About these ads
RSS Feed

Category Archives: Slow-Cooker/Crockpot

Smoky Baked Beans

Posted on

Summertime is packed with barbecues and picnics, and I like to have an arsenal of crowd-pleasing recipes to bring.  With Independence Day approaching, I thought I’d share one of my new favorites!  I like to bring something that’s either OK at room temperature (because it’s hard to keep cold dishes cold), or something that can hang out in the crock pot without getting overcooked.  Baked beans go great with any outdoor summer meal and these were a hit at our Mother’s Day picnic. I would definitely make these again, even as a summer meal in itself!

Smoky Baked Beans

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 lb. bulk spicy pork sausage (I used Jimmy Dean)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (31 oz) can pork and beans
1 (16 oz) can kidney beans
1 (16 oz) can black beans
1 (16 oz) can butter beans
1 (16 oz) can white beans (such as Navy, Northern or Canellini)
1 (10 oz) can tomatoes with green chiles (Rotel)
1/2 cup hickory-smoke flavored BBQ sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 teaspoon steak seasoning
1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Brown sausage with onion in large skillet. Drain fat. Place in large slow cooker, add remaining ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for 4-8 hours.

Recipe source: Our Eating Habits

About these ads

Smoky Red Lentil Chili {vegan}

Posted on

This was the chili I made the Sweet Buttermilk Cornbread to go with last week.  It was the smoky factor that called to me when I saw it on Tami’s blog, and it didn’t disappoint! I upped the spicy factor to suit our tastes and it was just wonderful.  The only change I would make next time is to take the suggestion to run the red peppers through the food processor (and use two red peppers instead of one orange-lol), because I imagine that makes the chili thicker and more red and visually appealing.  I wasn’t reading the recipe closely and just diced the peppers as I usually do, which was fine, but I look forward to trying it the recommended way.

And don’t be scared of the lentils! I personally have a distaste for regular lentils, but red lentils are totally different and do not have that earthy flavor to them at all.  I found mine at a Lebanese market (you can get them at N & J Cafe’s market here in Wichita), and hope you’ll be able to find them in your area too.  So much tastier than regular lentils, IMO.

This chili has a wonderful balance of flavors and I was impressed that the creator even thought to add vinegar, something I’ve never added to chili, but somehow it’s perfect here.  You won’t really notice it, but it did need some tang to balance everything.  So good, you won’t even miss the meat.

Smoky Red Lentil Chili

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 ounces dates (approximately 9 Deglet Noor)
1 pound red lentils (they look orange in the package)
7 cups water, divided
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted preferred)
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 large chopped onion
2 large red bell peppers, finely chopped*
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1½ tablespoons dried parsley
1½ tablespoons dried oregano
1½ tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika (different than regular paprika)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or more to taste – I used 1 teaspoon)
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste – I used 1 teaspoon)
scallions or Faux Parmesan – optional (for topping at the end)

Blend the dates in one cup of the water until smooth (unless you have a water-tight food processor, use a blender, or the liquid will fly out. Lesson learned the hard way by me). Place the puree, along with all remaining ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, or until lentils are soft. Alternatively, you can cook in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high for 10 minutes, or in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Sprinkle with chopped scallions or Faux Parmesan and serve with baked tortilla chips or over a baked potato if desired.

*Chef AJ’s note: I like to use the food processor so it’s almost a puree.

*Veronica’s note: If you live in Wichita, go to The Spice Merchant for the smoked paprika and chipotle chile powder – you will pay much less than you would for the pricey McCormick spices, and they’re just as good!

Yield: 8 servings

Recipe source: Nutmeg Notebook, originally from Unprocessed by Chef AJ.

German Baked Beans For a Crowd


~Photo by Jessica Rose~

Last Saturday was our 37th annual Davis Family Pig Roast.  (My maiden name is Davis, FYI.)  This family reunion was started four years before I was born, and now the responsibilities have been passed on to the next generation and I’m on the planning committee and have been in charge of creating & sending the invitations for the last five years.

