.)
irishkateirishkate on August 20th, 2013 10:15 am (UTC)
What is a slow cooker?
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on August 20th, 2013 10:24 am (UTC)
crockpot is technically a brand name, but that's what lots of Americans call it anyways. http://www.crock-pot.com/
(no subject) - mizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on August 20th, 2013 10:23 am (UTC)
I do a lot of soups with it and find it's a good way to get in a bunch of those healthy greens that I don't much care for eating straight up (spinach, kale, chard). I often toss in beans, chicken broth, greens, mushrooms and maybe a bit (less than a full serving) of bacon/ham/prosciutto based on whatever happens to be in the larder. And since they don't have a lot of root veg in them (because I don't like the texture of frozen/reheated taters) or hardly any fat, they freeze and reheat really well. I do them in a big batch and then freeze them in single-serving sizes, so I don't have leftovers for days on end. Plus the freezing means they transport more easily to work (no leaking!) to be defrosted and heated in the microwave at lunch time (thinking for Ted's lunches in that case).
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on August 20th, 2013 10:25 am (UTC)
also, most any Moroccan tagine works in a crockpot too, if that's a flavor profile/cuisine you're interested in exploring....
kitmizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:37 pm (UTC)
oh! I didn't know that! That's GREAT to know! Woo hoo! Tagines, here I come!
(no subject) - pers1stence on August 20th, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
joycemocha on August 20th, 2013 11:02 am (UTC)
For me, crockpots are about winter. They work nicely for potluck soups--I use mine a lot to make soup in wintertime.
(Deleted comment)
kitmizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:39 pm (UTC)
I've looked at AllRecipes for slow cooker recipes, but it seems that most of the time if I'm actually at the moment of cooking I default to cookbooks, so I got one. :)
Herefoxherefox on August 20th, 2013 11:40 am (UTC)
I actually kind of love my slow cooker. I make burrito meat in it a fair amount and it's great for making a vat of chili and keeping it warm during gaming nights. Overnight steel cut oats are lovely in it too and I made an awesome guinness braised corned beef last St. Paddy's day (though I suspect you'd get a side eye for making such a thing *grin*)
kitmizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC)
Ooh. Have you a burrito meat recipe?

Actually, using a slow cooker for corned beef sounds v. clever. :)
(no subject) - herefox on August 21st, 2013 11:07 am (UTC) (Expand)
Alix (Tersa): Good Eatstersa on August 20th, 2013 11:42 am (UTC)
Hey, I use my crockpot. :)

You know what it's really good for as well? Making stock. Throw chicken bones in with lots of water and a bay leaf (roasted mire-poix if you like that), let it cook on low all day and overnight. Boom. Can also do it with beef or vegetables (only all day or overnight), too.
kitmizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC)
It seems many people on my friends list use their crock pots! I am corrected! :)

Stock is a good idea too. Much harder to boil it dry through negligence in a crock pot than on the stove...
(no subject) - tersa on August 20th, 2013 02:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - pers1stence on August 20th, 2013 02:57 pm (UTC) (Expand)
silkiemom on August 20th, 2013 12:00 pm (UTC)
We have three slow cookers/crockpots of different sizes. They don't get used often because they get used for specific things, but they're awfully handy when that specific thing actually comes up. Bleah. This is why I have All The Things.
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on August 20th, 2013 12:37 pm (UTC)
Mine actually has three different bowl sizes that all fit into one heating element -- it's awesome
(no subject) - mizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - silkiemom on August 20th, 2013 06:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Chrysoulachrysoula on August 20th, 2013 12:30 pm (UTC)
I think I have a slow cooker without a lid somewhere. I should dig around. The problem is everytime I think I might use it I find a pressure cooker recipe. And I use my pressure cooker a lot more as it is...
hegemony hedgehogagrimony on August 20th, 2013 02:31 pm (UTC)
We use my crockpot all the time. :)

One of my favorite things: </p>

Bag of lentils
Two boxes of stock (chicken or veggie or combo)
Rough chop carrots, an onion, and some celery
Rough dice some ham steaks (or left over ham butt)
Toss it all in, season with pepper, some thyme, garlic (powder is fine, real is fine), bay leaf or two, a bit of oregano and/or parsley. Cook on low all day (or high probably 4 hours or so).

Sometimes it comes out as a stew. Sometimes it's too thick to properly be considered stew. You can thin it out with more liquid if you like, but we eat it however it comes out. Delightful with a dollop of sour cream and some sharp cheddar.

Also, pot roast is delightful in the crock pot.

kitmizkit on August 20th, 2013 02:44 pm (UTC)
om. nom. nom. i will try this!
(no subject) - tersa on August 20th, 2013 02:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
A large duckburger_eater on August 20th, 2013 06:07 pm (UTC)
Others have already mentioned good slow-cooker recipes, but I'll point you at Alton Brown's Once and Future Beans, which you can put together in the evening, cook overnight, and have for breakfast. Good enough to kill for.

The thing about crockpots is that they move all the cooking to the morning. You still have to dice shit up and carmelize those onions, but you can spend that time at 7am instead of 4pm, and that's convenient once in a while. They don't actually save much time, though.
kitmizkit on August 21st, 2013 03:30 am (UTC)
No, they don't (in my mind, a crockpot is something you throw a bunch of untreated ingredients into and 8 hours later you have food, but that's not how it *really* works). OTOH, I think that as a rule I have more energy/enthusiasm for preparing food at 7am than I do at 4pm. By 4pm I just do not care. I would rather eat sandwiches than deal with it. So if I've dealt with it eight hours earlier...
(no subject) - freyaw on August 21st, 2013 10:24 am (UTC) (Expand)
cainle_bean on August 21st, 2013 09:49 am (UTC)
I have several slow cookers. I have a tiny 2c one that I use for house scenting (makes a great scent warmer). I have a 5q that is used to make the innards of enchiladas. Then I have a 6q that I use to do chili for taking to work, or stew. The 5q is also used to make the dog food I have to prepare weekly (special needs doxie)

Some GREAT resources are http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/
her books http://stephanieodea.com/books/ (I have make it fast cook it slow 1 and 2)