Tag Archives: slow cooker

Boston Brown Bread – Slow and Easy

What’s so Boston about it? Probably the molasses…No one says….

Recipes for steam brown bread go back to the 1830’s…..and they mention lots of different containers. I think there’s a  timeline….

Pudding basins :

pudding basin

Pudding basins look like bowls and sometimes are – but that lip is to tie a top down so you could steam

Pudding molds:

steamed pudding mold

This is a steamed pudding mold – pour the batter in, snap on the lid and put it in boiling water

Baking powder tins

Clabber_Girl

Baking powder tins seem to be the first substitute from pudding molds

Coffee cans

coffee-cans

They need to be METAL coffee cans and not the plastic ones.

Then there was a more recent suggestion to save  cans that had safe seams….but I don’t buy that much food in cans, so I was perfectly contented to buy Boston Brown Bread in cans.

bbrown bread

But then I saw a recipe for

MASON JARS BROWN BREAD MADE IN THE SLOW COOKER

GENIUS

The recipe is pretty much the same though the decades…

Good Housekeeping cb

Good Housekeeping (1960’s)

beard on bread

Beard On Bread (1970’s)

KAF 200th anniversary

And King Arthur Flour (1990’s)

and the KAF website – all the same ingredients, different containers and method of cooking

BOSTON BROWN BREAD

SLOW AND EASY

1 cup cornmeal

1 cup rye flour

1 cup wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 cups buttermilk

¾ cup dark, unsulphured molasses

(up to 1 cup of raisins is optional. I usually opt in)

 

  1. Mix the flours with the baking soda. Put aside.
  2. Mix the buttermilk and molasses. Add the wets to the drys.
  3. Grease 4  1 pint WIDE MOUTHED mason jars. (see the illustrations below)
  4. Grease the lids, too.
  5. Divide the batter between the four jars – I used a canning funnel.
  6. Wide them off.
  7. Put the greased lids on.
  8. Put the jars in a slow cooker. Fill the cooker halfway up the sides f the jar.
  9. Put on the lid and turn up the heat.
  10. Cook on high 2-3 hours until a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Us potholders (mine are silicon) and take the jars out of the water.
  12. When they’re cool enough, shake the bread out of the jars and cool on a rack.
  13. Slice and serve. Eat with butter or cream cheese.
  14. Wrap in aluminum foil and store in the fridge. It’s usually magically gone so very soon…..

 

BLUE_WM_PINT_JAR_1

This is the wide-mouth jar. Notice the straight side up to the opening. If you steam bread in here, the bread will come out when it’s done. This is an important detail. Should you use the wrong jar, serve it with a spoon……..like you meant to do it the whole time.

ball-blue-heritage-regular-mouth-pint-16oz-mason-jar

This is the regular jar – notice that while you could fish a pickle out, a bread would have a hard time slipping out. Hence the serve with a spoon option…..

canning funnel

I love my canning funnel. I use it all the time, wets and drys. Sometimes I can, too.

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National Indian Pudding Day!

mug_indian_pudding_day

If there’s a mug, it MUST be a real holiday!

 

The ‘Indian’ in Indian Pudding is cornmeal – or Indian Meal

cornmeal-wiki

The not-so pretty color of Indian Pudding is the molasses that sweetens it

molassesgrandmas_orig_12oz_400x400

 

Many recipes call for sugar, too…add or not as your choice.

With the added spices it tastes a lot like gingerbread…

Ice cream on top is never a bad thing. In Charlemont MA there was a little place serving Indian Pudding with Pumpkin Ice Cream – genius!

One of the worse – and I do mean totally dreadful Indian Pudding recipes I have ever seen called for

  • a box of corn muffin mix
  • a box of instant butterscotch pudding

Do I need to say any more???????

Sure, pour milk over it and set it in a slow cooker for a couple of hours and it’ll sorta look like IP – but what about the

TASTE?

jiffycorn_muffin_mix

The corn muffins of my youth. Add blueberries or cranberries or just serve warm with butter and honey.

And now a link for a recipe…..

Slow Cooker Indian Pudding

 

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Just another Meatless Monday

BASIC BEANS ANOTHER WAY

1 pound dried beans, picked over and rinsed
1 large onion, quartered and/or
2 garlic cloves, crushed and/or
2 bay leaves

1. Pick, rinse and soak the beans in enough water to cover plus an inch or two (a bowl with a wider top will need less surface water then on that is narrow but deep). Soak for 8 hours or overnight. If it’s warm and you don’t have AC, soak them in the fridge or you’ll get some fermentation going….. Theoretically they’re still edible, but there are texture and flavor issues…
2. Drain the beans place them in a 5 or 6 quart slow cooker. Add (or not) the onion/garlic bay leaves. Add enough water to cover – 6 – 8 cps.
3. Cover and cook on high 8 – 12 hours, depending on the type and age of bean.
Robin Robertson. Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker. Harvard Common Press: 2004. p. 95.

