Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Quick post on slow-cooking!
My bro Paul got me a super-sweet slow cooker for my b-day, and I've already used it twice, to make split pea soup and then some luxuriously creamy Irish oatmeal! I love this thing! I fill it up, turn it on, and leave it. It's a workin' lady's dream come true.
I have the Cuisinart 3-1/2 Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
This model is pretty perfect for a 1-2 person household. Most slow cooker recipes are written for something in the 4 quart range, and it's also very easy to adapt other braise/soup/stew recipes to a slow-cooker. Just reduce the liquid by 50% and double the cooking time (at least). You always want to keep the meat browning step, but otherwise you can throw all your ingredients together in the slow-cooker and fuggeddaboudit!
Split Pea Soup (adapted from Cuisinart slow-cooker recipe book)
Makes 8 servings
6 ounces shallot, finely chopped
1 celery rib, trimmed and finely chopped
8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
8 ounces carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 pound green split peas, rinsed and picked over
6 cups water
1 ham-hock, meaty ham bone, or 8 ounces cubed ham
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1/4 cup dry sherry
Put all ingredients except sherry into slow cooker and set on High for 2 hours. Switch to Low for another 6 to 8 hours (time needed will depend on your slow-cooker). Remove ham hock or ham bone, discard the bone, shred the meat and return to the soup. Stir in the sherry and serve.