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Brand new slow-cooker

jamieeats Jan 5, 2011 09:06 AM

i just received my first slow-cooker for christmas. i know there are tons of recipes online, but i was hoping you might be able to help me find some quick, easy ones for my boyfriend and i to try! we both work full-time and are in graduate school part-time, so we would love to be able to use the slow-cooker more during the day.

we have made turkey chili and beef stew so far.

i would like to keep these requirements:

-beef, turkey, chicken, or seafood based (no pork or sausage)
-5 ingredients or less, and no potatoes!
-very little prep time or pre-cooking involved

any healthy recipes would be great!

  1. j
    jsantopietro Jan 5, 2011 01:52 PM

    We are testing slow-cooker recipes right now: beef stew, root vegetable stew, and split pea soup are just some of the recipes that we'll post. Expect them on CHOW.com on Feb 8.

    In the meantime, here are two you can try:

    http://www.chow.com/recipes/27893-coq... (this has a few more ingredients than you were hoping for. But it's delicious


    Jill (from the CHOW.com kitchen)

    1. lilgi Jan 5, 2011 02:51 PM

      I know I had a recipe for braised short ribs, cooked in a bottle red wine and some onions, only one or two more ingredients. When my hard drive broke down I lost the recipe but it was really good. I'm going to try to find it again or something similar; also George Debeuf has a 2008 Beujolais Villages for $5.99; affordable and very good. Maybe someone else has a similar recipe, but a lot of the braised short ribs recipes have way too many ingredients for you.

      3 Replies
      1. re: lilgi
        lilgi Jan 5, 2011 04:31 PM

        I found it, remembered it was Harold's from final episode of first season Top Chef; it's very good, I only copied the short ribs part of the recipe.

        Harold Dieterle's Kobe Beef Short Ribs
        Courtesy of Top Chef , from Final Episode, Harold's "Duo of Kobe Beef with Polenta and Asparagus with Mushrooms"

5 lbs. Kobe Short Ribs

        2 qts. Red Wine 

        1 qt. Chicken Stock 
2 qts. Veal Stock*
2 pc Onions 

        1 pc Celery 

        5 pc Fresh Tomatoes 


        Sear the ribs in a braising pot till golden brown. Add the vegetables and caramelize.  Add the red wine and reduce by ½. Then add the stocks and cover. Braise for 4 hours or until fork tender. Remove the bones, portion into 3 inch cubes. Strain the reduced sauce and place the short rib cubes back in the sauce.

        *Can use store bought beef and chicken stocks.

        1. re: lilgi
          Joebob Jan 5, 2011 11:05 PM

          2009 in Beaujolais was MUCH better than 2008. $6.99 may be the close-out price.

          1. re: Joebob
            lilgi Jan 6, 2011 12:51 AM

            Good to know for drinking! I'd rather pay $5.99 for cooking and save even more with a case. I have one on reserve but I'm really trying to conserve; it pains me not to get it :(

      2. p
        pamd Jan 5, 2011 03:56 PM

        Everyone always loves this chicken taco soup- I always use a good beer because you can really taste the hint of it. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Slow-Coo...

        1 Reply
        1. re: pamd
          bhiggason23 Jan 6, 2011 06:48 AM

          Our favorite soup. We occasionally will use ground turkey, lean beef or ground pork (and sometimes a combination of any of these) plus a bit more chili powder and paprika to make a really good chili. We substitue the tomato sauce with tomato paste to give it more a tomato base.

          If the acid from the tomatoe sauce/paste causes stomach problems, you can cut the acidity by adding a small amount of sugar to the soup/chili.

        2. Candy Jan 5, 2011 04:01 PM

          Return it and buy a pressure cooker. Unlike the old pc's the new ones are totally safe. Split pea soup, with out pre-soaking the split peas, from prep to on the table in 15 minutes. Pot roasts or stews. 25 mins. Search out pressure cooker cookbooks by Lorna Sass, her timing charts are excellent as well as the recipes. With my job I frankly don't have time for slow cookers. I am not a morning person and just get up in time to get myself out the door. Pressure cookers are less expensive to use, preserve more nutrients and really are a healthier way to cook.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Candy
            Val Jan 5, 2011 04:05 PM

            WHOA!!! They each have their place, with all due respect, Candy you've been here way longer than I have been...heh! I have both appliances and both are awesome...hey, just sayin'! PC's ARE great but I love my old Rival circa 1978 so much! Can't 'dis' it!

            1. re: Val
              jvanderh Jan 5, 2011 06:28 PM

              Right. And long cooking is what you want for meats like pot roast with a lot of connective tissue, right?

          2. bards4 Jan 5, 2011 07:01 PM

            Get yourself a brisket and an onion. Slice the onion and put it in the slow cooker. Coat the brisket liberally with salt, pepper, paprika, and a little dried mustard. Put the brisket on top of the onions, fat side up. No need to add any other liquids, unless you want to add a cup of red wine. Cook on low for about 10 hours. Remove the fall-apart yummy meat and make a gravy from the onions and the accumulated juice. Easy and yummy!

            1 Reply
            1. re: bards4
              jamieeats Jan 6, 2011 06:44 AM

              perfect, that sounds like something we can do! i would prefer not to use any recipes where we have to brown the meat or pre-cook ahead of time, or buy things like stock or bouillon.


            2. m
              momnivore Jan 6, 2011 06:50 AM

              Okay, here is a recipe I made up that my son and I really like and my husband does not. It can be more than 5 ingredients but a lot of them are canned and its really a "whatever I have left in the kitchen" dinner.
              Essential ingredients:
              Chicken (we usually use breasts, but skinless thighs would work too)
              Large can of diced tomatoes
              Can of pinto beans (drained)
              jar of pitted kalamata olives
              Put all of these in the crock pot (along with spices salt/pepper/garlic/and I really like dill but you can also use oregano or parsley) cook on low 8 hours
              about 15 minutes before serving, stir in a large chunk of feta cheese and let it melt somewhat into the mix. Serve over rice or couscous.

              Now I also add a whole bunch of other things depending on what I have on hand. Including;
              Can of (drained) quartered artichoke hearts (or bag of frozen artichoke hearts)
              Can of drained roasted red peppers
              other types of beans
              marinated mushrooms
              Like I said, I love it, my husband not so much. But its worth a try!

              1. bhiggason23 Jan 6, 2011 06:53 AM

                Sumptious, Easy and Elegant Roast

                A friend told me this one and it is delightful.

                Place a roast in your slow cooker.
                Top it with dry mix onion soup
                I add sliced mushrooms at this point
                Finish it off with a can of cranberry sauce with whole cranberries.

                Let it cook on slow all day then turn it up to high about a hour before you wish to serve dinner.
                You can thicken the liquid for a wonderful saucy gravy.

                1. gansu girl Jan 6, 2011 07:08 AM

                  I use the slow cooker all the time - I'm anti-pre-cooking when I use the slow cooker - I like dump-n-go recipes. These are my go-to's: http://www.semisweetonline.com/category/recipes/slow-cooker-recipes/ - always adding more . . . .


                  1. Disneyfreak Jan 6, 2011 08:28 AM

                    I make this one fairly frequently:

                    Chicken breast
                    1 can beans drained and rinsed (I've used black beans, white beans and even red beans)
                    1 can corn drained
                    1 jar salsa

                    I put a small amount of salsa in the bottom of the crockpot. Top with chicken, beans, corn and finally salsa. Stir the ingredients (beside the chicken) to mix. Cover. Set crock pot to low and walk away. I let this cook all day. The chicken falls apart.

                    I put this over rice or pasta and serve with shredded cheese. My kids love it too.

                    1. j
                      jessicheese Jan 6, 2011 08:32 AM

                      Congratulations! I absolutely adore my crock pot. Here are a few of my favorites:

                      Pulled Pork
                      Cover a pork loin with beer and BBQ sauce (we like sweet baby rays). Cook on low for 8-10 hours, drain of half the liquid, and pull apart with two forks. Add more BBQ sauce and cook on low for another hour. Serve it on rolls with provolone or cheddar & a vinegar based slaw or use on homemade pizza, nachos, with mashed potatoes, etc. I usually freeze half for later use and it reheats really well.

                      Shredded Chicken/ Chicken Stock
                      My most frequent use of the crock pot, usually on a Friday or Saturday at home.....
                      First, I keep a bag in my freezer where I put veggie/ fresh herb ends, celery thats getting rubbery, baby carrots, etc. I get split chicken breasts on sale, skin them, and add to the crockpot overnight with whatever veggies are in the bag, a little salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. The next morning, I pull all the chicken off and set aside for cooking or freezing. I strain the liquid and put in the fridge in a pitcher for cooking or make soup with it. This also freezes well. The chicken is perfectly shredded and the broth is simply beautiful.

                      crockpot chicken
                      Use chicken pieces, boneless breasts, or a whole bird. Cover with 1/2 cup each of V8, soy sauce, brown sugar, & oil, plus 5 minced garlic cloves. I add to the crockpot and let marinade overnight in the fridge. Then I turn it on before work and its ready when you get home. my old college roommates begged me for this recipe after we parted ways.

                      1. c
                        chef2be Jan 6, 2011 06:59 PM

                        This was the first crock pot recipe I made and it was ridiculously easy and tastes delicious:

                        \Cooking Light's Crock Pot Italian Pot Roast

                        2 1/2 lbs boneless round roast
                        1 medium onion, sliced
                        1/4 teaspoon salt
                        1/4 teaspoon pepper
                        2 (8 ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce (or regular)
                        1 (2/3 ounce) package Italian salad dressing mix

                        1 Slice roast in half for even cooking; place in crock pot.
                        2 Add onion and remaining ingredients.
                        3 Cover and cook on high setting 5 hours or until roast is tender OR cover and cook on high setting one hour; reduce to low setting, and cook 7 hours.

                        1. q
                          Querencia Jan 6, 2011 09:31 PM

                          Jamie, here is my generic slow-cooker recipe: In dry crock pot put 1/2 cup of flour and mix with whatever dry ingredients you are using: salt, garlic powder, curry powder, sweet paprika etc. (More later about choices.) Stir an 8-oz can of tomato sauce into this so it doesn't lump and then add 4 cans of water or other liquid. Add meat (cut-up beef, cut-up boneless chicken breasts, or cut-up lamb). Then add other ingredients as below: 1) For beef stew add peeled small potatoes, onion (or small frozen onions), celery, and carrots. 2) For curry use beef, lamb, or chicken and add a couple of chopped onions and a bag of frozen peas; add garlic, hot pepper, and other Indian spices to taste and plenty of curry powder.) For beef burgundy use beef, a package of dry onion soup mix, red wine instead of water, mushrooms if you have any, and bay leaf. 4) For carbonades Flamande use beef, onions,and mushrooms, and use beer for the liquid. By now you've got the idea and after you've done this a time or two you will have a better sense of whether you want to add more liquid (or more liquid and flour to make more sauce/gravy). Portobello mushrooms make a richer browner sauce. You do NOT have to brown the meat. Any of these combos, you can set up the ingredients the night before, refrigerate them, then before you go to work in the morning dump into crock pot and turn it on Low; dinner will be ready when you get home that evening.

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