In trying to find ease in weeknight cooking, I can tell you that I have become attached to my slow cooker. Hamilton Beach sent 8 from our Virtual Potluck team the 6-quart programmable Set ‘n Forget cookers , and each of us also received a different copy of Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufmann’s Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker for review from Harvard Common Press.
I love the slow cooker as it has handles that snap over the lid to hold it in place if you need to take it somewhere. I have faint, yet still horrifying memories of attending a Christmas party in Alabama more than 15 years ago, where I arrived to the hosts door clutching my slow cooked Creamy Crab Dip that was dripping down the front of my holiday attire. Nice.
This slow cooker also has an attachable meat thermometer that really comes in handy.
Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker offers over 350 recipes and demonstrates how invaluable the slow cooker is as a tool for entertaining. The recipes are designed to serve anywhere from 6-20 people, and is the perfect book to pick up for this holiday season.
Since October is National Cheese Month, my husband fired up the grill this weekend and made some great steaks while my Blue Cheese-Sour Mashers slow cooked away, making for a super easy meal and clean up.
Some of our favorite cheeses come from owners and cheese makers Alyce and Doug of Sweet Home Farm in Elberta, Alabama near Pensacola, Florida. The coveted Bayside Blue gets rave reviews for taste and texture. All cheeses are made from hormone, herbiside and pesticide free Guernsey raw cow milk, and the cows are grass fed. The cheeses are aged at 60 days before being sold in the cheese shop on the farm. It is worth the trip.
Blue Cheese-Sour Cream Mashers
Recipe adapted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker: Recipes for Entertaining
Blue cheese and potatoes are one of those surprisingly successful culinary marriages. This is a very special version of mashed potatoes. You’ll want to season the potatoes with freshly ground pepper, but because blue cheese is fairly salty on its own, you probably won’t need any additional salt. You can multiply this recipe as many times as needed. Serves 6
COOKER: Small, medium, or large round, depending on the amount of potatoes (use medium if making the volume below)
SETTING AND COOK TIME: KEEP WARM or LOW for 4 to 5 hours
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup hot half-and-half
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Place the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain well and return to the pan on the stove top to evaporate any extra water, if necessary. Pass through a food mill or mash with a potato masher. Stir or mash or beat in the butter, sour cream, and milk until fluffy. Do not use a food processor. Gently fold in the blue cheese and pepper.
2. Lightly coat the inside of the crock with butter or nonstick cooking spray and spoon in the mashed potatoes. If you like, press a pat of butter into the top. Cover and keep on KEEP WARM or LOW for 4 to 5 hours. Serve at the table in a bowl or right from the crock.
Hamilton Beach is offering 8 readers, one from each of the Virtual Potluck blogs participating, the chance to win a slow cooker and cookbook of their own. Just enter below!
- Teresa from Foodhunter’s Guide will be treating you to some Split Pea Soup.
- Milisa from Miss in the Kitchen is whipping up some Colorado Chile Chicken Enchiladas.
- Shelby from Diabetic Foodie is making Quick & Easy Tomato Ketchup.
- Marnely from Cooking with Books is making some delicious Mexican Pork Chops.
- Matt from Thyme in Our Kitchen is making Steak Tostadas.
- Susan from 30A Eats is making Blue Cheese-Sour Cream Mashers.
- Heather from Farmgirl Gourmet is making Mustard-Glazed Chicken Wings with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce.
- Cookistry Fennel Leek Potato Soup
The recipes will be going live at different times during the week, so keep browsing.
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