Slow-Cooker Tips and Recipes

Fix and forget slow-cooker meals

Linda gives tips on dishing up simple suppers using today’s popular kitchen appliance.

Buying a slow-cooker

One with at least 400 watts will quickly bring food from the refrigerator up to the correct temperature.

Look for one with a see-through lid. You can see the food without lifting the lid. Each lift adds 15 to 30 minutes cooking time.

Make sure there is a safety turn off.

Cooking Tips*

The maximum amount of liquid in the pot should be 3/4 full. Liquids tend to spill out of an overfilled cooker and can stain the electrical base.

Moisture accumulates on the inside of the cover and drips down into the pot, increasing the quantity of liquid in the pot.

When adapting a favorite recipe to the slow cooker, use less than half the liquid originally called for.

Root vegetables take more time to cook than meats or poultry. Place root vegetables on the bottom of the pan and the meat on top.

Spray the inside of the sow cooker pot with nonstick cooking spray before adding ingredients to make clean-up easier.

The stoneware pot will crack if exposed to dramatic changes in temperature. Allow the hot pot to cool before adding cold water to it. Avoid placing the hot pot on a cold surface or on a hot stove burner.

*From 51 Fast and Fun Slow Cooker Recipes by Dolores Kostelni, Collectors Press, Inc.

Safety tips

Food should be a kept at less than 40 degrees or higher than 140 degrees.

Meat ingredients should be placed in the slow cooker directly from the refrigerator.

On-air Food News and Views Slow-Cooker Recipe

Mango Chutney-Chicken Curry

4 servings

4 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 1  3/4 lb.) skin removed

1 (15 oz.) can garbanzo beans or chickpeas, drained, rinsed

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup fresh sugar snap peas or green beans cut into 2-inch pieces

1 (9 oz.) jar mango chutney

3/4 cup water

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

In 3 1/2-to-4-quart slow cooker, layer chicken breast halves, beans, onion, bell pepper and sugar snap peas. In a small bowl, combine all remaining ingredients; mix well pour into slow cooker.

Cover; cook on low setting for 6 to 7 hours.

Serve over hot cooked rice or couscous. Offer small bowls of traditional curry toppers, such as toasted coconut, chopped peanuts, raisins and mango chutney to pass at the table.

Recipe adapted from Pillsbury Slow Cooker Recipes, Clarkson Potter publisher

Marvelous Mustards

Linda’s Best mustard finds and recipe tips

Mustard, one of the oldest spices, is also one of the most widely used. The Chinese used mustard thousands of years ago. It was used in ancient Greece as an everyday spice.  The Greeks and generations after them also used mustard for general muscular relief. World consumption of mustard tops 400 million pounds.  A staple in many cuisines around the world, mustard is used for everything from topping hot dogs, dressing salads, and as an add-in to many fine sauces.

Here are a few of my favorites.

Raye’s “Down East Schooner” Mustard:

Produced in Maine, this award-winning yellow mustard is stone ground and barrel aged to give it a unique, old-fashioned taste. With only 10 mg of sodium per teaspoon and no sugar, this mustard delivers all the classic taste with none of the guilt. It is ideal for spreading on a hot dog or serving with pigs in a blanket at your next gathering.

Suggested retail price $2.75 for a 4 oz jar. 1-800-853-1903; .

9 oz $4.00


Dean and DeLuca Mesquite and Stout Ale Mustard:
The strong, smoky mesquite flavor of this whole grain mustard comes from the combination of ale, red wine vinegar, turmeric, and garlic. In addition to making an excellent complement to your favorite sandwich, mix a few spoonfuls with olive oil and white wine as a marinade for grilled chicken or pork.
Suggested retail price $6.00 for 8.5 oz jar. 1-800-221-7714;


Stonewall Kitchen Maple Chipotle Mustard:

This is mustard with a kick! The hot-and-sweet combination of chipotle peppers and maple syrup is a delightful and unexpected twist on traditional mustard. To add some heat to your salads, add a tablespoon to your vinaigrette or mix with mayonnaise for potato, chicken or tuna salad. For milder tastes try Stonewall Kitchen’s Basil Pesto mustard or Maine Maple Champagne mustard.
Suggested retail price $6.00 for 8 oz jar. 1-800-207-5267;


Honeycup Mustards by Stone County Specialists:

 I have always been a big fan of Honeycup mustards. My new favorite is Honeycup Stoneground, which has a rustic texture and sweet honey mustard taste. For a quick-and-easy dip, mix with non-fat plain yogurt. For a new spin on roast lamb, mix the original Honeycup flavor with breadcrumbs, spread over your favorite cut of lamb, and roast. Suggested retail price $4.49 for 8 oz jar. Available at and at most large supermarket chains.

Dave’s Gourmet Insanity Mustard

The label reads, “The hottest mustard in the Universe.” After tasting it, I think it’s probably true. If you like your food really spicy hot, this is the mustard for you. It’s a combination of Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, and Dave’s Insanity Sauce, a firey-hot pepper sauce. Mix with mayonnaise for a spicy dipping sauce for fried chicken or seafood. $5.50 for 8 ounce jar. 1-800-758-0372

Edmond Fallot Dijon Mustard

The Fallot Mustard Mill dates from 1840 and is in Beaune, France very near to the city of Dijon.  Mustard labeled “Dijon” must adhere to appellation controllee standards, as many French wines do.   Dijon mustard, which is light in color with a strong flavor, is used in French vinaigrette. It also tastes great on sandwiches and mixed with mayonnaise for a potato salad and other mayonnaise based salads.  $15.99 for 8.9 ounces.  877-446-8763,.

Robert Rothchild Raspberry Honey Mustard Pretzel Dip

This blend of raspberries, clover honey and mustard seeds provides a distinct sweet/tangy flavor.  Use it for dipping pretzels, as the name suggests, or as a basting sauce for chicken or pork. It turns into a sweet glaze when cooked on meat. Also try Rothchild’s Raspberry Honey Mustard, without seeds.  It is a gold medal winner. $8.69 for 13.5 ouncesr. 800-356-8933.



Linda’s Restaurant Reviews

Restaurants mentioned on Linda’s WLRN National Public Radio May, 2007

Miami-Dade County

Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink

130 NE 40th Street

Miami Design District

(305) 573-5550.

Chef: Michael Schwartz

Ola Restaurant

1745 James Avenue

Miami Beach


Chef: Douglas Rodriguez

Christabelle’s Quarter

3157 Commodore Plaza

Coconut Grove


Grass Restaurant & Lounge

28 NE 40th Street

Miami Design District


Chef: Michael Jacobs

Johnny V South Beach

Hotel Astor

956 Washington Ave.

Miami Beach


Chef: Johnny Vinczencz

Chispa Restaurant & Bar

11500 N.W 41 Street



The Food Gang

9472 Harding Ave.



Bouley’s Evolution

1669 Collins Ave.

Miami Beach


Perricoine’s Marketplace & Café

15 SE 10th Street



The Ritz Carlton South Beach

One Lincoln Road

Miami Beach


Blue Door at Delano

1658 Collins Ave

Miami Beach


Tuscan Steak

433 Washington Ave

Miami Beach


China Grill

404 Washington Ave

Miami Beach


Social Miami at Sagamore

1671 Collins Ave

Miami Beach


Tamarind Thai

946 Normandy Drive



Imlee Indian Restaurant

12663 S. Dixie Hwy



Braza Lena


83413 Overseas Highway



The French Kiss

2779 Bird Ave.

Coconut Grove


Mr. Chu’s Hong Kong Cuisine

890 Washington Ave.

Miami Beach


Z Wine Grill

6984 Collins Ave.

Miami Beach


Opening in June


Ocean Drive

Miami Beach

Devitos South Beach

Michael’s Kitchen


Armadillo Beach

1200 South Federal Hwy

Dania Beach, Fl


Chef: Kevin McCarthy

Emunah Café and Teabar (kabalistic lifestyle lounge)

