“Chef and slow cooker” : an old technology associated with it.
Hugh acheson’s new book, “the cook and the slow cooker,” doesn’t show much cooking. Instead, it shows a top chef reading in a lawn chair, taking a hot shower or playing a cello (though he admits to being “as prone to music as rock music”). It’s about what you can do when you’re doing something else – even if it takes a few hours.
That’s because the famous canadian-born southern chef is making a very good, difficult point about the kitchen-pot cooking tool. Acheson’s book contains 100 new recipes, including the flank beef and pork shoulder some old food, there are some new things, such as poached eggs, making ramen broth, even of jams and preserves.
Acheson and weekend edition host Scott Simon talk about his latest career.
The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Slow cooker is an old technology. Is it time?
Have been collecting dust in your closet for years. Most people have one. They cooked a pot and set it aside. But the simple technology is really the gateway to cooking again from scratch, and I think it’s the biggest hurdle in our family — getting people to cook from scratch, eat well and indulge in delicious food.
What does a slow cooker do, a pan on a stove?
The pan on the stove is very good, but I want to keep the house in good condition, and don’t burn it. The slow cooker is just reassuring. They are not very expensive, usually only a low and a high setting, and cover. It ACTS like a stew, but in a safe environment.
Isn’t that just confusing everything?
No, you have more control. Over the past 30 years, we’ve learned a lot about food, so we’ve done a lot in technology and in keeping things fresh. It’s not necessarily a slow stew. This is really want to do the book: meditation and ensure that it is fresh, it is taste all these aspects of the local cuisine, we can put the pot, make it the real thing.
Does the book contain recipes from all over the world?
Yes, I think our taste has gone from the love of mainland food to the love of the world now. Our tastes really want to be pleasantly surprised, driven by excitement and flavor and different emotions. Even in the simplest of casseroles, you can add a very prosperous thing to the end of the fermented peppers and chickpeas – things that show the world’s flavor.
Tell me about the recipe for the chicken country captain.
The “captain of the chicken” really shows the true southern lineage. Food from the south was carried into the pockets of the slaves. It was brought here in a crazy, painful way. But the spice port of Charleston and savannah has a lot of influence. So really, this is a fine chicken curry, really showing the diversity of spices, madras and ports. This is an important port in the south, plus the influence of west African cuisine and western Indian food, which is an eternal recipe.
So you have a FIG tree, you make jam in a slow cooker?
Athens, Georgia, is like an extraordinary fig-climate. I planted a little FIG tree a few years ago and didn’t really think about it. Now it’s a magic producer of the big MAC. So we have to find out about them. A slow cooker is a good jam. Jam is the worst thing is to spend a lot of time to clean up the fruit, put them together and put it in a pot, and then due to the heat of fire and a little too high calcination and burned at the bottom of it. This slow cooker is really good.
If you’re going to buy a slow cooker, what should you look for?
I really like a simple one. It’s very important to insert the pot, so I look for a very heavy, very good heat distribution. One of the thin aluminum doesn’t do much. So you just want something heavy and usually they’re porcelain or enamel, and those are good jobs.
What about all the free time you get with a slow cooker?
I want you to cook from scratch and then sit on the table with what you create and share it with what you like. I hope you realize every day that those are the best moments of your life. I don’t think anyone would say, “yeah, I have too many of them.