This is an entirely unsolicited, unsubsidized review of the Crock Pot Express and a few cookbooks relating to the appliance. While there will be Amazon affiliate links, that’s as far as it goes.
Day 4: Smooth Sailing
I was feeling pretty good about our working relationship by Friday night, and set about to prep the Beef Medley with Blue Cheese and Cabbage (Zinman, 60) without any hesitation.
It’s so nice to be able to saute the meat and vegetables in oil in the same vessel it will pressure cook in, though being on the shorter side it is, perhaps, a touch more awkward than preparing the same dish would have been on the stove.
Truth be told, I was feeling quiet comfortable with the new kitchen toy. Perhaps a bit too comfortable.
Day 5: Our First Error
Saturday’s supper wasn’t quite a set it and forget it sort of deal, the way the last few nights had been. The Orange Marmalade-Glazed Chicken Thighs (Stewart, 57) only needed 5 minutes under pressure (again, not specified, but I figured the Poultry setting would suffice–call it a hunch) and the lowest that preset will program is 15.
In this case, I needed to watch the display count down and then press the Start/Stop button to end the process, let the pressure release, and then serve up supper.
Sidebar: I wasn’t quite brave enough to try the pot-in-pot, 2 dishes in one setup that some sources say you can (in this case setting the steaming rack on top of the chicken thighs and placing the rice and water in a bowl above it. Maybe next time…
At any rate! The rice cooker must be feeling the pressure (oh, gosh, really bad pun, totally not intended) because I did set it up to cook the rice for the meal and it worked perfectly. I can hear it now “Please don’t throw me away!!!!”
Thinking I knew what I was doing, I did the start/stop, but then figured I could manually switch it over to Keep Warm. Exie set me straight with an E4 error code that that was a no go, ghost rider. Oops!
To clear the error I needed to unplug the appliance and let it cool down. Since that was the general plan anyway, dinner was not harmed due to my hubris.
And if I was worried that 5 minutes under pressure wouldn’t be enough to cook the chicken thighs, I needn’t have been. Those suckers were registering at 200 degrees F by the time the pressure released sufficiently to check them.
Too bad a turkey won’t fit in there!
Day 6: Six Minute Soup
I’d expected Sunday to be rainy, with a bit of a chill, so the Thai-Style Sweet Corn Soup (Stewart, 323) seemed like a really good idea. Sunday actually ended up rainy and muggy, but the soup was still tasty!
Once again, the 6 minute pressure-cook time was less than the Soup preset would allow, so I had to babysit Exie and hit Start/Stop at the appropriate time to let the pressure start to come down. Once it had, I switched it back over to Saute so I could add the final ingredients.
It was a nice and easy coast to the finish line of our first week together. I still have a lot of functions to try out, though!