Crock pot cuisine brings slow cooking to a hectic life

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Anyone with children knows how busy family schedules can get. We have friends that keep very busy with baseball and softball schedules, church responsibilities and various other family obligations. Time is a premium. In a recent conversation, one of my friends asked me if I could get her a few crock pot recipes to help her with evening meal preparations. I have shared only a few here today, but there is an endless list of crock pot recipes on the Internet. With winter just around the corner, these recipes would also be good to have on hand year-round.

Barbecue Pork

4 pound pork butt

1 large sliced onion

4 chopped garlic cloves

1 tablespoon pepper

2 cups barbecue sauce

In crock pot, lay onions on bottom then place the pork butt on top. Add garlic and pepper. Fill the crock pot up halfway with water. Place on low heat for 8 hours. Drain off juice and break down meat into small pieces with a fork. Add barbecue sauce and let simmer for 1 hour.

Crock Pot Carne Asada

3 pounds beef stew meat

2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies

Salt and pepper, to taste

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoons oregano

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup water

1 diced bell pepper

Place stew meat, 1/4 cup water, salt and pepper in crock pot. Turn heat to high and let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Drain juice from tomatoes into measuring cup. Add tomatoes, garlic and onions to crock pot; stir and let simmer on high for 30 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, and chili powder to crock pot and stir. Blend juice and enough water to equal 1 1/2 cups liquid and flour. Stir into meat/veggie mixture. Let cook on low for 3 to 4 hours until sauce is nice and thick. (If you like runnier gravy, three hours is good). Serve with warm flour tortillas.

Crock Pot Meat Loaf

2 1/2 pounds ground beef

1/4 cup ketchup

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 egg

1 cup breadcrumbs or crushed crackers

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 small onion (diced)

1/4 cup water

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Form into a meatloaf shape that will fit into your crock pot. Cut a strip of foil and place under the meatloaf in crock pot. Cut it long enough to cover the bottom and sides of meatloaf. Place meat loaf in crock pot and top with an additional 2 tablespoons ketchup. Cover and cook on low for approximately 8 hours.

Easy Crock Pot Chicken & Stuffing

4 boneless/skinless chicken breast halves

1 can cream of celery soup or cream of mushroom soup

1/3 cup milk

1 package seasoned stuffing mix with seasoning packet (we use Stove Top)

1 1/2 cups water

Salt and pepper to taste

Place chicken in crock pot. Combine soup of choice and milk and pour over chicken. Combine stuffing, seasoning packet, salt and pepper (if using) and water. Mix well. Spoon the mixture the over the chicken and soup. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Roll-Ups

1-1/2 pounds boneless chicken breasts

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup chicken broth

1 small onion, diced

1/4 cup canned jalapeno peppers, sliced

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves

2 tablespoons heavy cream or milk

6 flour tortillas (7 to 8 inches)

6 thin slices American cheese

Cut chicken into strips. Coat chicken with 1/2 cup of flour mixture and salt. Melt butter in large skillet. Brown chicken strips 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place chicken into crock pot. Add chicken broth to skillet scraping up browned bits. Pour broth mixture into crock pot. Add onion, jalapeno peppers and oregano. Cook on low 7 hours or on high 4 hours. Mix 2 tablespoons flour and cream in small bowl to form a paste. Stir into chicken mixture; cook on high until thickened. Spoon chicken mixture onto center of flour tortillas. Top with cheese slice. Fold up tortillas and serve.

Serves 6.

Crock Pot Chicken Cacciatore

1 large onion, sliced thinly

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 pounds boneless chicken breast

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste

1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

8 ounces mushrooms

1/2 teaspoons salt

1/4 cup dry white wine, water or white grape juice

1/4 cup water

Place the onion in the bottom of the crock pot. Place chicken on the onion. Mix together tomato paste, mushrooms, salt/pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, wine and water in a bowl. Pour mixture over chicken and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Serves 4.

Crock Pot Chicken Cordon Bleu

3 chicken breasts skin & bone

3 Swiss cheese slices, halved

3 ham slices, thinly sliced, halved

2 tablespoons margarine

1 can cream of mushroom soup

3 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoons seasoned pepper

Flatten chicken breasts with wooden mallet. Cover each half breast with a slice of cheese and ham. Secure with toothpicks. In skillet, brown chicken in hot margarine. Arrange in crock pot. Combine soup and remaining ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 5 hours.

Crock Pot Beef Tips

1/4 cup margarine

2 pounds sirloin of beef cut into cubes

3/4 cup white wine

1/2 cup water

1 clove garlic, minced

2 (10 ounce) cans golden mushroom soup

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

Cooked noodles

Heat margarine in skillet. Add beef and brown on all sides. Place into slow cooker, add wine, water, garlic, soup and onion. Cook for 6 hours on low. Serve over noodles. Serves 8.

I am all out of room so will bring this to a close. Have a wonderful week, and until next time, happy cooking.

Susan McClanahan is administrator at the Cape Girardeau Senior Center. Send recipes to her at smcclanahan@semissourian.com or by mail at P.O. Box 699, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63701. Recipes published have not been kitchen-tested by Southeast Missourian staff.

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