Plug it in and Cook with French Flair
"I'd bet that if French cooks could get their hands on Michele Scicolone's French Slow Cooker , which is filled with smart, practical, and convenient recipes, they'd never let it go." -- Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
With a slow cooker, even novices can turn out dishes that taste as though they came straight out of the kitchen of a French grandmere .
Plug it in and Cook with French Flair
"I'd bet that if French cooks could get their hands on Michele Scicolone's French Slow Cooker, which is filled with smart, practical, and convenient recipes, they'd never let it go." -- Dorie Greenspan, author of Around My French Table
With a slow cooker, even novices can turn out dishes that taste as though they came straight out of the kitchen of a French grandmere. Provencal vegetable soup. Red-wine braised beef with mushrooms. Chicken with forty cloves of garlic. Even bouillabaisse. With The French Slow Cooker, all of these are as simple as setting the timer and walking away. Michele Scicolone goes far beyond the usual slow-cooker standbys of soups and stews, with Slow-Cooked Salmon with Lemon and Green Olives, Crispy Duck Confit, and Spinach Souffle. And for dessert, how about Ginger Creme Brulee? With The French Slow Cooker, the results are always magnifique.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-11-21
- Reviewer: Staff
In the introduction, Scicolone (The Italian Slow Cooker; The Sopranos Family Cookbook) describes the enormous effort—and number of dishes—involved in making traditional cassoulet. She compares that to the ease of preparing the same dish in a slow cooker, the aroma of which made her feel as if she had “arrived at the farmhouse kitchen of the French grand-mère I never had.” She explains that “with the help of a slow cooker, it’s easy to make homey and inexpensive French food in any kitchen.” Of course there’s a recipe for a cassoulet with pork, lamb, and beans; there are also such classic dishes as herbed roast chicken with garlic and shallots; bouillabaisse; Provençal beef stew with black olives; and bacon and gruyère pain perdu (and a few “out of the pot” essentials, like a lentil salad with bacon. There are desserts, too: lemon pots de crème and a crème caramel. It’s comfort food, to be sure, but the French accent elevates the level of sophistication well above that of typical slow cooker fare. (Jan.)
Martha light every night
I’m a big fan of the “Everyday Food” cookbooks served up by the talented, tireless toilers in the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. These are the stalwarts I turn to when my own quota of quotidian recipes seems uninspired. The latest is Everyday Food: Light, with 250 recipes all under 500 calories. This time around, there are tips on flavor boosters and techniques and tools for lighter cooking (like steaming and poaching). As before, the dishes are organized by season, so you can find the right, light, every-night dish throughout the year, and the header notes are extra-informative. Velvety Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup and Irish Lamb Stew are perfect winter comfort dishes. When it warms up, we’ll enjoy Spring-Vegetable Couscous with Chicken, then summery Gazpacho, and Scallop, Orange and Cucumber Kebabs, and when autumn falls, Roasted Chicken and Pears and Apple-Parsnip Mash will take center stage.
SLOW COOKING IN FRENCH
The last time Michele Scicolone taught a slow cooker to speak a foreign language, it was Italian; now her multilingual kitchen assistant can parlez like a Parisian, and the results are magnifique. In The French Slow Cooker, she shows us how slow-cooker-made stews, soups and pot roasts can take on that Gallic je ne sais quoi, and how, miraculously, soufflés, so quintessentially French, puff perfectly in the gentle heat of a slow cooker, eliminating all that anxious timing. It’s hard to think of a classic that doesn’t benefit from this time- and energy-saving technique, from a Provençal Soupe au Pistou, Duck Confit, Bouillabaisse and Potatoes Pipérade to Bistrot Crème Caramel and chocolaty Reine de Saba. To impress your guests, you can turn out an elegant Chicken Liver Mousse or Country Pâté without mess or stress. With Michele’s solid step-by-step instructions in hand and a slow cooker on the counter, you’ll make your grand-mère proud.
TOP PICK IN COOKBOOKS
I usually stay away from special diet cookbooks, but I’m breaking my self-imposed rule for Barbara Kafka’s The Intolerant Gourmet: Glorious Food Without Gluten & Lactose. My husband of many years, who would gladly live on ice cream and cookies, has gradually become lactose- and gluten-intolerant, as have many of our friends, and I’ve had to change the way I cook. Most of the lactose- and gluten-free cookbooks I looked at didn’t fill the bill. We love to entertain, so I needed guidance. Barbara to the rescue! Barbara’s cookbooks are fabulous; she understands excellence and how to pass that knowledge on. I was sure that with this particular intolerant gourmet as a guide, we’d be in good hands. And after following her recipes these past few months, I can solemnly swear that there really is “glorious food” without gluten and lactose and without ersatz ingredients. As you work your way from breakfast to dinner and dessert, you might find yourself singing, à la Edith Piaf, “Non, je ne regrette rien.”