23 April, 2012

Tastey Tuesday: Crockpot Carnage

My WIP is simmering on the back burner (sorry for the culinary pun) awaiting final tweaks, so I decided it was time to test and retest the recipes I want to include. 

For those of you not in New England, It's a cold, raw, rainy/snowy day. French onion soup sounded like a good idea at 7 a.m. this morning. Several authors have warned me to my book recipes short, quick, and uncomplicated. Hmmm, sounds like a job  for my new slow cooker.

I've amassed several recipe and culled suggestions from them. First thing: mix onions and melted butter in slow cooker, cover and cook on high for 30 to 35 minutes until onions begin to slightly brown around edges. Forty-five minutes later, the onions were still completely raw and crunchy. After sixty minutes they'd just begun to wilt - slightly. Sixty-one ones after starting, I dug out my trusty Dutch oven and  caramelized them the "old-fashioned" way. Within little more half an hour I had developed a lovely batch of deep brown, caramelized onions. 

Then I faced a dilemma. Go back to the slow cooker or continue with Julia Child's tried and true recipe? Julia won out - she only suggested 40 additional minutes of simmering vs. 4-6 hours in the slow cooker. And this thing is supposedly saving me time? How?

This is not the first recipe I've murdered with technology (if you can call a crock pot technology). So far my batting average is Successful - 2, Never again - 8. Not much to inspire confidence there. But the Japanese short ribs were delicious!

Long story short, it's back to the drawing board for recipes I can simplify and include in my book. At least I have a nice bowl of French Onion soup to eat while I think about them. 

So here's my question: How long would you be willing to spend cooking a recipe in a mystery novel?  Have you ever cooked one? Was it carnage or nirvana? 


  1. The ones I chose have to be simple, with ingredients I have in the house and have a twist (just like a murder mystery).
    So I made muffins with strawberries from one novel, which I might make again and a few things from other novels that turned out rather ordinary. On the whole if I have to cook at all, I find cook books better than mystery novels. KB

  2. I think I'd mostly stick to recipes I'd already cooked. Did that with my cookbook, for sure, and usually do it with blog posts, unless I indicate otherwise clearly.

  3. As a reader, it really depends on the story. If you had two characters stop for a quick bite of soup before running off to fight crime, I might be less inclined to read/try a recipe.
    But...if you are going through the details of a character making the soup, and bringing in a few clues while you're at it, I'd be far more interested.