Home' Greymouth Star : August 12th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 - 7
he slow cooker is a great kitchen
invention especially for working
mums, dads and flatters. ‘It cooks
all day while the cook’s away.’
Although we tend to think of
these cookers as a relatively new
best friend to the home chef, the
first one appeared in 1940 introduced by an American,
Irving Naxon. He was inspired by his mother’s stories
of preparing a Jewish bean-based stew in her home
country of Lithuania. She would start the cooking on
the Friday, and at the beginning of the Jewish Sabbath
that night — a time of rest — the ovens would be
turned off and the residual heat would continue to
cook the beans until the end of Saturday ser vices the
Irving sold his patent for his ‘Naxon Beanery’ in 1970
to Rival Manufacturing who renamed it the Crock Pot
and sales soared. However, with the introduction and
success of microwave ovens in the 1980s, many crock
pots were relegated to the back of the cupboard.
Design revamps, including removable inner
‘casseroles’ — something the Crock Pot lacked — has
greatly boosted interest and triggered the sales of
millions of slow cooker recipe books.
Classic dishes such as Boeuf Bourguignon and
Moroccan tagines are melt-in-your mouth wonderful
from the slow cooker. The recipes were developed long
ago by people who could only afford small portions of
tough meat, so they are custom-made for the low heat
To obtain the best flavour, meats and veggies should
be lightly browned before placing in the slow cooker.
If time is limited, this step can be eliminated but it is
important to pre-cook any onion either by sauteeing
in a frying pan or in the microwave. Raw onion can
sometimes dominate the flavour.
Very little moisture is lost from slow cookers, so
if you are using a favourite casserole recipe, reduce
the amount of liquid by one-third to one-half. Little
or no stirring is required when cooking on low but
occasional stirring may be necessary to distribute the
heat evenly when cooking on high.
Slow-cooked hoisin lamb
These chops are so tender they can be eaten with
chopsticks as part of a Chinese meal.
6 large lamb shoulder chops
1⁄4 cup each: hoisin sauce, orange juice
2 tablespoons each: rice vinegar, grated root ginger
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon chilli flakes
Trim the chops, if necessary.
Combine the hoisin sauce, orange juice, rice
vinegar, grated root ginger and garlic. Brush over the
chops. Place the chops in a slow cooker and add any
remaining baste. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes.
Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until tender.
Ser ves 4.
Slow-cooker corned beef
As there is so much cooking liquid, the onions do
not need pre-cooking.
1.5 kg piece corned beef
6 small pickling onions, peeled
3 carrots, thickly sliced
2-3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons brown sugar
8 whole black peppercorns
ginger ale or water
Wash the corned beef. Place in a slow cooker.
Add the pickling onions, carrot and bay leaves to the
slow cooker. Sprinkle the meat with the brown sugar
and peppercorns. Add enough ginger ale or water to
almost cover the beef.
Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Serves 6-8 .
Three, four, five chicken
Three minutes to throw together, four ingredients,
five hours cooking. The soup is available from the
chilled pasta section of your supermarket. Use your
favourite soup, if preferred.
1.3kg free-range chicken
2 cups fresh Mediterranean-style soup
1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs
600g pumpkin, peeled and seeded
Wipe the chicken with a paper towel. Place breast-
side down in the slow cooker. Pour the soup over the
top. Sprinkle with the herbs.
Cut the pumpkin into 4 chunky pieces. Place in the
slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours or
until the chicken is cooked.
To ser ve, place the pumpkin in the centre of 4
ser ving plates. Top with the chicken. Spoon the soup
over the top. Great garnished with fresh herbs and
ser ved with a crisp salad. Serves 4.
6 medium pears, peeled but with stalks on
2 cups sweet dessert wine
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves
5cm piece lemon peel, pith removed
1⁄4 cup each: sugar, lemon juice
Nick out the blossom end of the cores from the base
of each pear. Cut a sliver from the bases so the pears
will stand upright.
Place the remaining ingredients in s slow cooker and
stir until the sugar is dissolved. Place the pears in the
wine mixture. Cover and cook on high for 1 1/2 hours
or until the pears are tender.
