I love my Crock Pot. I fill it and turn it on before I leave for work, and when I get home at the end of the day the house smells fantastic and dinner is ready. And I love finding new crock pot cookbooks on the NEW shelves too!
Slow Cooker Revolution: One test kitchen, 30 slow cookers, 200 amazing recipes by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. The people at ATK spent a year testing and refining these recipes. Before they started cooking, they tested a variety of slow cookers, and they discovered that each brand and model is different. They cook at different temperatures, and have different “hot spots”. So the ATK staff included simple instructions for testing your own slow cooker so you know what you’re working with.
Divided into 13 chapters Slow Cooker Revolution covers a wide range of recipes – from traditional crock pot fare like soups and stews, to more unique offerings like side dishes, eggs & brunch, and casseroles. Each recipe starts with a paragraph called “Why this recipe works” that explains what they learned when testing that recipe or how they updated it. Most of the recipes include steps designed to bump up the flavor or to decrease the liquid in the finished recipe, which can make all the difference in slow cooker fare.
There are more than just recipes here. Throughout the book there are helpful full-page guides like “All About Chicken in the Slow Cooker” and at the bottom of most recipes you’ll find either a “Smart Shopping Tip,” “Quick Prep Tip” or a simple “On the side” recipe to go along with the main recipe. All of these extras make this a fun read even if you’re not cooking, though the photographs will probably make you hungry!
There is one unfortunate thing about many of the recipes in this book: the cooking times. With all their updates, recipes that used to take 8 hours now don’t take nearly as long. Which means either I have to run home for lunch and load the crock pot, or I have to save my crock pot experiments for the weekends. So take note of the cooking time at the top of each recipe before you begin – you may be in for a surprise. But I can’t wait to try the “Balsamic-Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard” and “Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic” recipes!
Other new Slow Cooker/One Dish Meal cookbooks:
The Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester has 150 recipes to choose from. Well written uncomplicated recipes for a variety of soups, stews, curries, casseroles, pastas and deserts to please even the non vegans at your table. Soy Free or Gluten Free recipes are noted just after the title, and most recipes have prep work that you can do the night before, to make the next morning easier.
EatingWell One-Pot Meals by Jessie Price. Over 100 recipes are divided in to sections by the type of cooking: salad bowl, wok, skillet, roasting pan, casserole, slow cooker, and dutch oven. Each section includes a one-page essay by a chef who specializes in that type of cooking. The recipes are well written, and include nutritional information per serving. An additional “Resources” chapter has guides to roasting or steaming vegetables and cooking grains. The full page photographs will make your mouth water.
Sizzling Skillets and other one-pot wonders by Emeril Lagasse. Emeril’s ode to one pot cooking, from cast iron, slow cooker, dutch oven, or wok, contains over 130 mouth watering recipes. From regional classics to recipes with an international flare, just reading the table of contents will make you want to spend the weekend in your kitchen. But take note – the cooking and prep times are NOT given at the beginning of each recipe – cooking times are written into the instructions.