A Wok Through Time by Sam Leong [azw3 | 19,04 Mb] ISBN: B00H5KM1EQ

  • Full Title: A Wok Through Time
  • Autor: Sam Leong
  • Print Length: 
  • Publisher: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Pte Ltd
  • Publication Date: Asia) Pte Ltd (April 15, 2010
    December 9, 2013
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: B00H5KM1EQ
  • ISBN-13: 
  • Download File Format | Size: azw3 | 19,04 Mb
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Having appeared on numerous television food shows, Sam Leong is now a household name in Singapore. A Wok Through Time traces Sam Leong’s journey from when he was a total novice in the kitchen to his present celebrity chef status.

It is an inspiring account of how a young Sam, disinterested in his studies, came under the wing of his father—renowned chef and shark’s fin king, Leong Woon Soon, and learnt the fundamentals that made him what he is today. The book comes alive with photographs tracing Sam’s journey and recipes of his award-winning creations, showcasing his excellent culinary skills. These enticing recipes are presented with clear instructions, and can be replicated in the home kitchen.

 

Editorial Reviews

 

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URALLY SUGAR-FREE

COOKBOOK

Dear Reader,

Thank you for joining us as we pursue a healthier and more energetic lifestyle! Whether you are new to sugar-free baking or have been at it for years, we invite you to explore the art of naturally sweet baking and join us in taking the sugar-free challenge. We have seen the benefits of omitting refined sugar and artificial sweeteners in our own lives and hope that you will do the same as you create healthier alternatives in your own kitchen.

As sisters who live scattered across the country from each other, we find that good food truly brings us together. We have discovered we don’t need to sacrifice great-tasting food or our families’ favorite recipes in our pursuit of health because natural sweeteners help us create the foods we love. We are passionate about the effects healthy foods have on our bodies and we love creating and sharing recipes on our website www.naturalsweetrecipes.com.

There is no greater gift we can give ourselves or our loved ones than to take care of our own health. It might seem daunting at first to eliminate refined sugar from your diet, but we are here to show you not only how to do it but also how delicious it can be! We can’t wait to help you get started!

Annie, Holly, and Chelsea Forsyth

Welcome to the EVERYTHING® Series!

These handy, accessible books give you all you need to tackle a difficult project, gain a new hobby, comprehend a fascinating topic, prepare for an exam, or even brush up on something you learned back in school but have since forgotten.

You can choose to read an Everything® book from cover to cover or just pick out the information you want from our four useful boxes: e-questions, e-facts, e-alerts, and e-ssentials. We give you everything you need to know on the subject, but throw in a lot of fun stuff along the way, too.

We now have more than 400 Everything® books in print, spanning such wide-ranging categories as weddings, pregnancy, cooking, music instruction, foreign language, crafts, pets, New Age, and so much more. When you’re done reading them all, you can finally say you know Everything®!

Answers to common questions

Important snippets of information

Urgent warnings

Quick handy tips

PUBLISHER Karen Cooper

MANAGING EDITOR, EVERYTHING® SERIES Lisa Laing

COPY CHIEF Casey Ebert

ASSISTANT PRODUCTION EDITOR Alex Guarco

ACQUISITIONS EDITOR Lisa Laing

SENIOR DEVELOPMENT EDITOR Brett Palana-Shanahan

EVERYTHING® SERIES COVER DESIGNER Erin Alexander

Visit the entire Everything® series at www.everything.com

THE

EVERYTHING®

NATURALLY

SUGAR-FREE

COOKBOOK

Annie, Holly, and Chelsea Forsyth of

www.naturalsweetrecipes.com

Avon, Massachusetts

To our Queen Mum, Leslie Forsyth, who inspires us in and out of the kitchen.

