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Book Reviews
'The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes'
By: Judith Finlayson
(Paperback / Robert Rose / 288 Pages / $24.95)

Description: 'The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes' is a very special expanded edition of a classic - readers will enjoy the standards and new classics.

Verdict: If you're a purist about using *just* the slow cooker, even though the browning step produces more intense and balanced flavours and only one extra item to clean, this book isn't for you. If you aren't interested in a mixture of English/North American standards along with a number of spicy recipes (Korean, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Italian, Hungarian, etc.), or if you will have a difficult time finding the ingredients because your supermarkets has a limited selection, this book may not be for you.

But if you love a variety of national cuisines and can get the ingredients, you'll love this book. The Easy Chicken Paprikash (using canned soups and sweet paprika, easy to find anywhere) was amazing. The New Potato Curry (using curry powder available in any supermarket, although I made up my own mixture) was wonderful, even though I left out the fresh cilantro as I didn't have any on hand. Time required to clean the cast iron skillet for each recipe: 30 seconds.

There are a lot of slow cooker recipe books out there with great recipes for beans, stews, and soups. Get one of those if all you want to make are those great standards. Keep in mind, though, that you will find similar recipes in this book, such as Bakers' Potatoes with Onions, Creamed Onions, Shredded Chicken for tacos and sandwiches (no pre-browning!), Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole, Homestyle Chicken with Gingersnap Gravy, Pork Ribs and Beans, Pork Chops with Onions in Mustard Sauce, Pot Roast with Tomato or Gingersnap Gravy, Beef Noodle Casserole with Cheddar-Crumb Topping, Meat Loaf, Southwestern Brisket, Shepherd's Pie, Swiss Steak, Smothered Steak, Chicken Fried Steak, Mushroom Barley Soup, Black Bean Soup, and Seafood Gumbo.

But you'll also get Indonesian and Spicy Chinese Chicken, Chicken and turkey curries (spicy and mellow), Caribbean Pork Roast with Rum, Portuguese Pork with Clams, Pork Vindaloo, Morroccan Lamb, Lamb Keema and Korma, Greek Beef Stew with Onions and Feta Cheese, Korean Style Short Ribs, Osso Bucco, Potato and Cauliflower Dahl, and Caribbean Pepper Pot Soup.

If you're counting, that's nowhere near 150 recipes yet. And did I mention the desserts? Flans, crips, cobblers, custards, pudding, cake and, yes, cheesecake. This is a great book. If you want to move beyond the standards, here's your chance! [MT]