The remaining Davis siblings (RIP Jimmy, Doris, and Mary): Margie, Nadene, Donnie (the one who started the pig roast), Ruby, and my Dad, Jon.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

The younger generation that runs the roast nowadays.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

The pig roast is an all day affair, starting early in the morning when a few good men get up at the crack of dawn to put the pig (prepped the night before) on our custom roaster, and it doesn’t end until well after dark, with everyone gathering around a bonfire to drink, chat, and roast hot dogs and marshmallows for s’mores.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

We spend the day mostly talking, though there are things you can entertain yourself with, such as Bingo, swimming in the lake, bike riding, or walking.  The main event however, is the afternoon meal, which we eat when the pig is done.

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

Dennis leads us in a prayer before the meal, and then it’s on.  Well, after you stand in a really long line, then it’s on. :)

~Photo by Jessica Rose~

First we go inside where all the sides that family have brought are lined up on tables…

Then we go outside to the table where the meat has been cut up and laid out, along with garlic bread.

Then we go back inside (or take a chair outside) to chow down.

Some people bring the same thing every year, and I love that because it gives you something to look forward to.  Like Aunt Ruby’s Garlic Salad.  It just wouldn’t be the Pig Roast without her garlic salad (which she actually doesn’t even  make herself any more, her son Tyson does it for her!).   Then there’s people like me, who make something different every year.  This year I decided to bring a big crockpot full of German Baked Beans, which I found the recipe for on The Better Baker’s blog.  I knew when she posted it that it’d be perfect for our reunion, and I was right.  It was devoured!

Dennis said he could taste the saurkraut (and liked it), but if I hadn’t made it and couldn’t see it in there, I would have had no clue.  These beans are sweet and so good with the onion and sausage in them, but if you’d like more sass to them, you can try skipping the rinsing on the saurkraut and that might give them a bit of a zip.  This is how I made them in the crockpot for a crowd.  If you’d like the oven-baked, regular-sized recipe, you can click the link to Marsha’s blog at the end.

German Baked Beans For a Crowd

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 (15 oz) cans pork and beans
2 (15 oz) cans baked beans
2 (14 oz) cans sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 small or 1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1 (14 oz) package kielbasa sausage, sliced & quartered

Combine all ingredients in a 6 quart crockpot and cook on low for 4-5 hours, removing the cover during the last hour to let some of the liquid evaporate if desired.

Alternately, you can halve this recipe for a smaller crowd and bake it in the oven. To do this, preheat oven to 400F and combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish, coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake uncovered for 1 – 1-1/2 hours.

Recipe source: The Better Baker

I just love my family!

Slow Cooker Moroccan Turkey Stew


Rhonda from Dining Alone has a “Best Thing I Ever Made” feature where she highlights a favorite recipe each week from her archives. In October, she shared this stew as the best soup she’s ever made. All I had to do was take one look at her totally delicious picture (please, go look, and grab a napkin to catch the drool) to know I had to make it.

My sister’s best friend, Margo, married a Moroccan man (that’s them up there with the Twinkies during a Toot and Twinkies game night…but that’s another story for a different day) and she introduced me to their cuisine after she learned to cook it from her sister-in-law. Her Moroccan Chicken Couscous is so so delicious, and this stew has very similar ingredients so I was fairly certain I would love it.

Love it? No, I’m obsessed with it. If this soup were a person, it would have filed a restraining order on me because I stalked it for three nights in a row, made inappropriate noises while eating it, and almost cried when it was gone. I might have separation anxiety. Moroccan Turkey Stew, please don’t leave me! Come back!

So anyway, you should try this stew.  And please invite me over for dinner when you do.  I promise I’ll keep the inappropriate noises to a minimum.

Slow Cooker Moroccan Turkey Stew

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 teaspoon ground allspice
Kosher salt
4 skinless, bone-in turkey thighs (about 4 pounds)*
1/2 medium butternut squash, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 15.5-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes with juices, broken up
1 cup dried apricots
1/2 cup golden raisins
8 medium carrots, cut into 11/2-inch pieces
3 medium red onions, halved and cut into wedges
2 whole dried red chiles
1/2 lemon
2 cups fresh cilantro, including leaves and some stems
1 cup fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

*You can also use bone-in chicken thighs, which is what I opted to use since I couldn’t find turkey legs.

