Cookbook review written by
Stay At Home Chef
Everyone Can Cook Slow Cooker Meals is available for purchase through our online store or at local bookstores
The goal of this book is to provide the slow cooker with a much needed makeover, creating recipes that are contemporary and appealing for today’s cooks. Everyone Can Cook Slow Cooker Meals (Whitecap Books $24.95 CAD) is the brainchild of chef-writer Eric Akis, who initially resisted the idea of throwing ingredients into a machine and leaving it alone all day. As a professionally trained chef this concept just seemed so…wrong. But after making beef chili in a slow cooker that his wife brought home, Eric immediately became a fan.
The book includes recipes for meat, poultry and seafood dishes, along with main course soups and vegetarian fare, and a side dish section with suggested dishes to complement each recipe. If you are a slow cooker newbie like me I would highly suggest reading the Slow Cooking 101 section which will provide you with all of the information you need to get started. This even includes what to do with your slow cooker meal in the middle of a power outage! I love the inclusion of Eric’s Options, a sidebar included alongside each recipe that offers suggestions for substituting ingredients or taking the dish to the next level.
Okay. I’m going to be honest and say that I struggled with this book. While I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Eric Akis (click here to read my interview), overall I was disappointed in the results of the recipe tests. A lack of flavour was a recurring issue for me with almost every dish I tried, and truthfully I expected more.
A lot of thought obviously went into this book, and the addition of a dedicated side dish section is an idea which I appreciate and applaud. I think the recipe selection was contemporary and fresh, steering away from the stodgy slow cooker meals that stereotype this type of cooking method. Visually I like the layout of the book, all of the sidebars and tips organized in a reader friendly way. It holds a very clean, fresh look with appealing photographs that showcases the food beautifully. Bummer about the recipes falling short.
Bottom line? This book has not made me a slow cooker convert. I’m sorry to say that the recipes I tested did not make me a believer. But I have given my copy of the book to a friend who recently received her first slow cooker and is excited to try some more recipes on her own. Hopefully she has more success (I promise to keep you updated).
I would love to hear from any slow cooker fanatics! What are some of your tried and true recipes and tips and tricks? Have you cooked from this particular cookbook and achieved different results? Please comment and turn me into a slow cooker fan…I’m waiting to be converted!