Gourmet Cooking With A Crock-Pot
Often, when considering cooking dinner with a Crockpot, people may automatically think of soups, stews, a pot roast or chicken pieces. However, with a little creativity and a spice rack some delicious, impressive foods can be the result.
Slightly altering recipes from a variety of cookbooks and sources, Crockpot cooking need not be mundane. If you are leaning towards a recipe that calls for slow roasting in the oven, use the Crockpot instead!
One of the main reasons for not using the Crockpot with more creative recipes might be the fear of the unknown for some cooks. Trying something new with an long-standing, tried and true appliance can be a worrisome prospect to some and for good reason. However, trying and failing is better than not trying at all! If one recipe doesn't work for you, try the next one, and the next, until you find a grouping of recipes that will work. Always remember to write down the ones that do work, so you'll have the recipes at the ready the next time you wish to try "something new".
The beauty of the Crockpot, when it comes to cooking, is it allows whatever ingredients you are using to marinate in their flavorful juices. If your primary ingredient is a pork roast, a slow cooker helps to create a tender, tasty piece of meat. In altering recipes from cookbooks, always remember, the lid stays on during the cooking stage, therefore any recipe that requires liquids will use less, due to lack of evaporation.
Some suggestions for the Crockpot might be lasagna, linguine with clam sauce, your choice of white or red, macaroni and cheese, fish with stuffing, Swedish meatballs with gravy, adding a layer of egg noodles for good measure, or meatloaf, a staple in most households.
As most gourmet recipes call for wine, flavored vinegars, olive oil or some combination of the three, some of the liquid is provided but when in doubt add a can of flavored stewed tomatoes, liquid and all, to provide some zest to your dinner table. In addition, if you find yourself at a loss for a liquid, you can always add a cup or two of beef or chicken bouillon or broth to add some flavor to whatever it is you're cooking.
Crock-pots can be used to create a tremendous variety of Hors d'oeuvre, entrees, side dishes and desserts. With the array of sizes in which crock-pots are available, the possibilities are unlimited. Given the versatility of cooking with a Crockpot, you do not have to feel trapped with the same old, tired recipes.
Overcoming your fears and trying something new in your crock-pot will be an advantageous and delicious way to feed your family while not spending all your time in the kitchen, both before and after dinner. Try some new recipes in the crock-pot when company comes and give yourself more time to enjoy your company, which is really what entertaining is all about, isn't it?
Gourmet cooking in your crock-pot is obtainable and oh so delectable! Your family will love you for it and guests will marvel at how much time they might think you have spent preparing a delicious, "time-consuming" meal making them feel even more special!