I have so much to say about slow cookers that I don’t know where to start.
I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with mine. I love the idea of it: throwing a bunch of healthy ingredients into a pot, turning it on, leaving it all day, and coming home to a nourishing stew, soup or chili. What’s not to love about that? But my attempts to execute on this idea have been met with mixed success. Mostly failure, actually.
I expect slow cookering would be relatively foolproof if I used commercial sauces and soups—powdered onion soup mix, canned cream of mushroom, or jarred barbecue sauce, for example. This is what slow cookers (or crock pots) were invented for back in the convenience-food-crazed 1970s.
But slow cooking with real food—vegetables, stocks, fresh herbs, and stuff like that—doesn’t work quite as well. You often end up, in my experience, with a dinner that is bland, soupy and cat-foodish in appearance. I once made a promising slow cooker peanut-butter chicken stew recipe that tasted and looked so terrible it went straight into the trash.
I considered giving up on the slow cooker all together, but judging by the amount of requests I get for “slow cooker recipes, puh-lease!!!!” I figured it would be something like shooting my busy-parent-cooking-blog in the foot. So I persevered. And I’m finally ready to unveil my first (hard won) Kiwi & Bean approved slow cooker recipe. Continue Reading →