Does it seem strange to have gourmet and slow-cooker in the same sentence?
After this weekend’s Gourmet Dinner Club gathering, I now believe it’s possible to have gourmet slow-cooked dishes.
I do live in Minnesota, which I believe is the slow-cooker capital of the world. Or do you call it crock-pot? I typically say crock-pot, though I think slow cooker sounds more sophisticated.
I tackled the appetizer course. Although the finished dish was not completed in the slow cooker, the main component spent 12 long hours cooking away. I’m naming my creation Cranberry Apple Butter and Blue Cheese Fillo Pockets.
The cranberry apple butter was my favorite part and it made a great dipping sauce for the pockets. I’ll be posting the complete recipe later this week. It was my first time working with fillo dough and I learned a lot…which I promise I’ll share with you. Just know they were delicious.
Our next course was actually not made in a slow-cooker and boy did we give Kari a hard time for that. However, her dish was delicious so she was mostly forgiven. She made individual cheese soufflés (also made with fillo) served over a frisee salad. Salty parmesan and goat cheese were the stars.
Our main course was made by our gracious host, Lee. She concocted a chickpea tagine that was chock full of vegetables, golden raisins and olives. It was fantastic. Dried chickpeas are made for the slow-cooker. The dish was served over toasted couscous and topped with thick greek yogurt and cilantro. Along side the tagine were honeyed carrots. Perfectly textured and sweet. I loved this dish and was lucky enough to take some home which I enjoyed for lunch today.
Dessert was a trifecta of yumminess.
First up was Mike’s Orange Caramel Pudding Cake. It was most definitely a cross between pudding and cake. He wasn’t super happy with the results from this recipe. However the salted caramel sauce he made for
drinking drizzling stole the show. OMG delicious. He followed this recipe, but added some salt – which we all LOVED. The sauce made the cake very tasty.
Henriet made an extremely elegant dish….in a slow cooker! Pears poached in red wine and served with vanilla whipped cream. Not super sweet but super amazing. It made the perfect second dessert. I love a world where there are two desserts.
This photo does not do justice to either dessert. You’ll just have to take my word for it.
And to wash down our two desserts was Liza’s homemade chai tea. The chai concentrate was made in the slow-cooker and it was worth every minute. Not only tasty and smooth, but a million times cheaper than getting chai at your local coffee shop. Liza followed this recipe for the tea, which you can mix with either milk or water.
We then retreated into a slow-cooker coma.
This was definitely a fun theme and it got us all thinking about how to be gourmet by using an apparatus that doesn’t necessarily elude fancy.
It also provided fodder for sharing hilarious family stories and our culinary upbringings (or lack there of). Laughter was abundant … as it should be.
Have you had a slow-cooker party before? Do you call it a slow-cooker or a crock-pot?