Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By Virginia A. Smith
(Continued from page 1)
"The Fix-it and Forget-it New Cookbook" by Phyllis Good offers up simple ways to have dinner ready on time.
The new models do, however, cook hotter and faster, increasing the risk of drying things out. It even happens to Good once in a while.
During a lengthy interview for this article, she lost track of time, and while the apples and sweet potatoes in the pot still had nice texture, the pork loin was dry.
“Pork is particularly susceptible to drying out,” Good says. “You need to get to know your cooker. It takes some dancing to get used to.”
Good has some advice:
Make the first recipe in your new slow-cooker on a day when you’re at home. Cook it for the shortest amount of time the recipe calls for, check to see if it’s done and adjust accordingly. Write your findings next to the recipe, for next time.
By then, you can just “fix it and forget it.”
HERITAGE PORK ROAST
Makes 4 to 6 servings
½ cup apple juice or cider
1-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, sliced ½-inch thick
3 medium onions peeled, sliced and separated into rings
4 medium apples, sliced
2 pounds center-cut boneless pork roast, trimmed of fat
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon black pepper
6 fresh sage leaves, snipped, or ½ teaspoon dried sage
¼ cup cold water
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1. Pour apple juice into slow cooker.
2. Add sweet potato slices in a layer, followed by onion rings and then sliced apples (peeling optional).
3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, brown pork on all sides.
4. Settle pork onto the apple slices.
5. Brush mustard over the roast. Sprinkle with pepper and sage.
6. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the roast is done and registers 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
7. Move the roast to a platter and cover it with foil to keep it warm.
8. Using a slotted spoon, lift the sweet potato, onion and apple slices into a bowl. Cover to keep the mixture warm.
9. In a small bowl, stir together the water, sugar and cornstarch until smooth.
10. Stir cornstarch mixture into the juice in the cooker.
11. Cook, stirring often until thickened, for 5 to 10 minutes.
12. Slice the pork. Top with the sweet potato, onion and apple slices. Spoon the sauce over everything.
From “Fix-It and Forget-It” by Phyllis Good (Good Books, 2013)
WHITE BEAN CASSEROLE
Makes 6 to 8 servings
2 cups dry white beans
4 medium onions, chopped or sliced thin
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 cups water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
4 slices toasted bread
2 tablespoons butter
1. Place the dried beans in a stockpot. Cover with 8 cups of water. Cover pot. Let the beans soak for 8 hours, or overnight.
2. Drain off the water. Put the beans into your greased slow cooker.
3. Stir in the onions, 1 teaspoon oil, salt, pepper and water.
4. Cover. Cook on low 9 to 10 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours, or until the beans are tender but still holding their shape.
5. Thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the herbs.
6. After stirring in the herbs, blend the toast and the 3 teaspoons olive oil in a food processor. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the vegetables. Do not cover the cooker.
7. Cut the butter into chunks. Scatter over the bread crumbs. Do not cover the cooker.
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