Combine the allspice and 3 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Season the turkey thighs with half the salt mixture in a 5-quart slow cooker.

Toss the squash, chickpeas, tomatoes, apricots, raisins, carrots, onions and chiles with the remaining spiced salt. Pour the vegetables over the turkey (the cooker will be full; arrange the mixture so the lid fits.  And don’t be like me and think you can fit extra veg in because you can’t–trust me.). Cover and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Spoon the vegetables and broth into bowls. Remove and discard the turkey bones and place the meat on top of the vegetables.

Juice the lemon; pulse with the cilantro, parsley, garlic, cumin and 1 teaspoon salt in a food processor. Add the oil and process until smooth. Serve the stew in bowls; drizzle with the cilantro sauce.

*Veronica’s note: your cilantro sauce will probably not be as green as mine (compare it with Rhonda’s picture) because I didn’t measure it and probably used twice as much as I was supposed to.  I didn’t care, it was still phenomenal.

Recipe source: Food Network, as seen on Dining Alone

***

Disclaimer: I know I said I wasn’t going to apologize for my bad photos, but I do want to explain that I took these with zero natural light–all I had was the light from the light bulb overhead in the bedroom because for some reason, that is the brightest room in our house.  So I think they’re pretty good, considering.  Except for the swampy green blobs.  That’s not cool, but hey, this is real life up in my kitchen and swampy green blobs happen.

Effortless Ham & White Bean Soup

Posted on

Sometimes I save a recipe and it takes years for me to get around to making it.  Most I’ve never made and probably will never make, despite my best intentions.  And sometimes a recipe finds me at just the right moment, like this one, when I’m craving it, or I happen to have everything needed to make it.

This soup really is quite effortless.  Mary’s recipe is easy to begin with, as it is made in the slow cooker, but I cut out the step of soaking the beans overnight and now it’s even easier!  When I make refried beans in the slow cooker, I don’t soak them overnight and the beans cook up just fine and soft without the soak, so I just used the same amount of water for the soup as if I was making refried beans and it worked great.

Dennis made a point to tell me several times that this soup was “really good.”  Like I mentioned before, I usually have to pull food opinions from him like teeth, so for him to offer this one up so many times tells you how good it is.  I prefer a ham and bean soup without tomatoes or spices, but did like the addition of the carrots and onions and will definitely include those from now on.  This is a quick, nearly effortless meal to throw into the crock before work and when you get home, you can serve some hearty, warm comfort to your family.  And don’t forget the cornbread. :)

Effortless Ham and White Bean Soup

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 pound dry Cannellini or Great Northern white beans, rinsed
1 large onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning (or ½ teaspoon each oregano, basil, and parsley)
8 ounces ham, diced (I used ham steak)
9 cups water
1 (14 1/2 oz) can stewed tomatoes, undrained
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large crockpot, combine all the ingredients and cook on low for 8 hours. Mash some of the beans to make the soup creamier if desired. Serve hot.

Recipe source: adapted from One Perfect Bite

***

I recently finished the book The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  During a walk that originally should have ended at the post office but led him cross country in an effort to reach an old friend dying of cancer, with the unlikely hope his pilgrimage might save her, Harold realized something that resonated with me.  Not wanting to squander his retirement, he eventually depended upon the kindness of others during his journey.  He realizes, “It was as much a gift to receive as it was to give, requiring as it did both courage & humility.”

I thought of Suzie then, because she has exhibited such courage and humility in the face of her inability to pay for an operation she needs.  She has been so thankful in her communications with me, and now extends her gratitude to everyone on her blog today.  (You can read it here if you haven’t already.)  I think it does take incredible courage and humility to admit you need help and frankly, Suzie, I think we can all say that it truly was a gift to pitch in whatever way we could, if only with well wishes and prayers.  We all wish you the best, and thank you for the chance to join with others to make a difference for the better. <3

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Posted on

It’s Secret Recipe Club time again!  I can’t tell you how thankful I am to Amanda for starting this club.  The amount of fun I have with it is a little ridiculous.  My favorite part is getting my blog assignment and stealthily stalking that blog, hunting down recipes that I want to make and post for reveal day.  I always bookmark a million and it takes me an entire week to narrow down my choice to one recipe.

