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Slow Cooking Seafood

When using the slow cooker for seafood dishes, the actual star of the show is a late-comer. The trick is to cook the background ingredients—the vegetables or sauces—for hours so they are tender. Then the fish gets added and usually cooks for no more than 30 minutes. The exact cooking time depends on how much fish you are using and if other ingredients are added at the same time.

The timing of these recipes takes into account the cooking time for the fish used in the recipe. If you fear that the carrots in a soup might not be tender when the fish is added, they will be by the time the fish is done.

If you use the Low setting for the majority of the cooking, you'll be instructed to increase the temperature to High before adding the seafood. The seafood should cook quickly once the dish is ready for its entrance.

Substituting Species

Fish fall into basic families, and depending on where you live, you can always find something fresh. The biggest group is the “firm-fleshed white fish.” The cod family, including scrod, haddock, and whiting, are native to the North Atlantic. Grouper comes from southern waters, as does red snapper. Other options are sea bass, striped bass, turbot, and orange roughy.

All these species of fish are mildly flavored and thick enough to hold together in the slow cooker. Species such as sole and flounder are too thin, although their taste is in the same family. Fish for the slow cooker should be at least three-quarters of an inch thick.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Slow Cooker Cooking © 2003 by Ellen Brown. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


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