Contents

Introduction

1Going Sugar-Free

Sugar’s Dirty Little Secret

Trends and Statistics

The Meaning of Sugar-Free

Benefits of Going Sugar-Free

A Guide to Natural Sweeteners

2Breakfast

3Breads

4Appetizers

5Main Dishes

6Sauces, Dressings, and Spreads

7Drinks

8Cakes and Cupcakes

9Candy

10Cookies

11Dessert Bars

12Frostings, Glazes, and Toppings

13Frozen Treats

14Pies and Pastries

15Sweet and Salty Snacks

Appendix A: Additional Resources

Appendix B: Recipe Index

Standard U.S./Metric Measurement Conversions

Introduction

THE NATURALLY SWEET RECIPES found in this book feature whole ingredients and natural sweeteners. These foods contain vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that sustain and support life. These nutrients are what set the foundation for optimal health and help you attain the quality of life you deserve. However, most foods Americans eat every day do not contribute to optimal health. It is typically packaged, processed, and full of the food industry’s favorite preservative: sugar. Sugar is found on just about every ingredient list on foods in grocery stores today. Spice blends, yogurts, dried fruits, bread, and even meats contain sugar. It is difficult to find convenience food without refined sugar.

Enjoying convenience foods such as a favorite soft drink or dessert on a regular basis may seem harmless, but when it’s done consistently, sugar begins taking its toll. Health threats and diseases linked to diets high in processed foods and sugar are ever increasing. According to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, Americans consume roughly 130 pounds of added sugar per person per year. Excess sugar consumption is linked to diabetes and heart disease caused by chronic inflammation of the body.

The Everything® Naturally Sugar-Free Cookbook will help you create satisfying meals and mouthwatering baked goods without refined sugar and artificial sweeteners. The recipes in this book are all-natural
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x with Mini Potato Pancakes and Chive Sour Cream

Baked Gulf Oysters and Shrimp with Garlic, Lemon Butter, and Crabmeat

Littleneck Clams with Sweet Italian Sausage and Spicy Tomato Sauce

Sautéed Soft-Shell Crabs

Sautéed Redfish with Pecan-Shallot Compound Butter

Pan-Roasted Striped Bass with Fava Bean–Chorizo Ragout

Seared Diver Scallops with Oranges, Olives, Capers, and Fennel Puree

Out On the Range

Bacon-Wrapped Quail with Sausage, Sage, and Chestnut Dressing

Roast Chicken with Sorrel Cream Sauce

Fried Chicken and Buttermilk Waffles with Black Pepper Maple Syrup and Whipped Vanilla Butter

Emeril’s Day Spring Farm Heritage Turkey with Herbed Gravy

Pan-Roasted Duck Breasts with Apple Cider Reduction

Honey-Brined Pork Chops with Nectarine Chutney

Pork Loin with a Walnut and Herbed Farmer’s Cheese Stuffing and Pear-Parsnip Puree

Outstanding Rib Roast with Gremolata

Braised Lamb Shanks

Grilled Sausages with Homemade Mustard

Home Economics: Preserving the Harvest

General Guidelines for Home Preserving and Processing

Green Tomato Piccalilli

Spicy Tomato Jam

Homemade Hot Sauce

Watermelon Rind Crisp Sweet Pickles

Emeril’s Sauerkraut

Spicy Pickled Okra

Pickled Green Beans

Kosher-Style Dill Pickles

Portuguese Pickled Onions

Herbed Oil

Figs in Syrup

Pickled Beets

Brandied Cherries

Peach Freezer Jam

Homemade Applesauce

Index

Acknowledgments

Also by Emeril Lagasse

Copyright

About the Publisher

Introduction

I HAVE HAD A CONNECTION WITH THE SOIL SINCE I WAS A YOUNG BOY.

This was kindled long ago, when Dad and I would visit my Uncle Oliver’s farm in Westport, Massachusetts. I really looked up to Uncle Oliver, who made his living by growing and baling hay and raising hogs, chickens, goats, sheep, as well as growing fruits and vegetables. I remember being very happy walking the strawberry rows in spring—Uncle Oliver allowed me to pick to my heart’s content. I was also encouraged to help in the harvesting of beans, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers—you name it—and then looked forward to every fall for the arrival of cole crops, potatoes, and the magic of pumpkins.

