Tag: slow cooker

5 Slow-Cooker Dinners for Fall

by in Family, November 4th, 2014

Mushroom Barley RisottoI’ll admit it: I’m late to the slow-cooker party. But in my defense, I could never seem to find a slow-cooker recipe that doesn’t involve a packet of onion soup mix, gravy mix or can of soup — until now. Behold, five delicious, real-food dinner recipes that politely cook themselves over the course of an afternoon. Now that’s something to celebrate.

Mushroom-Barley Risotto
A vegetarian dish that’s as healthy as it is hearty? We’re sold on this one (pictured above) full of carrots, cremini mushrooms and Parmesan cheese.

Pulled Pork
As a mom of four small kids, I like meals that are simple, inexpensive and versatile. That’s why this one is a staple in our house. Any cut of pork will do, and slathering it with a mustard-based sauce before cooking gives it just the right amount of flavor. Add BBQ sauce, use it for tacos, sandwiches or whatever you (and the kids) like.

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6 Desserts to Cook Low and Slow — Fall Fest

by in Recipes, October 23rd, 2014

Slow-Cooker Peach CobblerListen here: Your slow cooker is meant for a whole lot more than endless vats of smoky chili and comforting stews. Though we turn back the dial for hours on end for some of our favorite meals, it’s about time we rethink this kitchen tool with recipes that are a whole lot sweeter. These perfect-for-fall slow-cooker dessert recipes cook low and slow, rather than hold up your oven or hog all of your time.

1. There will be no more sliding peach cobbler into the oven, thanks to Alton Brown’s recipe for Slow-Cooker Peach Cobbler (pictured above). This warm, comforting recipe calls for frozen peaches, so you can make it year-round.

2. It’s hard to believe that a pan of brownies doesn’t always have first dibs on the oven, but sometimes you need that extra space. Easy-to-make Slow-Cooker Gooey Brownie Cake has all the perks of a soft warm brownie, from the gooey center to the crispy edges.

3. Slow-Cooker Banana Upside-Down Cake relies on your slow cooker to caramelize the bananas with rum and brown sugar, before you pour the cake batter on top for easy baking. After you invert the cake from the cooker, all of that slow-earned heat is best taken with a countering scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Classics with a Twist: 8 New Slow-Cooker Soups

by in Recipes, October 13th, 2014

8 New Slow Cooker Soup RecipesIn our house fall means two things: crisp weather and busy schedules. That’s what makes these hearty slow-cooker soups so perfect for this time of year, but that’s not all. Each of these classic soups has a tasty new twist, adding more flavor and richness, which usually means empty bowls (and happy kids) around here.

Turkey Chili: With a hint of chocolate, this mole-inspired chili is a fresh take on a cold-weather classic.

Potato Soup with All the Fixins (pictured above): Start with the humblest of ingredients — potatoes, onions and chicken stock — wait seven hours, then pile on all your favorite baked potato toppings, like bacon, cheddar cheese, chives and more.

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Summer Slow-Cooking: How to Up Your Grill Game

by in How-to, In Season, Recipes, August 2nd, 2014

We have reached part three of our series on summer slow-cooking. You can catch up on part one and part two. So far, we’ve found a way to keep our kitchen cool by turning off that oven, and we’ve found a great trick for cooking bone-in and tougher cuts of meat. So for part three, I want to share how to cook items that complement what you are making on the grill (which is most likely meat, fish or some other protein). So for my final benefit (sniff!):

You can easily cook larger quantities of accompaniments that go well with whatever you have on the grill. Read more

Summer Slow-Cooking: Slow Cooker + Outdoor Grill = True Love

by in How-to, Recipes, July 26th, 2014

Summer Slow-Cooking: Slow Cooker + Outdoor Grill = True LoveICYMI — I am sharing the joy of using a slow cooker as a companion to your outdoor barbecue. This is part two of a three-part series, but don’t worry, you can catch up quickly by reading here. We’ll wait. You back? Good. Wasn’t that cool? Baking in your slow cooker? Who knew, right? But let’s set the cobbler aside for a moment and get to our next function of the handy slow cooker in the world of summer barbecues. When I think of outdoor grilling, I think of MEAT. So for my next benefit:

You can precook bone-in or tougher meats for better (and easier!) results on the grill.

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Summer Slow-Cooking: How to Bake Without Heating Up the House

by in Food Network Chef, Recipes, July 19th, 2014

How to Bake Without Heating Up the HouseWho doesn’t love coming home to the aromas of a slow cooker filled with bubbling chili, steaming chicken and dumplings, or hearty beef stew on a cold day? The slow cooker is a staple for the busy person’s winter menu rotation. But come Memorial Day, many of us tuck the slow cooker away in the garage on top of a carton of wool mittens and mothballs, not to be seen before the first chill of Halloween.

I want to change that, one household at a time. I’d like to make the case for slow-cooking in summer. In fact, I think it is the most-underused companion to your summer outdoor barbecue.

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Best 5 Slow-Cooker Recipes

by in Recipes, September 12th, 2013

Slow Cooker Beef PaprikashOn days when you know there’s not going to be any time to devote to cooking, there’s just one tool that makes it easy to get dinner on the table quickly: the slow cooker. This user-friendly gadget is perhaps the most go-to kitchen appliance in many families’ homes, as it will do most of the mealtime preparation for you. Once you slice and dice a few vegetables, season the meat, and add spices and liquids, all you have left to do is flip on the machine; you can leave the machine unattended for hours, then come home to a ready-to-eat meal. While soups and stews are classic slow-cooker favorites, the machine’s versatility is far-reaching, as it’s able to turn out pastas, pork and even candy with ease. Check out Food Network’s top-five slow-cooker recipes below to find both sweet and savory dishes that are easy enough to make on hectic weekdays.

5. Slow-Cooker Chocolate Candy — Trisha uses just four ingredients to make her salty-sweet treat, studded with peanuts for a welcome crunch. She lets the candy cook in the slow cooker before spooning it into cupcake liners and letting it cool.

4. Slow-Cooker Pork Tacos — Guarantee moist and tender shredded pork by cooking the meat in a richly flavorful sauce of pureed chipotles, honey and vinegar, and let your family members build their own tacos by serving the pork with a spread of classic toppings.

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Stand-Up Stews — Comfort Food Feast

by in Family, Recipes, February 13th, 2013

Spicy Cajun Seafood StewDust off those slow cookers and Dutch ovens. This week, we’re breaking down the most comforting stew recipes by protein. When simmered low and slow, even the toughest meats transform into soft, no-knife-necessary morsels. In the end, the theme here is gentle cooking, and just about any ingredient will do.

Oftentimes, when a stew hankering hits, it’s of the beef genre. Paula Deen’s Old-Time Beef Stew is deeply rich and ultimately classic. Food Network Magazine’s zesty Slow-Cooker Caribbean Beef Stew is over-the-top with a hit of hot sauce.

Sausage may not necessarily require low-heat cooking for its finer side to emerge, but Food Network Magazine’s Sausage-and-Vegetable Stew and Shrimp and Chorizo Stew are savory and heartening.

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Slow-Cooker Recipes Fit for Students and Busy Families

by in Community, Recipes, January 18th, 2012

minestrone soup with pastaThis week, Small Kitchen College and The Naptime Chef are teaming up to host a Slow Cooker Challenge and Giveaway. So what do college cooks and moms have in common? They’re both extremely busy. We couldn’t agree more.

Winter is the perfect time to get cozy in the kitchen with a slow cooker. The ultimate time-saver, throw everything in one pot before heading off to work or class, and dinner’s ready by the time you get home.

Skip the canned stuff and try Robin Miller’s Minestrone Soup With Pasta, Beans and Vegetables (pictured above). It’s a well-rounded meal full of zucchini, spinach, carrots and cannellini beans. Garnish with fresh basil for even more flavor.

Make this Slow Cooker Chicken Chili for a crowd. Chipotle chiles add a smoky heat, while a pinch of ground cloves and a splash of beer keep things interesting.

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How to Successfully Slow-Cook

by in Behind the Scenes, Food Network Magazine, December 21st, 2011


The slow cooker is our friend in the test kitchen, and we’ve discovered some helpful tips to create the perfect dish every time:

1.    Pick the Right Cut of Meat: Use cuts of meat that are best for slow braising, like pork shoulder, and try to avoid leaner cuts, like pork tenderloin, that don’t hold up as well.

2.    Spend Some Time Up Front: All you need is 30 minutes or less to brown your meat. Make a quick pan sauce or reduce wine before adding to your slow cooker — it makes a big difference in flavor.

3.    Choose Your Alliums Wisely: Onion, garlic and shallot all belong to the same genus and when they’re added raw to a slow cooker, sometimes they create a metallically after-taste. We prefer to use leeks (also in same genus), which are milder. We also love to toast thinly sliced garlic in butter or oil and stir in at the end (like in Food Network Magazine’s Vegetable and Lentil Slow Cooker Soup, pictured above).

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