The worst thing about hosting a Super Bowl party is that you’re stuck in the kitchen preparing and serving food while everyone else is gathered in front of the TV drinking beer. Enter the slow cooker, which as one brand brags, you can “set and forget.” Make taco filling or if you prefer more sophisticated fare, there are lots of slow cooker recipes online that don’t resemble anything that came out of a slow cooker in the 1970s. Here are some recipes from around the web.
The pork for the Slow Cooker Kalua Pork Sandwiches With Crispy Asian Slaw spends 18 hours in the slow cooker but you can make the meat ahead of time and reheat it during halftime. The makings of Slow Cooker Chicago-Style Italian Beef and Sausage Combos spend 4 hours in the slow cooker so you can start it that day.
An aromatic Vegetable and Chickpea Curry spends 6 hours in the slow cooker and is chock full of vegetables. Or try the recipe for Moroccan Meatballs in Spicy Tomato Sauce, which take the same amount of cooking time.
At the Food Network website, you can find Trisha Yearwood’s recipe for Slow Cooker Georgia Pulled Pork Barbeque, which takes 12 hours of cooking time. And from the celebrity chef Sandra Lee comes a recipe for Slow Cooker Short Ribs, which take 8 hours.
In 7 hours you can make Martha Stewart’s Slow Cooker Cajun Stew, which has a bit of a kick to it. She also features a recipe for the late-night host Jimmy Fallon's Crock-Pot Chili that is no laughing matter.
Another vegetarian option is the Slow-Cooked Ratatouille Over Goat Cheese Polenta, which spends 4 to 5 hours in the slow cooker (the polenta is made separately). And for dessert, the Lemony Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler, which takes 4 hours to cook, is a perfect finale for the party. The secret ingredient is pepper.
Consumer Reports no longer tests slow cookers because in our last tests, we found only small differences in performance. What distinguished one from another was convenience features such as programmable settings and a timer that automatically switches the temperature to warm when the food is done. To find out more about buying and using a slow cooker, check our slow cooker buying guide.
—Mary H.J. Farrell
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