Home' Advocate Communications : Fiordland Advocate 7 June 2012 Contents WHAT’S COOKING
Page 12 | 7 June, 2012
Winter is the time of
the year when the
slow cooker can become
a permanent item
on your kitchen bench.
It’s so easy before leaving the house in the morning to throw some
cubed meat into the cooker plus a selection of healthy vegetables and
some seasonings and flick the on switch. Arriving home after work, the
house is filled with mouth-watering aromas and a melt-in-your-mouth
delicious dinner awaits.
However, after experimenting with my slow cooker over the last couple
of years I’ve found that not all foods or recipes take eight hours to cook,
the length of time most working mums are away from their homes. In
fact, left too long they become extremely mushy, and as my family says
“all the dishes start to taste the same”.
If you want to ‘slow down the slow cooking’ I suggest preparing the
ingredients the night before, placing them in the crockery insert of the
slow cooker and refrigerating it overnight. Chilling will add one to two
hours to the cooking time. To prevent the insert from cracking, ensure
you place it into the cooker before you turn it on.
Another idea to slow the cooking is to invest in a timer so you can delay
To obtain the best flavour, lightly brown the meat and veggies before
placing them in the slow cooker. If time is limited, this step can be
eliminated but it is important to pre-cook the onion either by sautéing in
a frying pan or in the microwave. Raw onion can sometimes dominate
Very little moisture is lost from slow cookers, so if you’re using a
favourite casserole recipe, reduce the amount of liquid by one-third to
Little or no stirring is required when cooking on low but occasional
stirring may be necessary to distribute the heat evenly when cooking on
Reheating leftovers in a slow cooker is not recommended.
100g each: dried apricots, dried
21⁄2 cups milk
1 cup each: medium grain rice,
cream, orange juice
1⁄4 cup sugar
Spray the inside of a slow cooker
Dice the apricots.
Combine all the ingredients then
pour into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low for 4 hours
or high for 2 hours.
Great served warm or cold with
fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Creamy rice pudding with fruit
3 large pork hocks
8 large shallots or pickling-
2 tart apples, peeled and
11⁄2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 tablespoon brown sugar
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup apple juice
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 star anise
1⁄2 cup raisins
Place the hocks in a large slow
Add the shallots or onions and
over the pork. Sprinkle with the
cloves, star anise and raisins.
Cover and cook on low for 6
hours. Using tongs, remove the
hocks to a platter. Use the tongs
to remove the skin and bones.
The meat will be so tender it falls
off the bones.
Thicken the juices, if preferred,
with 2 tablespoons of cornflour
mixed to a paste with a little
Return the meat to the slow
cooker and reheat. Serves 6.
750g lean minced beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 each: yellow, red pepper
2 teaspoons wholegrain mustard
1 teaspoon each: Worcestershire
sauce, mixed dried herbs
1 cup good tomato sauce
Spray the slow cooker with oil
Combine the meat with the egg,
peppers, seasonings and half the
Place on a sheet of baking paper
large enough to allow you to lift
the loaf into the slow cooker.
Leave the baking paper in the
Spread the remaining tomato
sauce on top of the loaf.
Cover and cook on low heat for
Slow cooker meatloaf
2 rashers bacon, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 each: large carrot, parsnip, onion,
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon each: flour, paprika
8-10 skinned chicken thighs
1 bouquet garni
salt and pepper to taste
11⁄2 cups white wine
250g button mushrooms
Sauté the bacon in a frying
pan, until coloured.
Push to one side.
Add the oil and sauté the carrot,
parsnip, onion and garlic, until the
onion is softened.
Place in the slow cooker.
Dust the chicken with the
combined flour and paprika then
rub it in. Place the chicken on the
vegetables. Add the remaining
Cover and cook for about 5 hours
on low heat.
Slow-cooked chicken with vegetables
A bouquet garni is a bunch of fresh herbs such as thyme, rosemary, parsley and a bay leaf tied together with cotton or string.
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