Top positive review
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Slightly more imaginative than the rest
on 10 September 2010
I looked far and wide for a good slow cooker recipe book. In truth, the range of recipes tend to be somewhat uninspiring - but that's partly down to the slow cooker style that really specialises in stews and the like. This one was both the most appealing in terms of recipes and aesthetically the most attractive - it has nice pictures and doesn't look like it belongs in the 1970s.
The chapters are arranged into:
food for friends
drinks and preserves
ways to cheat.
This structure means that dishes are not grouped together as you might expect - say with all beef based recipes together, but no problem as there's a good index. The forgotten cuts chapter in particular is interesting and has good recipes that will save you money in these cash-strapped times.
Personally, and to be fair all the slow cooking recipe books seem to do this, but the chances of me using my slow cooker to make "skiers hot chocolate" for example are somewhere close to zero. A lot of the recipes do seem to involve using a slow cooker for the sake of it when another method would do as well. Surely the benefit of a slow cooker is that you want to do maybe a little prep, throw things in and go off and work or play and come back to a melt in the mouth, tasty meal? Am I going to use it to make marmalade? No, I am not.
In practice then only around two thirds of the recipes are ones that I am likely to try. But as I've said, that's my complaint about all the others too, so it seems you just have to lump it. Why for example do we need eggs en cocette at 45 minutes? That's just a longer way to do something but not long enough to justify leaving it on for ages. Now with some things the slow cooking improves the taste. Not here it doesn't.
The recipes that I have tried are all very good. Cooking times seem reasonably accurate (although part of the joy of slow cooking is that you can leave the thing on a bit longer anyway) and are certainly tasty. And for all its faults, it's one of the best slow cooking recipe book I've found so far.