Have you seen the new four-quart slow cooker from All-Clad? About seven or eight years ago, I invested in the seven-quart All-Clad slow cooker. Over the years, that cooker has saved me tons of time and money in the kitchen. I love the sleek look of the cooker, but more importantly I love the way it cooks food so evenly. Other cookers I've used in the past seem to lack consistent heating and cooking ability, which can compromise the finished product. I tried numerous models before buying the All-Clad and all of those other brands gave me ho hum results.
Regarding the seven-quart All-Clad, I've used it for making everything from lasagna and pumpkin chili to beef stew and macaroni and cheese. However, when I was mooching around a cookware store in September, I noticed that All-Clad had released a smaller version of the mighty seven quart. Aha! I immediately knew the four quart could be a valuable addition to my kitchen. Unfortunately, the cooker was on back order for months. I sighed and waited patiently until my order arrived at Mrs Cook's here in Seattle last week.
Priced at $149, I did question whether I really needed it, but after careful and creative analysis, I decided that I did. I reasoned that the smaller version would let me experiment without risking a lot of ingredients. With my seven quart, I don't always like to make huge batches of a new dish because if it is a bust I'll be stuck with figuring out how to deal with the leftovers.
Since Friday, I've already experimented with four dishes, adapting them to the slow cooker and feeling confident that I wasn't going to be wasting a ton of food. All of the dishes were successful, and I'm thrilled with the flexibility that smaller version gives me. My first dish was a Coconut Curried Chicken that basically included ginger, garam masala, curry, coconut milk and boneless skinless chicken thighs. Highly aromatic, the dish featured tender silky chicken and was an easy dinner for a rainy Friday night.
Over the weekend I pushed the envelope and cranked out a simple vegetable soup combining lots of miscellaneous vegetables and some frozen meatballs. That adventure yielded a simple and warming soup. Yesterday, I ventured forth to make a Salmon and Crab Cioppino, cooking the soup base in the cooker all day and simply adding the seafood at the end right before serving. (When cooking seafood in a slow cooker, you really want to add the seafood at the end to avoid overcooking it!) Today, I am making Salmon and Corn Chipotle chowder. The base for that chowder is simmering quietly in the cooker.
So, if you are in the market for a new cooker, check out the new four-quart All-Clad. With four settings, a sleek ceramic insert, vented glass lid, and attractive stainless steel housing, you'll be glad you did. The slow cooker can be purchased by calling Mrs Cook's or through Amazon.