Texas Slow Cooker Cookbook Review

Texas Slow Cooker Cookbook Review

Title: Texas Slow Cooker: 125 Recipes for the Lone Star State's Very Best Dishes, All Slow-Cooked to Perfection
Author: Cheryl Jamison
Published: September 12, 2017, Harvard Common Press
No. of Pages: 208
Cover Price: $22.99 Paperback

Anyone familiar with Bill and Cheryl Jamison’s excellent cookbooks will have high expectations for Cheryl’s new cookbook, Texas Slow Cooker: 125 Recipes for the Lone Star State's Very Best Dishes, All Slow-Cooked to Perfection. This husband and wife team have received many awards for their cookbooks (I have four in my personal cookbook library and love them all), and this is the first written by Cheryl alone due to the death of her husband which she explains in the introduction.

There is a good variety of recipes in this excellent cookbook; everything ranging from breakfast dishes to meats, poultry, seafood, appetizers and snacks, soups and stews, and desserts. Although the recipes are easy to follow and can certainly be made successfully by cooks from beginning to advanced, most have some prep done outside of the slow cooker, such as browning or searing, rather than just dumping the ingredients in. The extra steps tend to make the finished dishes look and taste a bit better, but it also means busy cooks will need to allocate a bit more preparation time.

There are two issues with this cookbook that could be improved. Although Jamison explains the sizes of slow cookers that she did most of the testing in, the recipes don’t give the size that is best in the individual recipes. Some of the recipes I tested fit well in 2-3 quart slow cooker (i.e., Jalapeno Jominy which was delicious), and others needed larger ones. I found it was necessary to use my 6-quart slow cooker for Jamison’s incredible A Classic Bowl of Texas Red – it’s worth buying the book just for this recipe alone – and when I prepared the Chile Relleno Casserole, there were different instructions for round and oval slow cookers, but no specification on size. I made the toffee brownies (decadent, I might add) in my Crock Pot Casserole Crock which is the size of a 9” x 13” pan - a double recipe fit perfectly and I didn’t have to mess with the boiling water thing; the brownies turned out great without it. I also found that I could microwave the butter and chocolate, rather than melting them in a saucepan which saved time.

The second issue is the fact that there aren’t enough pictures. Almost everyone wants to see what the finished dish should look like, and some beginning and inexperienced cooks may shy away from something they can’t picture in their minds. I suppose with the digital cameras and good color printers that most of us have in our homes, we can take our own pictures and paste them in the book.

Every recipe I have tried so far has turned out perfectly, and the queue for trying more is getting longer the more I open the book. Pigs in a Bath and Fritos Crusted Quiche are next, but it will be hard to wait until I have time to make the Butterscotch Brownies, Vietnamese Fajitas, and the Rio Star Grapefruit Pudding Cake.

Jamison has created a user-friendly and excellent cookbook that should probably be on every cook’s shelf.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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