Weekend cooking: Crock pot, first experiences

A few weeks ago I asked about what crock pot to buy since I am a total newbie when it comes to slow cookers. After taking to heart everything you told me and after carefully balancing expenditure and required features I went for a British make, Morphy Richards. I ordered it in the UK since the price there was, even with postage, much better than in Germany.

It is large, oval, has three settings and a removable pot. The only thing I didn’t get was the digital thingy, but it just was not worth the added expense in my eyes.

This is my new baby:

slowcooker

 

And this is it in real life (and bigger):

slow_cooker 

First experiences:

  • Inaugural dish was Beans Bourguignon (spelled wrongly, but that didn’t matter).  It was quite nice, but I think I need to know more about the amount of liquid in a dish. Somehow it was a tiny bit too much for my taste.
  • The next day it was Vegetarian Crockpot Layered Dinner. Can you tell I am excited about my new baby? The family ate it and liked it but I was not at all pleased with the soy sauce taste. Somehow it didn’t work for me. Next time the soy sauce has to go.
  • Then I felt I needed a timer to try out the oatmeal. Not that we couldn’t make porridge really quick after getting up, but I wanted to see what it’s like in the slow cooker. And, of course, I didn’t want to get up at 5 am to turn the thing on. As it turned out, the timer worked fine (cheapest thing in the shop, cost me €4,00) and the porridge was OK, but gooey and somewhat rubbery. Porridge made fresh at 8am on the stove is definitely better.
  • Now my favourite so far…Slow cooker vegetable curry from BHG. I had to adjust the recipe quite a bit because, believe it or not, I had no curry powder, but I had kurkuma, garam masala and what not, so I just tossed a few of those Indian spices in there. The second time I added some ginger and cardamom, also fine. The tapioca I left out, this is no pantry staple over here, so it goes without saying I didn’t have it. I didn’t have green beans, so I took zucchini instead, and I didn’t use tomatoes, but tomato puree. So, in fact, this is a completely different recipe. But it worked out well.

Since I liked the curry best I went and bought The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla. That book is going to be the topic for another weekend cooking post though.

My verdict

All in all I am more than pleased with the slow cooker concept. It is time saving and practical; you can do other things all day, smell your dinner getting ready and then sit down and eat without slaving over the stove. Perfect! Thanks everybody for your advice!

 

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads

12 Comments Write a comment

  1. Oh, how fun! I used to love my slow cooker, it made for some really great stews particularly in the winter. I may need to check out your beans dish.

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  2. Glad to see that you are having fun experimenting with your new kitchen toy. I have always wanted to try steel cut oats in the crockpot and never have — now I’m not so sure, since “rubbery” oats are not all that appealing, lol.

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    • Yes, I agree. The oatmeal was edible but nothing else. The regular kind is definitely superior.

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  3. The picture of the real thing is gorgeous. I never thought I’d think of a slow cooker as beautiful but that one is. It sounds like you are putting it to good use with all your experiments. Good luck. I look forward to reading more.
    Margot’s last post ..I’ve Become a Tomato Activist

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    • Pat, thanks! I know there are so many recipes on the net, but it seems the number of vegetarian ones is a bit limited. I haven’t explored the BH&G sites yet though.

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  4. Congrats on the new “baby”! I use mine several times a week. I must say though, that when a recipe has soy sauce in it, I tend to not use it–every time I have, the soy sauce gets a burnt taste.
    I hope you have fun scouring the internet for more recipes!
    *smiles*

    Reply

  5. Nice new toy! It takes a while to get the hang of using less liquid than normal (because nothing boils off) and to get the timing just right, but the slow cooker is such a nice way to go when you know you’ll be short on time in the evening.

    That Indian Slow Cooker book sounds wonderful. I adore curry!
    Beth F’s last post ..Imprint Extra: David Anthony and the Mixing of Genres

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