Newly single chow-dude and his crockpot
- Monch Aug 14, 2014 09:22 AM
It's been awhile since I was singularly responsible for every evening meal. I'm a little rusty.
Just ordered a programable crockpot and am looking for chow-worthy recipes.
I will admit that I have NOT searched for old strings on this subject.
So, what is your go-to slow cooker recipe for a mid-week dinner after a long day at work?
Extra credit for something that turns into great lunches the next day(s).
DOUBLE extra credit for great cookbooks in this genre...that will serve my tummy AND my addiction to cook book collecting.
Happy chowing and thanks in advance.
any inexpensive, well marbled (read: fatty) cut of meat. My go tos are: pork shoulder, boneless/skinless chix thighs. 6-8 hours on low, they both create their own juices. pour off the juice and freeze it for an hour, this congeals the fat which you can then skim and discard, use the rest to make any sauce you like.I will make bbq, carnitas, Asian style, curry style...whatever mood you are in. I love having these yummy cooked meats around and find myself throwing them into everything, quesadillas, sandwiches, you name it.
A few months back we started a Slow Cooker Sunday series. A few of my favorites are:
Breakfast Casserole (it's hearty enough for dinner and lunch leftovers) http://www.chow.com/food-news/153609/...
BBQ Beef Sandwiches: http://www.chow.com/food-news/151290/...
and, Red Pepper Butternut Squash Soup: http://www.chow.com/food-news/150910/...
We have some great recipes going live over the weekend - so keep your eye out for them. Happy crock pot cooking!
America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution. Fun stuff like ribs, lasagna, etc. Not just soups and stews (though there's plenty of that too.)
Welcome to my life, I use my Slow Cooker very often
fatty cheap cuts of meat are your fried - bone in will add more flavor
beef shanks can go many ways - just red wine and herbs - over rice + leftovers for sammies. Tomato sauce for a quick and dirty meat sauce, you can take it Mexican for taco/burrito filling
Fatty cheaper cuts of lamb do well too
Chicken thighs - over a "bed" of potatoes and carrots - with wine or beer in the bottom
chili is always good, pulled pork, ribs
soups are easy - broth+ can of tomatoes + beans and veggies = tomato vegetable soup - add pasta or rice and leafy greens at the end
if you have time brown mear in a skillet fist, deglaze and add that liquid - will help with flavor and texture
potatoes & carrots and the like tend to hold up well but all softer veggies and greens should be added at the end or you get mush - same with pasta and rice
get a rice cooker if you don't have one - slow cooked meat and veg ready when you get home + fresh quick rice = Dinner
Dried beans can take forever - soaking AND parboiling is helpful- crunchy beans are gross ;)
keep it simple and don't expect miracles and the slow cooker is a very useful tool made much more useful by a ric cooker/steamer for the parts of the meal that don't want low and slow. If you just dump everything in there you get muck.
In addition to the stuff already mentioned, anything liquidy and cooked a long time is generally great for the crock and the normal recipes can be adapted to it. Soups, chilis, stews, porridges, curries, etc. Just do all the first steps in a pan, pour into the crock, add liquid and let it go. Bonus, in general I've found those also freeze and reheat well. I've been using mine recently like a slow double boiler and it makes the creamiest best steel cut oats around. So now you've got breakfast too!
My favorite roast beef recipe is done in the CP. Start with any cut of roast. Smear 1-2 tsp. Heinz 57 sauce over the top (no substitutes). Sprinkle a packet of onion soup mix (dry) over that. Smear a can of cream of mushroom soup (undiluted) over that. Cook on low 8-10 hours until roast is fork tender. Use the cold leftovers in sandwiches with a little horseradish mayo. Our group does this up for our annual ice-fishing trip to Lake of the Woods.
Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two, by Beth Hensperger. I actually have an earlier NYM slow cookbook by Beth H, and I have to recommend her cookbooks in general for being thorough. She also gives good recipes. I've used her white chili recipe, with some tweaking, many times, and it makes wonderful chili. This week I follower her directions for a small pot roast and it was lovely. I will use her directions again.
But you don't just get good recipes from Hensperger's books; you get in depth explanations and even other recipes as go withs.
Since you are single, I'm guessing you would like the NYM Cookbook for Two. You can make enough for one meal, and have the rest for leftovers. (Cook once-eat twice.)
Also check out her blog, http://www.notyourmotherscookbook.com...
She lists recipes by category on the right; there is a slow cooker category.
Have fun with your new toy!
Chicken stock, pork shoulder, short ribs, aloo gobi, pibil. Pork shoulder especially if you just give it basic seasoning, you can turn it into burritos, tacos, bbq pork sandwiches ect by adding seasonings or sauces later.
My favorite slow cooker cookbooks are The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla and The Mexican Slow Cooker by Deborah Schneider.
Unlike others, I haven't had good luck with the crockpot365 recipes - maybe I picked the bad ones, but the 3-4 we tried were either meh or badly overcooked. Just keep in mind that when the crockpot is on "warm," it's still cooking your food...
A few other suggestions:
Shredded pork for burritos or pulled pork sandwiches: Slice a big onion and lay the rings on the bottom of the crock (sprayed with non-stick spray). Place a ~3 lb boneless pork loin on top. Pour in a can of root beer (or birch beer, or probably even cola). Cook for about 6 hours on low, then shred the meat.
Meatballs - http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/20... . I mix the sauce ingredients in the crock, then make and add the meatballs. I use crushed tomatoes and omit the wine (I prefer to drink it on the side!).
Taco chicken: bone-in, skin-off pieces + 1 packet of taco seasoning + 14-oz can of diced tomatoes (with liquid) + optional peppers and onions.