{You can find my past Secret Recipe Club posts here.}

This month I was assigned to A Little Nosh and unlike previous assignments, I knew which recipe I was going to make within a minute of clicking on her blog.  I still went through Amy’s archives and bookmarked half her recipes, but did eventually return to the original that caught my eye and knew I couldn’t fight it.  I had to make the crockpot chicken cacciatore because:

1) It’s beautiful and I like pretty food.

2)  I’d never eaten or made it and thought it would be fun to try something new.

3) It fit perfectly in our diet plan while we were in the 2nd cycle of the 17 Day Diet.

4) I noticed the recipe originally came from one of my blogging buddies, Renee of My Kitchen Adventures, and it tickled me to think that I’d be making Amy’s and Renee’s recipe at the same time.

 

I changed the recipe to make it on a slightly larger scale with a higher ratio of veggies, and it completely filled my 6-quart crockpot to the brim.  The leftovers were enough to last us all week, and what beautiful lunches we were bringing to work!  The vegetables and sauce were such a tasty compliment to the tender chicken breast meat, which pretty much fell apart as soon as you touched it with a fork.  So delicious.

Thanks, Amy, for sharing this great recipe.  I never even saw it on Renee’s blog, so I’m glad to have gotten the opportunity through you and the SRC to try it!

Crockpot Garden Chicken Cacciatore

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

6 large skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large ribs of celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 (4 oz) cans sliced mushrooms, drained
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
½ cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ cup cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons water or chicken broth
Additional salt and pepper, to taste

Place chicken breasts inside the bottom of a 6-quart crockpot. Add in the bell peppers, onion, celery, carrots, mushrooms, and garlic. Pour the juice from the tomatoes into a medium bowl, then put the tomatoes into the crockpot.

Into the bowl with the tomato juice, add the tomato paste, chicken stock, and balsamic vinegar. Mix well, then pour on top of the tomatoes and vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or high for 4 hours, or until the chicken is tender.

Mix the cornstarch and water together until no lumps remain, then pour over the top of the vegetables. Stir, turn the crockpot to high, and allow to cook for another 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over brown rice or your choice of starch.

Recipe source: adapted from A Little Nosh, originally from My Kitchen Adventures

To check out the other submissions in Group A for The Secret Recipe Club, click on the Mr. Linky below!



Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin {Slow Cooker}


The crockpot is my cold-weather friend.  I turn it on before work, and come home to a delicious-smelling house and a hot dinner ready and waiting.  Usually I use it for soups & chili, but once in a while I get a little crazy and turn a big hunk of meat into something falling-apart tender and succulent.  This is one of those rare times, and of course the husband rejoiced.

I wish I could have gotten a picture of this as soon as we took it out of the crock, but due to the early sunset in winter, there was no light left to take a photo by.  So you get a picture of the leftovers, which were also delicious, but this doesn’t quite represent how beautiful the meat was after it finished cooking.  But I figure a photo taken of leftovers by daylight is better than a grainy, dark photo of perfect meat.

What makes this dish remarkable isn’t so much the tender, juicy pork (that always happens to meat in the crockpot, right?), but the sauce.  It reminds me of barbecue sauce, but it is more like barbecue sauce’s wealthy cousin that travels abroad 3 months out of the year and has great taste in hats.  Or something like that.

Anyway, the sauce is amazing.  The meat is amazing.  Together, well, duh, they are amazing.  Make it and feel the amazement in your own kitchen.

Brown Sugar & Balsamic Glazed Pork Loin

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 (2 pound) boneless pork tenderloin (or regular pork loin)
1 teaspoon ground sage
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 cup water

Glaze
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine sage, salt, pepper and garlic. Rub over roast. Place in slow cooker with 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. About 1 hour before roast is done, combine ingredients for glaze in small sauce pan. Heat and stir until mixture thickens. Brush roast with glaze 2 or 3 times during the last hour of cooking. Serve with remaining glaze on the side.

Recipe source: C & C Marriage Factory

Secret Recipe Club

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 3,370 other followers

%d bloggers like this: