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The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World Paperback – September 15, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this volume, Alley (Lost Arts: A Celebration of Culinary Traditions) provides a montage of surprising and intriguing recipes-everything from White Truffle Risotto to Chocolate Chip Cookies-all of which are made in a slow cooker. Chapters are divided by country, and include France, Great Britain, India, Italy, Mexico and the U.S. According to Alley, signature meals, side dishes and even desserts from each of these countries, such as Chicken Mole from Mexico, Eggplant and Pea Curry from India, Pork with Prunes from France and Anise Biscotti from Italy, can be made simply in one pot. Alley includes drink recommendations with each recipe. These are generally wine pairings (with Provencal Beef Stew, "a Cotes de Provence rose or medium-bodied red table wine would do well") but the author refrains from going over the top to underscore the sophistication angle. For chocolate chip cookies, she writes, "milk is the only proper accompaniment."
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

LYNN ALLEY is a freelance food and wine journalist interested in traditional foods and techniques from around the world. The author of LOST ARTS, she has contributed articles to Fine Cooking, Cook’s Illustrated, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Appellation magazine. She frequently writes for Wine Spectator and its website. Alley has also taught classes at cooking schools around the United States. She resides in San Diego, California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 108 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press (September 15, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580084893
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580084895
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lynn Alley began her career in cooking as a middle school teacher where she and her students gained notoriety selling their hand made gourmet items at Neiman Marcus. Alley long ago began writing and saving recipes so that down the road she could write the cookbooks for which she has become known. Since leaving the classroom, she has traveled to teach cooking in southern France and at cooking schools throughout the western United States. She has, over the years, contributed articles on both food and wine to the San Diego Union Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Fine Cooking, Cook's Illustrated, The Herb Companion, Health, Natural Home, Organic Style, and Organic Gardening, and has authored six cookbooks, the latest of which, "50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker" is scheduled for release in September of 2011. For more than ten years, she has also been a regular contributer to the Wine Spectator online and magazine, and her "Conscious Cook" blog appears weekly on the Yoga Journal's website, yoga
An avid animal lover, she has also contributed article on animal diet, travel and wellbeing to the Natural Dog, Dog Fancy, and the Herb Companion.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

469 of 471 people found the following review helpful By H. Mccartor on May 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Judging from reviews of slow cooking cook books there seem to be two distinct groups of users - those who work all day and need something ready when they get home and those whose interest in slow cooking is the quality that slow cooking adds to many foods. This is a book for the latter group. The recipes are delicious but may require attention during the cooking. When I bought my slow cooker I read the Amazon reviews and bought 4 slow cooker cook books. This is the only one I have used and the results have been great. The recipes in the other books seemed uninspired and except for the Betty Crocker book were not accompanied by photos to entice me. The Greek lamb shanks were a snap and delicious. The Moussaka was a little more complex and required adding the topping after 3 hours but tasted great. The recipes are organized by country of origin and include French, Greek, Indian, Mexican, Italian, English and American. If you need a dinner ready when you get home from work this is probably not the book for you but if you want to have dishes that you will be proud to serve to guests this it the best of the 4 books I purchased.
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513 of 519 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've tried three recipes so far from this collection, each one more complex than the last, as I gain my trust in this author. The Baked Eggplant was ridiculously easy (just cut the eggplants into cubes and cook on low for 4-6 hours, then add the seasonings after the cooking is done.) Next I tried the Tuscan White Bean Soup, which was excellent and not at all watery, like most crock-pot soups. Finally, I made a pot of Mexican Chicken in Peanut and Ancho Chili Sauce, and I can finally say that I've found a crock pot book that really does work.
The author encourages crock-pot users to lift the lid and stir while the food is cooking; I heartily agree, because the food ends up well cooked and NOT the watery, insipid mess I usually got. These are recipes that will not taste like a well-meaning, "good-for-you" home economics project. But this means you can't start your supper in the morning and have it done when you're back from work: the result may be watery. That's been my experience with other books, like Judith Finalyson's.
So if you're going to be home and willing to keep an eye on your slow cooker while it's doing its thing, you will be very satisfied with the recipes in this book.
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190 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Jay P. Francis on October 29, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We think of slow cookers as labor saving devices, and they are. However this book focuses on utlilizing the slow cooker as another tool in the kitchen, one that, by its design, results in tender cooked meats. This is not a book for those who want to be able to throw stuff into the cooker and come back 8 hours later. There is a lot of prep work, and, the three recipes I have prepared so far, require sautee skills, blender skills, roaster skills. Excellent, flavorful end results though. I have tried chicken and dumplings, tamale pie, and pork stew with tomatillos. The winner is the pork stew. Honestly I have never tried a recipe that required 3 lbs of tomatillos. But it worked. Also I haven't ever used my broiler before to roast chiles, onions, tomatillos, etc. I always used my comal on top of the stove. But the broiler method worked great.

Of the tamale pie and chicken with dumplings recipes, neither the dumplings nor the cornbread were spectacular, but the flavor was very good.

For the way I cook, and because I enjoy prep work, I can recommend this book.

But be warned.

Supplemental: The artichoke risotto was a complete bust. It just didn't work. I don't know what kind of crockpot she was testing this recipe in, but I followed the directions to the letter, and after two hours on high, the risotto was inedible. I moved it over to a rice cooker to finish off. So my rating goes down to 3 stars with this experience.
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121 of 125 people found the following review helpful By Amalfi Coast Girl on August 23, 2006
Format: Paperback
A passionate home cook that has been honing her cooking skills for the last 25 years, concentrating on Italian cooking for the last 10 years, writes this review. My favorite cookbooks are "The Professional Chef" by the Culinary Institute and "Culinary Artistry". With more than 500 cookbooks in my collection I am usually disappointed in my recent cookbook acquisitions. As a time crunched workingwoman that likes to serve delicious home cooked food I am always looking for ways to make my life easier. With that in mind I picked up this book to see if it had anything new to offer. The recipes contained within this book have pleasantly surprised me.

The recipes in this book are subdivided as follows:

1. United States

2. Mexico

3. Great Britain and Ireland

4. France

5. Italy

6. Greece

7. India

Before I review the book, I must say that if you are on a diet, this is not the best book for you. Many of the recipes depend on significant quantities of meat and/or animal by products (cheese, heavy cream, whole milk) for flavor. However, I have found it easy to modify the recipes to get similar "healthier" results. If you are comfortable modifying recipes this book is full of ideas that you can use to develop your own version of healthier slow cooked "gourmet" recipes.

My particular cooking specialties are Italian, Indian and French cooking. The directions in the recipes are adequate to reproduce reasonably facsimiles of these recipes even for those unfamiliar with the cuisines of these cultures. Most of the resulting recipes were very close in flavor to the authentic dishes.

The "baked" dessert recipes that are included in this book impressed me.
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