Cool weather means time for crock pots

Three slow-cooker recipes to try now

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - DAILY LOCAL NEWS - By Emily Ryan For Dig­i­tal First Me­dia

As the leaves change, do you crave com­fort food like stew and chili, but feel too swamped to stand at the stove? Then these slow-cooker recipes are for you.

“It’s a su­per-con­ve­nient way to get the fam­ily around the din­ner table,” said Justin West of What a Crock Meals to Go. “My fa­vorite dish is prob­a­bly our New Or­leans braised beef or our firecracker chicken.”

His wife first en­joyed the ease of a slow cooker while ex­pect­ing their first child. They later launched a fam­ily busi­ness, sell­ing ready-to-slow-cook meals in Brookhaven, Booths Corner and Chest­nut Hill.

“There’s lit­er­ally no work — a pair of scissors and a Crock-Pot,” West ex­plained. “About 30-per­cent of the menu is her grand­mother’s recipes.”

Au­thor and jour­nal­ist Anupy Singla cred­its her mother with in­spir­ing “The In­dian Slow Cooker,” the first of three cook­books.

“She toiled for years, ex­per­i­ment­ing,” said Singla, born in In­dia and raised in Mont­gomery County. “In­dian food is so pre­dis­posed to slow cook­ing.”

A fam­ily fa­vorite: ra­jmah, “our ver­sion of red beans and rice.”

“An­other one of my fa­vorites is the chicken curry,” she added. “… And for dessert, I love the rice pud­ding be­cause it’s so sim­ple to make and, at the same time, a lit­tle dif­fer­ent be­cause we use car­damom.”

For break­fast, she sa­vors steel-cut oats, which are “amaz­ing com­ing out of the Crock-Pot.”

“Any­thing that really cooks low and slow, you can save your­self time in the slow cooker,” agreed per­sonal chef Emily Scott of West Ch­ester, aka The Wild­flower Chef. “It’s just so much less stress. Noth­ing is go­ing to com­pletely burn and stick to the bot­tom.”

Her reper­toire in­cludes ve­gan black bean soup, chicken marsala and au­tumn pork stew with bell pep­pers, raisins and win­ter squash.

“You can sneak tons of nu­tri­ent-rich veg­eta­bles and legumes into these meals!” Scott de­scribed. “Just be­cause it’s cozy and warm doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean it’s heavy.”

“It can be light calo­riewise.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF BRAVE NEW PIC­TURES

En­joy this tra­di­tional chicken curry from “The In­dian Slow Cooker” by Anupy Singla.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF BRAVE NEW PIC­TURES

Cookbook au­thor Anupy Singla will speak at Ursi­nus Col­lege this Fri­day, Nov. 11.

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