New Recipes added November 12, 2017

Slow Cooker Tips - Near the end

  • Stir in spices for the last hour of cooking. They will lose flavour if cooked with the rest of the ingredients for the long cooking period.
  • Add tender vegetables like tomatoes, mushrooms and courgette during the last 45 minutes of cooking time so they don't overcook.
  • You can thicken the juices and concentrate flavours by removing the lid and cooking on HIGH for the last half hour of cooking time.

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Slow Cooker Recipes

Seasoning Your Slow Cooking

Seasoning Your Slow Cooking

A successful slow cooked dish will ultimately involve the perfect combination of herbs, spices, and seasonings. When using herbs, it is best to select dried options. These respond better to the long, moist cooking process than their fresh counterparts. Thus, they will impart more flavour into your dish. If you do want to use fresh herbs, you should not add them until the last thirty minutes of cooking. Additionally, not all herbs are equally potent. Therefore, you will want to use certain varieties in larger or smaller amounts than others. As a general rule, spices such as parsley, marjoram, and basil are fairly light, while ginger, rosemary, and sage are stronger. Bay leaves are also a strong herb, and only one to two of these are needed for soups and stews.

Using Spices in Slow Cookers

Spices, like dried herbs, should be added at the beginning of cooking. However, some varieties, particularly chili spices, may become bitter if cooked too long. Therefore, these should be added roughly halfway through cooking. In general, whole spices are better suited to slow cooking than ground varieties. This is because the whole spice will have time to cook and release its flavour when used in the slow cooker. In contrast, ground spices are often preferred in other types of cooking where a long heating time is not viable. Some popular whole spices include cumin, coriander, peppercorns, and cinnamon sticks. To save time, you can simplify your dish by adding a pre-selected spice mix. Look for varieties specifically suited for slow cooking to get the best flavour.

Prepared Sauces in your Recipes

Prepared sauces are another way to add flavour to your slow cooked meals. For beefy stews, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup are popular flavourings. Meanwhile, soy sauce or hoisin sauce are great for Asian dishes. There are also fish, oyster, and anchovy sauces commonly used when preparing seafood. A sub-category of seasoning sauces includes pastes with strong flavours. Curry paste is used in many Middle Eastern, Indian, and Thai dishes. You can also find adobo pastes used in Mexican cooking. Be aware of how much of these pastes you add to your dishes. They can often have strong, spicy flavours, which will be enhanced by the slow cooking process.

Alcohol in Slow Cooker Recipes

Alcohol can also be used to flavour slow cooked dishes. Since alcohol is fairly common in cooking, you may already be familiar with its ability to add flavour to many dishes. However, using alcohol in your slow cooker is somewhat different. Since less moisture is loss during slow cooking, less alcohol will evaporate from your dish. Therefore, you will not need to add as much alcohol to get the flavour you desire. As for the types of alcohol used, this depends on the dish you are preparing. When creating marinades for meat, beer, cider, and wine are all great options. Beer is also popular in some stews, and wine is used in a wide array of soups, sauces, and roasts. Meanwhile, cider can sometimes be added to desserts, as can some more potent drinks like rum or sweet liqueurs.

Extracts to Enhance your Recipes

A final category of seasonings are extracts. These are generally sweet flavours that are added in very small amounts to meat dishes or desserts. Perhaps the most popular extracts are those from almond and vanilla. These are great for desserts and also preparing breakfast oats. Lighter extracts include orange flower and rose water. These have a delicate flavour that can enhance dishes when added near the end of cooking. When using extracts, be sure to only add a few drops. The flavour will grow exponentially during heating and you do not want to overdo it. | Recipe Resources | Privacy | Disclaimer