Remove the pears and place in deep flan dish. Pour
the wine mixture through a sieve into a saucepan. Boil
until reduced to about 1 cup. Drizzle the sauce evenly
over the pears.
Ser ve at room temperature. Great dolloped with
whipped cream. Ser ves 6.
Warmth from hot drinks,
warmth from spice and sugary
niceness, warmth from alcohol.
There have been many
traditional winter hot drinks
around the world and we still
use some of them, like toddys,
gluwein, glogg, wassail, mulled
wine and punch.
You should try some to warm
you up. They are basically alcohol,
spice, sugar and heat.
The alcohol is cider, red wine or
Beer does not seem to figure
much in hot drinks.
Some are very easy to make,
like a hot toddy, which can be
some whisky, lemon juice, sugar,
hot water and stir. Glogg is the
Nordic mulled wine with red
wine, vodka, port and flavoured
with raisins, figs and honey.
Gluhwein is the spicy German
version with ginger, cloves,
cinnamon, sugar or honey, a little
water and red wine heated to
80degC for 10 minutes.
You have to be careful not to
boil any hot drink or the alcohol
Some recipes tell you to boil the
red wine with the spices and then
add brandy or rum for the alcohol
Wassail was an Old English hot
mulled cider used ceremonially to
bless orchards to grow good cider
apples and also used when groups
went house visiting at Christmas
and it evolved into carolling.
Try cooking up some spices and
sugar add the cider and a shot of
brandy and you have wassail, and
now you can go outside and sing
some songs to your neighbours —
you are wassailing.
Hot Frenchman — Heat 120ml
red wine, pour into a large wine
glass with a tsp sugar, 10ml lemon
juice, 20ml Grand Marnier, a
twist of orange and lemon.
I hope you had a beer last Friday
and you toasted International
Beer Day. For the occasion, the
Brewers Guild of New Zealand
put together some Fun Facts
1. Beer is more popular than
wine, with global consumption
187 billion litres and wine 24
billion. Czech Republic people
drink most with 147 litres each,
Australia is 15th with 75 and we
are 28th with 64 litres. China
consumes most, with a quarter of
the total and USA second.
2. In early times, beer was made
by women. They were known as
brewsters, brewesses or alewives
in medieval England.
3. Th e study of beer is zythology.
4. Th ere are two distinct beers,
ale and lager, with 400 variants.
5. Moderate consumption of
beer improves your brain, lowers
the risk of heart disease and
6. Th e most expensive beer was
made in Western Australia using
water from a melted block off an
Antarctic iceberg and airlifted to
the brewery. Thirty bottles were
made and one sold for $2000.
7. Beer spas are popular in
Europe, with the vitamin and
yeast-rich dark lagers good for
8. Th e oldest brewery still
operating started in Germany in
“On being asked ‘Have you
finished all that port (3 bottles)
without assistance?’ ‘No, not quite,
I had the assistance of a bottle
— Sir Hercules
Slow-cooked hoisin lamb chops.
How to warm
Monteith’s Porter — A dark brown
beer with a steady sparkle and aromas of
chocolate and burned caramel. The taste
is dominated by a rich chocolate and
coffee caramel malt lusciousness. Light
hops lead to a long aftertaste. 500ml.
White wine choice
Villa Maria Sauvignon Blanc 2015 — It ’s
here; the first savvie for the year; the first
2015 Sauvignon Blanc to appear on the
wine shelves. Compressed sunshine; liquid
summer; delicious aromas and flavours
of pineapple, passionfruit and herbs that
over whelm your taste buds and make you
smile. Medium acidity and a sweet pungency.
Drink now till 2016. Dry. $14 to $20.
Red wine choice
Vidal Merlot Cabernet 2013 — Dark
burgundy colour from a rich ripe vintage,
blackcurrants and anise aroma that
prepares your palate for good depth of
plummy and berry fruit flavour. Light
oak and gentle tannins. Drink now till
2018. Dry. $13 to $18.
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