Slow cookers are all too often thought of as an electrical casserole, suitable only for stewing cheaper cuts of meat. This book dispels the myth with a variety of tempting and inspiring recipes. Create sumptuous soups and silky sauces, succulent fish, perfectly moist poultry, flavour-packed vegetables and indulgent desserts. Slow cooking is the perfect method to achieve maximum flavour and tenderness, with the added bonus both of saving on fuel bills and leaving you free to do other things while your meal cooks for you. Try a 'wild mushroom and chilli soup', 'saffron, scallop and shrimp risotto', 'rich lamb ragu', 'winter vegetable casserole with parmesan' or 'orange and date sponge'.
When in the 1980s microwave cookers became affordable, their usual selling point was the speed with which they would cook food. However, people quickly found that often they had to sacrifice flavour for speed. Slow cookers reverse that particular balance. The prepared food is placed in a pot in an outer casing which contains electric heating elements. Cooking times are extended by about two and a half times - typically a beef stew would take six hours and stuffed peppers three hours to cook. This long, slow cooking allows flavours to develop and improves the texture of meat, particularly cheaper cuts. Why bother using a slow cooker rather than simply turning down your conventional oven? Well, the thermostat-controlled heating elements are very fuel-efficient, cutting down energy costs, and the cooker sits conveniently on a work surface. An added benefit is that nutrients are retained in the food. The recipes in this book are all written for a slow cooker, although they could be adapted easily for a conventional cooking method. There are recipes for soups, stews, chutneys, sauces, desserts, vegetarian meals and so on, all of which play to the cooker's strengths. This is an attractive book, with a clear and simple layout and appetizing food photography that places the dishes firmly centre-stage. Essential for all slow cooker devotees. (Kirkus UK)