Recipe courtesy of Chrissie Saunders – aka Mediocre Mum
ESTABLISHED parent blogger, Mediocre Mum – aka Chrissie Saunders from St Albans– has created a ‘slow cooker revival’ to help cash strapped young families feed themselves for less.
Chrissie says “It might sound a bit seventies, boring and dare I say middle aged, but using a slow cooker has so many advantages, particulary in today’s climate. It takes about as much energy to run one as it does to use a lightbulb, plus you can batch cook and freeze and use cheaper cuts of meat without losing the taste,”
Below is one of her fab recipes:
With a bit of creativity you can cook almost anything in a Slow Cooker. I recently, made a creamy Chicken Pot Pie which was very easy to make, inexpensive and something the whole family enjoyed.
Pastry really is a ‘no-go’ in a slow cooker but by using ready rolled pastry you can finish off the dish nicely with a crown of puff pastry. Once you’ve cracked the puff pastry you could make just about any pie; Steak and Ale, a Fish Pie or even a Good ole Apple Pie.
Serves 4 Cooking Time: 6-8 hours Temp: Low
500g of skinless boneless chicken thighs, cubed 2 large carrots, diced 2 sticks of celery, diced 2 TBSP butter 1 medium onion 125g of button mushrooms, halved 2 heaped TBSP of plain flour 400 ml chicken stock Salt and Pepper
Couple of pinches of dried Thyme 1 bay leaf
140g frozen peas
Ready Rolled Puff Pastry
- Bring a sauce pan of water to a boil. Boil the chicken, carrots and celery for 10 minutes. Drain and place in the slow cooker.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions and mushrooms for 2-3 minutes until they start to soften. Sprinkle with flour and mix well for about a minute.
- Gradually add the stock over a medium heat, it should thicken, season with salt and pepper. Add the Thyme and Bay Leaf. Pour over the chicken mixture in the slow cooker, mix well, cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- 30 minutes before serving, stir in the frozen peas.
- To make the pastry topping, preheat the oven to 200 degrees, unroll the sheet of pastry and find something 10cm in diameter to cut circles. I used one of my daughter’s toy pans from her play kitchen. Place on a baking tray and cook for ten minutes.
Place a large serving of the chicken mixture in a bowl and top with the pastry.
For more of Mediocre Mum’s fab slow cooker recipes see http://mediocremum.com/category/recipes/slow-cooker
A little more about Chrissie and her new blog feature Slow Cooker Sunday
“This might sound terribly dull, but I love my slow cooker and I use it about 3 times a week. Last week I used it five times. I work in the afternoons so it’s perfect. I lump everything in it in the morning and switch it on before I head out.
“It saves me rushing around trying to cook in the midst of Madame’s bedtime routine. My husband and I found that we were eating later and later so now as soon as she is in bed dinner is served,” she added.
In a bid to dispel the myth that slow cookers are only good for stews, Chrissie started compiling some of her favourite recipes, which can be found on the blog and ‘the slow cooker revival’ grew from there.
“There is nothing wrong with cooking a stew in the slow cooker, but I’m determined to show people that slow cooking is more than stews and casseroles. I’ve cooked everything from Thai Curry to Italian Lamb Ambruzzi to a Pork Stir-fry . For a laugh, I once tried to cook pancakes, which wasn’t one of my better ideas! I’ve even seen someone do a pizza in one!”
Chrissie spends hours on the internet looking for new recipes for the blog but she is also looking for other parents and slow cooker fans to contact her with their recipes and post them on her site.
Each Sunday Chrissie posts one of her own recipes. At the bottom of it there is a ‘Linky’ where others can share theirs. They can be old or new, it doesn’t have to be a full recipe – possibly just a photo of someone’s creations – or you can just share a favourite slow cooker website.
The slow cooker revival is a new concept on her blog, but Chrissie now also aims to create themed weeks. She is already looking for original summer ideas.
“Again, sounding very middle-aged, I hope others are as excited as I am and get involved with the idea. It might even start a new trend to counteract all this complicated artistic food you get at restaurants and even in supermarkets these days – and save people a lot of money at the same time,” she concluded.
Slow Cooker Sunday can be found on Chrissie’s website: www.mediocremum.com and on Twitter, using the hashtag #scsunday
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