Ever since I was sent a fabulous slow cooker to review back in October 2010, I've been a huge fan of the wonderful melt-in-the-mouth stews and meaty dishes that I've prepared. However, I have to admit that I always cook pretty much the same thing - beef in beer, boeuf bourgignon or chicken casserole, with a combination of added ingredients such as beans and lentils, tomatoes and vegetables or various spices to mix things up a bit. Although the whole family loves them all, I'd love to branch out and extend my repertoire of slow cooker recipes a bit. I was therefore really chuffed to receive The Ultimate Slow Cooker Cookbook from Morphy Richards.
Despite being quite a small 128 page book, it is absolutely packed with recipe ideas, not all of which are illustrated but which all seem very easy to follow. It's split into sections covering soups; chicken, duck and fish; pork and lamb; beef and game; vegetarian and vegetable dishes; desserts; and preserves. The first recipe that leapt out at me was the Butter-Basted Whole Chicken with Lemon and Thyme. I would never have thought of cooking a whole chicken in the slow cooker before and it looks like a great alternative to a traditional roast chicken. I'll definitely be trying this out but as it takes 5 hours to cook on high or 10 hours on low, it won't be for Sunday lunch, that's for sure !
Another type of meat that I haven't tried in the slow cooker yet is ham and gammon but I will be very tempted to try the Ham Hock with Boston Baked Beans and the Pot-Roasted Gammon in Cider with Apples, which both sound and look absolutely divine.
Some of the recipes sound like things I already prepare, with or without the slow cooker, such as White Bean and Tomato Cassoulet or Sausage, Red Onion and Bean Casserole but they still have fresh twists on the classic recipes I use, such as adding a dollop of fresh pesto to zing it all up a bit.
But the sections that had me the most intrigued were the final ones covering desserts and preserves. I never would have dreamed of using the slow cooker to make marmalade, lemon curd, cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding but I think I may have to give them a try ! I haven't had time to try any of the recipes yet but when I have, I'll come back and show you how I got on.
If you're a total slow cooker novice, you'll also appreciate the guide to getting started at the beginning of the book.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : it says £14.99 on the back of the book but you can buy it for £5.99 on the Morphy Richards website
for more information : http://www.homeofthehouseproud.com/the-ultimate-slow-cooker-book-a-must-for-the-slow-cooker-fan
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