According to market research, over 80 percent of American households use slow-cookers. They’re convenient and easy to use and, among other things, they can transform tough cuts of meat into tender melt-in-your-mouth meals that are ready and waiting to be served when you come home after a busy day.
Phyllis Good is a New York Times bestselling author and slow-cooker connoisseur. In her cookbook Stock the Crock she provides readers with hundreds of slow cooker recipes that no slow-cooker user should be without. From classic soups and stews (made with “better for-you ingredients” rather than those that have been canned, creamed, and condensed) to delicious desserts, the recipes included are the ones that “guarantee make-it-again results.”
Each recipe comes with tips and tricks that will help home cooks customize their meals effortlessly whether they have dietary restrictions or simply want to vary the amount each recipe makes. Gluten-free, paleo-friendly, vegan or vegetarian, no one will feel left out at the table with this cookbook.
Recipes featured in the book include:
The Daily Meal: What is your philosophy of cooking (and/or eating)?
Phyllis Good: First, there is something basic and elemental about cooking that, if we have the time. reconnects us to our humanity and to the earth. And in the same breath, I want to say that eating together with people we enjoy and love is almost mystically important to human beings. My goal is to foster all of that, especially during ordinary times.
How did it inspire the recipes you chose to include in this book?
Because so many people lack either the confidence or the time to cook, I want to offer recipes that make it possible for everyone to make a dish or a meal, no matter their skills or schedule. And of course the recipes must be delicious, so that they bring calls from the table to "make this again!" I'm after recipes that feed both body and spirit — so they need to be nutritious and deeply satisfying.
What is your favorite recipe in the book and why?
You know this is like asking which of my kids I love the most! Impossible to answer. But I've narrowed it to two: Lasagna in a Soup Bowl (which is a complete crowd-pleaser, plus I do really love it myself), on pages 48 to 49, and Vera's Famous Beef Roast, on pages 134 to 135. True story: I once served this to the Minister of Finance of Paraguay. He's also a rancher, and I knew he loved beef. I learned later that he told his wife it was the best dish he ate while on his whole trip to America!
What are some of the foods you can’t live without?
Chocolate in any form. Nuts of any kind. Fresh basil. Stir-fried broccoli. Pasta with fresh tomato sauce and herbs. Sausage — sweet Italian, and simple salt-and-pepper. Fresh corn on the cob, or cut off and steamed. Roasted vegetables, most any kind. Rare skirt or hanger steak. Smoked trout. Cherry or apple pie.
Would you rather dine out or cook at home?
Depends on how hassled my day has been. If it's been gentle, I love to cook at home, unhurried and without pressure from hungry people nipping around me. If it's been crazy, I prefer eating out, but somewhere quiet with people who are easy to be with!
What is your favorite go-to meal or drink?
A light pasta dish with fresh vegetables and herbs, and maybe some meat for flavoring. A wine-and-butter or well-seasoned tomato sauce (no heavy Alfredos). Topped with grated cheese with personality.
How do you hope readers will use this book? What do you hope they take away?
I hope they use it for everyday cooking so they can eat with their families at home during the week and on weekends, whatever crazy schedule they have. These recipes are for ordinary times, as I said above. But I also hope they discover that the food is absolutely guest-worthy, because it is!
What I love about slow-cooking is that you prepare the meal during un-pressured times — before it's dinner-time, when everyone's starving and grouchy; well before your friends arrive for dinner. So you're able to relax and enjoy being with whomever you're sharing the table with.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Many of us have friends and family with dietary restrictions. So the second question we have to ask (after the first one about when they can come over for dinner) is: “What can't you eat?” In this new book, I offer you variations for adapting many of the recipes so that they're gluten-free, or vegan/vegetarian, or paleo-friendly. I also suggest ways to make the recipes for picky eaters, or how to make many of them for two. So you don't need to buy additional cookbooks to meet these dietary preferences, or go scouting online. In fact, there's a separate index, listing all of those recipes that already meet these dietary needs, or can be adapted to do so.
I'm doing everything I can to help you gather friends and family around good food in your home!