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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Recipe Review 12/26/11

The slowcooker/crockpot misson continues!  Two for last week and the end of the year: a take on Indian flavors and a classic.  These will also wrap up my new recipes for 2011 - time to start a new list. 
Vegetable Biriyani  (Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Judith Finlayson)
All righty then...I actually made this one as directed, except in stages because my pan wasn't big enough to hold everything.  I sauteed the potatoes till lightly browned.  Then I lightly caramelized the onions.  And did parsnips and carrots last.  Switched over and did the rice.  It just seemed the right thing to do for this dish - to lightly roast the vegetables and enhance the seasonings.  I also made this in the evening and cooked on high for the 3 hours.  Outstanding!  This one is a keeper. 

3 tbsp oil, divided
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2 cups cubed, peeled potatoes
1 red or sweet onion, thinly sliced on the vertical
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 cups diced fennel bulb parsnips   (because we don't like the taste of fennel...)
1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice, rinsed and drained  (I used brown basmati)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 green cardamom pods, crushed
4 cups vegetable broth

1. In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp of the oil  over medium-high heat.  Add cumin seeds and cook until they sizzle, about 10 seconds.  Stir in turmeric.  Add potatoes and cook, stirring, until browned. About 3 minutes.  Add onion and cook, stirring for 1 minute.  Add carrots and fennel parsnips and cook, stirring, until well coated with mixture.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Add remaining tbsp of oil, rice, ground cumin and coriander, salt, pepper, and cardamom pods to pan and cook, stirring until well coated.  Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Boil 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, layer half the rice mixture over bottom of prepared slow cooker.  Spread vegetables over rice. Add remaining rice plus all the liquid. Place a clean tea towel, folded in half (so you have two layers), over top of stoneware to absorb moisture.  Cover and cook on low 6 hours or on high 3 hours or until rice is tender and liquid has been absorbed.

Oyster Stew  (Ckng Lght BB)
I came into posession of three cans of oysters.  Yes, I live by an 'Inland Sea', but said 'sea' does not contain edilble mollusks or other small seabugs.  Fish, yes.  Seafood, no.  So I went to my favorite source for foodie information - the Cooking Light bulletin board - and put in a plea for assistance.  Several great ideas came up and I started with Oyster Stew for it's simplicity. 

It...was not good. The texture of canned oysters is awful.  Not something I do or say very often if at all, but this went in the trash.  Bleh. 

Slow Cooked Pork Roast with Cranberry Sauce  (Friend Tess)
One pork roast.  One can whole berry cranberrys.  Cook roast till done.  Add cranberries toward the end of the cooking if you don't want them too liquidy. 

That's it.  Pretty simple.  Except we managed to over cook the darn roast - 3 hours and it was beyond done!  Very disappointing.  Now, in my defense, I did use my stoneware crockpot instead of my metal one and that may have been part of the problem.  Ah well.  Now I know.

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