This must have inspired Dad, too, because not much later he converted a good acre-plus of our backyard in Fall River into a vegetable garden, which we tended together. What we didn’t eat or share with friends and family was put into my little red wagon and peddled around the neighborhood, particularly to Gene’s Market, just a couple blocks from home.

As I got older, I began to take part in the milking of cows and goats and collecting eggs from the chicken coop. It was this experience that really taught me how a farm works. I made the connection between the food we buy at the market and the people who grow it, and that really stuck with me. Once I became a chef and began honing my craft, I knew the most important thing was to use the freshest and the best ingredients I could find. I also recognized that those ingredients, whether they be seafood, meat, poultry, or produce, should be grown and harvested locally.

A lesson from an early age of what makes great food.

By 1983, when I came to Louisiana and was given a chance to make a name for myself at Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, local ingredients were what I relied upon and how I became inspired. It was during those early years as a chef that I, along with a few other chefs and a great farmer, started a farm co-op in nearby Mississippi. The result was fresh produce and herbs straight from the farm and the beginning of “hog Wednesdays.” On that day, our farmer would bring freshly slaughtered pigs to the restaurant, and we used every part in every which way—a tradition that remains at Emeril’s Restaurant in New Orleans to this day. We took great pride in the fact that everything we made was completely from scratch: from goat cheese to ice cream, from Worcestershire sauce to house-cured bacon. And twenty years later, the focus remains the same for me: fresh quality ingredients make for good food and an exceptional quality of life. My passion for fresh farm-grown ingredients continues to grow stronger. All of the chefs who work in each of my restaurants around the country carry on the tradition of using the freshest ingredients and of maintaining long-lasting connections with local farmers. It is this principle that has inspired the recipes you’ll find in these pages: recipes that rely on simple techniques to really allow the integrity of the food to shine through.

“Buy fresh, Buy local” is a slogan that both my restaurants and my family try to live by—and a very important message that I feel compelled to pass along to folks as I encounter them in my travels each day. I try to instill this in my kids by bringing them with me when I shop for family meals. Not only is it fun for the
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Kentucky cranberry wine

Combine and shake over ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with an orange wedge on the rim.

JULEPS

The Kentucky Derby season starts in April. That means it’s julep-drinking season, too. Every year, Four Roses Distillery sponsors a mint julep recipe contest. (See one winning recipe on pp. 49–50.) Joy has a mint julep dinner at Equus Restaurant and Jack’s Lounge with Woodford Reserve and Brown-Forman master distiller Chris Morris. Chris brings one of the $1,000 mint julep cups that are sold to raise money for Thoroughbred horse charities.

The crucial ingredient for a great julep—in addition, of course, to good bourbon—is the syrup. This recipe can be used for any of the juleps herein:

KENTUCKY MINT SYRUP

2 cups boiling water

2 cups cane sugar

2 cups Kentucky Colonel mint leaves

Add mint leaves to boiling water. Boil 2 minutes. Add sugar, boil 1 minute. Cover pot and remove from heat. Steep 6 hours or overnight. Strain, bottle, and refrigerate. Keeps approximately 1 week.

JOY’S MINT JULEP

2 ounces Kentucky bourbon

1 ounce mint syrup

6–8 mint leaves

Add syrup and mint leaves to the glass and muddle the leaves. Then add bourbon and 1 ounce of water. Fill with crushed ice. Garnish with a large sprig of mint.

PINEAPPLE JULEP

2 ounces Kentucky bourbon

1 ounce pineapple juice

1 ounce mint syrup

3 tablespoons chopped fresh pineapple

6 Kentucky Colonel mint leaves

Combine syrup, mint leaves, and pineapple in the julep cup and muddle. Add crushed ice to fill. Then add the bourbon and the pineapple juice. Garnish with fresh mint and a pineapple spear, then serve with a long straw.

STRAWBERRY JULEP

2 ounces Kentucky bourbon

1 ounce mint syrup

3 chopped strawberries

6 Kentucky Colonel mint leaves

Combine syrup, mint leaves, and strawberries in the julep cup and muddle. Add crushed ice to fill. Then add the bourbon and 1 ounce of water. Garnish with fresh mint and a strawberry and serve with a long straw.

