Essentials of Slow Cooking by Williams-Sonoma

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cookbook review

Kylie goes to great lengths to review cookbooks for the MamaBake community.

By Kylie Archer

If you’ve never been into a Williams-Sonoma store, allow me to sum it up for you: cooking heaven. I’ve been to Hawaii three times and each time one of the highlights, aside from the beaches, the volcanoes and the aloha spirit…is my visit to Williams-Sonoma. They have Kitchenaids, beautiful crockery, gadgets that you have never even dreamed of and they are often cooking up a taste test or 5 in store.

This book is like the slow cooking equivalent of their store, packed with information, techniques and fabulous recipes. And don’t think they are only for your electric slow cooker, most of the recipes also have how to cook the recipe in a dutch oven.

It’s a big book, 290 pages of brilliance if you ask me. A friend recently asked me how to adapt a recipe she had to be done in the slow cooker. I didn’t quite know what to say, but knew that this book had a version of the same recipe…which I promptly gave her.

So, what have I made from the book? The Chicken Korma is currently on it’s way to the slow cooker, the Chicken Tagine with Olives and Lemon was fabulous, the Osso Buco tasted just like I had in my host family’s home in Italy when I was 16 and the Beef with Mushrooms and Barley was scrummy! Aside from that, the Chicken Cacciatore recipe I gave my friend was apparently better than her old recipe!

This book also discusses the best meat cuts for the slow cooker and gives you an “essentials” list. I’ve only cooked from the poultry and beef and lamb sections, but there are a wealth of recipes that will challenge your pre-conceived ideas of slow cooking. None of the recipes are incredibly difficult, but having said that, they aren’t easy either. It’s worth the effort though, because once your house starts filling with slow cooking aromas…everyone will be drooling!

I’ve got about 15 bookmarks hanging out of this one, so if that’s anything to go by, it’s a good book. However, it is an American book, and therefore comes with American measurements, most of which are “translated” for you in the recipe list. Sometimes though, you’ve got to think a little harder than usual to work out what the Aussie equivalent ingredient might be. If the ingredient in question is a meat cut, take the book with you and show the butcher the picture of the cut in the back of the book. If they can’t work it out from there, go somewhere else!

If you only buy one slow cooker book, make it this one. The recipes aren’t necessarily “easy” but they are worth the effort.

Kylie rates this book:  8/10

 

About our Kylie:

I’m a mother of two, educational designer, and self-confessed cookbookaholic. My husband had to build an ikea bookshelf just to house all of my cookbooks.

I make my own cheese, pasta, jam and icecream. I haven’t yet MamaBaked, but would love to start a group in my area. In the meantime, I’m trying to perfect some “big batch” recipes of my own and cooking vicariously through MamaBake’s Facebook page.

 

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