Weekend Cooking: I Love My Slow Cooker by Beverley LeBlanc

It’s been a while since I’ve done a cookbook review, but I was lucky to be able to download this one on NetGalley. The title grabbed my interest right away as I have a slow cooker that I should definitely use more, and I’m always on the lookout for good slow cooker recipes.I should note that I read the UK edition of this book. There’s also a U.S. edition, but other than the measurements, I’m not sure differs between the two editions. After an introduction to the basics of slow cookery, the book is divided up into fairly standard categories:

  • Soups and Sauces
  • Meat and Poultry
  • Fish and Shellfish
  • Vegetarian
  • Desserts

At first glance, the book looks to be pretty diverse. In addition to a number of soup recipes, the beginning section on soups and sauces includes some basic recipes that I wouldn’t have necessarily ever considered using a slow cooker to make, such as applesauce. I bet it would make the house smell good, though, to have it cooking all day, with the different spices.

The meat and poultry section is typical of what I’ve found to be true of a lot of slow cooking–the recipes tend to be very meat-heavy. I’m not a vegetarian but I also don’t eat a lot of meat, and I typically don’t buy big pieces of meat. I like to have a larger ratio of vegetables to meat in my meals, so I might have to play around with the proportions in some of the recipes.  Having said that, there are quite a few curries and other ethnic-inspired dishes that I would be happy to try to make.

The seafood and vegetarian sections both contain mostly stew-type dishes, along with a couple of recipes that intrigued me, including one for Salmon Terrine that looks delicious. I’m definitely going to try this one, as well as one for Ratatouille, which I make frequently but have never tried in the slow cooker.

The desserts section contains mostly fruit-based recipes in addition to puddings and creams. There’s even a recipe for a traditional Christmas Pudding that I just have to try–yum!

At the end of the book, LeBlanc includes some basic recipes for stocks and accompaniments that can go with many of the dishes presented in the book’s recipes.

The recipes are well-presented, most with accompanying color photos and each listing the prep and cooking time required for the recipe. I can definitely see myself using this book on a regular basis.  For a taste, here’s one that I’m probably going to try this weekend:

Chickpea Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 4 hours on low, plus 15 min on high

Ingredients: 

800 g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 cm root ginger, peeled and chopped

1 tbsp ghee, groundnut oil or sunflower oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp madras curry powder

a pinch of chilli flakes (to taste)

400 g tinned chopped tomatoes

55 mL vegetable stock

4 tbsp passata (tomato purée)

200 g baby spinach leaves, rinsed and shaken dry

salt and pepper

garam masala

warm naan bread, for serving

Directions:

Put the chickpeas in the slow cooker. Put the garlic and ginger in a food processor and process until a coarse paste forms, then set aside.

Heat the ghee or oil in a frying pan over high heat. Reduce the heat, add the cumin seeds, and stir for 30 seconds. Add the onion and fry for 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic paste, curry powder and chilli flakes and fry for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, stock and passata and bring to a boil, stirring, then season. Pour the mixture into the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours. Switch the cooker to high and stir in the spinach. Cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring once, until tender. Sprinkle with garam masala and serve with naan breads.

Thanks so much to NetGalley and Watkins Publishing Limited for providing me with a review copy of this book.

Buy from The Book Depository*

*THIS IS AN AFFILIATE LINK, SO IF YOU PURCHASE AN ITEM USING IT, I WILL BE PAID A SMALL PERCENTAGE OF THE PURCHASE PRICE.

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs…

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13 thoughts on “Weekend Cooking: I Love My Slow Cooker by Beverley LeBlanc

  1. Beth F

    It’s getting to be slow cooker season here, so it’s good to know there’s a new cookbook coming out. I love curries, so the recipe you shared sounds good to me.

    Reply
  2. Cecelia

    I don’t have a slow cooker yet, but I’ve been pondering buying one… I’m tempted by your mention of curries in this cookbook – that sounds delicious and I wouldn’t have thought of the combination (but it makes sense!). Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Too Fond Post author

      I find that it’s great having a slow cooker on hand for busy days when you can do the prep early in the morning, as you can just let the cooker do the rest of the work.

      Reply
  3. Uniflame

    I saw this book on NetGalley, but I don’t have a slow cooker so I didn’t pick it up. It does make me wonder though what I could do with my rice cooker. I might need to look into this.

    Reply
  4. Christine

    I love curried chickpea stews! I might give this one a try, but since I don’t have a slowcooker, I’ll just make it in a stew pot on the stove over a low flame for 4 hours! haha! 😉

    Reply
  5. Carole

    Nice review and recipe. The current Food on friday on carole’s Chatter is all about curries – it would be super if you linked this in. Have a lovely weekend.

    Reply
  6. joyweesemoll

    I don’t have a slow cooker. At least, yet. I also prefer recipes that are low on meat so it’s good to know that curries will work.

    Reply
  7. Marg

    I love my slow cooker. I haven’t really found a cookbook for it that works for me though. Often the recipes sound like really strange mixtures of ingredients.

    Reply
  8. Carole's Chatter

    Hi there, there is a new collection of book links going down at Carole’s Chatter. This time we are collecting links to posts about your very most favourite cookbooks. Here is the link Your Favourite Cook Books Please do pop by and link in – maybe this nice one? Have a lovely day.

    Ps If you would like reminders by email about my food and/or recipe linkys please drop me a comment with your email – I will keep it private

    Reply

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