391 of 429 people found the following review helpful
A great slow cooker cookbook,
This review is from: Slow Cooker Revolution (Paperback)
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So why another slow cooker book? Well, this is from America's Test Kitchen - some crazy organization that tries to find the best way of preparing all kinds of meals. Unlike other slow cooker recipe books, this one is more authoritative. For instance, unlike other slow cooker cookbooks, it gives recommendations for the "best" slow cooker - well, they did test seven of them, and set up a whole rack to have two dozen running for their tests. It also has tips for what brand ingredients tasted the best (what's the best barbecue sauce to use? maple syrup? canned tomatoes? corn tostadas?), or what shape pork loin to buy, or how to make a tidy burrito. Or how to make the recipes taste more "meaty" by using secret ingredients such as ... soy sauce! Interesting.
Each recipe starts with a description and rationale of why it's done this way ("Why this recipe works" section). For example, what tastes are important about the dish? How did they replicate the barbecue feel and taste for their ribs? How did they duplicate the key flavors of French Onion Soup or Cassoulet? What worked and what didn't? This is always informative and helps you understand the rationale behind the recipe.
Their goal was to include lots of "easy prep" recipes for the "time-pressed home cook", and these are identified as such in the chapter listings. Some require microwaving aromatics mixed with chopped onion, etc. to be mixed into the pot, or microwaving beef bones to add flavor. However, there are some that require more complex prep. The Chicken Gumbo, for example, has you preparing the roux first, by roasting and stirring the flour then baking it for 45 minutes. Others require cooking and whisking of certain ingredients before adding to the mix. Jerk chicken requires some steps in the oven to char the chicken after slow-cooking, and so do some other dishes, for the most impressive results. Some dishes require 5 to 20 minutes waiting or fiddling around with after slow cooking (some dishes make you create a little foil tent while waiting), so be aware of this when planning.
There are recipes for soups, stews, braises, chilis, barbeque, pasta sauces, meatballs, meatloaves, enchiladas, tacos, casseroles, eggs, brunch, side dishes, desserts, etc. However, something like Mashed Potatoes does take 4-6 hours to cook, so you may need to plan or have more than one slow cooker.
The recipes cover a wide variety of cuisines - Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Mexican, French, etc. - so you shouldn't get bored. This book is a great addition to your slow cooker library.
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Initial post: Feb 24, 2011 4:42:20 AM PST
Did you actually prepare any of the recipes? Did they work?
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 2, 2011 4:05:16 PM PST
Not yet. But in any case it would be a bad idea to judge a cookbook by my results :)
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