Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Book Review: The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Scneider
I promised myself I'd buy no more cookbooks, but when I saw this one offered up, I couldn't resist. It combines two of my favorites: Mexican recipes and slow cooker recipes. It seemed like an immediate win on both counts.
I've had the book now for several days and have read through it. Here's what I like about the book: there is a basic explanation of the various chilies and how they are best used. This is information I didn't know. The author also explains why she prefers the ceramic insert crock pot and the basic cooking techniques she uses to prepare food for the crock pot. What I find unrealistic is her expectation that we have a kitchen equipped with multiple sized crock pots and sundry piece of equipment. I tend to run a pretty basic kitchen overall and my appliances include the crock pot and a blender. I don't even own an electric can opener!
There are photos for about 1/3 of the recipes. The recipes are clearly written and every single ingredient is listed in the ingredients list as it should be. There are no surprise ingredients buried in the instructions. I like that! Not all authors do this and it can lead to a bit of frustration.
There are recipes for soups, main dishes, street dishes, sides, and desserts in this book, all of which are made in the slow cooker. I think I'm most fascinated by the idea of making Tamales in the crock pot!
There are insets that explain how to make tortillas, how to use various chilies, what constitutes Moles, etc. These are all very helpful.
What I don't like: Some of the recipes are labor intensive prior to the slow cooking stage. I would have liked to have had a list of possible Hispanic grocery items I might use to cut down on some of the labor. After all, I don't work in a restaurant! Could I used canned roasted chilies in place of fresh, just roasted myself chilies?
Also, I don't recognize some ingredients and would need to do research to discover what a reasonable substitute might be. I live in an area with a Hispanic base and groceries in our area cater to their food desires but I have never seen some of the items mentioned in a few of the recipes.
That said, there are plenty of recipes I can make from ingredients I normally have in my pantry or freezer and perhaps the purchase of no more than a pepper or two.
All in all, I am looking forward to using this cookbook. I think I shall increase my enjoyment of the slow cooker knowing I can have homemade Mexican foods.
This book was provided by Blogging for Books and no consideration was given me for my review. The opinions contained in this review are entirely my own.