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Learn about the versatility of your slow cooker
200 More Slow Cooker Recipes - Sara Lewis
Member Name: cerys82
200 More Slow Cooker Recipes - Sara Lewis
Date: 24/04/13, updated on 25/04/13 (84 review reads)
Advantages: Great ideas, really gives you ideas about the flexibility of slow cookers
Disadvantages: Newbies to using slow cookers may want something a bit more basic
More Slow Cooker recipes is a book that I purchased after being impressed by the initial Hamlyn all colour cookbook. Mine cost around £3.49 from Amazon, however I have spotted it in Tesco stores as well for a similar price. The RRP is 4.99.
The book itself contains 200 recipes. The book whilst thick is quite small in height and width. It is paperback. The inner pages are glossy. However, it being a bit of a cheap book, the binding does not stand for much pulling about so you are best to rest it on a cookbook stand.
There is a detailed introduction which talks you through choosing a slow cooker, working out timings, caring for your slow cooker and how to use your own recipes within. To give you a good impression of what the book is like I will give you some example recipes from each section. Each recipe details its preparation time, slow cooker setting/temperature, anticipated cooking time and a number of them also contain ideas and methods for slight variations and serving suggestions. The main recipes also have photographs of the finished dish alongside them.
Soups: vegetable broth with dumplings, mulligatawny soup, pea and ham soup, haddock and bacon chowder, Thai coconut and pumpkin soup, carrot and cumin soup, leek, potato and stilton soup.
Light bites; red pepper and chorizo tortilla, baked eggs on toast, warm lentil and feta salad, chilled sweetcorn , Moroccan meatballs, chicken & sage hotpot, turkey and sausage stew, Indian spiced cottage pie.
Shortcut suppers: chicken and sweet potato balti, balsamic braised pork chops/cider braised pork, honey glazed gammon, hot Spanish beans, fragrant spiced chicken with chilli, and smoked cod with bean mash.
Vegetarian: vegetable goulash, tomato and squash curry, pepperonata, barley risotto with blue cheese, cauliflower and spinach balti, tarka dhal,
Food for friends: salmon-wrapped cod with leeks, creamy chicken korma, chillied beef with chocolate, New Orleans chicken gumbo, tamarind beef with ginger beer (a favourite), and fish pie
Puddings: mini banana and date pudding, jam roly-poly pudding, chocolate croissant pudding, rhubarb and raspberry oaty pudding.
Drinks and preserves: apple thyme and rosemary jelly, orange marmalade, passion fruit and lime curd, hot spiced berry punch, cider toddy, skiers hot chocolate.
It is finished off by an index ordered alphabetically by the principal components of the dish.
I am largely quite impressed with Hamlyn cookbooks and have quite a number of them. I find that they are accessible for many different levels of cookery and seem to have recipes geared to fast paced modern lives which still want good homecooked food to be in reach. They are also incredibly reasonably priced. In fact, one of the primary reasons for buying this book is that I was particularly impressed by its predecessor which has been one of my most used books on slow cooking.
This 'sequel' did not disappoint. I happen to think that these books have a lot more imagination than a lot of other slow cooker books which only seem to want to recycle the same stew, curry and suet pudding recipes. I now use this one at least as often as I did its predecessor.
It also has a couple of touches that I really like. Firstly, it is made very clear on the recipe how long the dish needs to be cooked in the slow cooker for . I personally hate having to root through a recipe to work out the time needed overall. This is particularly important with slow cooking as some of the time I need to know quite easily whether it is feasible to leave cooking within the time scales whether that be whilst I am at work, or just out for the afternoon. Also, I really like the detail in the introductory section which is clear, really good for anyone who is a beginner to slow cooking and the recipe adaptation information is really useful even if you're a bit more proficient.
There are a lot of recipes here which I would never have thought that I could do in a slow cooker - particularly the preserves and the tortilla ones, so this book has helped me to widen my scope and increase the versatility of the use of my slow cooker. I also like the fact that it has encouraged me to experiment a bit more with flavours e.g. the tamarind beef but never uses ridiculously hard to source or expensive ingredients (often it encourages the uses of cheaper meats which benefit particularly from slow cooking.) . Although I wouldn't have said that many of the recipes are particularly fancy when it comes to entertaining, and you do need one of the larger slow cookers for some of the chunkier whole meat recipes, I have frequently impressed people when I have told them the type of recipes that I have expanded my slow cooker use with.
The presentation is clear but functional which is fine because you don't expect anything too fancy or elaborate in a book at this price. I would say that it is not just looking at the recipe title at the top of the page but also consider the variations at the bottom as sometimes these are better than the main recipe and also encourage a bit more experimentation.
Let's face it, the slow cooker cookbook market is quite oversaturated with the numbers of titles you can buy; I reckon that myself I have coming up to close to 10 myself - which I know is excessive! As such there are always going to be some that I reach for more than others and I can confirm that this book and its predecessor are my favourites. I think that more than most, it really does try and show you just how versatile your slow cooker can be and does not have to just be relied on for casseroles and curries and making things overcooked, which I have personally found to be a misconception amongst my friends. However, this only goes to enable you to really surprise your guests with just what you can produce. I have a soft spot for books like this that can do that.
All in all, I would highly recommend this book for anybody with a slow cooker that wants to expand their use slightly but does not want to go over the top with the fanciness.
Summary: A worthy successor to Hamlyn's 200 slow cooker recipes
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