Monday, 27 October 2014

The Slow Cooker Cookbook, Review and Giveaway

I'm back! After a relaxing Caribbean break, I'm back to fully embrace the cold crisp nights that Autumn brings. This time of the year, gone are the salads and girls and they are replaced with hearty soups, stews, pies and casseroles. The Slow Cooker Cookbook by Gina Steer is the perfect book for me to fully embrace the months ahead and to create succulent, tender and flavour-packed dishes, in a Slow Cooker. I must admit I did not own a slow cooker prior to receiving this book to review, but promptly brought one to fully test the recipes in this book, (which I brought for a barginous £15 from B and M stores. I studied many of the recipes in this book and I was spoilt for choice in choosing a recipe to review. I decided on making the Cajun dirty rice, which is very similar to the jambalaya. However, this recipe includes the use of pork mince, instead of the chorizo of the jambalaya which when cooked in the dish the mince almost is lost visually due to the chicken taking over, but certainly comes through with each bite. There are several recipes that I will be trying out over the next couple of months, especially for my mid-week meals when I would usually be too tired to rustle up a hearty dish after work. I do have one criticism of this book,  many of the recipes are required to pre cooked before placing in the slow cooker.

This cook book is split into the following chapters:

  • Starters and Sauces - standout starters include duck pate, farmhouse terrine and spicy squash soup.
  • Fish and Seafood - recipes to try include fish and pasta bake, fish creole and scallops, prawn and saffron rice.
  • Meat - standout recipes include chill con carne, barbecued ribs and fruity pork chops. 
  • My favourite chapter Poultry, recipes to try include Cajun Dirty Rice, Mexican Chicken Drumstick and Teryaki Poussin.
  • Vegetables - recipes to try include Tuscan Bean Stew, Spicy Vegetables with Coconut Winter Vegetable Casserole and Warm Bean and Pumpkin Salad.
  • Desserts - stand out recipes include Chocolate Brioche Bread Pudding, Creme Brûlée and Gingerbread.
I made the recipe for the Cajun Dirty Rice which was minimum effort but maximum flavour.
Cajun dirty rice

Cajun dirty rice cooking

Cajun dirty rice in slow cooker


Recipe for Cajun Dirty Rice
Serves 4 to 6, Preparation Time for 15 minutes, Cooking Time: Cook on high 2 to 4 hours.

6 rashers streaky bacon chopped
350g chicken livers
225g fresh pork mince
1 onion, peeled and chopped fine
2-4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 celery, trimmed and chopped fine
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
900ml chicken stock
1-2 tsp Cajun seasoning
salt and black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
1tsp paprika
225g quick long grain rice
6 spring onion, trimmed and copped, to garnish

Preheat the cooker on high while preparing the ingredients. Place the bacon in a nonstick frying pan and yea gently until the fat begins to run. Meanwhile, discard any sinew or gristle from the chicken livers and chop fine. Add the liver and pork mince to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until seared. Stir in the onion, garlic, celery and pepper and continue to cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Pour in the stock with the seasonings and rick and bring to the boil, then spoon into the cooking pot. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 2 to 4 hours. Adjust seasoning and serve sprinkled with the chopped spring onions.

The lovely people at The Quarto Group are giving three lucky  readers a copy of this book, perfect for the Autumn months. Just follow the instructions on the rafflecopter.

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