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Cookbook review: 'Slow Cooking for Two' gives taste of the basics

By Juan Whiting

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 3 2013 5:01 p.m. MDT

"SLOW COOKING FOR TWO: Basics, Techniques, Recipes," by Cynthia Graubart, Gibbs Smith, $19.99, 159 pages

In "Slow Cooking for Two: Basics, Techniques, Recipes," Cynthia Graubart provides a beautiful introduction that gives an understanding of the basics of slow cooking.

She explains different slow-cooking techniques necessary equipment, cooking time and all the inventory a successful slow-cooking chef should have in the pantry and refrigerator. Most of the recipes are for dinners, from roasts to soups.

One interesting technique she describes is "double dinners," where using the same type of meat to cook two different meals at the same time in different liners.

There are many pictures and details in this introduction and instruction in the beginning of the book. However, more than half of the recipes don't have images.

A few of the recipes seem to require several steps that seem to be missing in the instructions. While available in several of the recipes, others don't have instructions on where to position the meat, what order to put the ingredients in and how to know when the meal is ready.

Although simplicity was Gaubart’s desire for this book, leaving out necessary information has the opposite effect for those who are new to slow cooking.

It's always a good idea in getting any cookbook for a cook to first assess their understanding and abilities before charging headfirst into a recipe.

Pork Tenderloin

Carefully follow the preparation and finishing instructions to avoid getting burned from the hot food and liquids.

Liner No. 1 — Parmesan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Serves: 2

This pork emerges perfectly moist and tender.

½ of a 1-pound pork tenderloin

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

¼ cup honey

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon dried basil or chives

1 clove garlic, minced, or ½ teaspoon bottled

minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1⁄3 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Place pork tenderloin in the bottom of a slow cooker liner bag.

2. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

3. Stir together the honey, soy sauce, basil, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl. Pour over tenderloin, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and set aside.

Liner No. 2 — BBQ Pork Tenderloin

Serves: 2

Here’s a classic barbecue preparation. If pressed for time, just coat the tenderloin in your favorite barbecue sauce.

½ of a 1 pound pork tenderloin

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup ketchup

2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

½ teaspoon chili powder

1 clove garlic, minced, or ½ teaspoon bottled minced garlic

½ teaspoon onion powder

1. Place pork tenderloin in the bottom of a slow cooker liner bag.

2. Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.

3. Stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Dijon mustard, soy sauce, chili powder, garlic and onion powder in a small bowl. Pour over tenderloin, and set aside.

To complete the recipe:

1. Place both liner bags, side by side, into the slow cooker. Drape each liner (closed) away from the other, extending over the sides of the slow cooker.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.

3. Move two large, shallow serving dishes or bowls next to the slow cooker. Remove cover and using pot holders or oven mitts, carefully remove each liner and its contents to its own serving bowl. Let the liner rest open and allow contents to cool slightly. Remove the tenderloin from the liner using tongs, and transfer to the serving bowl. Then grasp the bag, holding the top, and cut a corner off the bottom of the bag, large enough to allow the remaining contents of the bag to be released over the pork and into the bowl. Discard the liner. Repeat with the other dinner.

4. Allow the dinner not being served to cool, and package in a resealable plastic freezer bag or freezer container (remember to label it!).

5. Before serving, taste, and season again with salt and pepper.

— "Slow Cooking for Two" by Cynthia Graubart

Juan Whiting received his bachelor's degree in international studies from BYU-Idaho with an emphases in political science/agribusiness and a minor in French.

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