In WITF's Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

Review - Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker

Written by Chef Donna Desfor | Sep 5, 2017 8:00 AM
Slow Cooker.jpg

Copyright © 2017 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

Our Summary:

If you've ever wondered how many people it takes to make Martha Stewart perfect, take a peek at the credit line for her new cookbook Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker.  No less than 35 of some of the best names in recipe developing took up the task of creating 110 unusual and ethnic one-pot meals you're not likely to think of as coming from your slow cooker.  And while creative and inventive in some of the applications - think poaching or baking - these recipes are not the "dump and go" standards that made weeknight meals easy.  There's genius in the way this book resets your thinking.  And, if you're willing to put the time, the effort (and the clean-up) before you "dump and go," you may find that slow means smart.  And delicious. 

What you need to know:

Get it:  Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker. Copyright © 2017 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, August 29, 2017, Paperback $35.00 (Amazon $17.24; Kindle $13.99)

See It:  272 pages with full page color photos of each finished recipe.  Also included are 2 introductory sections (2 pages each) on Slow-Cooker Commandments and How to Use a Slow Cooker, which are essential reading for success with this cookbook.

Make it:  110 recipes heavy on ethnic and cultural cuisine, across 8 chapters such as Meat, Poultry, Seafood, Meatless, Breakfast and Sweets.

Our Review:

Throw out your ideas about what a slow cooker is or what it is capable of doing.  In Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker the "dump and go" approach to watered down flavor and one-dimensional meals is gone.  Instead, the recipe writers behind the famed Martha Stewart rethink what a slow cooker is capable of and offer up 110 truly unique and even exotic recipes that attempt to change the way you use your slow cooker.

And, change you just might.  Opening with Slow-Cooker Commandments, the authors instruct you to "forget about forgetting it."  You can't "just dump it in," and you should "be wary of too many shortcuts."  For most this obviates the very reason we invested in our slow cookers.  But, persevere and you are rewarded with dishes like Sausage Lasagna, Chawanmushi (a savory egg custard), Cauliflower with Cream Sauce, or Tom Kha Gai (a soup made of lemongrass, lime leaves, chicken stock, coconut milk and fish sauce with chicken thighs).

Indeed, there is a high percentage of ethnic and cultural cuisines represented throughout this book - from Mexican to Thai to Japanese to French.  For some, finding the ingredients will be as challenging as the prep-work before the slow cooker comes into play.  But then, there is also real genius in learning to use the slow cooker in unexpected ways - to perfect poaching or making perfect custards and cheesecakes. 

If you are interested in trying new-fangled ideas with an old counter-top stand by, Martha Stewart's Slow Cooker is worth a lingering look and perhaps testing a recipe or two.  You may find that the greatest thing about a slow cooker is that with time and effort up front, delicious flavor is worth the wait.  

Published in In witfs Kitchen with Chef Donna Desfor

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