FROZEN MINT JULEP

This is especially good on a very hot and humid day.

½ cup mint syrup

1 cup Kentucky bourbon

¼ cup mint leaves

Pour all ingredients into a blender. Add ice to fill. Blend. Pour into a cup or glass and garnish with a sprig of mint.

CHOCOLATE JULEP

2 ounces Kentucky bourbon

1 ounce white crème de menthe

1 ounce dark crème de cacao

Shake over ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a mint sprig or, even better, a chocolate mint sprig.

THE OLD FASHIONED—THEME AND VARIATIONS

The Old Fashioned cocktail as we know it today traces its roots to Louisville’s private Pendennis Club. It is still, by far, the most-mixed cocktail at the club. The house bourbon is Old Forester, so it (or its sibling, Woodford Reserve) is recommended in these recipes. But feel free to substitute bourbons of similar proof. The only exception is the recipe calling for Woodford Reserve Double Oaked, which has such a unique flavor profile that it would be difficult to find a good substitute. (Not that Old Forester and Woodford aren’t distinctive bourbons, too.)

CLASSIC OLD FASHIONED

2 ounces Old Forester Signature (100 proof)

½ ounce simple sugar syrup

6 dashes Angostura bitters

1 orange wedge—squeeze and drop

1 cherry—squeeze and drop

Combine syrup, orange, cherry, and bitters in the glass. Add bourbon and 1 ounce of water, then add ice and shake. Garnish with a large lemon twist.

STRAWBERRY RHUBARB OLD FASHIONED

2 ounces Old Forester (86 proof)

1 ounce strawberry syrup (Smucker’s works well)

2 chopped strawberries

6–8 dashes Fee Brothers rhubarb bitters

Combine syrup, fruit, and bitters in the glass and lightly muddle. Add bourbon, ice, and 1 ounce of water. Shake. Garnish with a strawberry on the rim.

PINEAPPLE PLUM OLD FASHIONED

2 ounces Old Forester (86 proof)

1 ounce pineapple juice

1 ounce Kilimanjaro Foods brown sugar syrup

6 dashes Fee Brothers plum bitters

3 cubes fresh pineapple

1 wedge fresh plum, if available

Combine syrup and fruit in the glass and lightly muddle. Add ice, bourbon, and juice. Shake and garnish with a pineapple wedge.

BLUEBERRY ORANGE OLD FASHIONED

2 ounces Woodford Reserve (90.4 proof)

1 ounce blueberry syrup (Smucker’s works well)

6 dashes Fee Brothers West Indian orange bitters

6–8 blueberries

1 orange wedge—squeeze and drop

Combine syrup and fruit in the glass and lightly muddle. Add bourbon, 1 ounce of water, and ice. Shake. Garnish with an orange twist.

NEW FASHIONED #2

2 ounces Woodford Reserve (90.4 proof)

1 ounce Kilimanjaro Foods ginger syrup

2 lemon wedges—squeeze and drop

1 cherry

4 dashes Angostura bitters

4 dashes Fee Brothers lemon bitters

Splash Korbel (or other) sparkling wine

Combine syrup, fruit, and bitters in the glass. Add ice
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tatoes you have returned to the oven while the roast rests, the ones that are blessed with a second chance to crisp up in a higher heat.

The best potato is the one you have taken the trouble to peel and parboil before you tip it, soft and slightly bruised around the edges, into the hot fat in the roasting tin. The fat that is already mixed with the juices from the roast, the seasoning and the occasional bay leaf. Dropped into the roasting tin, the potato already soft and partly cooked, its edges a little rough and floury and the fat hot and well seasoned, the roast potato couldn’t have a better start.

Today, I let the potatoes, Maris Pipers, parboil for too long. They collapse into the water. As I drain them, they resemble a half-hearted mash, the odd lump poking up through its almost puréed friends. There is no question of starting again. Not enough time.

