I love the idea of slow cooker cookbooks, but I find I'm always disappointed. A can of this and that, meat topped in mushroom soup, that's just not for me. Of course we all know that real food takes a bit longer to prepare, and this is no different, it does take up front prep time, so if you want to dump this or that and go, this is not the cookbook for you. There are great tips for parts that can be made ahead, nutritional information, and all real food ingredients. I never follow anything exactly, and I find that every recipe calls for far more onion than I would personally like so I just decrease that part. I've made 5-6 recipes so far, and all are winners to me. Ok so my family was not a fan of the Sweet Potato Coconut Curry with Shrimp, but in the defense of the recipe, they don't like sweet potatoes, I thought it was wonderful.
On Saturdays at work we always bring a potluck. This weekend I brought Turkey and Corn Chowder with Barley (well I had chicken cooked and shredded, so I substituted chicken, I told you I never follow a recipe exactly). I was a big hit, I had a 6qt crockpot full and every drop was eaten. I'm providing you with my recipe with my adaptions, and it does vary from the original recipe.
|The picture really does not do it justice|
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano leaves (I used mexican)
1/2 tsp cracked peppercorns
8 cups chicken stock (I used my home canned, recipe here)
3/4 cup barley, whole hulled, pot or pearl (the others have more fiber, I used whole)
3 cups chicken or turkey, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes. Mine was basically shredded
2 cups frozen corn kernels (I always use organic corn, I like to avoid GMO corn)
1 tsp chili powder dissolved in 2 tbsp lemon juice
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper chopped (optional) I did not use because it didn't want it overly spicy for anyone who doesn't like hot foods, but brought red pepper flakes and Tabasco to make it hotter for those who chose)
In a dry skillet, over medium heat, toast cumin seeds stirring until fragrant and they begin to brown, then grind (may substitute ground cumin). In same skillet heat oil over medium heat, add onions, celery and carrots until just softened. Add garlic, oregano, peppercorns and prepared cumin and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Transfer to slow cooker. Add chicken stock and stir. Add barley, turkey or chicken, and corn and stir. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, until turkey and barley are tender. Stir in Chili powder solution, add green or red pepper and jalapeno if using and stir well. Cover and cook on high for 20 minutes until pepper is tender. Ladle into bowls and enjoy.
I started mine at 11pm and cooked overnight for 8 hours. In the morning I, shut it off, added the chili mixture and peppers, when I got to work I put in on the warm setting, and we ate at noon. This worked perfectly!