Edible Omaha

Maximum Flavor, Minimum Effort

Cooking Slow by Andrew Schloss

Review by Lois Friedman

Cooking Slow Cover Art
by Andrew Schloss
Chronicle Books, 2013; $35

What’s old is new again—old methods that is. Put the ingredients on to cook in the morning using your versatile cast-iron skillet, Dutch oven, roasting pan or casserole, go about your busy day and dinner is ready hours later when you get home. Or, let everything cook overnight while you sleep.

Seasoned professional, Andrew Schloss, cookbook author, teacher and food writer, brings you this creatively developed cookbook featuring maximum flavor with minimum effort using old methods of cooking with low temperatures over a length of time—the art of cooking slow—complete with outstanding color photographs.

Slow-roasting, -baking, -simmering, -steaming, -grilling and -frying techniques are six of the chapters. Benefits of these techniques include minimizing overcooking because the temperature is set close to the doneness temperature and “better flavor and richer textures compared to cooking in a slow-cooker.” For those who want to delve deep, “this book centers tightly around the specific tenderness and toughness of different proteins and how—and how greatly—they are affected by temperature.” Further chapters cover slow sweets, slow-cookers and sous vide appliances.

Food safety instructions precede the 100 recipes, which all include chilling, prep and cooking times, storage and servings features, shortcuts and variations. You’ll find helpful charts and detailed notes and instructions. Most recipes have fewer than 10 ingredients and reflect everything from an international array of flavors to recipes from the good ole days: meat loaf, a whole, baked pumpkin that would make Cinderella proud, carrots baked on a bed of coffee beans, three short ribs recipes, baked unpeeled beets (to preserve sweetness) and soft scrambled eggs—think creamy, moist and custard-like with goat cheese—all tossed in one-pot and baked slow.

Mac and Cheese
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time 6 to 8 hours

Yield: 6 servings

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
12 ounces dried elbow macaroni
1 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons brown mustard
1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
½ teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 200° and grease the inside of a 2-quart casserole with melted butter, retaining excess.

Make four layers of macaroni alternating with three layers of shredded cheese in the prepared casserole dish. In a bowl, whisk together the milk, mustard, salt and pepper and pour into the casserole. Poke down any macaroni that aren’t submerged. Sprinkle evenly with the bread crumbs and thyme, and drizzle the remaining melted butter over the top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until the macaroni is tender and the cheese is melted, 6 to 8 hours.

Raise the oven temperature to 450°. Remove the foil and bake until the top of the casserole is crisp and brown, about 15 minutes longer. Serve immediately.