Psst! Have you heard? We have a new obsession. It’s big and clunky and was huge in the 70s. And it ain’t platform shoes.
We’re talking about the slow cooker (aka the Crock Pot).
If you don’t own one, chances are your mom or grandma did and we’re pretty sure you’ve enjoyed a tasty meal or two from that trusty ceramic spaceship at some point in your life.
We recently bought one for ourselves based on the recommendation of a fellow food blogger, and boy has it been life changing. Okay, life changing may be a bit of a stretch, but we are using this thing a few times a week now and couldn’t imagine cooking without it.
You’re likely asking what the big deal is here, it’s just a Crock Pot after all. Here’s the skinny: it is near impossible to mess anything up in one of these babies and it makes any meat taste good.
The long, slow simmer it provides is impossible to duplicate, and it’s been a great way for us to use up extra veggies at the end of the week. It’s also ideal for cheap cuts of meat, tenderizing on a low temperature and breaking down collagen. As the meat shrinks up during the slow cooking process, it’s tenderized in your broth allowing any inexpensive cut to become something delicious and succulent.
But wait … we’re all about Meatless Movember right now so enough about the meat!
Your food might take longer to cook this way, but it requires such little prep time that if you do things a little earlier in the day you’ll have a hot and tasty meal ready by dinner time.
It’s not only soups and stews that can get the slow cooker treatment, either. Anything from bread, casseroles, even a whole Christmas turkey can be made with this ingenious little device. We even spotted a Martha Stewart recipe for slow cooker brownies. Swoon. Heck, there’s even an app dedicated to its cult status and no end to the creative ways you can use it, including our own Simple Cauliflower & Chickpea Stew recipe:
In a pan, heat some oil. Add one chopped onion and cook until tender, about five minutes. Add a clove of minced garlic, and cook for another two minutes on medium heat. Transfer to slow cooker. Add one head of chopped raw cauliflower, a can of rinsed chickpeas, a teaspoon of cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Add one can of unsweetened coconut milk, and stir well. Set on low for ten hours.
Serve with rice. Add shredded cheese on top for extra flavor, or try crushing a few corn tortilla chips on top for a bit of crunch.
So next time you taste some amazing chili, kick-ass soup or tender beef brisket it could have very well been made with a slow cooker. Man’s most awesome creation. Like, ever.
Together since 2009, The Food Gays are two Vancouver men who love food. Join them every two weeks right here on GayVancouver.Net as they bring you something tasty.