3558 North Ocean Blvd

Fort Lauderdale


Ganey’s Bar & Restaurant

2301 West Sample Road

Deerfield Beach


Executive Chef: Robert Jacobs

The Four Rivers

1201 North Federal Hwy, #3A-3B

Ft. Lauderdale


Sol Kitchen

4 East Atlantic Ave.

Delray Beach



1145 South Federal Highway

Fort Lauderdale


Don Carlin

11447-49 W. Oakland Park Blvd

John the Baker (pizza)

8835 Sterling Road

Cooper City


12592 Pines Blvd

Pembroke Pines


Madras Café

1434 South Powerline Road

Pompano Beach


Hurricane Alley Raw Bar and Restaurant

529 E. Ocean Ave.

Boynton Beach


Euro Pizza Bistro

231 SE 1st Ave.

Boca Raton


5 Spice Restaurant (Asian)

1200 Yamato Road

Boca Raton


Froots (suitable for children)

4933 Sheridan Street

Sheridan Plaza

Hollywoood, FL 33021


East Coast Burrito Factory (suitable for children)

1016 NE 15th Ave.

Ft Lauderdale


261 E Commercial Blvd

Ft Lauderdale


Jaxson’s Ice Cream Parlor

128 S. Federal Hwy



Caspian Persian Grill

7821 W. Sunrise Blvd.



Bucky’s Barbecue

1451 N. Federal Hwy

Fort Lauderdale (former Houston‘s, next to Sublime


1198 N. Dixie Hwy

Boca Raton.



5879 N University Dr


954) 720-6981

Bahia Cabana (Fort Lauderdale Beach at the Intracoastal)

3030 Harbor Dr

Fort Lauderdale


47th National Chicken Cooking Contest

47th National Chicken Cooking Contest

The $100,000 first prize went to Michelle Anderson from Eagle,
Idaho. Her winning recipe is Thai-Inspired Stuffed Chicken Breast and Slaw. Here is the complete recipe and information on the facts about free-range, natural and hormone-free chickens.

Did you know that we eat about 85 pounds of poultry per person each year? I’ve just come back from the 47th national chicken cooking contest. It’s held every other year and the first one was held in 1949. It’s amazing to see the set up. There were over 10,000 entries for the contest and these are checked to make sure they’re original. And then finally 51 finalists are picked and flown to
Birmingham, AL to cook their recipe for the judges.

Here are some chicken cooking facts:

Hormones - There are no artificial or added hormones in any chickens in the us. This is a law here that is regulated by the USDA. So whether it says it on the package or not there are no added hormones.

Free-range chickens – This is what the law says. Chickens can be called free- range if they are allowed free access to the outside. I’ve seen many chicken coops where they do have free access, but the chickens all stay inside, because the food and water is easy access for them. So I’m not sure what it really means to buy a free-range chicken.

Fresh – What does it mean when it’s labeled as fresh? It means the chicken has never been below 26 degrees. When I pick up a chicken at the market, many times it feels frozen or there are ice crystals. This means that it has been deep chilled, to keep it fresh but not frozen to 26 degrees.

All Natural - The US government has changed the guidelines. All natural really has very little meaning. Arsenic is all natural and so are many other products, but that doesn’t mean there is a good health proponent to them. So natural doesn’t really mean a lot to me.

Michelle Anderson lives with her 5-year old daughter Jordan and husband, Chuck. She has a full-time job and still makes a home-cooked meal every night. Here is her $100,000 National Chicken Cooking Contest recipe.

Recipe courtesy of the National Chicken Cooking Contest sponsored by the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. Visit and for more great chicken recipes.

