Life Food
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • +
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email
SHARE THIS
  • Facebook
    Facebook
  • Twitter
    Twitter
  • Pinterest
    Pinterest
  • Linkedin
    Linkedin
  • WhatsApp
    WhatsApp
  • Email
    Email

We tend to think of slow cooker meals only when it’s freezing outside; things like pot roasts, stews and chilis are perfect in the crock-pot, and they warm you to the bone.

But it turns out that slow cookers can be useful — and produce delicious, satisfying meals — during any season. It doesn’t have to be -40 outside. Heck, it can even be +40! And the beauty of the slow cooker is it’ll keep the rest of your kitchen cool, even while going full-tilt, even in the dead of summer.

Chef Ricardo knows this, and every issue of his self-titled magazine features more and more fun stuff to try. Here are three scrumptious recipes that Ricardo was kind enough to share with us. Spread the slow cooker love!

SUN-DRIED TOMATO AND OLIVE STRATA

If you like frittatas, you’ll love this Italian version of savoury bread pudding. From Ricardo: “I would have liked to add grated cheese to the recipe, but unfortunately slow cooking can curdle milk, and cheese becomes oily. The few exceptions are evaporated milk, dry cheeses like Parmesan, and processed cheese.”

What You Need

  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (370 mL/13 oz.) evaporated milk
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) 35% cream
  • 1.5 L (6 cups) cubed stale bread
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) finely chopped fresh chives
  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) oil-packed dried black olives, drained, pitted, and chopped
  • Salt and pepper

What You Do

1. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, evaporated milk, and cream.
2. Add the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
3. Let soak for 2 hours at room temperature or in the refrigerator overnight.
4. Butter the inside of the slow cooker. Pour in the egg mixture. Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.
5. Serve with a green salad.


SLOW-COOKER CHEESECAKE

Cheesecake is something we don’t make often — with a yield of twelve pieces, we seem to be eating it for two weeks! Not only does the slow cooker guarantee a perfect texture to the cake (because the process is very much like a double boiler, which prevents the cake from cracking), but we use ramekins, which yield four portions. When ready to serve, we add a graham cracker crumble and diced strawberries to make it taste like traditional cheesecake.

What You Need

Cheesecake

  • 1 package (250 g/8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 75 mL (1/3 cup) sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) 35% cream
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla extract

Crumble

  • 125 mL (1/2 cup) graham cracker crumbs
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) brown sugar
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened

Strawberries

  • 250 mL (1 cup) fresh strawberries, diced
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) sugar

What You Do

1. The cheesecake: Place a clean cloth in the bottom of the slow cooker to prevent the ramekins from shifting.
2. In a food processor, purée all the ingredients until smooth. Pour into four 125 mL (1/2-cup) ramekins. Place the ramekins in the cooker and carefully pour in enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
3. Cover and cook on low from 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes or until firm and slightly puffed up. Remove the ramekins from the slow cooker and let cool. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until completely chilled.
4. With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
5. The crumble: In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients. Add the butter and mix until crumbly. With your fingers, drop the crumble in small pieces on the baking sheet. Bake, stirring twice during cooking, for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool.
6. Toss the strawberries with the sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes to macerate.
7. When ready to serve, garnish each ramekin with graham cracker crumble and strawberries.


STRAWBERRY & RHUBARB SLOW-COOKER “JAM”

This freezes well, so you can keep it for friends and relatives who are in a jam. (Sorry not sorry.)

What You Need

  • 1 L (4 cups) diced fresh strawberries
  • 1 L (4 cups) diced fresh rhubarb
  • 500 mL (2 cups) sugar
  • 45 mL (3 tbsp) lemon juice

What You Do

1. In the slow cooker, combine all the ingredients. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour.
2. Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 3 hours to allow the liquid to evaporate and obtain a nice thick jam. Cook longer if needed. Transfer the jam into 4 sterilized 250 mL (1-cup) jars.
3. You can keep the jam in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Should you want to keep it several weeks, put the jars in the freezer.