Monday, August 18, 2014

Slow Food - FAST

No matter what our age or lifestyle we are all busy and want tasty, healthy meals with as little fuss as possible.  Slow food gives us that. Throw a few ingredients in the slow cooker before you head out for the day and come home to the wonderful aroma of a healthy fulfilling meal. And where better to get those recipes from than the Everyday Easy duo of Simon and Alison Holst. 

Until the early 90s, neither Simon nor Alison had used a slow cooker. They thought slow cookers were just another passing fad, but maybe they should give them a try anyway – they quickly became slow cooker converts! The incredible popularity of their first two slow cooker books 100 Great Ways to Use Slow Cookers & Crockpots and Year Round Recipes for Crockpots & Slow Cookers, which have sold several hundred thousand copies, is testament to the fact there are many other slow cooker devotees out there too!  They went on to produce another two mega selling slow cooking books.

So why another book you ask?

The answer is simple, as the series name suggests, Everyday Easy Slow Food Fast has recipes chosen especially because they are very easy and very quick to prepare. The ‘through and go’ recipes can be prepared in minutes, with everything added to the slow cooker at once so you can just let the machine do its thing then come back to the kitchen some hours later and enjoy the delicious results!

On sale now
RRP: $14.99
ISBN: 9781877382970

Published by: Hyndman Publishing

And here is a recipe from the book to whet your appetite:

HIGH for 2½–3 hours

Kirsten’s Chicken Thighs with Beans

Kirsten, Alison’s daughter, enjoyed a baked chicken dish like this when eating out in a restaurant. A few days later she decided to try a slow cooker version at home. We all liked it, and hope that you will too.

For 3 servings:
1 onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded and finely diced
150g bacon, cut in strips crosswise
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (500–600g in total)
1 x 440g can cannellini beans
arrowroot, potato starch or cornflour to thicken
chopped parsley, thyme and sage (or other fresh herbs)

1     Coat the inside of the bowl of a medium slow cooker with non-stick spray. Add the prepared onion, peppers and bacon. Turn to HIGH and cover.
2     Flatten the chicken thighs with a meat hammer. Put the flattened thighs, smooth-side up, on top of the vegetables in the slow cooker. (If you need to make 2 layers of chicken, put half the vegetable and bacon mixture between the layers of chicken.)
3     Pour the beans and their liquid over the chicken, then cover and cook on HIGH for 2½–3 hours.
4     Mix 1 tablespoon of arrowroot (or whichever starch you are using) with 2–3 tablespoons of water and stir it into the liquid to thicken. Repeat with more starch and water until the liquid has thickened.
5     Sprinkle with chopped herbs just before serving. Serve with pan-cooked cabbage or silverbeet or a green side salad.
       VARIATION: For extra flavour, brown the chopped onion in a little oil before mixing it with the chopped peppers.

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