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January 25, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Share your best slow cooker recipes

NEW CASTLE — Somewhere upstairs in a spare room among the books and boxes is a slow cooker.

Obviously, I haven’t used it in a long time.

Through the years, I have owned several of these time-saving devices. In the 1970s and 1980s, their popularity soared. In those days, they were primarily known as Crockpots. But slow cookery never completely faded out of sight. However, these days recipes have been revived and reworked to accommodate busy people.

There is still a little prep work involved, such as browning the meat before adding it to the cooker and cutting up vegetables, but all in all, slow cooking is economical and tasty, which are two factors most cooks look for.

Do you use your slow cooker? Culinary Conversation welcomes those recipes and any of your favorites that you would like to share.

Today, we feature a variety of slow cooker recipes including easy-to-make stew. For slow cooker chicken enchiladas, layers of corn tortillas, spicy tomato sauce and chicken filling provide a unique twist on an oven-baked favorite.

There’s also a vegetarian chili, sour cream pork chops, turkey stroganoff and even lasagna. If you make some of these the traditional way, why not try the alternative approach?

Now it’s time to rummage throw those boxes and get that handy dandy electric wonder of mine out of hiding.

Swiss steak stew

  • 1⁄4 cup flour
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 11⁄2 pounds boneless round steak, cut into chunks
  • 14.5-ounce can Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 3⁄4 cup water
  • 3 cups peeled and quartered new red potatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup sweet corn

In medium bowl, combine flour and salt and mix well. Add beef and coat well.

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add  beef and cook until browned.

In a slow cooker, layer potatoes, beef and onion. Stir tomatoes with juice and any remaining flour mixture together. Pour over top. Cover and cook on low setting for seven to eight hours or until beef is tender. Add corn; cover and cook an additional 25 minutes.

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