Take another look at what you can do in your multi cooker, slow cooker, pressure cooker and deep fryer
Pros: Variety of recipes, recipes arranged by cooking method.
Cons: Nutrient information would have been helpful.
Emeril Lagasse doesn’t hold back anything in his new book Emeril’s Cooking with Power. It is packed full of flavor, butter, heavy cream, and cheese. I can’t forget the cheese! What Emeril has set out to do is create a cookbook that covers a variety of recipes for your slow cooker, multi cooker, pressure cooker and deep fryer. His intent is for you to dust off your pressure cooker, or purchase one of his own versions, and get your creative juices flowing for making fast, flavorful meals for your family. Maybe you have a deep fryer but only use it for the occasional French fries. If that is the case he is going to tempt you to run out and buy some fresh oil so you can create some Smoked Trout Croquettes. Perhaps the idea of slow cooking appeals to you more, but did you know you can do cheesecake in a slow cooker? Emeril’s Vanilla Bean Cheesecake is amazing. Although it will test your patience as it cooks for 5 hours then refrigerate for 8. I found I could simply set my slow cooker on a delayed start and in the morning simply put the cheese cake in the fridge. That evening it was perfectly set and cooled. Although I did need to purchase a new smaller spring form pan to fit my slow cooker, it was worth it. As Emeril says “I have assembled more than 100 recipes here for you to renew your connection (no pun intended) with your kitchen electrics.” In my opinion he succeeded in doing that.
Cooking with Power has approximately 25 recipes for each of the four styles of cooking listed. Not all of the recipes are main dishes, of course. You will find everything from a basic broth to side dishes, soups, stews, appetizers and desserts. This book is not what I would consider a comprehensive collection of recipes for your slow cooker, multi cooker, pressure cooker or deep fryer. However, take another look and see if this nice sampling of recipes will renew your interest in your countertop appliances. The book itself is a nice soft cover with heavy duty pages. Each recipe has a photograph, which I like a lot. Even though some of my meals were not quite as pretty as his, it gives me something to work towards. Besides I feel it is easier to try a new recipe if I can see what it looks like. I had a difficult time choosing recipes because they all look good to me. As far as the layout goes there is an index at the end of the book. However, at the start of each section there is also a list of all the recipes featured. Besides using the recipes as Emeril wrote them, it would be fairly simply to adjust them to your own tastes. All of the directions are straightforward. A lot of the recipes will require you to use other methods of cooking as well. For example, boiling pasta on your stove top to accompany a sauce you are making in your pressure cooker. With that said, I believe this book is great for the general home cook. Anyone that has an interest in expanding their recipe knowledge with their power appliances would enjoy this book.
I have tried several of the recipes in this book and every one of them turned out. Every ingredient can easily be found in your local grocery store. The only thing you may have to search for is the different cheeses Emeril likes to use. I chose this recipe because most people have a slow cooker, and it was very easy to execute. My only suggestions are to get the ham cut about 1/8 inch thick and then cut it into pieces. The second time I made this recipe I found that it was much easier to serve this way. I hope you enjoy the recipe I chose to share.
Slow-Cooked Potatoes with Mushrooms and Ham
If you’re looking for a casserole to die for, it’s right here, buddy! Potatoes slow-cooked with cheese and soaked in cream. It doesn’t get any better than this-and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped yellow onion (about 1 medium)
1 pound button or shiitake mushrooms, or a mix of your favorite mushrooms, wiped clean, stemmed, and sliced
1 tablespoon chopped garlic (2 to 3 cloves)
1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 pounds Idaho potatoes, peeled and submerged in a bowl of water
8 ounces thinly sliced Black Forest ham
4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated
1 cup homemade chicken stock or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
3 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup heavy cream
1. Melt the butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to high, and continue cooking, stirring as needed, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ½ teaspoon of the salt, and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Remove from the heat and set aside.
2. Generously coat a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Slice half of the potatoes into 1/8-inch-thick slices on a mandolin. Shingle the potatoes in two layers in the slow cooker, and season them with ½ teaspoon of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. Top the potatoes with half of the mushroom-onion mixture and gently spread it out in an even layer. Arrange half of the ham slices over the potatoes, top with half of the Gruyere, and pour in half of the chicken stock. Repeat with the remaining potatoes, salt, pepper, mushroom mixture, and ham. Add the remaining ½ cup chicken stock. Using a metal spatula, gently press the ingredients so the layers re even. Tuck the thyme sprigs around the edges.
3. Cook on high for 4 hours, or until the potatoes are tender. You can test for doneness by inserting the blade of a thin knife into the center. There should be little resistance.
4. Drizzle in the heavy cream and cook for another 30 minutes.
5. When the casserole is done, top it with the remaining Gruyere and the fresh thyme leaves. Turn off the cooker. Allow the potatoes to cool enough to set before serving, about 1 hour covered.