I want to introduce you to my favorite small appliance that somehow goes underused in my house, the crock pot. I love the fact that I can go to work and come home and my meal is complete. I also love that I only have one big dish to clean when I’m finished with a meal. Yet, I feel that I may use it once a month, which is entirely not enough. I blame poor planning on my part.
With fall here, soup and other comfort foods are coming to the forefront, making it the perfect time to really utilize the crock pot. Not only is the weather cooling down but there is a ton going on this time of year! The convenience and ease that it provides will allow you the freedom that you need to lead an active social life but also to eat healthy at home. It could also help with your social life. You could invite your friends over to enjoy a meal after the social event; we all know that a crock pot can feed a crowd. Which is the other great thing with the crock pot, it often makes more than we need leaving leftovers for lunch the next day or to freeze and save for later.
The inspiration for the post came from a recent crock pot recipe I tried for Butternut Squash in Green Curry Sauce from the cook book The Gourmet Vegetarian Slow Cooker. It was delicious and it encouraged me to start cooking with my favorite appliance once again! It involved a few more steps besides just dumping everything into the pot and leaving it but it was worth it.
Butternut Squash in Green Curry Sauce
- 1 Butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1 inch cubes
- ½ cup water
- 2 tablespoons clopped yellow onion
- 2cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1 serrano chii, stemmed, seeded, and deveined
- ¾ cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 teaspoon of honey (The original recipe called for sugar but I used honey)
- 1 can (14 ounce) unsweetened light coconut milk (It called for full fat but I used light)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves, thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)
Place the squash and water in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours or until tender.
In a blender, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, chili, ½ cup of the cilantro, honey, and coconut milk. Blend until it forms a smooth green paste, then add salt to taste.
Once the squash is tender pour in the sauce and continue cooking just until heated through, 20 – 30 minutes.
Serve garnished with remaining ¼ cup cilantro leaves and the Thai basil.
I served it over rice with a little mango chutney and it was very satisfying.
We would like to hear from you! What about you, what is your favorite underutilized small appliance?
Lynae and the Columbia’s Cooking team