It's Friday night, and you've invited somebody special over for dinner. When you want to impress your guest with a delicious home-cooked meal, the last thing you want to worry about is burning dinner. One way to relieve the pressure is to choose a slow cooking for two recipe that lets you assemble everything in advance while the slow cooker takes care of the cooking – no hands-on work required.
While there are hundreds of slow cooking for two recipes, the following are some of our favorites. Note that these recipes serve four to eight guests, so you will have plenty of leftovers!
Even though ham is a classic holiday dish, this meal is perfect for a special dinner for any occasion. This recipe calls for a spiral-cut naturally smoked ham to reduce cooking time. Try adding a tasty honey mustard glaze to give it that homemade taste. Are you worried about cooking time? This recipe advises cooking about one hour per pound of meat.
If you're a fan of Chinese food, you'll find this recipe better than takeout. To get the full flavor from the meat and vegetables, do your prep work the night before and let the ingredients marinate overnight. You can serve it with brown or white rice, and even though the recipe calls for sriracha, you can leave this out if you prefer a more mild dish. (Image from Delish, Slow-Cooker Beef & Broccoli.)
For the cooler fall and winter months, chicken and dumplings warm the belly and are delicious. Reserve five minutes for preparation, and the slow cooker takes about five hours to cook the chicken to tender perfection. Add shortcut dumplings to complete the meal.
Short ribs can be an unexpected special occasion dish. A well-cooked short rib is full of flavor and fall-off-the-bone tender. For that perfection, you may think that the recipe is complicated, but it's not. The secret is in the braising liquid and the long cooking time (expect eight hours in the slow cooker with 15 minutes to prep). Try serving mashed potatoes as a side dish and use the braising liquid as the base for a gravy. Roasted vegetables are another popular pairing. (Image from The Stay at Home Chef, Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs.)
Lid Pocket Makes Cleanup a Snap
When entertaining and preparing for a special meal, you know how hard it is to keep your surfaces clean from the messy condensation that forms on the slow cooker lid. And there's always the question of "where should I put the lid" when stirring, seasoning, and plating the food.
Before your event, make sure to order a Lid Pocket. This handy tool attaches to the rim of your slow cooker (on any side up to .75 inches in width). It holds the lid and has a reservoir to catch the condensation, keeping it away from your food and off your countertop. It's great for potlucks, parties, and tailgating.