Cookbook #4: Crock-Pot Best Loved Slow-Cooker RecipesJanuary 16, 2012
I love using slow cookers during the winter. They’re helpful when you have a busy lifestyle; I’ll often prepare something in one when I have to review a play later that night or something.
That said, I haven’t spent that much time with my only slow cooker-themed cookbook. I think it was a gift from my old roommates, Kari and Vanessa. I decided to make two recipes, both involving barley, because I’ve been trying to cook more with grains this year.
Adaptations: Besides using buffalo instead of ground beef for the stroganoff, I pretty much stuck to the recipes here.
What I learned: Both barley and dried mushrooms are natural fits for the slow cooker.
Recipe results: I wasn’t wowed by the stew (there was a slight sweetness, probably from the carrots or the veggie broth, that tasted slightly off to me), but John was a big fan. I liked the stroganoff dish a lot – the barley was filling and healthy, stretching out the meat in the recipe.
Cookbook verdict: A lot of these recipes were hit and miss, using a lot of processed ingredients like condensed soup, or just a bit more homestyle than my taste. But there still were some interesting options in there. I’m definitely looking forward to making a Thai Pumpkin Soup at some point from it.
Recipes: After the jump.
Mushroom Barley Stew
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 cup dried mushrooms, broke into pieces (I used shitake)
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp dried thyme
5 cups veggie broth
Heat oil in pan. Sautee onion, garlic and carrots until soft. Put in slow cooker.
Add barley, mushrooms, salt and pepper and thyme. Cook on low all day.
Barley Beef Stroganoff
2/3 cup uncooked pearl barley
2.5 cups veggie or beef broth
1 package sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 pound ground beef or ground buffalo
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup minced green onion
salt and pepper
1/4 cup fat free half and half
Place barley, broth, mushrooms and marjoram in slow cooker. Cook on low all day.
Stir fry ground meat, celery, green onion in pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Add meat mixture and half and half to crock pot. Cook on high 15-20 minutes. Check seasonings and serve.