As the thermometer starts to drop, I start thinking more about comfort foods and slow cooked meals. I have a couple slow cookers and I use these from everything from soups to dessert. There are many models of cookers out there, and it can get a bit confusing when you’re purchasing, but I am big fan of the sleek sexy version from All-Clad and Cuisinart. They look great on your kitchen counter if you are lucky enough to have some space and can go right to the table. If budget is an issue Proctor Silex has some great entry level models, but you won’t get all the bells and whistles such as the cook and hold features.
- The All-Clad Electric Slow Cooker features a generous 6.5-quart capacity, elegant stainless steel exterior and handles, convenient glass lid and the longest cooking time available on any slow cooker. The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price for the All-Clad Electric Slow Cooker is $225.00.
- All-Clad products are available at gourmet retailers across Vancouver including Cookworks, Call the Kettle Black, Ming Wo and The Gourmet Warehouse
- For more information about All-Clad or to find a retailer visit www.all-clad.ca
All-Clad Metalcrafters is an internationally recognized leader in premium quality, hand-crafted cookware. Since its inception in 1971, the brand has built a reputation for uncompromising high standards that are recognized as being best in class by chefs, home cooks and gourmands around the globe. The All-Clad manufacturing tradition established a new benchmark for professional cookware. Today, the engineers and artisans at All-Clad continue to turn cookware into heirlooms. Using American-made metals, they handcraft each piece of cookware. At each stage of the manufacturing process, every piece of All-Clad cookware is hand-inspected to ensure that it maintains All-Clad quality standards. For more information, visit www.all-clad.ca <http://www.all-clad.ca> or call 1-800-418-3325.
Versatile Tabletop Cooker with Timer and Unique ‘Hold’ Function
5 Year Guarantee
Elegant 6.5 Litre ceramic cooking pot with 5 Litre cooking capacity
Holds food at a perfect temperature without overcooking
Automatic switching from ‘Cook’ to ‘Hold’ mode – Flexible cooking time from 1 to 8 hours
Available at The Bay, Home Outfitters and Sears for approximately $130
Proctor Silex is a good choice for the budget mnided, and its smaller, so if space is an issue and you don’t need to cook for a large crowd, it will do the trick. London Drugs for $28.
Slow cooker Cheese Fondue
3/4 cup dry white wine
8 ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
8 ounces Italian fontina cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
bite-sized cubes of focaccia or French-bread
Pour the wine into the insert of the slow cooker. Turn the cooker on HIGH and warm the wine, uncovered, while you prepare the cheese. Place the fontina, Gruyère, flour and mustard in a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag. Seal the bag carefully and shake vigorously until the contents are well mixed. There will be little or no trace of the flour.
When the wine is very warm, add about 1 cup of the cheese mixture to the wine and stir. Leave the insert uncovered, and when the first batch of cheese has melted, add another cup of the cheese mixture and stir. Continue in this way until all of the cheese has melted and the wine is incorporated into the mixture. Turn the slow cooker to LOW and serve. Fondue forks, wooden barbecue skewers, or table forks can be used to pierce the bread cubes and dip them into the cheese mixture.
Sake Soy Braised Short Ribs
8 thick and meaty beef short ribs
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 medium onion – halved and sliced
2 inch ginger peeled, halved and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves – halved and thinly sliced
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup sake
½ cup beef stock
½ cup water
¼ cup packed golden brown suger
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 green onions thinly sliced
Preheat oven to 450 F. Set ribs in a single layer, bone side down in a roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper. Toast for 30 mins until richly browned.
Spread half onion, half ginger and half garlic in the cooker. Set ribs into the slow cooker , bone side down. Whisk soy sauce, sake beef stock, water, brown sugar and cornstach in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour over ribs and sprinkle with remaining garlic, ginger and onion. Cover and cook on the low setting for 6 to 8 hours, until very tender.
To serve, set 2 ribs on each of 4 plates. Skim off any fat from the suace and then taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Top with sauce and sprinkly with green onion.
White Chocolate Bread Pudding
1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries
3 Tbsp. brandy or bourbon or apple cider
3 oz. bar white chocolate
2 Tbsp. butter
6 cups stale French bread cubes
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup half and half
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine dried fruit with brandy (or apple cider) in a small bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Remove and let stand for 30 minutes to cool. Coarsely chop the white chocolate. Drain the dried fruit.
Generously butter the crockery insert of a 3 1/2 quart slow cooker. Cover the bottom with half of the bread cubes; then scatter with half of the drained cherries and chopped chocolate. Layer on the remaining bread cubes and top with the rest of the cherries and chocolate.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth; then whisk in the half-and-half and vanilla until blended. Carefully pour over the bread mixture, gently pressing down on bread to cover with the egg mixture. Cover crockpot and cook on high for 1 3/4 hours, without lifting lid, until set and puffed. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.