RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Slow Cooker Edition

Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I've never found a slow cooker meal that really did it for me.
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Claire Lower
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Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I've never found a slow cooker meal that really did it for me.

Welcome back to another tasty and creative edition of Recipe of the Week! Last week we got me over my aversion to pumpkin with some exposure therapy. I was really pleased with all of your recipes, especially the savory ones.

The most up-voted comment wasn't a recipe, but it was an adorable picture of some adorable pumpkin bread (from softcastlemccormick):

pumpkin bread.jpg

Guys I don't know if you can tell but this pumpkin bread I made last year HAS PUMPKINS ON IT  

I enjoy self-referential food, so this definitely gets a trophy. Someone mentioned that it kind of looked like a Muppet face, so softcastle's trophy is "Always See Your Face" by Love.

The next most upvoted comment was also not a recipe, but an opinion that a lot of you seem to share:

I guess it's not that unpopular.

I guess it's not that unpopular.

Unpopular opinion: sweet potato is generally underrated, and pumpkin is generally overrated.  

I basically agree with this but, given my history with pumpkin, I'm not sure I'm a fair representation of the "general public." Either way, this also gets a trophy, and that trophy is "Rebel Rebel" by David Bowie.

Fiiiiinally we get to the most up-voted recipe (brought to us by Miz), which was the third most up-voted comment. These things happen.

winner.jpg

omg so people are posting these great savory recipes, so I fell down some pumpkin recipe porn hole and found this glorious bastard :

http://www.epicurious.com/reci...

Look at it. LOOK AT IT.

Spice Pumpkin, Lentil, and Goat Cheese Salad (via Epicurious):

INGREDIENTS

  • 3/4 cup French green lentils
  • 6 cups 1-inch pieces peeled seeded sugar pumpkin or butternut squash (from about one 2-pound whole pumpkin) 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • 4 cups baby arugula 
  • 1 cup soft goat cheese, crumbled 
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

PREPARATION

Place lentils in small bowl. Cover with cold water and soak 10 minutes; drain.

Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Drain lentils. Rinse under cold water, then drain.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place pumpkin in large bowl; toss with 2 tablespoons oil, cumin, paprika, and sea salt. Arrange pumpkin in single layer on baking sheet; roast 20 minutes. Turn pumpkin over. Roast until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Cool.

Combine lentils, pumpkin, and oil from baking sheet with arugula, half of goat cheese, mint, vinegar, and 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among plates; sprinkle remaining goat cheese over.

Not bad at all.

Not bad at all.

It turned out pretty well, and it made me realize that I definitely prefer savory pumpkin recipes over sweet. Not only was it filling, but it felt healthy, and would make a great, lighter side dish in a sea of casseroles. If I were to make it again, I would definitely up the seasoning, and probably double the cumin, and maybe add some sauteed mushrooms in there for extra umami.

Thanks to Miz for bringing this savory salad to our attention! Your trophy, Ms. Miz is "Time of the Season" by The Zombies, because it's pumpkin season, get it?

Now that we've given out our last trophy, it's time to move on to our next topic: slow cookers. Growing up, my very busy mother did a lot of cooking in her Crockpot, and by the time I reached "adulthood," I was kind of over them. Besides spiked apple cider and mulled wine, I don't really use mine that much. Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I've never found a slow cooker meal that really did it for me.

You're okay, I guess.

You're okay, I guess.

This, obviously, is where you come in. I know that there are die-hard slow cooker enthusiasts out there, and I'm assuming a few of them are among you. Please share any and all delicious slow cooked treasures, whether they be stews, roasts, desserts, or beverages. Otherwise I'll just keep using mine for seasonal alcohol, which isn't so bad.