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My go-to Slow Cooker recipes. Am I the only person who travels with my 3-quart slow cooker?
Polenta in a slow cooker cooks thoroughly and does not stick.
Whisk together in slow cooker:
Cook on high for 4-5 hours, or High for one hour and on low for 5 hours. NYMSCC warns that the polenta will look done after about two hours, but not all the grains will be cooked evenly.
Polenta will firm up as it cools, so use enough water have it done while it is thick but still pourable.
I enjoy plain polenta (with butter), but I often dress it polenta like pasta: with tomato sauce, butter and cheese.
A friend of mine used to pour the polenta into a cleaned can or onto a cookie sheet, let it cool, then slice it and fry it. He would then eat it with bacon on the side.
Add to crockpot and stir gently:
Cook LOW for 4-5 hours or High for 2.5 - 3 hours. Stir it after an hour: the milk / sour cream will tend to rise to a separate layer in the top if you don't stir it down. You want the rice to be more than cooked; you want it to be creamy.
Eat hot or warm or chilled.
Fastest Cooking of Plain Pasta:
You do not have to cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water.
Alternate cooking method: Cook in uncovered casserole at 350F for 30 minutes, or until milk-egg-cheese "custard" is set.
If desired, blend together the cheese, milk, eggs, salt and spices before adding to pasta. I prefer the result from cut cubes but this shortcut is fine.
Dec 2016: I used 6 large eggs instead of 6 x-large eggs and the difference was noticable. An extra egg would have been helpful. AND: more salt would have been nice.
Half recipe: 1 c milk, 1/2 lb cheese, 3 eggs, 1/2 lb macaroni; 1 t salt, 1 t mustard seeds, 1 t worchestshire sauce in a 1.5 qt crockpot on high for one hour, low for one hour, let sit 1/2 hour. The amount of milk IS the same as the larger recipe.
Cooking in a normal oven: Pour cheese mixture into noodles, stir, and cook UNCOVERED in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until cheese "custard" is firm.
When shopping, think: 1.5 lb whole-milk mozzarella, 1 lb whole milk ricotta, 1 cup grated parmesan, 1 lb pasta, 2 eggs, 48 ounce tomato sauce. (Prego Marinara and Ragu Marinara are good). If you are going to add sausage, then buy 2 lbs. Italian with casing removed.
The recipe that used to be posted on the William Sonoma website yielded the lasagna that I like best, reminding me of holiday feasts in my childhood. I modified it a bit by adding eggs to the ricotta and by cutting the mozzarella into tiny cubes or purchasing mozzarella pearls instead of grating the cheese. Also, I do not broil the cooked lasagna after the noodles are cooked.
Using broken spagetti instead of lasagna noodles yields a dish that I prefer even to lasagna, and which is slightly faster to cook if you are running short on time. Use thin, regular or linguini spaghetti, no preparation other than to break into thirds.
If you want a drier lasagna, reduce the sauce a bit (up to 8 oz less); but remember, you are not using pre-cooked noodles and the pasta is going to soak up a lot of moisture.
Regular lasagna noodles will do fine; no need to buy special ones. Some folk soak the noodles in hot water for 30 minutes before assembling dish to make them pliable.
|MOROCCAN VEGETABLE STEW: an unusual way to bring a butternut squash to the table!||PASTA STOUP: Thicker than Soup, not quite a Stew: yes, this makes great leftovers!||SIX-BEAN SOUP: Use up leftover beans.|
|Black Beans||1/8 c|
|Boullion||Enough for 6 cups||2T|
|Butternut Squash||1 medium (1.75 lbs)|
|Chili Beans||1/4 c|
|Garbanzo beans, cooked||2 cups (16 oz can)||2-3 cups||1/4 c|
|Garlic||1-2 t mashed|
|Lentils, Red||1/8 c|
|Navy Beans||1/8 c|
|Onion||1 medium||1 large|
|Pasta||1/2 cup small shapes|
|Prunes||1/2 cup pitted and chopped|
|Red Pepper||1/8 - 1/4 t||Dash|
|Salt||1/2 t||To taste||2t|
|Split Peas||1/8 c|
|Tamari Soy Sauce||As needed, sub for bouillon|
|Tomatoes, canned||15 oz stewed||30 ounces diced|
|Vegetables, Root, Cubed||5c|
|MOROCCAN VEGETABLE STEW||PASTA STOUP||SIX-BEAN SOUP|
Hensperger, Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook (NYMSCC). This book is wonderful if you want to expand your repetoire of vegetable recipes, or experiment a bit with a tried-and-true; this book often contains several versions of classic recipes.
Williams Sonoma Slow Cooker Lasagna; Web. I have never come up with better proportions of the standard ingredients than these.
Maura Enright, Proprietor
Author: Maura Enright
© 2019 by Maura Enright
Last updated April 2019.
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