Monday, February 28, 2011

Slow cooker orange and sesame chicken recipe

Don't worry! You're not in the wrong place! You're mere seconds away from this recipe. It's right here.

The recipes on Slow Cooked in Blighty are gradually being moved to my new blog The Errant Sock which will have all the slow cooker recipes you love, plus a host of other goodies like other recipes, many for those with food intolerances, book reviews, product recommendations, craft ideas and more.

So do come join us over there and make yourself at home. See you in a couple of seconds over on Sock.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Slow cooker sweet-sour brisket recipe

Don't worry! You're mere seconds away from this recipe. It's right here .

The recipes on Slow Cooked in Blighty are gradually being moved to my new blog The Errant Sock which will have all the slow cooker recipes you love, plus a host of other goodies like other recipes, many for those with food intolerances, book reviews, product recommendations, craft ideas and many more.

So do come join us over there and make yourself at home. See you in a couple of seconds over on Sock.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Slow cooker roasted red onions with thyme butter recipe

It's not often that you think of onions as being a stand alone vegetable but here, slow cooked with a thyme butter sauce, they are almost the star of the show. This pretty and delicious dish disappeared so fast I had no time to take a photo. I served them alongside Haggis on Burns Night but they would go well with beef, pork or indeed a vegetarian risotto. They are super-easy too which, if you're juggling a special dinner with lots of side dishes is a real bonus.

Ingredients for 6:

6 medium red onions
3 tbsp butter
2 tbsp fresh or 1 tbsp dried thyme
100 ml (1/3 cup) water or white wine


Mix the butter and thyme in a small bowl.

Cut a small slice off the bottom of each onion so that they will stand up in the slow cooker. Cut about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) off the tops of the onions and cut a cross into each one.

Smear the top of each onion with 1/2 tbsp of the thyme butter, pushing it well into the cross in the onion.

Put the onions into the slow cooker and pour the water or wine carefully into the slow cooker around them, being careful not to wash the butter off the onions.

Cook on High for 4 Hours or Low for 8. Swoon in delight.


Sumptuous. The onions become soft, silky and mellow but still hold some shape. The sauce is incredible and is lovely soaking into mashed potato or rice - if not make sure you have some good bread on the table. This is so, so easy but looks really impressive. I'd cooked something similar in the oven many years ago (maybe a Jamie Oliver recipe?) but this was even better because the onions stayed so moist. Love it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Slow cooker pasta and bean soup recipe

Pasta and bean soup is another old favourite from student days. I always had the ingredients for this in the cupboard as it was a lovely meal to throw together for friends who dropped by. In the original recipe (from one of my first cook books, "The Friends cook book" - kind of dates me, doesn't it?), you first fry the garlic and rosemary together before adding the tomatoes and the kitchen would fill with wonderful aromas which just kept on getting better as the soup cooked and more ingredients were added. I've tried to get the same effect here with less work and no standing around as good smells mean you've released the essential oils in the herbs which is just what we want. This is really easy and friendly weekend food. It was another Sunday night soup special for us.


4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsps fresh rosemary or 1 dried
1 can chopped tomatoes
5 cups (1.25 litres) chicken or vegetable stock, made with 2 cubes
6 oz / 150 g pasta shapes, such as macaroni or tiny shells
2 cans of beans - I usually use cannelini and you need to rinse them
Olive oil to drizzle over the top
Parmesan to serve


Boil a kettle for the stock. Put the rosemary and garlic into your slow cooker. Once your kettle is boiling, add the correct amount of boiling water for the stock to your slow cooker, then add everything else except the pasta. This allows the good aromas to develop. Cook on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 6-8.

About 30 minutes before you want to eat (if you use big pasta shapes) or 15 minutes of you use a bijoux little soup pasta, switch the slow cooker to High if it isn't already and tip the pasta into the soup. Give it a stir to submerge, keeping the lid off for as short a time as possible so as not to lose heat.

Your soup is done when the pasta is al dente.

I often serve this with olive bread and a green salad alongside.


These tastes are a really nice variation on the other pasta and bean soups I've had. I love rosemary and it complements the beans really well. I love the way the pasta soaks up all the great tastes.

I think you can see from the photo the one thing that went wrong with this. I simply used way too much pasta - far more than I've stated here. If you want to make a meal of this soup as we often do with the stove top version, then the secret is to double the rest of the recipe so you have enough pasta to be filling but don't soak up all the soup in cooking it. Not that this wasn't still a fabulous meal but it was more of a stew.

Do try this soup soon - I can't emphasise how tasty it is for so little work. You'll probably have most of the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Slow cooker cabbage patch stew recipe

Are you keen to pack your family full of vegetables during cold season but need a tasty way to do it? This could be your answer. Slow cookers don't allow for evaporation so all the vitamin C from the cabbage and other goodness stays in the pot despite the long cooking time. It's also not too fiddly to prepare/

Ingredients for 4:

1 lb / 500 g lean ground beef /  beef mince
1 onion, chopped
1 can BBQ (or ranch style) beans
1/4 tsp ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 of a Savoy or other large green cabbage, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
14 oz / 400 g can of chopped tomatoes
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup salsa or picante sauce (optional)
1 cup  250 ml water
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
1 beef stock/bouillon cube, crumbled


In a large frying pan/ skillet, fry off the meat until it is browned all over. You may need a little oil if you're not using a non-stick pan.

Combine everything else in the slow cooker and add the meat. Stir well to combine.

Cook  on Low for 6 - 8 Hours.

Serve with mashed potato, pasta or rice.


