As temperatures drop and wool tights come out of hiding, the slow cooker once again emerges from the darkest corners of kitchen cabinets. Winter swaps summer salads for stews, grilled beef for braised and slow-cooked meats, and gazpacho for warming soups.
Luckily, Emeril Lagasse's latest cookbook brings out the best of the slow-cooked recipes. "Slow cookers make wonderful kitchen helpers in that you can 'set in and forget it' and return hours later to a slowly cooked meal just waiting to be served up," Lagasse writes in Cooking with Power. "The problem is that everyone know how to do a pot roast in a slow cooker, but what about Pot Roast Dianne? Or Artichokes a la Barigoule? Even risotto!"
We paged through his upcoming book, on sale Oct. 22, which also helpfully covers multi-cookers, pressure cookers, and deep-fryers. But the ones we'll be going back to over and over again? These innovative slow cooker dishes.
Start with the basics: a chicken stock, with its flavors melded together thanks to the low, slow cooking process. Then try a risotto out for a family meal (and save your arms from the stirring). Finally, finish with white chocolate pots de crème, as the slow cooker assuages worries about curdling the custard.
Check out the recipes here:
Chicken Stock: "The slow cooker is the perfect vessel for making chicken stock because it cooks low and slow, allowing the flavors to meld together gently. The stock doesn’t need to be tended to at all."
Risotto Milanese: "Though this is delicious even in its simplicity, I give it distinction with a sprinkling of truffle salt... You can also use this basic technique to try all varieties of risotto in your slow cooker."
White Chocolate Pots de Crème: "Pot de crème is a French dessert, literally translated as 'pot of cream.' Pots de crème are small custards that are not usually as firm as a flan or a crème caramel, and for this reason they are cooked in individual pot de crème pots or ramekins."