Culinary Instructor Rachel Fredricks joined us to share a perfectly hearty dish to heat up your trick-or-treaters.
Tips for adapting a conventional recipe for a slow cooker
- Amount of Liquid: When adapting recipes, reduce amount of liquid in your recipe by one-half.
- Amount of Seasoning: Reduce amount of seasoning in proportion with reduced amount of liquid. Use whole or leaf herbs and spices rather than crushed or ground forms.
- Dairy products: Sour cream, milk or cream tends to break down during long cooking processes. Add them during the last 30 minutes of cooking. In come cases, you can add condensed soup or evaporated milk in place of milk when using the slow cooker for several hours.
- Meat: Less tender, cheaper cuts of meat are better suited to slow cooking than expensive cuts of meat. Remove excess fat before slow cooking if desired. Browning meats is not required but is worthwhile if you have the time.
- Rice and Pasta: When rice and pasta are cooked for long periods of time they become starchy and pasty. To prevent this from happening, cook rice or pasta on the stove and add them to the slow cooker a few minutes before serving.
- Soups: Add all ingredients except water or broth to pot; add only enough liquid to cover ingredients.
- Thickening Juices for Gravies and Sauces: To thicken juices for gravies and sauces after cooking, mix 2 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch or flour and 1/4 cup cold water. Pour mixture into dish. Bring to a boil at HI. Solid foods may be removed first if desired.
- Vegetables: Make sure vegetables are cut into pieces that are similar in size and shape. Vegetables that cook quickly (such as peas, spinach) should be added during the last 20 or 30 minutes of the cooking process.
- General adaptation times: 15- 30 minutes traditional - 1.5 to 2 hours High / 4.6 hours Low in a crock pot 35- 45 minutes traditional - 3-4 hours High / 6-10 hours Low in a crock pot 50 minutes-3 hours traditional - 4-6 hours High / 8-18 hours Low in crock pot