Thursday, May 29, 2014

This Book Room: The Great American Slow Cooker Book

Millions of people are turning to slow cookers for their weeknight meals yet often can't find recipes that match their exact machine. Adapting recipes meant for a different-size cooker doesn't work—getting the right level of spice in your Vietnamese soup or keeping pulled pork tender requires having ingredients in the right proportion. But now, Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough have decoded slow cookers, and each of their recipes includes ingredient proportions for 2-3 quart, 4-5 quart, and 6-8 quart machines, guaranteeing a perfect fit no matter what machine you own. Each recipe is labeled for its level of difficulty and nutritional value, and they cover every kind of dish imaginable: delicious breakfast oatmeals, slow-braised meats, succulent vegetables, sweet jams and savory sauces, decadent desserts. This is the slow cooker book to end them all.

My thoughts: This book is absolutely genius. If you are looking for a slow cooker book, you really need look no further than the Great American Slow Cooker Book. First, each recipe is adapted for three sizes of slow cookers. So no matter what size cooker you have, you can make each recipe without trying to figure out the proportions yourself. I've never seen that feature in any other slow cooker book I've read.

The best part about this book, though, is that all of the recipes use real ingredients. You'll find no cream of something soup, no dry onion soup mixes, nothing like that (if a recipe from another book calls for that kind of ingredient, I'd encourage you to make the ingredient yourself). There are definitely recipes you'll recognize: tuna noodle casserole, macaroni and cheese, even sloppy joes. But there are others that I've never seen for a slow cooker before, and it's obvious their focus is on real foods: potato leek soup, spaghetti squash with pine nuts and sage, root vegetable tagine with pistachios and dried cherries. I'm incredibly excited to try some of these recipes. Sometimes, I can get in a rut with slow cookers and make the same boring dishes or I only bust them out for just me, Jason and Bug and don't use them for fancier occasions. But with recipes like sour cherry and almond cobbler, I feel like I'll be out of a rut and making dishes for big family gatherings in no time!

Thanks to WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

No comments: