Crock.Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker
Until I tried the new Crock-Pot Express Multi-Cooker I had no idea what an actual crock-pot did. I had some faint understanding that it was a bit like a slow cooker and it was used in kitchens in the 1970's. I didn't know what to expect.
It turns out it is a bit like slow-cooking minus the slow (if you choose). This new kitchen staple saves us so much time in the kitchen and I really love it because unlike slow-cookers I have used before, the Crock Pot allows you to brown meat and other foods first before switching the mode over to slow-cooking or pressure cooking.
Using this one convenient appliance, I can have 12 different options allowing me to brown/sauté, steam, cook chicken, beans/chilli, stew, pressure cook, slow cook, make yogurt, cook rice, risotto and other grains like quinoa as well as variety of desserts.
The unit itself comes with an easy to follow set of instructions and a recipe book which covers all the different types of cooking functions the unit has to offer. It also provides recipes where you can choose either the slow-cook or pressure cooking methods.
For me the pressure cooker function has been amazing. It has enabled me to cook complex meals in under an hour! When doing my weekly meal prep I can now cook several really delicious flavoursome meals on the same day and package them up or freeze them for the week ahead. The internal pot also holds 5.7 litres (serving 4-6 people) and can be placed in the dishwasher for easy cleaning.
In fact, since today is Sunday, I'm heading off now to make bolognese, a satay chicken dish and some rice for the week ahead. Here's my favourite easy winter recipe for Red Wine Poached Pears from the cookbook. I have included this recipe to show you that you can in fact use the Crock Pot for things other than savoury foods. This one is simple, easy and a real treat.
Crock-Pot® Express Crock Multi-Cooker
6 bosc pears, peeled, core removed
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean, split
3 cups red wine
¼ cups caster sugar
2 tbsp lemon zest
½ cups thickened cream
1 tbsp Cointreau
2 tbsp soft icing sugar
Place all pear ingredients except cream into cooking pot. Secure lid ensuring the steam release valve is in the seal (closed) position. Press DESSERT, set pressure to LOW, and set time to 15 minutes. Press START/STOP.
Once cooking is complete, and the pressure has released, remove pears from sauce. Press BROWN/SAUTÉ, set temperature to HIGH, and then press START/STOP. Cook sauce until reduced by half. Serve pears with sauce and Cointreau Cream and a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or macadamias.
Whip thickened cream, Cointreau and soft icing sugar together until soft peaks form.
The Crock Pot Express Crock Multi-Cooker CPE200 is available at a variety of electrical and homeware stores for RRP $149.00
Tell me, what is your favourite slow-cooked meal to make on a weekend?