Rather than hurl them into the bin, I persevere, spooning the lumpy half-mash into the sizzling fat and butter around the roasting chicken. I scatter thyme leaves amongst the potatoes. A couple of pinches of salt. A screw or two of the peppermill.

Twenty-five minutes later, in an oven at 180°C/Gas 4, the potatoes have crisped to perfection. More golden crust than fluffy interior, everything I want a roast potato to be.

Goose fat chicken, garlic roast potatoes

For the chicken:

a plump chicken

goose fat or butter – 75g

For the potatoes:

floury, white-fleshed potatoes – 650g

thyme – a few sprigs

garlic – 3 cloves

Set the oven at 200°C/Gas 6. Place the chicken in a roasting tin, smear it all over generously with goose fat, season with salt and black pepper, then roast for ten minutes before turning the heat down to 180°C/Gas 4 (the bird will need about an hour in the oven). From time to time, baste the bird with the fat and juices.

Peel the potatoes, then cut them into large chunks and cook them in boiling, generously salted water for about twenty to twenty-five minutes, maybe longer, depending on the variety. Watch their progress carefully, and let them cook to the point where they are on the verge of collapse, longer than you might do for serving them as boiled potatoes. When tested with the point of a knife, they should almost start to break up.

Drain the potatoes very carefully – you want them to be battered and broken, some in small pieces, all their edges bruised. Add the cooked potatoes, thyme and garlic to the roasting tin about thirty-five minutes from the time the bird is due to be done.

Remove the chicken from the oven and leave to rest for fifteen minutes before carving. Turn the heat up to 200°C/Gas 6 and return the potatoes to the oven to crisp even further. Carve the chicken, scatter a little sea salt over the potatoes and serve. For 4.

A new breakfast

January 6

When James first suggested the notion of putting bacon in granola I was sceptical. I know that bacon works with dried fruits (think devils on horseback) and is a fine breakfast when eaten with soft, warm oatcakes, but somehow I couldn’t feel it. It sounded too much like putting a sausage in your porridge.

Well, I was wrong. The crisp bacon (it really must be crisp) tumbled with the warm oats and dried fruits, then stirred through with crème fraîche, had me wolfing a second helping.

A curious one this, and not for the unadventurous, but it is a fine thing indeed to come down to on a freezing Sunday morning or, perhaps even better, on your way back from a night out.

Bacon granola

smoked streaky bacon – 6 rashers

butter – 40g

rolled oats – 100g

whole almonds – 50g

pumpkin seeds – 50g

hemp seeds – 2 tablespoons

dried cranberries – a handful

crème fraîche – 4 tablespoons

Cut the bacon into small chunks the size of a postage stamp. Put the butter into a shallow pan, add the bacon and cook till crisp and golden, then tip in the oats, almonds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and dried cranberries. Leave them to warm over a moderate heat, stirring from time to time so the nuts don’t burn.

When the oats are golden and smell warm and sweet, spoon into a bowl, then stir in the créme fraîche. I like to stir only once or twice. Enough for 4.

A winter’s tart

January 9

The ancient idea of melting a large wedge of cheese in front of an open hearth, then, as it softens and melts, scraping the flowing cheese on to bread, is a notion I find almost too delicious to contemplate.

The modern version, where raclette cheese is left to melt over hot potatoes or is melted on a tabletop burner, stands to remind us just how good simple food can be. Once you add a few accompaniments in the shape of knobbly green cornichons and a slice or two cut from a decent fat-speckled salami or, more traditionally, slices of air-dried mountain ham, you have a fine dinner indeed.

Tonight, with that warming image in mind, I knock up a slim, crisp
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s and meats, rimmed baking sheets will make cleanup easier and also protect your oven from excessive spillage. If you can, stock your kitchen with at least two of the same kind. They’ll stack nicely and take up less space in your cabinet.

• Parchment paper Baking with parchment paper makes life so much less stressful, especially when it comes to cakes and cookies. I never have to worry about batter sticking to pans, and my cakes never get stuck when I invert them (a baker’s worst nightmare). And using parchment paper makes cleaning up a cinch. I like to crumple up the parchment paper when I’m done and recycle it, with very little pan washing to do later.

