July 12, 2012 at 12:10 pm
During July’s Slow Cooker Chat on Facebook this week, pork and desserts dominated the conversation. Pork was the meat of choice for many of our readers this week, with recipes ranging from pork loin to pulled pork. Others preferred something a little bit more unusual: desserts like cakes and cobblers, proving the versatility of the kitchen appliance. Our associate food editor Michael Tyrrell shared his tips and even snagged a few new recipes to try for himself. Read the recap of the entire chat here:
Family Circle: Welcome to our Slow Cooker Chat with associate food editor and slow cooking expert, Michael Tyrrell. He’s here to answer all of your questions, share recipes and give slow cooking tips. Please feel free to post your questions for Michael onto our Facebook wall. Let’s start with: What did you make in your slow cooker this week? How did it turn out?
Robyn: Made a pot roast with carrots, potatoes and onion soup mix. So yummy. Love it when the meat just falls apart!
Michael Tyrrell: Robyn, pot roast does very well in the slow cooker. I always use chuck. We have some great pot roast recipes on our site. Let us give you a link.
Family Circle: Hi Robyn, here are some of our slow cooker recipes for pot roast.
Sheldonna: Loaded baked potato soup, turned out yummy.
Michael Tyrrell: Sheldonna, loaded baked potato soup sounds good even in this hot weather. Any twists for your version?
Family Circle: Hi Sheldonna, try some of our slow cooker soup recipes.
Charleen: Homemade vegetable soup in the crock-pot is wonderful. My family doesn’t like cooked cabbage. Do I use shredded coleslaw from the bag? They love coleslaw. I don’t think they realize coleslaw is made from cabbage, lol.
Michael Tyrrell: Charleen, good plan with the coleslaw mix. Sometimes less info is better.
Torri: Parmesan-sage pork loin with vegetables. Very tender and smelled delicious!
Michael Tyrrell: Torri, tell us more about the parmesan pork. When is the cheese introduced into the recipe?
Torri: In the beginning, it is rubbed on the top after the sage mix.
Family Circle: Hi Torri, here are some of our pork recipes for the slow cooker.
Michael Tyrrell: Torri, share the entire pork recipe with us if you would. It sounds delish and easy.
Torri: Okay, I am going to get it. I prefer recipes that do not requiring browning with oil in a pan. If I am going to have to do that, I may as well cook them that way. Thanks for sharing the link.
Torri: Slow-Cooker Parmesan-Sage Pork Loin
• 2 pounds diced red potatoes
• 1 cup chopped onion
• 1 cup chopped celery
• 1 cup chopped carrots
• 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
• 1/2 cup sherry
• 1 (2-pound) pork loin (or pork roast)
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons dried sage
• 1 tablespoon salt-free garlic and herb seasoning
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I added more when serving)
Directions: Place potatoes, onion, celery and carrots in bottom of slow cooker. Pour in chicken broth and sherry. Season pork all over with salt and black pepper, sage and garlic and herb seasoning. Place pork on top of vegetables and top with Parmesan, pressing the cheese into the meat. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Serve all of the vegetables and the pork with the savory broth that is in the slow cooker.
Lori: I made pork shoulder roast that I turned into pork carnitas by browning it in the skillet. YUMMY! I will definitely make them again.
Michael Tyrrell: Lori, pork shoulder is one of the best things to do in the slow cooker. It seems to never dry out no matter how long you cook it and it’s so flavorful.
Family Circle: Hi Lori, try one of our pork shoulder slow cooker recipes.
Malka: Shredded BBQ chicken. Came out a little dry and strong tasting.
Michael Tyrrell: Malka, shredded chicken is usually a win in the slow cooker. Next time, use bone-in thighs and cook a little less. Maybe the sauce cooked down too much.
Malka: I think you’re right. The sauce cooked down too much.
Family Circle: Hi Malka, if you want to try chicken again, here are some of our slow cooker chicken recipes.
Debbi: Boston baked beans, not as good as in a bean pot but still good.
Michael Tyrrell: Debbi, beans are so good this time of the year, especially if you are BBQ-ing. Let us link you to a bean recipe we did recently with peaches. Nice change of pace.
Judy: Made homemade baked beans. Always comes out delish and so easy to make!!
Michael Tyrrell: Judy, as per my previous comment to Debbi, try our bean recipe with peaches.
Family Circle: Hi Debbi and Judy, try our slow cooker recipe next for Peach-Bacon Baked Beans.
Kendra: Can pasta be cooked in a slow cooker?
Michael Tyrrell: Kendra, pasta sauces are good candidates for the slow cooker. I always cook my pasta stovetop. Check out the new Ronzoni pasta line: 3-minute cook time!!!
Family Circle: Hi Kendra, if you want to try pasta in your slow cooker, here are some of our recipes.
Kathi: What is the most unusual food you have cooked in a slow cooker?
Michael Tyrrell: Kathi, a while back when I heard about cakes being done in the slow cooker I wasn’t sold on the idea. They came out well, so I guess that’s my most unusual.
Family Circle: Hi Kathi, if you want to try cakes and other desserts in your slow cooker, here are some recipes.
Maria: Pork ribs and they turned out great.
Michael Tyrrell: Maria, everyone likes ribs, right? Check out our slow cooker rib story we did in our June issue. I always use St Louis ribs—my fave.
