Think your slow cooker is only for fall soups and winter braises? Think again! Dina Cheney's new book Year-Round Slow Cooker is packed with recipes for every season, even these hot and humid summer months — slow-cooked pulled pork sandwiches, anyone?!
• Who wrote it: Dina Cheney
• Who published it: The Taunton Press
• Number of recipes: 100
• Recipes for right now: Braised Pork Shoulder Soft Tacos, Braised Turkish Eggplant with Cucumber Tzatziki, Slow-Cooked Ratatouille Over Goat Cheese Polenta, Cod with Puttanesca Sauce, Pulled Chicken with Cherry-Chile Barbecue Sauce, Corn-Vanilla Pudding with Triple-Berry Sauce
• Other highlights: I'll take any excuse to pull out my slow cooker, especially in the summer when it means I can cook without heating up the kitchen, and this book gives me plenty. Dina Cheney's recipes are fresh and inventive, using seasonal ingredients like Meyer lemons, fava beans, figs, and Jerusalem artichokes to their full advantage.
Cheney often combines the slow-cooked main dish with a quick-cooking side or sauce like a quick couscous pilaf to serve with a slow-cooked lamb stew or fresh "tomato toasts" to go with the slow-cooked cod. Several of these side dishes get cooked right in the slow cooker itself — they're added in the last half hour or so of cooking to soak up some of the cooking liquid. These extras never take long to make, and they really make the each slow-cooked dish into a complete table-ready meal.
Overall, I really think this is a solid collection of recipes that give fans of the slow cooker some new meal-time inspiration.
• Who would enjoy this book? Anyone with a slow cooker and an appetite.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: The Year-Round Slow Cooker: 100 Favorite Recipes for Every Season by Dina Cheney
• Visit the author's website: Dina Cheney
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(Images: Emma Christensen)