Tools of the trade.

E. asked me yesterday what use she would have of the crock-pot her mom bought her for Christmas. Was it going to gather dust or would she find it helpful as she worked long hours.

When we moved to the US I was introduced to a new way of cooking food: a crock-pot (slow cooker)
These were unknown to me but I’ve grown to love and use my crock-pot a lot.
So much so that I bought a second, smaller crock-pot.
Not only do I use them for soups, there are stews too. We cook our ribs in them and nothing is better than coming home to a house that smells like slow-cooked food.
Summer is the only time the crock-pot gets a break, fall and winter I tend to use it a lot.
So the answer E is yes, you’ll be very happy with this Christmas present!

For ideas look at the blog by Stephanie O’Day who in 2008 decided to cook all her food in her crock-pot for 365 days.
Today here is one of her recipes I’m sure I’ll make soon.

Day 74.

There is nothing better than french onion soup. Nothing!

This is ridiculously easy to make, and tastes like it belongs in a french restaurant. This is a good dish to simmer all day long while you are at work, or while out and about saving the world.

The Ingredients.
–2 cans of beef broth
–3 T butter
–2 yellow onions
–1/2 T granulated sugar
–1/4 cup cooking sherry (or dry white wine would probably work)
–1/2 t kosher salt (you might need more if your butter isn’t salted)
–slices of brown rice bread (or french bread)
–gruyere cheese (swiss could work too)

The Directions.

–heat your crockpot to high and plop your butter in to start melting
–slice the yellow onions into rings
–break up the onion slices with your fingers, and rub them around in the melted butter
–add the beef broth, sugar, salt, and sherry
–cook on high for 6-8 hours or low for 10-12. It takes a while for the onions to get translucent and pliable

before serving:
–preheat oven to the broiling option
–toast 4 slices of the bread that you are going to use. That Trader Joe’s brown rice bread needed to be toasted twice in my toaster to get to the desired crunchiness.
–cut gruyere cheese into slices
–put the cheese onto the toasted bread, and carefully float the bread and cheese on the top of the soup
–remove stoneware from crockpot and place the UNCOVERED stoneware into the oven
–broil for a minute or two–the cheese should be all melty and turn a golden color

ladle into 4 bowls.

Recipe by Stephanie O’Day

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