Family Circle: Hi Maria, ribs sound good. Next time, try one of our slow cooker rib recipes.
Michael Tyrrell: Maria, check out the link we previously provided for some of our fave rib recipes. What cut do you use?
Mona: Pulled pork. I cook for just myself so I make it to eat that night and then freeze the rest in single servings.
Michael Tyrrell: Mona, pulled pork is everyone’s favorite. We had a good recipe on our May cover. We got a lot of very positive feedback.
Family Circle: Hi Mona, try our Slow Cooker Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwiches.
Potato Marathon: This week, I did Green Potato Patties.
Michael Tyrrell: Potato Marathon, OK, you can’t leave us hanging. More detail please .
Potato Marathon: Green Potato Patties.
Potato Marathon: I want to share my experience in collecting recipes with potatoes. Everybody likes potatoes, but really only a few people know about how many recipes with potatoes there can be. At the moment I have about 50 unique (no variations) recipes with potatoes, and it will be continued.
Potato Marathon: I am surprised how many delicious dishes we can make using so simple a vegetable as a potato!
Michael Tyrrell: Potato Marathon, who doesn’t love potatoes? Please share a fave or 2 of yours.
Potato Marathon: Oh, there are so many. But 1 recipe I can really advise is Hasselback Potatoes, published June 12 (simple but very delicous)!
Potato Marathon: And I was really surprised using potatoes in desserts, for example, this Nut and Potato Cake.
Rayna: Do you have some good veggie slow cooker recipes?
Michael Tyrrell: Rayna, yes, we have some good veggie recipes. Let us give you a link to our website or blog for some of our favorites.
Family Circle: Hi Rayna, try some of our Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes. Also, our blog has several veggie dishes. Check out these 12 Vegetarian Meals or these 15 Vegan Meals.
Alyssa: Do you have any vegetarian slow cooker recipes other than soup or chili?
Michael Tyrrell: Alyssa, yes we do. Let us try and find you a link to some of our recipes on our blog.
Family Circle: Hi Alyssa, try some of our vegetarian slow cooker recipes, like Veggie Lasagna or Eggplant Caponata.
Family Circle: Hi Alyssa, we also have vegetarian slow cooker recipes on our blog. Check out these 12 Vegetarian Meals or these 15 Vegan Meals.
Alyssa: Thank you so much!
Family Circle: Slow Cooker Chat continues: What’s your favorite summer dish to make in the slow cooker? Tell us in the comments, or ask our slow cooking expert your questions!
Jennifer: Peach cobbler!
Michael Tyrrell: Jennifer, give us a little detail about what you do with your cobbler. Do you serve with ice cream or whipped cream—or both?
Family Circle: Hi Jennifer, sounds tasty! Try some of our slow cooker desserts, like our Fruit Crumble.
Shawnna: Root beer pulled pork.
Michael Tyrrell: Shawnna, besides root beer soda, what else goes into the slow cooker? When I develop a recipe using soda, I always call for non-diet soda. I feel the diet soda leaves a funny taste.
Teresa: French dips with Swiss cheese and horseradish sauce.
Michael Tyrrell: Teresa, what cut of beef do you use for your French Dip?
Teresa: Michael, whatever I get a good deal on. Chuck roast or round roast gives a better texture than sirloin.
Liv: Do you have any summer kids recipes in the slow cooker?
Michael Tyrrell: Liv, kids generally like pulled pork or chicken as long as it’s not too spicy. Also lasagna and pasta sauces work well in the slow cooker. Sweet chilis or sloppy joe’s as well.
Family Circle: Hi Liv, per Michael Tyrrell’s suggestion, try some of our pasta recipes, or our chicken recipes.
Baby Zoe: Mmmmm chili!
Michael Tyrrell: Baby Zoe, what kind of chili do you usually make?
Family Circle: Hi Baby Zoe, here are some of our slow cooker chili recipes.
Lori: How much liquid is enough liquid to keep a 4-lb. roast from frying in my slow cooker? Is there a rule of thumb for liquid to meat ratio?
Michael Tyrrell: Lori, I think a cup or 2 of broth is enough. Most important is the cut. Leaner cuts dry out and it doesn’t matter how much liquid you use.
Lori: What is your take on slow cooker liners? I love them but wondered what an expert would think.
Michael Tyrrell: Lori, I have no problem with liners. Most people who try them love them. I don’t use them generally, mostly because I forget.
Potato Marathon: I would like receive some information about slow food blogs about and around potatoes! It would be very useful for my project.
Michael Tyrrell: Potato Marathon, I am not familiar with blogs that are so specific re: potatoes. Check out the recipe finder on our website and search potato and you’ll find a gazillion recipes!
Family Circle: Hi Potato Marathon, you can try our Slow Cooker Baked Potato Soup recipe, or our Sausage and Potatoes recipe.
Potato Marathon: Thanks, Michael & Family Circle! I will try and then post my results!
Family Circle: Thanks for joining our weekly Slow Cooker Chat, everyone! It was a great conversation! Happy slow cooking!
Please join our next Facebook Slow Cooker Chat on August 22 at 1 PM ET!
Check out these links for more slow cooker recipes:
Kris Anne Bonifacio is a web intern at FamilyCircle.com.