May 21, 2012

Potatoes in a Crock Pot

We've already had a number of 90 degree days in Georgia.  The forecast shows more are coming this week.  The idea of cooking a meal (and heating up the kitchen) seems insane.  On the flip side, I've been trying hard to do more "from scratch" cooking.  It's time for another outdoor kitchen.  This year, I am determined to do most of my cooking in crock pots.

My biggest source of inspiration is Stephanie from A Year of Slow Cooking.  She cooked something in a crock pot every day for a year.  During that year, she mastered all sorts of recipes and crock pot techniques.  I don't stop there.  Whenever I'm converting a recipe over, I do a bit of searching on Google to find out other suggestions.

Potatoes are so easy to cook in a crock pot.

To make baked potatoes (sweet or white), just wash the potatoes and put them in the crock pot.  Don't dry them off.  There's no need to add water.  Cook them on high for 3 to 5 hours or on low for 6 to 10 hours.  Crock pots vary and  potato sizes vary so times vary, too.  It seems like clean up would be awful, especially with sweet potatoes.  Nope.  It was a breeze.  Lots of people wrap the potatoes in foil.  The recipes I read about didn't call for wrapping so I didn't.  They were fine.  I'll try the foil method soon to see if there's a big difference.  I hope there's not.

The next potato recipe I decided to try were mashed potatoes which my husband loves.  There are loads of recipes for those in a crock pot.

The recipe I intended to use is shown below , but I never finished the recipe. I only made it through step 3. I never mashed them.  Dear hubby tried the potatoes before they were mashed and declared them the best he'd had.  I loved them because not only were they delicious - they were also so easy to make.

Wow - that looks like a TON of butter, but I used less than called for.

Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
(I'm so sorry, but I can't remember my source)

5 lbs sierra gold potatoes or red potatoes, diced with peel
1 cup water
1 cup butter, cut into chunks
1 tablespoon salt, plus
¾  teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/3  cups milk, warmed

1. Place the potatoes, water, and butter into a slow cooker.
2. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Cover, and cook on High for 4 hours.
4. Do not remove the excess water from slow cooker. This adds to the creamy texture.
5. Mash potatoes with a masher or electric beater, adding the desired amount of warm milk to achieve a creamy consistency.
6. Keep warm on low until serving.
7. Potatoes keep consistency for a couple of hours after mashing. Just keep the lid on the slow cooker and serve directly from there.


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