Addicted to the Pot, by Lauren

Friday, 13January, 2012

Addicted to the Pot, by Lauren

by travellinlb

Post image for Addicted to the Pot, by Lauren

Get your heads out of the gutter people, I’m talking about The Crock Pot!  It was a very merry christmas to me with a brand new shiny crock pot from my main man.  I used to have a crock pot when I lived in SF, but ever since moving to his tiny apartment in Amsterdam where if I bring one additional thing home Stefan exclaims in bewilderment “where on earth are we going to put that thing!”, I didn’t dare ever ask for a crock pot.

But then I did.  Because I missed having a crock pot. Because I miss having my own things. And so Stefan indulged me and got me one for xmas.  Which after only owning for one day, crocky had a little fall off our range because our washer / dryer shake the apartment so much you would swear were experiencing a 7.0 earthquake.  But even after the little tumble, although a bit uneven now, good ‘ol crocky took a lickin’ and kept on tickin’!

So now I’m addicted to the Pot.  I was home all week during the holidays, and decided to use it every day.  You can literally just throw stuff in the pot and BOOM 8-10hrs later your meal is done.  And the meat and veggies are just so damn tender!  And to Stefan’s advantage (since he’s constantly complaining I’m always messing up his kitchen – to which I reply, well if I had a dishwasher…), there’s only one pot to clean.  It’s quick to prepare meals, it’s easy, and it’s tasty!

So I just found out this week there is a slow cooker challenge being put on by my new favorite recipe finding tool Foodily in conjunction with some other cool bloggers – The Naptime Chef and The Small Kitchen College.  It’s hard to decide what my favorite recipe is to enter the contest out of all the yummy ones below!

So here’s what I made in my week of Crock Potting:

Day 1: Whole Chicken -  If you want a crispy skinned chicken then this recipe is not for you.  But if you want a succulent, juicy, meat falling off the bones, then this is it my friends.  With just a few ingredients, this is some of the greatest chicken to just eat as is, or to shred to use in other dishes.  I repurposed the next day for a chicken fried rice.  I did a variation of this recipe from 100 days of real food blog.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chopped garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (red) pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large chicken
  • 1 apple in quarters for the cavity

Directions:

  1. Combine the dried spices in a small bowl.
  2. Loosely chop the onion and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  3. Remove any giblets from the chicken and then rub the spice mixture all over. You can even put some of the spices inside the cavity and under the skin covering the breasts.  Put the quartered apple in the cavity as well.
  4. Put prepared chicken on top of the onions in the slow cooker, cover it, and turn it on to high. There is no need to add any liquid.
  5. Cook for 4 – 5 hours (for a 3 or 4 pound chicken) or until the chicken is falling off the bone. Enjoy!

Chicken Fried Rice

Day 2: Chicken Stock – After you’re done with the chicken, put all the bones back in the pot, cover to the top with water, throw in some parsley, carrots, celery, bay leaf, whatever and throw the bad boy on low overnight and the next morning strain it out and you have your own home made stock!  I’ve never made my own stock and this was really simple and you can freeze extra stock easily.

Day 3:  Pulled Pork – I’ve made this in SF and it was like you’d expect.  This time, not sure if it was just the type of meat or I just didn’t leave it on long enough but the meat wasn’t as “shreddable” as I remembered.  Don’t get me wrong, it was still good, just a bit tougher than I remember.  And really who knows if the cut of Pork Shoulder is really the same in SF and Amsterdam.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4 pound) boneless pork shoulder roast
  • 1 beer
  • 1 bottle Salsa Verde or you can make your own using tomatillos, cilantro, garlic and lime
 Directions:
  1. Mix together salt, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, coriander, and cinnamon in a bowl. Coat pork with the spice mixture. Place the bay leaves in the bottom of a slow cooker and place the pork on top. Pour the beer around the sides of the pork, being careful not to rinse off the spice mixture.
  2. Cover and cook on Low until the pork shreds easily with a fork, about 10 hours. Turn the meat after it has cooked for 5 hours. When the pork is tender, remove from slow cooker, and shred with two forks. Use cooking liquid as needed to moisten the meat.

Day 4:  Squash – I threw some strips of Butternut Squash with a bit of nutmeg, brown sugar and cinnamon.  It came out 6hrs later soft and sweet almost like candy.  Yum!

Ingredients:

  • 1 large butternut squash, about 3 to 4 pounds
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Quarter the butternut squash lengthwise, cut stem off, and scoop out seeds. Pour the apple juice into the slow cooker.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a cup or small bowl.

Put two of the squash quarters, cut side up, in the slow cooker. Drizzle with about half of the butter-brown sugar mixture. Place the remaining two sqush quarters on the first ones and drizzle with remaining butter-brown sugar mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours, or until squash is tender.

Day 5:  Orange and Honey Tilapia – I found this recipe from someone who is way more into Crock Potting then me.  Actually she did it for a year straight! Stephanie’s Blog is a wealth of great Crock Pot recipes including this one! And seriously I know cooking fish in a slow cooker sounds bizarre, but I gotta say it’s really great, simple, cooks it evenly, and doesn’t stink up the whole house.  what more could you want?

Ingredients:

  • 4 tilapia filets (frozen is just fine)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained
  • aluminum foil
  • salt and pepper to taste at the table

Directions:

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. Lay a length of foil on your countertop and place the fish directly in the middle. Dribble balsamic vinegar and honey over the top of each fillet, and place a handful of drained mandarin oranges on top (my kids like to drink the juice!).

Fold over foil and crimp the edges to form a packet. Put the foil packet into your slow cooker, and put the lid on (if you’d prefer to have one fish fillet per packet for serving, divide the sauce and the oranges). Cook on high for two hours, or until fish flakes easily with a fork. If your fish was frozen, it may take another 30 minutes or so, but you should still check it after two hours. Season to taste with some salt and pepper at the table.

Day 6: Beef with Root Vegetables - This is a more classic dish you would do with your crock pot, it’s like a beef and vegetable stew, perfect for a wintery night.  Serve it with a crusty bread and it’s a one pot dream meal

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 (3-pound) chuck roast
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Directions:

Arrange onion, potatoes, carrots, turnip, and rutabaga in bottom of slow cooker. Season beef all over with salt and black pepper. Cut fat from beef and cut into 1″ chunks.  Rub flour all over beef. You can either place roast on top of vegetables in slow cooker or you can brown the meat first in a heated pan.  I just put the beef in the crockpot and it was fine.

Whisk together tomato sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, mustard powder, and garlic powder. Pour mixture over beef. Cover and cook on LOW for 12 hours or on HIGH for 8 hours.

Day 7:  Santa Fe Chicken – this recipe is adapted from skinnytaste.com.  This turned out a little bit more liquidy and chili-like than the results the Skinny Girl got.  I think you could do without the chicken broth because the diced tomatoes have so much liquid in them.  We ate this with some tortillas and avocado and mexican rice.  Still totally delicious!

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz (1 1/2) lbs chicken breast
  • 14.4 oz can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies (or if you live in Europe, 1 can diced tomatoes and some jalapenos mixed in!)
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 8 oz frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14.4 oz can fat free chicken broth  (i would omit or lessen this to avoid “soupyness”
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (to taste)
  • salt to taste

Directions:

Combine chicken broth, beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt in the crock pot. Season chicken breast with salt and lay on top. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, remove chicken and shred. Return chicken to slow cooker and stir in. Adjust salt and seasoning. Serve over rice. Top with scallions

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

pj nix January 13, 2012 at 1:57 pm

What a crock! LOL… no really, I love the crock! I love YOUR crock! Can’t wait for those ribs!
xxx
pj

Reply

Cynthia January 14, 2012 at 6:45 am

Might have to break down and buy one of these pots! Everything look so delicious and easy!
My kind of cooking!!!

Reply

Janet@FCTC January 22, 2012 at 11:11 pm

All of these recipes look great! I’m not sure which I want to make first hehehe

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: