Authors: Dena G. Price
Dena G. Price
KOSHER SLOW COOKER
Most recipe bloggers have fantasies about being “discovered” and magically presented with a cookbook deal. So when Lisa Laing, editor of the Everything
series, contacted me asking if I would be interested in writing this cookbook, I first had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. Of course I would do it! As a recipe blogger, I was thrilled at the prospect of seeing my own name on the cover of an actual book.
The thrill quickly turned into abject terror when I was given a deadline. Do I have the juice to create a masterpiece, or at least something semicoherent? Do I have the chops to be a professional writer? Can I cook up 300 slow recipes quickly, or will I have egg on my face, reduced to eating humble pie?
I had been only a few short years out of grad school, which consisted of writing one long paper after another. It was relatively easy to slip back into writing mode. Somehow I managed to squeeze in recipe testing and photographing the results along the way. I am quite happy with the 300 recipes that are in this book. I hope you enjoy using them as well.
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I would like to thank my editor Lisa Laing at Adams Media for giving me the opportunity to write this book. I also appreciate the comments and suggestions provided by the Art and Production departments at Adams Media. My photography has improved a thousandfold.
Hugs to the staff at the Old Bridge Public Library, who enthusiastically ate anything I brought in for “testing,” especially Pat B., who suggested the perfect herb and spice “tweaks” on several recipes.
Special thanks go to Rabbi Lisa Malik of Temple Beth Ahm in Aberdeen, NJ, who took time out of her very busy schedule to help me in explaining kashrut, the Jewish dietary laws.
Last, but most certainly not least, I would like to thank my husband. Richie, you have been incredibly supportive and encouraging, not just with the book but with everything thrown at us during our amazing journey together.
THERE NEVER SEEMS TO be enough time for chores, family, and work. Creating delicious and wholesome meals for the family should not add to the daily stress. Luckily, a slow cooker can help. With all the demands of the day, a slow cooker is the least demanding. After assembling and preparing ingredients, it quietly does what it is supposed to do… all day, or all evening.
Set up the slow cooker and leave it alone to do its job while you do yours. You can literally leave it alone. Leave it on while you are off somewhere else, in a different part the house or even a different zip code. The food will safely cook in your absence. Some slow cookers have built-in timers that automatically lower the temperature to “warm mode” when cooking is done. No more overcooking or scorched food. No other cooking appliance can even come close for convenience.
Slow cookers also free up the oven and the stovetop, a huge help when company is coming and there never seem to be enough ovens or burners to get everything finished in time.
Remember when slow cookers only came in avocado green or harvest yellow? Today, those old-fashioned colors will only be found in your mother’s or grandmother’s kitchen, or at garage sales. The slow cooker no longer has to hide behind a cabinet door. Today’s slow cookers are stainless steel or modern bright colors to match modern bright appliances. Some even come with jazzy prints! And most slow cookers have removable crock inserts, which allows you to bring them to the dining room table. The entire unit is also at home at a buffet, keeping foods at a safe serving temperature. Some models are even built for traveling! They come with special clamps or handles to make it easier to transport food to a backyard barbecue, a picnic at the park, the house of a sick friend, or a Shiva call.
Homes with kosher kitchens have their own unique requirements. While anyone can use this cookbook, the information presented is “kosher friendly.” There are no recipes combining meat and dairy items. Meats are all from kosher animals. The fish are all kosher according to kashrut. There are no recipes with pork or shellfish, nor with any ready-made products containing even a smidgeon of either. And because most slow cookers are not very expensive, buying one for meat meals and another for dairy is not cost prohibitive. A more detailed explanation of the kosher laws can be found in
Traditional recipes for major Jewish holidays are included in this cookbook. Recipes for Passover, which has its own set of rules, customs, and traditions, are also included. The recipes for Passover follow Ashkenazi customs. Kitniyot, such as rice, beans, and corn, as well as their derivatives, is prohibited.
Because kosher meats are salted to remove all traces of blood, some residual salt remains in the meat. As a result, less salt is required in any recipe containing meat. All ingredients referenced are either inherently kosher or can be obtained with kosher certification. Some products may not be available in all locations; Appendix B contains suggested websites where these products may be ordered online.