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Recipies For The Slow Cooker

Publication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press
By Janeen A. Sarlin   Dec 13, 2011 4:26 PM
Mar 30, 2012 9:16 AM

Just in time for holiday shopping is a new cookbook by my good friend and colleague Michele Scicolone, who has written “The French Slow Cooker,” which is full of photographed recipes for a slow cooker.

One of my favorite wintertime dishes is short ribs. This recipe with red wine and prunes is reminiscent of an entrée I ate in the Dordogne region of France. Serve noodles or boiled potatoes with the ribs, followed by a green salad for your next dinner party. It will be big a hit.

Seafood lovers will love the Calamari Niçoise. Serve it over pasta or couscous for a main course with a salad.

Last, vegetable entrées can be tricky but this beautiful dish of is enhanced with saffron, an exotic spice that’s well worth the price.

Bon appétit!

Short Ribs With Red Wine And Prunes

(Serves 8)

4 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, well trimmed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

6 large cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon herbs de Provence

2 bay leaves

1 cup dry red wine

3 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 cup chopped pitted prunes

4 cups good quality beef broth

2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

To prepare:

Sprinkle the ribs with salt and pepper.

Roll in flour and tap off the excess.

Add oil to a large heavy skillet and cook over medium heat.

Working in batches, brown the ribs, turning them until browned on all sides, about 20 minutes.

Transfer the ribs to a large slow cooker.

Add the onion, carrots and celery to the skillet and cook, stirring well until golden, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic and herbs and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Add wine and cook, scraping up the bits in the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil.

Cook for 1 minute.

Stir in tomato paste, prunes and beef broth.

Pour the contents of the skillet over the ribs in the slow cooker.

Cover and cook on low setting for 8 to 10 hours, or until the ribs are tender and the meat is falling off the bones.

Skim off the fat from the surface of the liquid.

With a wire whisk, stir in the mustard and discard the bay leaves.

Taste and adjust the seasonings.

Sprinkle the top with chopped parsley and serve over noodles, rice or boiled potatoes.

Calamari Niçoise
With Black Olives

(Serves 6)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 medium onions, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 cup dry white wine or vermouth

3 cups chopped peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes or one 28-ounce can tomatoes, drained and chopped

Sea salt to taste

3 pounds calamari, cleaned and cut into 1-inch rings

1/2 cup chopped imported pitted black olives, preferably Niçoise

Pinch of piment d’Espelette, or crushed red pepper and smoked paprika

Chopped fresh basil for garnish

To prepare:

Add oil to a large heavy saucepan and cook over medium heat.

Stir in the onions and garlic and cook, stirring until golden and tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the wine and bring to a simmer.

Add the tomatoes and salt and bring to a simmer.

Pour the sauce into a large slow cooker.

Stir in the calamari.

Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or until the calamari are tender.

Stir in the olives and piment d’Espelette.

Cover and cook 15 minutes longer.

Sprinkle with basil and serve piping hot over pasta or rice.

Saffron Vegetable Stew

(Serves 6 as a main course 
or 8 as side dish)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

2 large cloves, chopped

2 cups chopped canned tomatoes with their juices

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

5 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 large cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade for garnish

To prepare:

Add oil to a large skillet and cook over medium heat.

Add onions and sauté, stirring until soft and golden, about 10 minutes.

Add garlic and sauté until aromatic, about 1 minute.

Add tomatoes and their juices, salt, saffron and pepper to taste.

Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes.

Place the potatoes in a large slow cooker.

Place the cauliflower florets over the potatoes.

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