Weekend Fare: Slow Cooker

Well, I had a post all ready to go for today and then I changed my mind. I’ll post it another day. Instead, I want to share a slow cooker recipe that I made this week along with yeast rolls, salad, and vanilla bean custard with raspberry coulis (we picked the raspberries at a nearby farm). Everything was delicious and received good reviews from my family and my sister who joined us for dinner and the house smelled amazing.

I’m a big fan of slow cookers. They don’t work for everything but soups, stews, and roasts are wonderfully fragrant and deliciously tender. The flavors marry so well as they cook together over lower heat for a longer time.

Anyway, I made roast with potatoes, carrots, turnips, onions, and garlic. And it must be noted that we all loved the turnips in this dish. So here’s another use for the market fresh vegetable of the week. If it’s not your cup of tea, omit them and add extra potatoes and carrots (but I really think you should try them!). The beauty of roast is that you can add pretty much any amount of vegetables and it will be good – just increase your seasonings. As you can see from the picture the meat just fell off  the bone which was so good.

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SLOW COOKER ROAST w/ROOT VEGETABLES
1 – 2-2 1/2lb. roast (I used arm because that’s what I had but any roast will do)
3 lg. potatoes, peeled and cut into lg. pieces
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 turnips, peeled and also cut
2 med. onions, peeled and cut in wedges
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. apple cider
1 Tb. fresh rosemary, chopped
1-2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper

Put ingredients in the slow cooker in the order listed. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Enjoy!

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YEAST ROLLS
(this recipe was adapted from a recipe a friend gave me)
2 ½ to 2 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
¼ c. sugar
¼ c. butter 1 teaspoon salt
1 package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp.)
½ c. very warm water
½ c. very warm milk
1 large egg

Mix 2 c. of the flour, the sugar, ¼ cup butter, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add warm water, warm milk and egg. Beat with mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping the bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

Knead the dough about 5 minutes* or until dough is smooth and springy. Place dough in large greased bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until double.

Grease 9×13 pan. (I also used an 8×8 because it made a few more than the 9×13 would hold.)

Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Pull off small portions of dough (enough to make one roll), shape into balls and place in pan. Cover loosely with a clean kitchen towel and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until double.

Heat oven to 375. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and immediately butter tops so that they will shine.
Makes 16-20 rolls.

*I use my mixer’s dough hook and let it do the kneading.

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I made the same salad that Heather posted earlier this week except that I made balsamic and olive oil dressing. You can use regular balsamic or white balsamic. I use about equal parts of the vinegar and oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer it less vinegary, you can use the traditional 2 parts oil to 1 part vinegar.

VANILLA BEAN CUSTARD w/RASPBERRY COULIS
6 beaten eggs
3 c. milk
2/3 c. sugar
1 vanilla bean, cut in half and scraped to remove seeds (you can substitute 2 tsp. vanilla extract)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine eggs, milk, sugar, and vanilla bean seeds. Beat until well combined but not foamy. Place 8 – 6 oz. ramekins in a roasting pan. Ladle egg mixture evenly into ramekins (custard cups). Place pan of custards carefully in oven. Pour hot water in the pan to 1 inch of ramekins. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean.

Serve warm or chilled. (We prefer chilled.) Makes 8 servings.

To serve, you can run your knife around the inside of the ramekin to loosen custard and invert onto a plate. Top with raspberry coulis or your choice of sauce.

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RASPBERRY COULIS
(adapted from Chez Panisse Fruit by Alice Waters)
2 c. fresh raspberries
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice

Combine in blender and blend until smooth. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer unless you don’t mind the seeds. Serve over custard or another dessert. *You can adjust sugar and lemon juice for your taste.

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5 responses

  1. okay, help! I made a roast and it was awful. Help me with what kinds of meat to pick. I feel lost in the meat dept and my roast was so tough.

  2. I had the privilege of being there for this entire meal and it was amazing! I highly recommend all aspects of it.:) I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the turnips.

    I want that roast again… and the custard…:)

  3. Oh, my — that looks so good and I am so in the mood for a roast. Hmmm… gotta see how I can manage another run to the grocery store. You guys are totally amazing!

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