Top positive review
214 of 223 people found this helpful
Like having a genie in your kitchen.
on December 3, 2002
When things are really hectic, the crock-pot seems to take on a life of its own, slowing simmering away while the garlic and artichoke chicken, or vegetable curry, or pork roast with apricot/mustard glaze do their own thing, unattended. And there's nothing quite like coming home after a busy day to the down-home aromas of a dinner already cooked and ready to serve!
The Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, like most Better Homes and Gardens products, is full of reliable, well-tested recipes, but this book seems to have more interesting recipes than the stews one finds in the average crock-pot cookbook. I was surprised to see a dozen recipes calling for parsnips in place of carrots, for example, while nine include artichoke hearts and six suggest eggplant. Several recipes are enhanced by a variety of gourmet mushrooms--shiitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms--while the pasta selections range from mostaccioli to orzo and tortellini.
The herbs and spices are well chosen, and most recipes call for more than one seasoning, giving interesting highlights to these dishes. I did find that I needed to use more of these than the recipes called for in most cases, though there are some curry recipes that call for a hefty tablespoonful of curry powder. Many of the recipes are heavy on tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste, and these sometimes seemed overpowering--in the Beef and Borscht Stew, for example--but adjusting downward to suit your own taste is not difficult.
Though the book calls its 59 pages of "one-dish" casserole dinners a "bonus," I was mystified as to why these were included here--none of them use the slow cooker at all! By contrast, only 24 pages of vegetarian main dishes for the crock-pot are included, despite the fact that beans, lentils, and chickpeas are at their best when cooked slowly. Over all, however, this is a tasty and unusual collection of recipes, many of which are sure to become family favorites. Mary Whipple