Inspired by the aptly titled “Healthy Slow Cooker” by Finlayson, Robin utilizes our oft neglected crock pot to make a tasty dinner using pantry staples and fresh vegetables.
We start by coarsely chopping an onion and some celery stalks. We want about ½ cup of onion and 1½ cups of celery. We place these in a microwaveable dish and microwave for 30 seconds. We want the chopped vegetables to soften but not brown. We give it a little bit longer, in 15 second intervals, and then set aside to cool.
In a medium skillet we heat the olive oil over medium heat and then add the sliced mushrooms. We cook until the mushrooms release their liquid and they are nicely colored. The mushrooms are sprinkled with dried tarragon, salt and pepper and set aside.
In a large bowl we whisk the egg product. We add the canned salmon (discarding the skin) and then the lemon juice, tossing with a fork. We want small pieces of salmon.
To our small processor, we add the onions and celery and puree until fine. We dump these into the salmon mixture and then add the mushrooms to the processor. We pulse quickly to chop them and add to the salmon mixture. Finally, we add the parsley and dry bread crumbs to the salmon mixture. We mix well, but gently. The mixture is a bit too wet so we add another couple of tablespoons of the dried bread crumbs and mix again.
Into our 2½ quart slow cooker we fit a piece of foil and then a piece of parchment. The foil fits better in the crock pot and will make it easier to lift the salmon out at the end, but we dislike having the food in direct contact with the food so we also add the parchment.
We attempt to fit the salmon mixture into the slow cooker in a loaf shape. Since our cooker is small and round, we end up with more of a large cake shape.
The slow cooker is covered and we cook on low for 2 hours and then high for an hour and a half (this fit our schedule today). We could have also cooked it all the way on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-2½ hours.
When done, we lift the salmon out and let it set for a few minutes before slicing into wedges. We serve with lemon and a cocktail sauce.