Sunday, December 21, 2008

Enough, already!

OK, the snow is pretty, but really, we've got almost 2 feet on the ground now. I think it can stop, thank you very much.

For those of you who still have power (obviously, otherwise you'd not be reading this!), grab the slow cooker, and get some good food in ya!

These recipes are all originally from Art of the Slow Cooker: 80 Exciting New Recipes by Andrew Schloss. Naturally, I can't let something just be, I have to make my own addition/alteration. I'll put the modified ingredients in italics so you can decide what to do for yourself. These are all for a 5-6 quart slow cooker.

Chicken Cacciatore

1/3 cup flour - as Mom can't eat wheat flour, corn flour or rice flour work, too
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp poultry seasoning - alternatively, toast some whole corriander and cumin then grind coarsely, together with dried sage and thyme
4 lb skinless chicken thighs (about 8) bone in - I have successfully used rabbit, venison, and lamb
2 to 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 lb mushrooms, cut into thick slices
2 cloves garlic, minced - I have not yet put in garlic, and it's just fine
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, or dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup canned diced tomatoes, drained - I have yet to use this; I've been using all of my salsas in this recipe to wonderful end results
  • Mix the flour, salt, pepper and poultry seasoning into a bowl, and dredge the pieces of meat, shaking off excess. Reserve extra seasoned flour.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the meat in batches, do not crowd the pan. Add oil as pan becomes dry. Transfer browned meat to slow cooker.
  • Add more oil to pan and saute onion & mushrooms until tender, stirring often. Add garlic, oregano, rosemary and saute another minute.
  • Add reserved seasoned flour and coat vegetables by stirring. Add broth & tomatoes, and cook until thickened, stirring and scraping cooked bits up off bottom of pan into the juices.
  • Transfer to slow cooker, and cook 3 to 4 hours on high or 5 to 8 hours on low, until meat is tender.
Mushroom Barley Risotto

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
8 medium white mushrooms, trimmed and cut into slices - I use crimini (brown) mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced - I omit the garlic
2 cups pearl barley - I actually have yet to try this with barley; we us oat groats
1 cup dry white wine - we've been using our rhubarb wine, which is very dry
4 cups chicken or mushroom broth
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 oz (about 1/4 cup) dried porcini mushrooms - I have been using a woodland mix that I bought, although Schloss really recommends the porcini, specifically
1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup cream or half and half
  • Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add the onion and mushrooms, saute until tender. Add garlic and barley, and saute, stirring continuously, for about a minute.
  • Add wine and stir until almost absorbed. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Add broth, seasonings and dried mushrooms, and stir to moisten the barley. Cover the crock with a folded tea-towel and place lid on top. Cook 3-4 hours on high until barley is tender.
  • Stir in Parmesan and cream and fluff until cheese melts and barley is moistened.
* Today I was making a squash soup with the remaining stock, and had plenty. I stirred in about 1/2 cup of the soup once the risotto had finished cooking, and it added enough moisture, body and flavour to the dish that you could get away without adding the cream.

Chocolate Pudding Cake

You will need a casserole/souffle dish that will fit within the slow cooker for this dish.

nonstick oil spray
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup boiling water or coffee
  • Spray 1 1/2 quart souffle dish with oil.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup cocoa powder in a bowl. Add milk, vanilla and oil and mix into batter. Scrape into prepared souffle dish.
  • Mix brown sugar, remaining granulated sugar and remaining cocoa in a separate bowl and sprinkle over the batter in the souffle dish.
  • Pour boiling water over all, and place into slow cooker. Fold a tea towel and cover the slow cooker, place lid over top, and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours, or until cake is set but bottom is still saucey.
* We have successfully reduced the sugar in this recipe.

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