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Paperback The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World [A Cookbook] Book

ISBN: 1580084893

ISBN13: 9781580084895

The Gourmet Slow Cooker: Simple and Sophisticated Meals from Around the World [A Cookbook]

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

An upscale approach to the new-old phenomenon of cooking with a slow cooker, by author and food journalist Lynn Alley, featuring 60 recipes. With fresh ingredients and imaginative recipes, you can... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Proudly serve your family

I have been so pleased with the recipes in this cookbook. If you're meat eaters like my family and I are, this book will offer you some wonderful meal options. I have a carnivorous husband and 3 sons, and we have really enjoyed the roasts and stews in particular in this book. You will find interesting flavors and room for substitution to make these recipes your own - the book offers, for example, an Italian twist on pot roast, stew options with beef, chicken and lamb flavored with a French, Italian or Mexican flair. Some meals are traditional (chicken and dumplings, corned beef and cabbage, Beef Burgundy) and some are more "gourmet" (Indian apricot chicken, Greek influenced Lamb Shanks in Tomato Sauce). Other than root vegetables (and of course beans), most vegetables are not for the slow cooker. I love that I can spend about a half hour putting a good meal into my slow cooker in the morning after the craze of getting the kids off to their day...then I can clean up the kitchen. When afternoon rolls around and it's time to do homework, soccer practice and other afternoon activities, I can enjoy them with my children knowing that a good hearty nutritious meal waits for us upon our return home. You can easily find other slow-cooker cookbooks with MORE recipes, but I find that sometimes to be overwhelming (and 12 bean recipes isn't always helpful...I'd prefer one that I can vary a bit). I have made several of these recipes, and continue to make them as well as alter them along the way to make them more to my family's liking. I really feel that cream of mushroom soup gave slow cookers a bad name...if you're willing to put 20-30 minutes into braising the meat and prepping the meal prior to putting it in the slow cooker, you will get a meal you can proudly serve your family.

Excellent book, quite different than most books on the topic

A passionate home cook that has been honing her cooking skills for the last 25 years, concentrating on Italian cooking for the last 10 years, writes this review. My favorite cookbooks are "The Professional Chef" by the Culinary Institute and "Culinary Artistry". With more than 500 cookbooks in my collection I am usually disappointed in my recent cookbook acquisitions. As a time crunched workingwoman that likes to serve delicious home cooked food I am always looking for ways to make my life easier. With that in mind I picked up this book to see if it had anything new to offer. The recipes contained within this book have pleasantly surprised me. The recipes in this book are subdivided as follows: 1. United States 2. Mexico 3. Great Britain and Ireland 4. France 5. Italy 6. Greece 7. India Before I review the book, I must say that if you are on a diet, this is not the best book for you. Many of the recipes depend on significant quantities of meat and/or animal by products (cheese, heavy cream, whole milk) for flavor. However, I have found it easy to modify the recipes to get similar "healthier" results. If you are comfortable modifying recipes this book is full of ideas that you can use to develop your own version of healthier slow cooked "gourmet" recipes. My particular cooking specialties are Italian, Indian and French cooking. The directions in the recipes are adequate to reproduce reasonably facsimiles of these recipes even for those unfamiliar with the cuisines of these cultures. Most of the resulting recipes were very close in flavor to the authentic dishes. The "baked" dessert recipes that are included in this book impressed me. The book contains a few different recipes for cakes and cookies that can be prepared in the slow cooker, including a biscotti recipe. The book also includes recipes for slow cooked polenta and risotto in this book, which I consider a stroke of genius. Anything that helps me to prepare the food that my family loves, without being chained to the stove is a great idea in my opinion. Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone that is trying to find ways to serve their family more food that is lower in terms of preservatives or additives and is looking to cut down on the amount of carry out food that they are bringing into their home.

You will still have to do prep work

We think of slow cookers as labor saving devices, and they are. However this book focuses on utlilizing the slow cooker as another tool in the kitchen, one that, by its design, results in tender cooked meats. This is not a book for those who want to be able to throw stuff into the cooker and come back 8 hours later. There is a lot of prep work, and, the three recipes I have prepared so far, require sautee skills, blender skills, roaster skills. Excellent, flavorful end results though. I have tried chicken and dumplings, tamale pie, and pork stew with tomatillos. The winner is the pork stew. Honestly I have never tried a recipe that required 3 lbs of tomatillos. But it worked. Also I haven't ever used my broiler before to roast chiles, onions, tomatillos, etc. I always used my comal on top of the stove. But the broiler method worked great. Of the tamale pie and chicken with dumplings recipes, neither the dumplings nor the cornbread were spectacular, but the flavor was very good. For the way I cook, and because I enjoy prep work, I can recommend this book. But be warned. Supplemental: The artichoke risotto was a complete bust. It just didn't work. I don't know what kind of crockpot she was testing this recipe in, but I followed the directions to the letter, and after two hours on high, the risotto was inedible. I moved it over to a rice cooker to finish off. So my rating goes down to 3 stars with this experience.

Finally, a Slow Cooker Book That Works!

I've tried three recipes so far from this collection, each one more complex than the last, as I gain my trust in this author. The Baked Eggplant was ridiculously easy (just cut the eggplants into cubes and cook on low for 4-6 hours, then add the seasonings after the cooking is done.) Next I tried the Tuscan White Bean Soup, which was excellent and not at all watery, like most crock-pot soups. Finally, I made a pot of Mexican Chicken in Peanut and Ancho Chili Sauce, and I can finally say that I've found a crock pot book that really does work.The author encourages crock-pot users to lift the lid and stir while the food is cooking; I heartily agree, because the food ends up well cooked and NOT the watery, insipid mess I usually got. These are recipes that will not taste like a well-meaning, "good-for-you" home economics project. But this means you can't start your supper in the morning and have it done when you're back from work: the result may be watery. That's been my experience with other books, like Judith Finalyson's. So if you're going to be home and willing to keep an eye on your slow cooker while it's doing its thing, you will be very satisfied with the recipes in this book.
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