WELCOME

Welcome to this slow cooker/crockpot blog. I believe slow cookers are the best thing to happen to modern day cooks. I used mine often when I worked outside the home and continue to do so even in retirement. It is so nice to put food on and forget about it. Slow cookers also allow us to cook many things we would normally have to use the oven for; what a relief in hot Texas weather!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

CHICKEN CHILI WITH GREAT NORTHERN BEANS

2 cans (15-oz each) great northern beans, undrained
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs and/or breasts
1 can (10-oz) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 cup chicken broth (reduced-sodium is best to use)
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
nonstick cooking spray

Spray inside of slow cooker with the cooking spray.

Place one can of the beans in the cooker and mash with the back of a wooden spoon until smooth. Add remaining ingredients to the cooker. Stir to blend.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

At the end of cooking time, remove the chicken pieces to a cutting board and carefully dice or shred. Return chicken to the cooker, stir to blend in well and serve.


Note: This is my version of a recipe I saw on Ready Set Eat.



Thursday, December 18, 2014

HEARTY JAMBALAYA

This recipe is one I got from Simple and Delicious in 2007.

  • 1 can (28-oz) undrained
  • 1 lb andouille sausage links, cubed
  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, diced
  •  1 small green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 celery rib with leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana-style hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound cooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Hot cooked rice for serving
  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine the first 16 ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook 15 minutes longer or until heated through. Discard bay leaves. Serve with rice.
  •  Yield: 8 servings.



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

CHICKEN CASSOULET

This is from a small booklet from Better Homes and Gardens 70 years of favorite recipes published in 1979.

Click on picture to enlarge for easier reading.

CANNELLINI BEAN AND HAM SOUP

1 lb dry cannellini beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 can (14 1/2-oz) stewed tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 lb cooked ham, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish, if desired

Place the beans in a large pot and cover with water; bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Allow to soak overnight.

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Drain beans and place in the cooker with 4 cups fresh water. Add the onion, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, Italian seasoning and ham. Stir to combine, breaking up tomatoes with spoon.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high 6 hours.

Season with salt and pepper. Mash some of the beans slightly to thicken the soup.

To serve, ladle into bowls and sprinkle with the parsley, if desired.

Tip: A crusty bread served with this soup is really good.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

BBQ STEAKHOUSE CHILI

This is a recipe from Kraft Foods.

2
Tbsp.  oil
1
lb.  beef top round steak, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1
lb.  extra-lean ground beef
1
 onion, finely chopped
1/4
cup  A.1. Dry Rubs Bold Original
3
cloves  garlic, minced
2
cans  (15.5 oz. each) kidney beans, rinsed
1
can  (21.45 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1
bottle  (18 oz.) KRAFT Hickory Smoke Barbecue Sauce
3/4
cup  KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese

HEAT oil in large skillet. Add next 5 ingredients; stir. Cook 10 min. or until meat is evenly browned, stirring frequently. Transfer to slow cooker.
STIR in all remaining ingredients except cheese; cover with lid. Cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours (or on HIGH 4 to 5 hours).
SERVE topped with cheese.

PUERTO RICAN SHREDDED PORK

2-3 lb boneless pork sirloin roast
1 tbsp canola or olive oil
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp coarse salt
1 tsp dried oregano
4 oranges, juiced OR 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
4 limes, juiced
lettuce or tortillas for serving
pico de gallo for serving
chopped fresh cilantro for serving
sliced avocado for serving

Poke about 5 holes in the pork with a sharp knife; stuff with half the garlic.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes.

In a blender, combine the remaining garlic, cumin, salt, oregano, and the juices; blend 3-5 seconds until evenly combined.

Place the pork into the slow cooker, pour liquid over pork and let marinate about 10 minutes per side.

Turn cooker on low and cook for 8 hours.

Remove pork and shred on a large cutting board using two forks,

Remove all the liquid from the cooker except for 1 cup and add the pork back into the cooker. Cook another 20-30 minutes.

To serve, place pork in lettuce wraps or tortillas. Top with pico de gallo, chopped cilantro, and avocado.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Note: This recipe is from the National Pork Board.


CHINESE HACKED PORK

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp chopped ginger
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder
2 lb boneless center-cut pork roast
1 tbsp cornstarch
3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
12-oz wide low mein noodles, cooked following package directions, for serving

In a small bowl, whisk together the soy suce, honey, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, and 5-spice powder. Place mixture in a large resealable plastic bag and add the pork; shake to coat well.

Refrigerate pork overnight to marinate.

Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray and place pork in cooker; pour marinade over the pork.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high 4 hours or on low 6 hours.

Remove pork to a large baking dish and keep warm.

Pour liquid from cooker into a saucepan.

In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch into the chicken broth until smooth.

Bring liquid to a boil and whisk in the broth mixture; cook 1 minute.

Shred pork into large pieces with two forks; stir in the sauce.

To serve, spoon the pork and sauce over the noodles. Garnish with thinly sliced scallions or green onions, if desired.


Monday, December 15, 2014

CHOCOLATE FUDGE

3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips 
1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon salted butter
cooking spray to spray down the crock
parchment paper or non-stick foil to line a 9 x 9 baking pan

Use a 4-quart slow cooker. If you only have a 6-quart, that's okay, but it will melt faster, so keep an eye on your chocolate.
Spray the crock well with cooking spray (if you are using a Ninja, I'd still spray it down). 
Dump everything into the pot. Cover, and cook on high for about 1 hour, or on low for about 2 hours. Stir every 30 minutes. Once the chocolate has lost it's form and can be stirred into a liquid state, spread it out into a lined 9 x 9 baking pan.
Chill in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 4 hours) before cutting into bite-sized squares.

If you'd like to, go ahead and add chopped nuts or candy canes for a peppermint version.

Note: This recipe is from A Year of Slow Cooking.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

PULLED BUFFALO CHICKEN SLIDERS

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup water
1/4 cup Frank's (or similar) hot wind sauce + more for serving (optional)
16 whole-wheat dinner rolls, split
1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese dressing
celery and carrot sticks for serving, optional

Spray inside of cooker with nonstick cooking spray.

Place the chicken breasts in a single-layer in the bottom of the cooker.

Combine the hot sauce and water; pour over the chicken.

Place lid on cooker and cook on high for 6 hours on low for 8 hours. Remove chicken to a place and shred using two forks. Return chicken to the cooker. Stir well to make sure all chicken is coated with the sauce.

To serve, place equal amounts of chicken on the bottoms of the dinner rolls. Top each with 1/2 tablespoon of dressing then the top of the roll.

Serve with the celery and carrot sticks, if desired.

Yield: 8 servings of two sliders each.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

MAPLE-WALNUT SWEET POTATOES

8 medium sweet potatoes
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup apple cider or apple juice
1/4 tsp salt

Peel sweet potatoes and cut in half lengthwise. Cut halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Place potatoes in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Add 1/2 cup of the walnuts, sugar, cherries, maple syrup, cider/juice, and salt to the potatoes in the cooker; toss to combine.

Place lid on cooker and cook on low 5 to 6 hours or until potatoes are tender. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of nuts.

Yield: 12 servings of 3/4 cup each


Note: This recipe and picture are from TOH.