Saturday, June 12, 2010

Slow Cookin'

It was a good delivery day from Amazon. A new Capresso coffee maker to replace the Cuisinart that disappointingly died a much too early death, and more importantly a long awaited and much anticipated new slow cooker! Okay, maybe the timing isn't the best for slow cookery considering we've (finally) entered a string of 70+* days, but I have been so looking forward to getting this little bit of kitchen convenience. I've never been very Crock Pot-ish, but with C-boy and work taking up more of my time these days, it seemed time to take the plunge. I also didn't want to spend $100+ for one, and found good reviews and a great price (under $50 and free shipping) on this 6 quart Hamilton Beach model. So with that, what the heck should I cook with it? Any Let me know!


Queen of Cuisine said...

Pulled Pork!!! It's the best thing for the slow cooker- I like to make it over night so I have crazy pulled pork dreams all night (that sounds a little dirty) because the aroma overnight gets crazy!!! Just put your favorite spice rub on a pork shoulder for a few hours, and then throw that and some canned tomatoes, beef stock or beer, spices, carrots, onion, jalapenos and such in the pot for 10 hours. You won't be disappointed!! If you need a real recipe- just let me know, it's around here somewhere.....


Becky said...

I agree... roasts are good choices... I sometimes just dump a jar of salsa over a pork (or beef) roast, and make tacos that night, or a jar of pickled peperoncinis over beef roast to make sandwiches. Also pinto beans slow cooked all day is cheap and easy. I put crushed tomatoes, a chopped onion, a can of chopped jalapenos and some chili powder. I also like to put Adobo spice from Penzey's in too). Bean and cheese burritos, and enough to freeze for later easy meals! I've also made some pretty mean posole.

bb said...

QoC.....Pulled pork....mmmmmmm. When isn't that good! Thanks!!

Becky....thanks, too for the inspiration. I appreciate it!

Kea said...

It's a fall meal, but the following is pretty dang good!

Slow-Cooker Brisket and Onions
Serves 8
The leaner flat-cut brisket is the better choice for this recipe. The
thicker point cut is much fattier-a good thing on the grill, where the excess fat can drip away, but a disadvantage in a slow cooker, where the fat can make the sauce greasy. If you end up with an especially thick piece of
brisket, extend the cooking time to 11 hours.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 large onion (about 2 pounds), halved and sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
3 cloves garlic , minced
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (plus 1 teaspoon)
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 beef brisket (5-pound) flat-cut, trimmed of excess fat
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook onions, brown sugar, and 1-4 teaspoon salt until onions are golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and flour and cook until darkened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth and cook until sauce thickens, about 4 minutes. Off heat, stir in 2 tablespoons vinegar and transfer mixture to bowl.
2. Combine 1 teaspoon salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne in bowl. Using fork, prick brisket all over. Rub spice mixture over brisket and wrap tightly in plastic. Cover bowl with onion mixture with
plastic wrap. Refrigerate brisket and bowl with onion mixture overnight.
3. The next morning, add half of onion mixture to slow-cooker insert. Add thyme and bay leaves and place brisket, fat side up, on top. Spread remaining onion mixture over brisket. Set slow cooker to low, cover, and
cook until brisket is fork-tender, 9 to 10 hours (or cook on high for 5 to 6 hours). Turn cooker off and allow brisket to rest for 30 minutes.
4. Transfer brisket to cutting board, cut across grain into 1_2-inch slices, and transfer to serving platter. Tent with foil. Pour sauce into large skillet, discard herbs, and simmer over high heat until slightly thickened,
8 to 10 minutes. Skim fat, add remaining vinegar, then pour half of sauce over brisket. Serve with remaining sauce on side.

Kim said...

I agree with what Becky said, but wanted to add a little to the taco idea. I do the same thing, but near the end I add a little Catalina salad dressing. I know it might seem strange, but it is just the right finishing touch. Kind of like *brightening* up a dish with a little vinegar. Then I serve it in steamed corn tortillas with some Cojita cheese and a squeeze of lime juice. Very Summer-y.

bb said...

Kea...that sounds awesome. Thanks for posting the whole recipe. It is going to be made soon. Love the brisket!

Kim...thanks for your additional comment to Becky. Sometimes those old school dressing can do amazing things. Thanks everyone for your inspiration....keep it coming!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Sorry to include a link to my own blog (bad form in comments?!) but you really like this chicken with lemon & green olives recipe. A slow cooker can make chicken thighs melt in the mouth!

Kea said...

Since you asked, here's another. I adapted it from fragments given by the Little Red Bike cafe via your sister. It's great for porkoholics.

The following should work for ~7 lbs of pork shoulder without a fat cap.

Mix together
3 TBS each of table salt and white sugar.
2 TBS of brown sugar
2 TBS paprika (I used smoked one time, unsmoked another)
1 TBS each instant expresso, powdered ginger, fresh ground black pepper

Rub shoulder with about 4 TBS of Dijon-style stone ground mustard, just enough to make a thin coating. Sprinkle rub over the mustard, coating evenly. Arrange toothpicks to tent, then drape plastic wrap over shoulder and place back in the 'fridge for 12 hours or so.

Bring roast out of the fridge and let rest for an hour or two before putting it in the crock pot. Cover the shoulder with a whole med. Onion, chopped, and four cloves of garlic, peeled but otherwise whole. Add one bottle of ginger ale. Cook covered on low setting for 10 hours, then rest in fridge overnight. Defat then cook for another 3 hours or until you can't stand it anymore, whichever comes last! Tastes especially good when served with mashed potatoes.

Neil A said...

Hey Bruce, how is your new coffee maker working out? You like and recommend it?

bb said...

Thanks Kitty and just makes me hungrier reading your comments. Thanks again. I'll let you know how it all turns out! the new coffee maker. Works great, coffee tastes fantastic, especially when I brew a pot of Blue Kangaroo's ESP blend!

Lauren said...

Alton Brown's Slow Cooker Pepper Pork chops are fantastic. Served over polenta, it's my favorite crock pot recipe (besides the pulled pork, of course!) The polenta with the sauce and the apples/onions was one of my son's first favorite foods (at about a year old I think.)You brine the chops overnight (I use water instead of veg stock because I never have homemade and don't like the canned), then you sear them and put them in the crock pot over dried apples. Saute some onions in the pork searing pot, deglaze with chicken stock, add some thyme and pepper, and pour it all in over your chops. Cooks all day, smells divine, and tastes amazing! Reheats well too :)

**I add extra apples too, because they are so tasty. "Unsulfured dried apple rings" is what the package says on mine :)

Wandering Chopsticks said...

I have a Crock Pot pho recipe that's pretty popular with all the slow cooker folks. And the Vietnamese beef stew is good too.

bb said...

WC..l.thank you! I'll be looking it up, stat! If it's on your blog I know it's good ;)!