• Sharp chef’s knife Only in the last couple of years did I fully “get” why having at least one sharp chef’s knife is important for home cooks. The first time I ever used a quality chef’s knife, I was amazed at how easy it was to cut different types of meats, vegetables, and fruits. Cutting was suddenly a nonissue, exactly what it should be.

• Kitchen shears Having one pair of kitchen shears is great, but owning two pairs is even better, because they get so much use that one set is always sitting in the dishwasher waiting to be washed. They’re great for cutting parchment paper, snipping uncooked bacon into bits, cutting lettuce for salad, trimming stems from a bouquet of flowers, and a plethora of other things. They’re my most useful and beloved kitchen utensil of all.

• Pots and pans If you ask any professional chef, they’ll let you in on a little secret: Don’t bother buying complete sets of cookware. Instead, buy individual pieces based on their performance. I personally love having a stainless steel saucepan, a nonstick skillet, and a cast-iron skillet/grill pan. I’m indifferent to pots. As long as it has a lid, I’m happy. Having a Dutch oven isn’t essential, but it’s a very nice heavy-duty pot to have on hand.

• Bakeware Unless you’re planning on baking tiered cakes often, two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans are all you’ll need for baking birthday or other special-occasion cakes. I also recommend having Bundt and loaf pans, a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, an 8-inch square casserole dish, a pie plate, a ceramic tart pan, and both mini and regular-size muffin tins.

Herb Container Gardens

Although my father was a prolific gardener, apparently I did not inherit his green thumb. In fact, my success rate at growing vegetables is too embarrassing to reveal.

But years ago I decided to make a container garden of the herbs I use the most in cooking. I was motivated by practical reasons, such as how expensive fresh herbs are, but I also loved the idea of snipping off just enough stems or leaves to use in a dish or as a garnish. Fresh herbs add wonderful flavor to dishes and make them look special.

I also discovered that herbs are one of the simplest groups of plants to cultivate, which was an extra incentive for me to give container gardening a try. Herbs don’t require a lot of space, are very easy to take care of, and add a nice splash of color to your porch, stairs, deck, patio, balcony, or window ledge from spring through fall.

Before you start planting, decide which herbs you’ll likely cook with the most often. My top three favorite herbs to grow are basil, thyme, and mint. Other herbs I recommend for a container garden are rosemary, oregano, sage, parsley, cilantro, chives, and dill.

Because herbs love sunshine, choose a location outside that gets at least 5 hours of full sun a day. Determine how much space you can allow for either a big container or several smaller ones, depending on how many herbs you plan on planting. Once you have an idea of how you’ll utilize the space, look through any pots you may already own or go shopping for new ones to fulfill your creative vision. The best choice is containers that have drainage holes for watering, such as terra-cotta pots.

Next, go to your local garden center or nursery and select your herbs. I recommend starters over seeds so you can begin cultivating your fresh herbs immediately. You’ll also want to purchase a bag of good potting soil for your herbs to thrive in.

To plant your herbs, fill a container loosely with soil until it’s 2 to 3 inches from the top. Remove the herb plants from their containers and loosen each root ball with your fingers. Decide where you would like to plant each herb, and then take a small trowel or use your hands to scoop a hole large enough to accommodate the plant. Make sure to leave enough space between the plants to give them space to grow. Carefully fill the space around each herb with fresh soil and gently pat the soil down. Give your new garden a nice drink of water. Great job—you’re now growing your own herbs!

Don’t forget to water your herbs regularly. You want to water them just enough to keep the soil moist but not drenched.

OTHER ITEMS TO CONSIDER

• Blender From making smoothies and cocktails to pu
. Check the manufacturer instructions included with each unit to determine if yours is dishwasher safe. The crock can be removed from the slow cooker unit for serving, and should always be removed from the unit and allowed to cool to room temperature before immersing in water or cleaning.