Fresh from Veg Kitchen

Butternut Squash Chili

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion (or equal amount of onion-ness), chopped

3 cloves of garlic, smooshed

1 ½ pound butternut (or other winter) squash, peeled and cubed – it comes ready to use in frozen form…frozen butternut squash

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

4 cups cooked pinto beans (2 cans drained and rinsed)

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 cups broth or water

1 teaspoon salt

  1. In large pot, sauté onion until soft over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds more.
  2. Add the squash and celery, continue sautéing until celery is soft and some of the squash is a little brown.
  3. Add the chili powder and cumin and toss and heat another minute – it should smell divine.
  4. Add the beans, tomatoes, broth and salt. Give it a good stir.
  5. Raise the heat to high and bring it to a boil. Then lower the heat to keep it at a good simmer. You might (probably) have to do the partially covered thing with the lid. Simmer for 30 – 4o minutes.

Adapted from a recipe submitted by Anne Marie Rossi in edibleBoston, No. 31, Winter 2014. p. 31.

edibleBostonW14-Cover_Mary-500x654

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Slow Beef

There is some debate about just how Irish corned beef and cabbage truly is, whether  or not bacon would properly be more traditional. My tradition is, if it’s St Patrick’s, your dinner debate is the choice between Lamb Stew or Corned Beef and Cabbage.

Another name for Corned Beef and Cabbage is Boiled Dinner, which makes it more New England, which is also fine by me.

OLD SOD BOILED DINNER, NEW ENGLAND STYLE

8 good sized fist sized spuds, peeled and quartered (are you saving the peel enough for broth? Use an extra)

4 turnips, peeled and cut to the same size as the potato pieces

These white turnips, not the big yellow rutabaga sort

These white turnips, not the big yellow rutabaga sort

2 large onions, peeled and quartered

1 small (2-3 pound) corned beef brisket

5 cups water (if you use a 12 ounce bottle of beer for 1 ½ cups of the water, it doesn’t make it worse, if you take my meaning. If you’d rather save the beer for your glass with the meal that works, too.)

1 small head of cabbage, cut into 6 or 8 wedges

  1. Combine the potatoes, turnip and onions in the bottom of a 4 quart or larger slow cooker.
  2. Add the brisket, fat side up.
  3. Pour water over everything.
  4. Cover.
  5. Cook on LOW 10-11 hours or until the meat is tender.
  6.  Remove cooked meat and vegetables, keep warm.
  7. Turn cooker to HIGH.
  8. Add cabbage wedges. Cover and cook on HIGH 20-30 minutes are until cabbage is done.
  9. Lift the cabbage out with a slotted spoon to join the rest of the dinner.
  10. Good with mustard and horseradish.
  11. Leftovers make great hash.

Adapted from Mable and Gar Hoffman. Mable Hoffman’s All-New Crockery Favorites. Bantam Books: 1993. p. 95.

mable Hoffman's

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Slow Beans

If you’re going to be meatless for any length of time, eventually you’ll turn to

Bean.

Mr Bean - Rowan Atkinson

Mr Bean – Rowan Atkinson

No, not Mr. Bean – dried beans – those protein powerhouses of the plant world.

dried beans

Beans are easy to cook.The biggest problem with them is the time that they take. If the dried beans you buy are older and more dried out, they take longer to get to good.  Still easy.

slow cooker, travel model

I have a model where the lid locks – travel without making your car smell like baked beans every hot day for the next 10 years!

BASIC BEANS

1 pound dried bean

6 cups water

1 bay leaf OR 1 sprig of fresh rosemary OR 2 cloves of peeled garlic

Salt

  1. Pick over the beans
  2. Rinse the beans
  3. Put the beans in the slow cooker.
  4. Add the water – are all the beans underwater? I usually ditch the floaters….
  5. If you are using a leaf or a sprig or a bud – add your flavor component now.
  6.  Cover.
  7. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours, or until tender.
  8. Add salt to taste and let stand about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove the flavor component, it’s done it’s work, so thank it for a job well done.
  10. Beans are now ready for use in soups, stews, chilies, salads.

Adapted Michele Scicolone. The Italian Slow Cooker. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2010. p. 191.

Italian slow cooker book

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