It’s been a mixed bag this week in the kitchen – I’ve had some good acquisitions (a new, larger crock pot, some kitchen basics that this kitchen is sorely lacking in – I cannot wait until my stuff comes out of storage!), made some yummy food, and have had absolutely zero luck with anything having to do with bread.
I’m not sure if we’re supposed to feel bad about liberal use of slow cookers or not; they’re not the sexiest of kitchen appliances & I’m sure real foodies turn their nose up at them. I can’t say I do anything that I couldn’t do on the stove, but there’s something nice about throwing everything in for a couple of hours and having good reason not to fuss with it. I love to cook, but I sometimes get stressed out at having to get dinner on the table at 6:30 (or whenever), and it’s just one less thing to worry about.
In any case – my current favorite resource for slow cooking is Slow Cooker Revolution by the America’s Test Kitchen people (their analytical approach to cooking appeals to me in general). There is – as with any recipe – still tweaking that needs to be done, but the basics are just so much more right than most other recipes for slow cookers. I did a Thai-inspired chicken soup earlier this week that was pretty good – the balance of flavors was a smidge off, but I think I can work through that.
For some reason, it wasn’t my week with bread – after a pretty lousy attempt at a basic biscuit recipe that I’ve made many, many, many times before, I decided to hold off on any sort of serious bread. I did make an otherwise delightful chicken pot pie with biscuit topping (recipe via Cook’s Illustrated) – I’m a big fan of pot pies in any iteration & it was the perfect excuse to test drive my new individual-sized ramekins, which are a lovely solution to the leftovers problem! Unfortunately the biscuits were not great – my SO was happy to wolf everything down, but I was left wanting. Attempt number one is below – the biscuits weren’t quite as anemic as they look.
When it came time to use up the leftovers, I tossed out the leftover biscuit dough from attempt number one, and tried something else. Ina Garten’s chicken stew with biscuits is one of my favorite go-tos for this type of recipe (though frankly, the Cook’s Illustrated recipe I tried was almost as good, a lot less time consuming, and certainly a lot lighter!), but cutting butter into biscuits (or anything, for that matter) is one of my least favorite activities, so I turned to my favorite idiot proof biscuit recipes (found here). The result wasn’t perfect, but better than the first go around. I was a big fan of the filling, so I’ll be playing with what biscuit works best with it!
(The biscuits, by the way, are great on their own for biscuits that require so few ingredients and are SO easy – though they’re not the type that really puffs up, so they should be cut pretty thick. I particularly adore them with crumbled bacon added to the dry ingredients – yum!)