Lid. A glass lid should always be used when slow cooking, unless otherwise specified in a recipe. Lids are always included with slow cooker units, and help keep any moisture inside the crock as food cooks inside the slow cooker. They also help prevent splatter on walls or countertops. Because they’re generally made of glass, lids can break. Most slow cooker manufacturers offer replacement lids for separate purchase at a minimal cost. Check the manufacturer’s website for replacement part details, if desired.

Is it a slow cooker or a Crock-Pot?

Slow cookers and Crock-Pots are the same thing! The difference is Crock-Pot is a trademarked name. Dozens of companies manufacture slow cookers in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. However, most slow cookers have the same basic features.

Slow Cooker Sizes

There are dozens of slow cooker sizes and options, but three basic models worth considering when purchasing a slow cooker are:

Family size (6-quart slow cooker): Large enough to double most of the recipes in this book, a 6-quart slow cooker is great for making big batches. Feed a whole family, effortlessly host a potluck, or make enough to freeze as leftovers. The large slow cooker is perfect for people who traditionally cook for a crowd.

Standard (3- to 4-quart slow cooker): Perfect for recipes made for 2–6 people, the medium or “standard” sized slow cooker is big enough to feed a small family, and small enough to easily store in kitchen cabinets since it’s about the size of a large bowl. Most of the recipes in this book were created for this medium size of slow cooker.

Small (16-ounce): This tiny slow cooker is perfect for making hot dips for parties, or small amounts of cheese or chocolate fondue. The smaller version is likewise perfect for singles looking for a simple way to cook one-serving meals in a slow cooker.

Tips and Tricks for Slow Cookers

With a slow cooker ready for use in your kitchen, there are a few ways to get the most out of your unit. From cooking food evenly to keeping your slow cooker clean and well maintained, these insider tips and tricks will help you master the art of slow cooker cooking!

Don’t overfill the slow cooker. That can keep meat from not cooking all the way through, and could cause a potential food threat. Whenever possible, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the meat or poultry. And when using very large cuts of meat, such as a whole chicken, make sure you cut it into pieces first.

Don’t peek! As tempting as it is to check up on the meal—don’t. Opening the lid means that you lose 20–30 minutes of heat that needs to build back up again. Only lift the lid to check when the dish is close to being done, about 15–20 minutes before the specified cooking time.

Temperature is important, because 1 hour on high equals 2 hours on low. For some recipes it’s preferable to cook on low so the dish won’t get dried out if you think you may be running late.

Trim excess fat off of meats to avoid any greasiness in the finished dish.

Keep it clean. Keep slow cookers clean by spraying them with a coat of nonstick olive oil cooking spray before making any recipe. Alternately, line slow cookers with parchment or aluminum foil to keep cleanup easy.

Keep slow cookers in good shape by wiping the stoneware crock clean. If splatters of food get on the outside of the slow cooker, wipe them immediately with a warm, wet rag to avoid burned bits of food sticking permanently to the outside of the cooker.

Pantry Essentials

Stock the pantry with these items and you’ll be ready to make just about every recipe in this book! The following list includes shelf-stable ingredients commonly used in this book. Before making any recipe, be sure to check the ingredient list to confirm that all items needed for the recipe are in your kitchen!

Arborio rice

Beans, canned or dried

Black peppercorns and a grinder

Brown rice

Chives

Cinnamon

Dried basil

Dried cherries

Dried cranberries

Dried oregano

Dried rosemary

Dried thyme

Fresh basil

Fresh flat-leaf parsley

Fresh lemons

Fresh limes

Fresh oregano

Fresh rosemary

Garlic

Goat cheese

Kalamata olives

Kosher salt

Lemon juice

Lime juice

Manzanillo olives

Niçoise olives

Olive oil

Onions

Pasta

Polenta

Potatoes

Rice, brown and wild

Saffron or turmeric

Sea salt

Shallots

Tomatoes, fresh and canned

Tomato paste

Walnuts

Wild rice

Let’s Get Started!

With these insights into the basics of Mediterranean cuisine and the basics of slow cooking, a

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