The popularity of crock pot cooking is based on three things: convenience, cost and variety. Over the years, this form of cooking has become a standard method of meal preparation in many homes, with more followers being added daily. Our Rock That Crock Pot Report is designed to introduce the novice to slow cooking and to provide the more experienced cooks with more recipes to add to their collection.
In this book, you’ll find recipes ranging from appetizers to desserts, all of which are easy to prepare with readily available ingredients. You’ll find the nutritional analysis helpful in diet control and the finished product superb, regardless of the dish or the occasion for which you’re preparing it.
The term “crock pot” is a registered trademark for one particular slow cooker, but the term has become a universal identification for a cooking vessel made by many different manufacturers. Regardless of the particular manufacturer, the crock pot offers many advantages for meal preparation, some of which are:
* Extended cooking times preserve and distribute the flavors of foods, especially for soups and stews where many ingredients are combined into one dish.
* The lower temperatures used in slow cooking avoid overcooking or scorching foods.
* Lower-cost cuts of meat are easily tenderized in a crock pot, saving many dollars on the food budget.
* A slow cooker provides convenience for the busy cook - plug it in when you leave for work and have a dinner ready when you return home after work.
* A crock pot frees up your stove top and oven for other uses - particularly during busy holiday seasons or family gatherings.
* The ease of crock pot cooking cannot be denied - often, the recipe in the slow cooker is a one-dish meal - who could ask for more?
Today, most recipes can be adapted to crock pot cooking by following a few simple tips:
* Placement of ingredients in the slow-cooker: Put the longest cooking ingredients, such as carrots and potatoes, at the bottom of the cooker; place the meat on top of the vegetables to act as a seasoning agent, and add milk or cheese only during the last half hour of cooking.
* Less liquid is required for slow cooking than for conventional dish preparation. Generally, only add one cup of liquid (or one-half the recipe amount) unless rice, pasta or dried beans are included in the dish.
* For uncooked rice or pasta, add 1/4 cup more liquid per 1/4 cup of rice or pasta. If cooked rice is called for in the recipe, add it only during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
* For dried beans, cover the beans with at least one-inch of water and cook on low heat.
*Add dried herbs and spices during the last 30 minutes of cooking; fresh herbs may be added at the beginning of the cooking cycle.
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