The Great American Slow Cooker Book: 500 easy recipes for every day and every size machine is the perfect cookbook for the adventuresome cook who may think slow cookers are old school and boring. Why do I say that? Too often most of us think of the slow cooker are the appliance necessary to keep items warm at pot lucks or it's what we grab when we plan to smother a hunk of meat with a can of soup, some onions, and if we're adventuresome some mushrooms. None of that appeals to those who are into fresh herbs, ethnic tastes, and borderline gourmet.
I guarantee that Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough have not included a single recipe calling for canned soup. Instead, the savory dishes often call for fresh herbs and definitely a wide array of spices with precise directions. No plopping and dumping here. That doesn't mean the recipes are difficult. I made PORK LOIN WITH APPLES AND THYME this weekend and it was delicious -- browned pork, tart apples, white wine, honey, fresh thyme (from my herb garden) and a little seasoning.
EASY PEASY. Some recipes are more complicated but like the title states most are just plain easy but rely on fresh ingredients.
What I like best about this cookbook is that each recipe includes three ingredient lists - 2.5-3 quart, 4 -5.5 quart, 6 quart or larger. Now when I find a recipe I like I can use the smaller recipe in my small crockpot for just hubby and me, but I also know the right proportions for making the same dish for a larger group of people. I also like the wonderful narrative that runs throughout the cookbook. I have collected cook books for decades and I DO read them like they are regular books. This one has so many extra comments that it kept me entertained well beyond looking at the recipes. The two guys really get into the science of how a slow cooker works and how the flavors will develop-- very interesting.
There are some colored photos, but not every recipe has a photo. In other words, this is not a coffee table cookbook, meant to be eye candy. This is meant to be used to prepare meals. With 500 recipes, you are sure to find plenty that you want to try. How about Raspberry Chipotle Chicken Drumsticks or
Chicken Leg Quarters for Tomatoes and Basil for dinner with a Lemon Buttermilk Pudding Cake for dessert? The Great American Slow Cooker Book would make a great gift, especially if you couple it with a new slow cooker. I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.