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Weekend Cooking: Slow Cooker Revolution

April 24, 2011
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When I saw Slow Cooker Revolution by America’s Test Kitchen, in the store, I immediately thought of Caite‘s and Dawn‘s reviews, and knew I had to see what the book was all about.  Carl and I looked through it and finding almost every recipe appealing, decided to buy a copy.

The cookbook is well put together – it’s full of information and lots of gorgeous pictures.  It has product recommendations, tips and great explanations.  It contains 200 recipes for everything from soup to dessert – you could cook an entire meal in a crock pot with this book.

We were eager to try one of the recipes in the cookbook and settled on Baked Ziti with Sausage and Peppers. The sauce was delicious, but the ziti was way overcooked.  I would try this recipe again, but would probably reduce the cooking time by an hour.  Since it only cooks for a few hours, I’m not sure it’s the type of recipe most people think of when they think of using their crock pot.

My next attempt from this cookbook was Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers.  I cooked them the shortest time recommended and they were delicious, but the pepper was slightly overcooked, so I would reduce the cooking time next time.  The texture of the filling was almost like meatloaf.

Tex-Mex Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 onion, minced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 T chili powder
1 T vegetable oil
4 (6-ounce) red, yellow, or orange bell peppers
1 slice high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into quarters
¼ cup whole milk
12 ounces 85% lean ground beef
1 cup frozen corn
1¼ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (5 ounces)
¾ cup cooked rice
2 t minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
salt and pepper
2 T minced fresh cilantro

  1. Microwave onion, garlic, chili powder, and oil in bowl, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Cut top ½ inch off each pepper.  Chop pepper tops fine, discarding stems.  Remove core and seeds from peppers.
  3. Mash bread and milk into paste in large bowl using fork.  Mix in onion mixture, chopped pepper tops, ground beef, corn, 1 cup Monterey Jack, cooked rice, chipotles, 1½ teaspoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper using hands.  Pack filling evenly into cored peppers.
  4. Pour 1/3 cup water into slow cooker.  Place stuffed peppers upright in slow cooker and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup Monterey Jack.  Cover and cook until peppers are tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.
  5. Using tongs and slotted spoon, transfer peppers to serving platter, discarding liquid in slow cooker.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Challenges:  Foodies Challenge

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37 Comments leave one →
  1. April 24, 2011 7:19 am

    Oh, wow, that looks so good, even this early in the morning (I’m not a breakfast food person, so this is actually perfect).

  2. April 24, 2011 7:37 am

    I haven’t yet made pasta in the Crock-Pot, but I’ll keep your tip in mind, and reduce the cooking time a bit (we like it al dente, too).

    The stuffed pepper looks yummy (well, except for the cilantro); I wonder if the red pepper cooks faster than a green might?

    If you try the Old Fashioned Tamale Pie, consider cutting the chili in 1/2 or 1/3 (unless you like it HOT!)

  3. April 24, 2011 7:38 am

    Oh! And THANK YOU for linking to my review of SLOW COOKER REVOLUTION. It was Caite’s review which led me to buy it. Book blogs DO influence purchases 🙂

  4. April 24, 2011 7:59 am

    I often times find that crockpot recipes tend to make the food too mushy. I guess it’s just trial and error!

  5. April 24, 2011 8:30 am

    That looks scrumptious!

  6. April 24, 2011 8:37 am

    Looks delicious! I love recipe books 🙂

  7. April 24, 2011 8:42 am

    This is the first I’ve seen of this crockpot cookbook. I may have to add this one to my cookbook library. Those peppers look very tasty! I have several crockpots and every one of them cooks at a different rate of time. One will cook a roast in a few hours and another takes days to cook the same size roast. They do tend to overcook things if you aren’t careful but they are such a lifesaver on a busy day. I wouldn’t be without mine! I’m off to look this book up! Thanks for the great review!

  8. April 24, 2011 8:42 am

    I just love the idea of pasta in a crock pot! I still have to try it!

  9. April 24, 2011 8:50 am

    This has been on my radar for a while so I’m glad to read your review. I’ve never tried pasta but can see how it might be over-cooked. It’s my experience some slow cookers run hotter than others so I guess one needs to know their sc and adjust recipe times accordingly. The stuffed pepper looks delicious!

  10. April 24, 2011 8:53 am

    This sounds yummy. I too bought the cookbook based on Caite’s and Dawn’s reviews. Sounds like the thermostat in your cooker is running a little high. Next time, I’d just go ahead and cut the cooking time right away for your machine. I haven’t made anything out of it yet.

  11. April 24, 2011 8:58 am

    I have to have this – I love my slow cooker, I think it is the only time during the week I feel sane as I am not fretting about whats for dinner and when will I make it magically appear. I always say I need to use the crock pot more. 🙂

  12. April 24, 2011 10:53 am

    I won an Amazon gift card from Dar and five minutes after I got it, I ordered this book based on Dawn and Caite’s review. I haven’t made anything from it yet, but once I do I will do a post on it. (Right now I am working through Southern Plate!)

  13. April 24, 2011 11:11 am

    Looks like another winner. I would think that your repertoire must be huge by now. Are you collecting the really good ones that you find in the same place?

  14. April 24, 2011 11:14 am

    My slow cooker gets a workout; I usually use it at least twice a week, although as the weather gets warmer, I tend to use it less. I have not ever made pasta in it though; I can see how the long cooking times might result in mushy ziti…I do love the look of the pepper, though 🙂

  15. April 24, 2011 11:28 am

    I should use our slow-cooker more, but we use it mostly to slow-cook meat and the create the rest of the meal outside of the crockpot.

  16. April 24, 2011 11:31 am

    I love Sundays here. It always works up my appetite and I feel that I can master the kitchen by zipping down one of your attempts.

    Yum !

  17. stacybuckeye permalink
    April 24, 2011 12:22 pm

    That bell pepper is making me hungry! And I’ve never tried pasta in the crock pot.

  18. April 24, 2011 1:05 pm

    The baked ziti sounds marvelous! Looks like it’s a great cookbook to have on the shelf.

  19. April 24, 2011 2:30 pm

    I’ll be looking for this cookbook. I love cooking with my crockpot and I’d like to get a larger one as mine is pretty old. The stuffed pepper looks great.

  20. April 24, 2011 2:45 pm

    With your review, this seals the deal. I have to have this book. The pepper/meatloaf combination sound good.

  21. Karen P permalink
    April 24, 2011 5:07 pm

    I looked at this cookbook, too. I think America’s Test Kitchen’s books are excellent overall. Some of the reviews I’ve read on this book complain of all the extra prep steps in the recipes, but overall it has gotten very good reviews. I recently purchased one of their Cooking for Two cookbooks. I made the pineapple upside down cake recipe and I felt it was a tad over baked. I will definitely adjust the cooking time downward the next time I make it.

  22. April 24, 2011 5:21 pm

    Perhaps a bit too spicy for me, but bf would surely love it 😀

  23. April 24, 2011 5:41 pm

    I’ve never used my slow cooker – I usually finish my cooking within an hour or max two, so I can’t imagine slowing down. But one of my to-do’s for the summer is to experiment with this, so let’s see how that goes!

  24. April 24, 2011 6:07 pm

    I adore my crock-pot and I will look for this book, it sounds like a nice addition to my library. Thanks!

  25. April 24, 2011 6:36 pm

    Ok…that one looks yummy…I sort of love slow cooker recipes…because you can prep it all early in the day and be free for more reading…

  26. April 24, 2011 7:38 pm

    This one intrigues me because I really like to use my crockpot. I need to buy one of those fancy ones that you can set to turn on and turn off!!

  27. April 24, 2011 7:55 pm

    i have a few slow cooker books that have different cooking times for different parts of the meal, and though I do follow them and am able to make some amazing things, often things get overcooked and don’t taste as good as they could. That being said, this books sounds like it has a lot of awesome recipes in it, and I would love to give it a try sometime.

  28. April 24, 2011 8:14 pm

    I really want a slow cooker AND I really want this cookbook! 🙂

  29. April 24, 2011 11:58 pm

    Thank you so much for letting me know about this book. I use the crockpot a lot when I cook–I have a strange work schedule sometimes and this saves my dinner! I look forward to taking a look at it some time soon.

  30. April 25, 2011 8:31 am

    This sounds like a cookbook I would use. The recipes don’t sound difficult, and I don’t mind pulling out the crockpot for something that doesn’t take all day to cook. I’ll keep your tips in mind.

  31. April 25, 2011 1:02 pm

    I love my slow cooker. This sounds like a cookbook I should pick up. With summer coming, I could use it. The slow cooker doesn’t heat up the house like the oven does, and we can’t grill every day.

  32. April 25, 2011 4:17 pm

    My favorite way to cook is with my slow cooker! I LOVE IT!! I’ll have to get a copy of this book.

    That recipe looks yummy!

  33. April 26, 2011 1:53 am

    I had no idea you could slow cook whole foods like stuffed peppers.

  34. April 26, 2011 8:24 am

    well, ya know I loved the book!

  35. April 27, 2011 9:14 pm

    i’ve been eying this book as well. Very tempting. I use our crockpots quite a bit even for dishes that cook in 3 or 4 hours.

  36. April 28, 2011 2:12 pm

    This cookbook does sound good. So many of you have been singing the praises of this book that I think I’m going to have to pick it up. Those peppers look and sound so yummy!

  37. April 29, 2011 1:09 pm

    I tried to make a pasta dish in the crock pot once – it was a disaster! I’ve since stuck to meat and chicken only.

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