Changing attitudes of slow Cooking
Changing attitudes of slow Cooking:
Towards the end of the 20th century and in the new millennium, there has been a change in attitudes towards food and a reverse in eating trends. Many people now demand natural food, with fewer artificial chemical and more nutrients and flavor, rather than instant, quick-fix food. Genetically modified produce has not been welcomed and sales of organic food have rocketed along with requests for less tender, tastier cuts of meet. Slow-simmered casseroles, home-made soups and traditional desserts are back in fashion, and so are slow cookers.
From tasty; wholesome family food to sophisticated entertaining, a slow cooker is a superb way to create wonderfully tender and flavour-packed meals. its reputation for making delicious soups and succulent stews is well known and the slow cooker is far more versatile than many people realize.
Because the slow cooker cooks gently, without the vigorous bubbling or fierce heat of some other cooking methods, delicate food, such as fish fruit and vegetables, won’t break up even after long cooking. Used as a bain-marie the slow cooker can produce divine creamy “baked” custards, the lightest sponge desserts and testy terrines and pates. The constant temperature makes it perfect for keeping party punches steaming hot and simmering preserves so that the flavours mingle, making ready-t-eat preserves that don’t need to be left to mature.
There are many advantages to using a slow cooker. Not dose it produce delicious dishes with well-developed flavours, but once the food is in the slow cooker you can usually turn it on and forget about it. Because the slow cooker uses less electricity then a light bulb, it can be left unattended, which means you can be away from kitchen all day and return when ready to serve.
Some slow cookers have timers that automatically switch to the warm setting when the food cooked, and this is ideal for households who eat at different times. The remaining portions will still be deliciously moist for latecomers, and won’t be overcooked or dry. As an added bonus, little steam or smell escapes from slow cookers.
You will be pleasantly surprised at the range of uses of the slow cooker. Although traditional associated with cold weather foods, such as warming casseroles soups and stews, you can also make delicious hot weather dishes such as chilled pates and terrines, light fish dishes and summery Mediterranean-style pasta meals. The slow cooker really is in valuable when it is warm outside and you don’t want to be confined to a steamy kitchen, with the oven pumping out heat. Simply switch on the slow cooker and leave it to it while you get on with more important things.
Below: Pastry topping for traditional pies are oven-cooked to retain their crispness.
Below: Individual servings can be cooked in single-portion ramekins in the slow cooker.
By: Catherine Atkinson & Jenni Fleetwood on the book of Best-Ever Slow Cooker One-pot & Casserole.