Thai-Inspired Stuffed Chicken Breast and Slaw Michelle Anderson
Eagle, ID
2007 1st Place
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup cooked jasmine rice
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup finely chopped Thai basil
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons Thai chili sauce
2 limes, juice and zest, divided
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
3/4 cup panko
1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted
1/4 cup black sesame seeds, toasted
Thai-style Slaw: recipe follows
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
lime wedges

In large bowl, mix together rice, coconut, green onion, basil, cilantro, chili sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice and zest of 1 lime. Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap; pound to even thickness. Place equal amounts of rice mixture on each chicken breast half. Wrap chicken around filling; secure with wooden pick. In glass pie plate, mix together flour, zest of 1 lime, salt and pepper. In another plate, mix coconut milk and 2 tablespoons lime juice. In third plate, mix together peanuts, panko, black and white sesame seeds. Roll chicken breasts, one at a time, first in flour mixture; then in coconut milk mixture and finally, in peanut mixture, coating well. In shallow baking pan, arrange chicken, seam side down; place in 350 F. oven. Bake 30 minutes or until juices run clear. Place slaw on serving platter; remove wooden picks and add chicken to platter. Garnish with cucumber, lime and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Thai-style Slaw: In large bowl, mix together 3/4 cup chunky peanut butter; 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar; juice 1 lime; and 1 finely minced Thai chili. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro; 1/2 cup chopped basil; 1 Napa cabbage, finely sliced; 1 English cucumber, coarsely grated; 1 carrot, grated; and 1/2 red onion, finely diced. Refrigerate.

Barbecuing and Grilling 101

From Linda’s recent NPR interview.

May is national barbecue month. Have you ever turned out black and crusty chicken from the grill? Or, have you cut into a steak from the grill that is charred on the outside, but still cold on the inside? Cooking on the grill takes some skill and with a few important tips we can all turn out perfect grilled foods. My guest on my NPR radio program gave us some tips. He’s Andrew Schloss, a cooking teacher and author. His latest book authored with David Joachim, is Mastering the Grill (Chronicle Books $24.95). And it’s a detailed guide book for everything to do with grilling. Here are some of his tips:

Avoid blackened or burned meats:

Sear meats on the direct flame and then move them to a lower heat or indirect heat. This way they will be browned on the outside and juicy inside.

Grilling Tips:

Keep your grill grates clean and well-oiled. This gives you the best browning, deepest grill marks and purest flavors.

Preheat the grill. Hot grates help to sear the foods and prevents sticking.

Oil the grill grates just before adding food to help prevent sticking.


There are many useful accessories and some are just for fun. Essential ones include, heatproof silicone grill gloves, grill brushes, scraper and scrubbers, grill lamp, disposable aluminum pans, tongs, spatula, grill fork, grill basket, grill trays, thermometer.

Fred Takser’s Barbecue Wine Suggestions:

Fred Tasker is the wine columnist for the Miami Herald and writes the wine suggestions for Linda’s Dinner in Minutes columns. He is heard each week on her NPR show.

The question of the day is, what kind of wine goes with backyard grilling?

The answer is, whatever kind of wine you like.

The even better answer is that it’s ok to use inexpensive wines when you’re grilling. When you’re sitting in your lawn chair sipping a glass of wine and watching a big steak burn beyond recognition, it’s not usually an occasion for a subtle, fragile $600 burgundy. It’s a casual situation.

Now, if you’re grilling a big new york strip, marbled with tasty fat, charred on the outside, red and rare inside, this is the time, if every there will be one in your life, for a great, big cabernet sauvignon. It may be the best wine-food match in the world.

But there are lots of other nice matches.

A fruity pinot noir with a nice grilled hunk of salmon.

A zingy australian
shiraz with the world’s best hamburger.

There are white-wine combinations too.

A crisp sauvignon blanc with grilled shrimp or a delicate piece of mahi-mahi or grouper.

The same wine with grilled veggies – there’s nothing better than a sauvignon blanc with a big, inch-thick chunk of vidalia onion marinated in oil and balsamic vinegar. Or grilled eggplant or summer squash or whatever.

And there’s nothing better than a nice, sweet muscat dessert wine with a grilled dessert of fruit – grilled peaches, grilled pears, grilled bananas – slathered, while still hot, over really rich vanilla ice cream.

Wow. I may need a minute to compose myself.

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