|Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes|
~ by Laura Frankel
Chef Laura Frankel has elevated crockpot cooking to a new level with her latest cookbook, Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes. The idea for writing a cookbook, featuring recipes prepared in a slow cooker, was conceived after a conversation with her literary agent. Her agent had a crockpot and asked Laura for several good, slow cooker recipes. The end result of that conversation is a cookbook that features 120 enticing, kosher, gourmet recipes for everyday and holiday meals.
In Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes, Laura pairs her passion for fresh, seasonal ingredients with her culinary imagination and has created a tantalizing collection of recipes—rom appetizers and soups to main dishes, sides, and even desserts and breakfast.
KosherEye had the opportunity to speak with Laura and she shared her cooking philosophy. She does not believe in using "faux" products in a recipe—that includes butter substitutions. "When making parve baked goods, such as fruit cobbler or crumble, I will use toasted nuts as a topping. I also use coconut oil; it is natural, healthy, has no trans-fats and it is not an unhealthy oil." She believes in using products that are in season and supports local growers; "It is just as easy to pick out what is in season", said Laura.
There are many wonderful recipes in the cookbook. Some do require extra prep time, but the inventive cook can dice and chop the vegetables in advance, and store them in the refrigerator until needed. Her use of spices and ingredients, in many of recipes, is very creative. We were especially intrigued with several of the Moroccan recipes; Moroccan Chicken with Cracked Green Olives and Preserved Lemons and Dafina, the Moroccan equivalent of Cholent.
We decided to make the recipe for Falling-Off-The-Bone Short Ribs. To accompany this mouth watering dish, we make the recipe for White Bean Ragu. Did the short ribs require up-front prep time? The answer is "Yes". Was it worth the extra time involved? A very resounding "Yes"—we absolutely loved it and plan to make it again, and again, and again! KosherEye used the Crock-Pot® Touchscreen Slow Cooker. It is a programmable model that features cooking time from 30 minutes to 20 hours and has a 6 hour warming cycle feature. It worked like a dream!
"With the slow cooker, just do the prep, push the button and go about your business", said Laura. "It is about healthy home cooking, back to basics, no hidden ingredients (you know what ingredients you are using)—it is in your control." She calls the slow cooker her “Shabbat miracle machine”—we agree. The slow cooker is a wonderful, time-saving appliance, and Kosher Slow Cooking is the perfect accessory.
About Laura Frankel: Laura Frankel is the executive chef of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant in the (Jewish) Spertus Museum in Chicago. She was the founder and co-owner of Shallots, recognized as one of the top restaurants in Chicago and one of the best kosher restaurants in the United States.
She has appeared on the CBS Weekend Morning Show, and in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Chicago Tribune. In addition to her executive chef responsibilities at Spertus, she teaches cooking classes at several different venues in Chicago.
Her website is www.lauraskosherkitchen.com.