I find cooking casserole type dishes very challenging in a slow cooker. In the past, mine often turned out soggy wet or mushy & overdone. That’s why I’m so glad I bought what has become my favorite slow cooker cookbook – Slow Cooker Revolution. This fabulous cookbook not only has great tasting recipes that always turn out excellent, but it is explained in great detail WHY the recipes work better (sometimes with pictures). I enjoy sharing my favorite recipes from the cookbook with you because I am so confident they will turn out just as expected. This recipe, Tomato Macaroni & Cheese for a Slow Cooker, (p. 241) uses canned condensed cheddar cheese soup along with shredded cheese to boost the cheese flavor & evaporated milk to ensure a creamy texture, also preventing separation & curdling. Every step is explained throughout the book. I like that.
- Line slow cooker with aluminum foil collar and coat with vegetable oil spray.
- Bring tomatoes, evaporated milk, condensed soup, water, 1 teaspoon salt, mustard, and cayenne to simmer in large pot. Slowly whisk in Cheddar and Monterey Jack until completely melted, then stir in macaroni.
- Transfer macaroni mixture to prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook until macaroni is tender, about 2 hours on HIGH.
- Remove foil collar. Gently stir pasta, adding hot water as needed to loosen sauce consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Toasted Bread-Crumb Topping and serve.
Make a foil collar (preventing 'hot spots'): Layer and fold sheets of heavy-duty foil until you have a six-layered foil rectangle that measures roughly 16 inches long by 4 inches wide. (Depending on the width of the foil , you will need either two or three sheets of foil ) Press the collar into the back side of the slow-cooker liner; the food will help hold the collar in place during cooking.
*TOASTED BREAD-CRUMB TOPPING Process 2 slices high-quality white sandwich bread, torn into pieces, to coarse crumbs in food processor about 1O pulses. Melt 2 Tablespoons butter in 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add bread crumbs and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer bread crumbs to bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Makes about 1 cup.
Photos from Slow Cooker Revolution.