4 novel ways to use your slow cooker this winter
Slow cookers are glorious inventions. They make winter meals unbelievably easy – with next to no oversight, the meal essentially makes itself. However, many of us are guilty of going back to the same tried and true recipes over and over again (‘Nana’s famous Beef Stroganoff’), instead of experimenting with what else the crock pot is capable of.
To shake things up, here are five ideas for dishes to make in your slow cooker that you may not have taken for a spin. If you haven’t yet invested in a slow cooker, now is your time – head to David Jones or Robins Kitchen for a purchase that will make winter meals a breeze.
1. Mulled wine
Wine, from a crockpot. Who would’ve thought! Throw in a bottle of Cab Sauv with orange peel, cinnamon sticks, star anise pods and a touch of maple syrup and you have officially upped the ante when friends come over for dinner. The beauty of the slow cooker is you can easily keep the beverage toasty warm for refills throughout the evening, with no risk of burning.
2. A whole chicken
This one is a real time-saver. Take a whole chicken from the fridge, pour a can of coconut milk over the top of it, place it in the slow cooker on a base of vegetables. Add some spices, cook on high, and you’ll wind up with an incredibly tender rotisserie-style feast.
3. Baked potatoes
Let’s face it, potatoes take their sweet time to cook. Use this fact to your advantage by having them bake during the day on low, so they’ll be all ready to go for the evening meal. Simply wrap 5 large potatoes individually in tinfoil (make sure you stab them with a fork first) and place them in the pot. There’s no need to add water, and when cooked on low they’ll be done in 8-10 hours. Douse them garlic butter and cracked pepper when they’re done, and you’re set.
4. Rice pudding
And now for the pièce de résistance. For creamy rice pudding that will taste amazing served hot or cold, all you’ll need is a cup of white rice, a milk of your choice (alternatives such as soy or coconut also work super well here) and some sugar, cinnamon, butter and salt. Add together in the slow cooker, and 2.5-3 hours later, dessert is served. With just a few basic ingredients, you’ll soon have the kids racing to the kitchen thanks to the amazing smell wafting through the house.