Thai Squash Soup with Shrimp
Vegan Lemon Lentil Soup
Mushroom Pot Roast
Fennel and Tomato Pork Stew
Cheddar Garlic Bread
To round out your slow cooker meals, add our Cheddar Garlic Bread and Mandarin Spinach Salad.
The challenge with Crock-pot cookery is how to maximize and maintain the flavour of your finished dish over a long cooking process -- often home cooks are left with flat-tasting dishes that fail to please. To go from insipid to lip-smacking, there are a few tricks for your slow cooker recipes that will enhance your results.
1. Don't peek during cooking
Lifting the lid to peak or stir adds fifteen to twenty minutes of extra cooking time to the end product. Peek only when checking for doneness or adding thickening to a sauce at the end.
2. Don’t add too much liquid
When you assemble the ingredients in a slow cooker, the liquid may not cover the solids. Don't worry! During cooking the liquid will increase as foods release juices and steam. Slow, covered cooking means that the juices have nowhere to go and will stay in the pot to flavour the dish.
3. Leave space
There should always be at least two inches of space between the top of the food and top rim of the slow cooker so that food can come to a simmer.
4. Fill to the proper level
As a general rule, the slow cooker should be no more than three-quarters full and no less than half full.
5. Don’t use frozen meat
Thaw meat and poultry thoroughly before placing in a slow cooker. The frozen meat will increase cooling time and add too much liquid to the pot. Frozen vegetables can be added near the end of cooking time.
6. Brown meat to add flavour
Whenever possible, brown meats or vegetables before placing in the slow cooker. The caramelization of the sugars in the food will enhance the end result.
7. Increase dried spices
Use dried spices for longer cooking times. Slightly increase the spices and salt if using a standard recipes -- the long simmering will dull the flavours.
8. Fresh herbs go in at the end
Add fresh herbs and delicate vegetables at the end of the cooking time to retain the freshness of their flavours.
9. Use slow cooker recipes
For best results, use recipes designed specifically for slow cookers or Crock-pots - they will take all of the rules into account so you don’t have to.
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