Now that the temperatures aren’t even flirting with 30 degrees and the weather forecast seems to be "chance for snow showers" every day, it’s time to break out the Crock-Pot. There’s something wonderful about slow-cooker cooking – it’s simple, it’s comforting, it’s tasty – and it makes your whole house smell amazing.
Chances are, like me, you’re already cranking out dishes with your slow cooker on a regular basis. If you’re looking to enliven your slow-cooked meals, here are a few ideas to add a little variety:
- Switch meats. If you always use ground round for your chili, try using cut up pieces of round steak, stew meat, or pork instead. Or use another ground meat like turkey or pork.
- Use broth. Instead of adding water to the slow cooker, try chicken, beef or vegetable broth to give an added taste boost to whatever recipe you’re using.
- Add some zing. Try making small tweaks to your cooking classics by adding a little bit of new flavors: Maybe a tablespoon or two of red wine vinegar, garlic-infused olive oil, a few shakes of Tabasco sauce, even a little bit of liquid smoke. (Just make sure not to try all of these tweaks at once!)
And remember that many dishes you make on the stovetop could be reworked and made in your slow cooker instead. I’m going to share my embarrassingly simple, incredibly good hearty, Ragu pasta sauce with you to give you an idea of how a slow-cooking can make a tired recipe, like spaghetti sauce, more flavorful.
If you already have a slow cooker recipe you think other readers should try – or any other recipe at all! – please share for a chance to win our Crock-Pot contest. You’ll be instantly entered to have your recipe showcased on MetroParent.com – and, best of all, win a deluxe, touch-screen Cadillac of all Crock-Pot slow cookers in the process!
It’s good to the last crumb – or forkful!