Saturday, December 31, 2005

Beef Stew

2 pounds cubed beef chuck
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/4-1/2 flour (depending on how thick you like your broth)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 1/2 cups beff broth
half garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
4 sliced carrots
2 chopped onions
1 rib celery, sliced
3 diced potatoes

toss meat in the crock
mix the flour, salt, peper and paprika together and then stir it into the meat until the meat is really coated.
put the rest of the stuff in and mix it well.
put the lid on and cook on low for 10-12 hrs or high for 4-6 hrs.
make sure you stir it before you serve it.
makes 6 servings.
goes really good with homemade sourdough bread.

Shredded Meat, Two Ways with Beer

Got this from a friend on the west coast. Beer lovers, the lot of them.

1 Tri Tip with the fat trimmed off. I pour half a bottle of any kind of beer over it. If I don't have beer I use some left over red wine. I cook it for about 6 hours on high. Drain off the juice and save it. Shread the meat with a fork and I'll pour a favorite bbq sauce over some of the meat and for those that don't like bbq sauce I use some of the reserved juice on the meat.

The other recipie I use is:

A package of boneless skinless chicken breast. I season them with some taco seasoning. Add a little beer or wine. When it's done I shread the chicken and add salsa to it and serve with warm tortillas.

Definitely going to try both of these recipes. That trip tip sounds especially yummy.

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Spinach and Artichoke Heart Casserole

Last night I prepared this recipe in our Rival Crock Pot. I forgot one ingredient, but everyone said it was great (and would be even better with that last touch).

Spinach and Artichoke Heart Casserole

16 Oz Noodles cooked to firm (try the healthy wheat spirals)
4 packets frozen spinach cooked and drained
2 6 Oz cans of Artichoke Hearts drained and chopped roughly
16 Oz Colby Jack Cheese grated
2 Cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
One whole white onion (cut thumbnail size and sautee in olive oil)
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
8 Oz Cream Cheese
2/3 cup milk

Blend Soup, onions, cream cheese, milk, and nutmeg in food processor

Layer cooked noodles, spinach, artichoke hearts, mixture, and cheese in crock pot. Reserve some cheese for top of casserole.

Cook 2-2.5 hours on high. Serves 8-10

Thursday, December 29, 2005

BBQ Beef

First, throw in a roast, some diced onions and a cup or so of water. Let it cook on low all day until the meat is done. While the sauce is cooking, drain it, shred the beef and put it back in the crockpot.

Next, make the sauce:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon mustard
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cube of margarine

Simmer the above for 10 minutes then add:

1 cup catsup
2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (can be found on condiment aisle)

Simmer for 10 more minutes then pour over your beef.

Salisbury Steak with Top Round

Salisbury steak doesn't have to be that rubbery thing that they served you in the high school cafeteria. Here it is made with top round and godo wine then and served over your favorite starch. Sounds delicious.

Dredge steaks in seasoned flour. Try paprika, parsley, pepper, onion and garlic powder and thyme, or your favorite seasonings.
Brown each side then put into crock pot.
Slice up one onion and saute in olive oil for about 3-5 min. Then add to crock pot.
Add garlic to pot and
Sump in 1 can beef broth and 1/4 c red wine
Add 1 tsp thyme and parsley flakes

Cover and cook on low until meat is tender about 4-5 hrs for our pot.
Serve with pasta, potatoes, rice or hot crusty french bread. Very nice on a cold night.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Crock Pot and Slow Cooker Food Safety

This document from Clemson has some important tips for cooking safely with your crock pot or other slow cooker.

To determine if a slow cooker will heat to a safe temperature:
  1. Fill cooker with 2 quarts of water.
  2. Heat on low for eight hours or desired cooking time.
  3. Check the water temperature with an accurate thermometer (quickly because the temperature drops 10 to 15° when the lid is removed).
  4. The temperature of the water should be 185 ° F. Temperatures above this would indicate that a product cooked for eight hours without stirring would be overdone. Temperatures below this may indicate the cooker does not heat food high enough or fast enough to avoid potential food safety problems.
I think I'll go home and try this tonight. I want to cook up some chili!

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Pork Chops Crock Pot Style

Place thick cut pork chops - seasoned lightly (salt, pepper, etc) - at the bottom of the pot. Layer red/yellow onions in large chunks on top of chops with garlic cloves 2 - 6 (depends on how much garlic you like) mixed in. Add layers of yukon yellow potato slices and cabbage.

Set on low about 6-8 hours, add potatoes after 3 1/2 hours.

Chicken Stew, South of the Border Style

Here's a lowfat, good-eating crock pot recipe.