Hmmm, I liked the idea of this but suspected from the ingredients list (I got the bones of this recipe from that it would be a little bland for my taste and I was right. My husband liked it as it was but I added 2 tsp balsamic vinegar to my portion to see if it would help. It really did and brought all the flavours to life. However another stock cube might be helpful if you don't fancy the vinegar (use less salt) or some fresh herbs. You might also like to add a little more spice. This is a pleasant dish and an easy way to get your veggies, but it lacks oomph.  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

One pot Spanish chicken with chorizo and patatas bravas - slow cooker recipe

Did we have too much of the cooking wine?
No, just taken at speed, I'm afraid.
Oh this was very, very good. Thanks to Marianne at Big Greedy for this fabulous recipe which I adapted for the slow cooker. Once again, some of my so-called adaptation was actually due to not reading the recipe very carefully but did we care? Not after tucking into this little lot!!!

Ingredients for 4: (with leftover chicken but not spuds)

1 (ideally free-range) chicken
(I always get mine reduced and freeze them)
1 lemon
1 onion
3 tsps paprika
6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
About 15-20 thinly cut slices of chorizo or other spicy cured sausage
4 medium potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks
2 tins of plum tomatoes, chopped (you're supposed to drain them - I forgot but I think it would be even nicer if you did)
2 big splashes white wine
2 splashes olive oil


Put the chicken in your slow cooker. This is an oval slow cooker with 6 L/ 6 quart capacity job. Sorry! You could probably adapt this to make with chicken thighs.

Stuff the cavity with half the lemon, a 2 cloves of the garlic, half the onion, half the lemon and about 5 slices of chorizo. Eat a slice of chorizo for quality control.

Snip the skin on the breast of the chicken on both sides near the neck end and, using your fingers or a spoon, create a cavity under the skin. Push most of the rest of the chorizo and garlic slices underneath the skin and spread out well. Do the same on the legs if you don't find it too fiddly or just lay some more chorizo on top of the legs.

Turn the potatoes and tomatoes together in a bowl before tipping down into the space around the chicken. Cover everything with the paprika and some ground black pepper. Don't add salt until after cooking as there's quite a bit in the choizo. Drizzle the wine over the top of everything. Cook on High for 4-5 hours or on Low for 7-8. Check the chicken juices run clear before guzzling with enormous greed. A green salad would be a great accompaniment.


This was a great way to jazz up chicken and, although it sounds involved, really only took 15 minutes to put together. The flavours were sunny and gutsy. Ours needed a little salt adding at the end but nothing major. I wanted to throw in some black olives but didn't have any about, sadly. This would be fun to share with friends with maybe a few other Spanish dishes thrown in. I'd suggest some but my knowledge of Spanish cuisine is poor so it's up to you knowledgeable readers!.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Slow cooker beans and rice recipe

Well, there has been a slow down on writing, that's for sure. That's mainly to do with my latest (and really the ultimate) slow-cooking project. Yes, Eccentric Baby II is due to join our family in August and really, although I've kept cooking, thinking about food beyond that has Not Been Fun for a few weeks. Hopefully that phase is passing. There's only so much crystallised ginger I can take at 3 am.

Anyway, I have over a dozen recipes cooked, tested and ready to share with you and even a theme for this month. So here we go, announcing, with great pomp and gravitas:

It's Fabulously Frugal February!!!!

I know many of us are tightening belts at this time of the year but still want to eat well so I've added a "frugal" tag which I will henceforth use for all the particularly economical recipes on the site (and will at some point try and remember to add to previous recipes).

I know many of you probably think beans and rice is a boring meal but there's a secret to enjoying it. (Shhhh, don't tell my Mum.) I love to play with my food! If I'm trying to figure the flavours for a recipe out or something turns out a bit bland, I get a tray of sauces and extras out of the fridge and cupboard, bring them to the table with the meal and, well, experiment. It's a great way to get kids interested in flavours too, especially if you've served a vegetable they're not keen on. The photo shows the fixings I tried out with beans and rice and it was a great, frugal and oh-so-comforting meal. Read on...

Lemon juice, celery salt, cilantro/coriander leaf, Worcestershire sauce,
 lime juice, cheddar, chilli cheddar spread, chilli flakes, Fajita seasoning,
Tabasco, sesame oil....

Ingredients for 4:

2 cans beans, rinsed and drained -
        I used black and cannellini
1 cup / 200g rice - brown or white
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can (14 oz / 400g) of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 onion, chopped finely
1 tsp mixed herbs (I used Mediterranean grill style)


Put the olive oil in the bottom of your slow cooker and add the rice. Stir the rice until it's nicely coated with the oil.

Drain the tomatoes, catching the juices in your measuring jug. Top up the jug with water until your measuring jug has 2 cups or 500 ml of liquid in it. Tip the watery tomato juice into the rice.

Now add everything else, including the drained chopped tomato bits, give it a good stir and cook on Low for 6-7 Hours or High for 3-4 (you may need a little less for white rice). It's done when the rice is cooked.

Check for basic seasoning and then serve, giving your family options of toppings if you like. I liked this best with some grated cheddar for depth and a little cilantro/coriander leaf for freshness. There are lots of other variations you could try to keep this a "new" meal.


It's cheap, it's easy, it's healthy and it's comforting. You can vary it endlessly with different herbs, stock cubes, additions and fixings. What's not to like? The rice took on a slightly creamy consistency from the tomato juice and we enjoyed trying different spoonfuls with different flavours. It was a satisfying meal, especially with our favourite brown rice.

I'm going to be annoying though and say that, if you have a rice cooker, it would be even easier in that as the rice will hold for longer without over-cooking. Although the window for this is fairly flexible on a slow cooker, at some point it will turn to mush so bear the rice cooker option in mind.