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Tag Archives: crock pot

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

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Classic Chili


First of all, I apologize to those of you who have me in a reader.  I’ve started updated my posts from 2009 because the photos went missing from most of them, and I’m afraid I’ll be junking up your readers with all these old “new” posts for the next week or so.  Thank you for bearing with me.

Second, remember that snow I mentioned last week? Well, it didn’t stick but it’s snowing like cuh-razy as I type this on Sunday night.  And it’s sticking!  We took a long walk in the middle of it and Jessie was in HEAVEN.  Snow walks are her absolute favorite.  She’s definitely got some husky in her blood.  Thank goodness she’s past her “pulling” phase where she’d pretend Dennis was her sled and try to drag him by the leash! lol

Anyway, I’m hoping it’s arctic where you live too, not because I wish you ill, but if there is one good thing about cold weather days, it’s the hot and delicious foods you can fill them with.  Like this classic chili.  I grew up eating plain beans and cornbread every winter and now I don’t feel right unless I make chili or beans and cornbread at least once every winter.  I’ve made many recipes, and never the same one twice, but I wanted to track down a recipe that had a classic flavor that would please kids and adults alike (for family gatherings) and that I could rely on as my go-to recipe.  I knew that Mel would probably have one for me (she has a whole collection of best recipes and she’s never let me down), and I was right!  I knew when I found her momma’s chili recipe this would probably be the one I was looking for.

We all have our different preferences when it comes to chili.  I love a lot of veggies–bring on the celery, tomatoes, onion, green pepper (and red, yellow, and orange pepper, for that matter) and lots of beans.  I do like some ground beef and spiciness, but it’s not essential.  But I think this is a chili that anyone would like, which is exactly what I was looking for.  I do believe this is my favorite chili now, even without an over-abundance of veg!  So delicious.

The original recipe doesn’t have any veggies save the onions in it, but I’m a big Wendy’s chili fan, so I went ahead and added some celery and green pepper to mine to give it a similar feel.  Though I thought the taste was excellent with them in, I’m sure it’s just as excellent without so leave them out if veggies in chili isn’t your thing.  I also adapted the recipe for the crockpot (less liquid so it doesn’t get too runny), but if you want the stovetop directions you can get them from Mel’s site here.

Oh, and by the way, guess what I did with the leftovers?  I added some more cans of stuff to bulk up the amount (canned chili, salsa-style roasted tomatoes) and stirred in some chopped all-beef hot dogs, then sent it with Dennis to the family Christmas party along with shredded cheddar cheese to garnish it.  I didn’t get to attend due to my work schedule, but Dennis brought home an empty crock so I guess the “chili dog chili” went over well! :)

Classic Chili

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

2 medium onions, diced
2 teaspoons salt
2 to 2 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 large cans (29 ounces each) pinto beans, drained
46 oz. (one large can) tomato juice
1 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
3/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar

Brown the hamburger and onion in a large skillet with the salt. Drain grease.  Add to a large 6-quart crockpot, then stir in the remaining ingredients until well combined.  Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4.

Recipe source: adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

White Chili (Crockpot recipe)

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My friend, Ashley, shared this recipe with me recently and I had to make it ASAP because although I’ve saved countless recipes for it, I’ve never actually made it or even tried it!  I have to say it’s very tasty, especially made her way with corn chips on the bottom and cheese on top (usually around here this is called a Frito pie).  You just can’t go wrong with salty corn chips and cheese in your chili!  Sooo good!  Unless of course you’re watching your calories, then you’d be better off sprinkling a bit of cheese on top with just a few corn chips for garnish, as I did above.  However, the chili is so good it can totally stand on it’s own. Any way you serve it would be great!

So here’s the recipe Ashley’s sister gave her when she got married (awww, those recipes are the best!) and that she has graciously permitted me to share with you!  Enjoy!

White Chili (crockpot recipe)

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2 large white onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil

4 cups cubed (raw) chicken
2 cans white kidney (great northern) beans, drained & rinsed
1 can garbanzo (chick peas) beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups chicken broth
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chilis (I used 7 ounces)
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
corn chips
shredded cheese

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until tender. Transfer to slow cooker.  Add all other ingredients; except cilantro, corn chips and cheese.  Cook on low 6-7 hours (high for 4 hrs).  Stir in cilantro and serve over corn chips with cheese on top!

Recipe source: slightly tweaked from Ashley Allen

Jimmy Fallon’s Crock-Pot Chili

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Funny man Jimmy Fallon can cook?  Apparently so!  This is his recipe for chili in the crockpot (OK, slightly, very slightly tweaked by me) and honestly it’s the best chili to ever come out of my kitchen!  I bought a 12-pack of beer two years ago (does beer ever go bad??) so I’d have it on hand whenever I felt like making my favorite buttery beer bread (seriously the best bread evar!), so I was super excited to finally get rid of the last two cans of it when I made this chili, one for the chili and one for the bread to go with it.  Win-win!


Jimmy Fallon’s Crock-Pot Chili

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

3 1/2 pounds ground beef
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 habanero chile, seeded and very finely chopped
1/4 cup chile powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped with their juices
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
1 (12-ounce) bottle amber beer
2 (15-ounce) cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Tortilla chips, for serving
Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
Chopped tomatoes, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Lime wedges, for serving

In a large skillet, working in batches if necessary, brown beef over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper; drain in a colander, discarding fat, and set aside. Add olive oil, onions, garlic, and habanero to skillet; season with salt. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. In a 6-quart Crock-Pot, combine beef, onion mixture, chile powder, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper; stir to combine. Add tomatoes, cilantro, and beer; cover and cook on high, stirring occasionally, for 5 hours, or on low for 8 hours. Add kidney beans and season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and serve with desired toppings.

Slow-Cooked Enchilada Casserole & Spicy Red Rice

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Two more incredible recipes from Marina!

SLOW-COOKED ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
$100 Prize Winner Pillsbury Bakeoff 2000, by Elizabeth Castle (Marina’s daughter)

1 1/2 lb. ground beef sirloin
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (1.25-oz.) pkg. Old El Paso Taco Seasoning Mix (or 3 tablespoons homemade)
1 teaspoon salt (I suggest omitting as the seasoning mix adds plenty of salt)
½ teaspoon pepper
9 (51/2-inch) corn tortillas
½ cup chicken broth
½ cup tomato sauce
1 (10-oz.) can Old El Paso Enchilada Sauce
6oz. (11/2 cups) finely shredded Cheddar cheese
2 (15-oz.) cans pinto, black or kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 (11-oz.) can Green Giant Mexicorn Whole Kernel Corn, Red and Green Peppers, drained
1 (4.5-oz.) can Old El Paso Chopped Green Chiles
1 (21/4-oz.) can chopped ripe olives
Sour Cream

1. Brush inside of 3 1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker with oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray. In large skillet, brown ground beef sirloin with onions and garlic over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix, salt and pepper.

2. Place 3 tortillas in bottom of oiled slow cooker. Top with beef mixture, broth, tomato sauce, and enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with ½ cup of the cheese. Layer 3 more tortillas. Top with beans, corn, green chiles, half of the olives and ½ cup of the cheese.

3. Top with remaining 3 tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining ½ cup cheese and olives. Cook on high setting for 21/2 to 3 hours or on low setting for 6 to 7 hours. Uncover slow cooker for last 30 minutes of cooking time. Top individual servings with sour cream.

Serves 8

Marina suggests topping the sour cream with sliced avocados and more enchilada sauce.

SPICY RED RICE
2007 Blue Ribbon Recipe courtesy of Marina Castle

2 tablespoons butter
2 cups Calrose white rice
½ cup minced onions
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
2 cups chicken broth
1 (8oz) can Mexican hot tomato sauce or regular tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon butter
Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan. Add rice and onions and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add rice and onions and stir for 2-3 minutes.  Add spices and stir until rice is lightly toasted. Slowly and carefully add liquids and bay leaf, stir and add butter.  Bring to a quick boil, then immediately lower heat to simmer. Cover pan and cook for 25 minutes or until done. Remove lid, stir and cover pan again. Keep warm.

Serves 6

This was the tomato sauce I used–I never knew this stuff existed until I looked for it for this recipe.  It made the rice plenty spicy.

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