2 cans beans, like kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, white beans, whatever you prefer
1 can corn
drain the beans and corn

1 can mexican flavor diced tomatoes or 16 oz of your favorite salsa
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (frozen works fine. I swear)

Dump everything into the crockpot and mix it around. Cook all day (about 8 hours on low). When you are about ready to eat, sprinkle on some shredded cheese and let it melt.

I take a couple of forks and break the meat up a bit. Serve with tortillas or tortilla chips and a salad.

This recipe came from a weightwatchers type website

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Product Review: Back to Basics: Egg & Muffin Toaster

I'll admit, it took a little while for me to warm up to the idea of adding another specialized kitchen appliance to our already limited counter space. But the Back to Basics: Egg & Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher won me over after reading assorted positive reviews.

If you are a frequent visitor to the Golden Arches for breakfast fare, this appliance will not only help you slim down from your fast food nation figure but it will save you money after only 20 uses. Figure it this way: a morning combo of Coffee, Potatoes, and Sausage and Egg McMuffin costs around $3.50 including taxes. Prepared at home your costs are $0.50 for gourmet coffee (ground Starbucks beans are expensive but tasty), one egg $0.10, two turkey sausage patties $0.50, and banana/fruit $0.40. Total cost $1.50. Plus you've cut out tons of fat grams. You're saving $2.00 a meal. Right now the Back to Basics: Egg & Muffin 2-Slice Toaster and Egg Poacher costs just $40.00. So in twenty meals at home you save the cost of the appliance.

The whole breakfast cooks up in about 4-minutes with a wonderful timing system that makes sure your eggs, sausage, and english muffin/toast finishes at exactly the same time. Cleanup is easy enough. But remember to use the cooking-spray. The device also makes hard-boiled eggs or just plain toast among other possibilities.

My recommendation is that you add this little wonder appliance to your kitchen counter today. You'll love the money savings, your friends will admire your new waistline, and you'll be able to use your mornings more efficiently.

BBQ style ribs

Some Recipes are simple;
"I put in country-style ribs, slice an onion over the top and pour on BBQ Sauce. Also, you can put in a roast covered with dry Lipton Onion Soup Mix. You can add carrots, onions and potatoes to that, too."

The same recipe in a slightly more complicated formula:

Monday, December 26, 2005

Character Actor, Cookbook Author Vincent Schiavelli Dies

Character Actor, Cookbook Author Vincent Schiavelli has died (imdb, wikipedia) from lung cancer at the age of 57. Primarily nown for his character acting (Brother Bruno in The Frisco Kid, the subway ghost in Ghost, Chester in The People Vs Larry Flynt) you might also have known him for his love of italian cooking and the stories associated with italian neighborhoods and food. He wrote a number of cookbooks that were also chock full of wonderful stories. He also appeared in a food show in 1999 entitled The Chefs of Cucina Amore where he revealed he was also an amazing cook and wonderful host.

This is sad news indeed and my best wishes go to his family and loved ones.

Simple Pot Roast Recipe

Super easy and tastes WONDERFUL:

2 cans cream of mushroom soup
1 1/4 cups water or beef broth (water really does work fine)
1 1-oz package Lipton dry onion soup mix

Mix well together in crockpot. Add:

5 lb pot roast

Turn it over so it's covered with the mixture. Cook on low setting for 8 hours. You can do 3-4 hours on higher setting, but I think the long one is better. I've even done this with the roast frozen when I put it in. It's very yummy.

You can throw in some new potatoes and carrot chunks, etc., about 3 hours before it's done if you want, and you have a 1-dish meal. (via)

Raison D'Etre

Why a recipe blog? Why a crock pot recipe blog? Am I stuck living in the 60s? Would Martha Stewart be caught dead cooking with one of these? Who knows. But I do know that I love food and I like cooking. I also like soups, stews, meat and potato dishs, and ethnic explorations and crock pots, electric skillets, and chafing dishes are perfect kitchen appliances for preparing such.

It turns out that long-term low-heat cooking really brings out the flavor in dishes. It also turns out that you can save a lot of money by using crock pots for cooking. The leftovers are easy to store and reheat. Appetizers, entrees, even desserts are within the pervue of this marvelous genre of appliances.

That said, I don't plan to stick to recipes just for crock pots, electric skillets, or chafing dishes. I'll branch out every now and then. We'll look at other kitchen appliances, fun recipes, good food, and good eats. While this blog is mainly a repository for recipes I've either tried or would like to try, I want to hear your favorite recipes as well. It will no doubt be an adventure for the ages.

So, let's get cooking.