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Showing posts with label Slow Cooker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Slow Cooker. Show all posts

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Hearty Chicken, Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili

Fall is my favorite time of year, especially so because I can get back to cooking.  With the weather finally cooling off, this is also the time of year I start thinking about making soups and chili.  And for the past 4 years, October has also been Soup Month here at HowDoYouCook.com.

For each of those 4 years my family and I would create 31 new soup, stew and chili recipes during the month of October.  So far we've compiled a pretty good archive of yummy recipes.  This year however, since my schedule has not allowed me the time to create a new soup each day, we are going to keep the soup tradition going with at least one or two new soups each week throughout the fall and winter months.  So fear not, the soup, stew and chili recipes will keep coming, just not all in one month! lol  Yes, I admit, I love soup!

To get us started we made a Hearty Chicken, Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili that brings several healthy ingredients together in one pot.  But before you think pumpkin = pumpkin pie, wait!  This is a savory pumpkin chili, no cloves or cinnamon at all.  Many people do not realize the delicious flavor of a savory pumpkin dish, so this is a great way to try this tasty squash in a different way.  And to make things even easier, this chili is made in the crock pot and the recipe is super simple!

The pumpkin creates a creamy, but healthy background for this soup,  then the chicken, black beans and vegetables add the heartiness of a chili.  All of this comes together for a great meal.  Enjoy!!

3 cups  Chicken Stock
1  medium  White Onion, chopped
1  large Yellow Bell Pepper, chopped
2 TB  Olive Oil
3 cloves  Minced Garlic
2 cans  Black Beans, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups  Cooked Chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 can  Solid-Pack Pumpkin
1 can  Petite Diced Tomatoes
2 tsp  Dried Parsley
2 tsp  Chili Powder
1-1/2 tsp  Dried Oregano
1-1/2 tsp  Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp  Salt

In a medium skillet saute the onion and yellow pepper in the olive oil over medium heat until just tender, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic to the skillet and saute 1 minute longer.

Transfer the vegetables to a 5-quart slow cooker, add all of the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Slow Cooker Autumn Butternut Squash Stew

For day 18 of Soup Month 2014 we made a Slow Cooker Autumn Butternut Squash Stew that is perfect for a chilly fall dinner.  This delicious, earthy stew is packed with cubes of butternut squash, potatoes, carrots and thinly sliced kielbasa sausage, that slow cook during the day so dinner will be ready and waiting for you when you arrive home.

There are a couple of small ingredients that add a huge boost of flavor to this stew and create a really remarkable broth.  Tiny pearl onions add a little sweetness to the stew, followed by just a bit of red wine vinegar for acidity, and the final touch, a teaspoon of herbs de Provence.

If you're not familiar with this herb blend, it is a combination of dried rosemary, marjoram, thyme and savory, and it's kind of the "secret ingredient" to many French meals.  I've tried this blend from several manufacturers and my favorite is McCormick's Gourmet Collection.  The herbs can be used to season many types of soups and stews and even works nicely in stuffing and salad dressing recipes, so it's a good spice blend to have on hand.

Serve this stew with simple baked dinner rolls and a glass of bold, fruity red wine, such as a 2010 Undici Sangiovese, for a perfect fall dinner.  Enjoy!!

1-1/2 lbs  Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium  Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2  Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 cups  Beef Broth
1 TB  Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1/2 tsp  Salt
1 tsp  Herbs de Provence
1 lb  Kielbasa, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
12 - 15  Frozen Pearl Onions
1/4 cup  Cold Water
2 TB  Cornstarch

Combine the butternut squash, potatoes, carrots, broth, vinegar, pepper, salt and herbs in the slow cooker.

In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, brown the kielbasa and onions until both are slightly browned on the edges, about 5 - 6 minutes.  Transfer the sausage and onions to the slow cooker, cover and cook on LOW until the vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.

During the last 20 minutes of cooking time, combine the water and cornstarch in a small bowl, then pour the mixture into the stew.  Mix gently with a spoon and heat until the stew has thickened, about 5 - 10 minutes.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Slow Cooker Italian Tomato Tortellini Soup

For day 12 of Soup Month 2014 we used our handy slow cooker to make this hearty Italian Tomato Tortellini Soup and the results were delicious.  If you're in need of a fast and easy "go-to" recipe for a weeknight dinner, this is the one.

With just a couple of simple ingredients, and a few hours to slow cook all of the flavors together, this soup tastes like something that must have taken hours to prepare, and it did, but the slow cooker does all of the work for you!

The slow cooking allows the vegetables and spices to blend into a delicious and flavorful broth, then the only thing left to do is add the frozen tortellini during the last hour of cooking and dinner is ready. Serve with a loaf of crunch bread and a side salad for a complete dinner.  Enjoy!!

1 28-oz can  Diced Tomatoes with Garlic, Basil and Oregano
32 oz  Chicken  or  Vegetable Broth
3  Green Onions, chopped
1  Green Pepper, chopped
1  Yellow Onion, chopped
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1 tsp  Garlic Powder
19 oz bag  Frozen 3-Cheese Tortellini

Combine the tomatoes, broth, green pepper, green and yellow onions, oregano and garlic powder in the slow cooker.  Heat on HI for 1 hour, reduce heat to LOW and cook for 3 - 4 hours.  (For all day cooking, set the slow cooker to LOW and cook for 6 hours.)

During the last hour of cooking, add the tortellini to the pot, cover and cook until the tortellini are tender, about 60 minutes, stirring once after 30 minutes.   Enjoy!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Creamy Crock Pot Potato and Ham Soup

For day 11 of Soup Month 2013, we pulled out the crock pot to make this Creamy Potato and Ham Soup.  There's just something so warm and comforting about potato soup.  The texture and creaminess of the soup just makes you relax and say Mmmmm while you enjoy every bite.  As a bonus, having all of the cooking done in a crock pot makes dinner even more enjoyable.

The ham is center stage in this soup adding a great layer of flavor and texture.  Before being added to the crock pot, the ham is lightly browned in a skillet with onion and a touch of butter to give each piece a lightly glazed flavor.

The potatoes and onions are shredded before being added to the crock pot, which allows them to gradually dissolve into the soup as they cook down.  The end result is a creamy potato texture, but with little bits of potato still visible in the soup.  Although you could puree the soup for a completely smooth consistency, I really enjoyed the little potato bits along with the ham.

Fresh spinach adds a little extra color and nutrients and creamy low-fat ricotta cheese adds a rich flavor without making the soup too heavy.  A sprinkle of fresh chives on top is all this soup needs before serving.  Enjoy!!

1 lb  Ham, diced
2 TB  Butter
1 medium  Onion, very thinly sliced
5 medium  Russet Potatoes, finely shredded (a food processor works great)
32 oz  Chicken Broth
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/8 tsp  White Pepper
2 cups  Fresh Spinach, washed and stems removed
1/2 cup  Half and Half
8 oz  Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
Minced Chives for Garnish

In a medium skillet, over medium-high heat, add the ham and butter, and sauté for 4 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.  Add the onions to the skillet and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to a crock pot.

Add the shredded potatoes, broth, salt and white pepper to the crock, cover and heat on HIGH for 5 hours or LOW for 7 hours.  Stir once halfway through the cooking time to break up the potatoes.

About 30 minutes before the soup is finished, add the spinach to the pot and stir.  Cook for 15 minutes, then add the half and half and ricotta to the pot.  Stir until the cheese is fully blended into the soup, cover and cook for the final 15 minutes.  Serve in soup bowls with a sprinkle of fresh chives.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Crock Pot Dijon-Beef Stroganoff

I don't use my crock pot nearly as much as I should, and I'm always reminded of that when a meal like this comes together so easily.  The next few months are going to be crazy busy around here, so  I'm going to do a little crock pot experimenting and see if I can come up with a few time-saver recipes that will make weeknight dinners a bit easier.

This is a great meal that we've made many times and it's perfect when you're in need of hearty comfort food. With a Dijon mustard and sour cream sauce, this crock pot version of Beef Stroganoff can be made with any type of beef, such as round steak, chuck, or even sirloin.  By using a crock pot, less expensive cuts of meat will cook low and slow and the results will be tender bites of beef that are loaded with slow cooked flavor.  So buy whatever cut of beef your local market has on sale this week and this great dinner will even be a bargain.

This meal takes about 15 minutes to prepare, then about 5 hours of cooking on LOW.  Adding the noodles and cream sauce during the last hour will bring all of those good flavors together.

1-1/4 lb  Sirloin, Chunk, Round Steak or other cut of Beef, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tsp  Olive Oil
2 tsp  Minced Garlic
6 oz   Portobello or Button Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thick
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1-1/2 TB  Soy Sauce
1 TB  Red Wine Vinegar
1-1/2 cups  Beef Broth
3/4 cup  Sour Cream
2 tsp  Dijon Mustard
1/4 tsp  White Pepper
1/2 tsp  Kosher Salt
12 oz bag  Wide Egg Noodles or Whole Wheat Noodles

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and heat until shimmering, then add the beef and saute for 3 minutes, stirring a few times.  Add the garlic, mushrooms and black pepper and saute 4 minutes longer, until the mushrooms are just softened.

While the beef and mushroom mixture is cooking, add the soy sauce, red wine vinegar and beef broth to the crock pot.  Turn heat to LOW and cover the pot while you finish the beef.

Pour the beef and mushroom mixture into the crock pot, replace lid and cook on LOW for 4 hours.

Near the end of the cooking time, boil the noodles in a large pot and cook until just al dente, but not fully cooked.  Drain the noodles.

Add the noodles, sour cream, Dijon mustard, white pepper and salt to the crock pot and stir very gently just to combine.  Replace the lid and cook for 30 minutes longer on LOW or until heated through.  Add salt or black pepper to taste.  Enjoy!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Crock Pot Chipotle Chili

I can't believe we are almost at the end of Soup Month.  We've made some delicious soups and stews this month, and today for day 29 of Soup Month 2012, we have a bold and spicy Crock Pot Chipotle Chili.  This chili offers an amazing combination of flavors including fire-roasted tomatoes, black beans, chipotle powder, and the surprise ingredient, unsweetened cocoa.  I know cocoa is not a very common ingredient in most chili recipes, but it adds amazing depth and a deep rich color to this dish and just makes all of the other ingredients come together beautifully. 

For a little added convenience, this chili is made in the crock pot, and it can be prepared start to finish in about 3 hours. 

Everyone at our house enjoyed this chili fixed their own way. With pasta or without, with cheese or sour cream or both, or even without any garnish, this was an excellent chili.  With the robust flavor, plus veggies, black beans and tender bites of sirloin, this chili with surely be on the menu for our upcoming football parties.  Enjoy!!

1 can  Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 15-oz can  Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 cup  Water
1 tsp  Ground Cumin
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1 TB  Smoky Chili Powder
1/2 tsp  Chipotle Powder
2 TB  Unsweetened Cocoa
1 TB  Olive Oil
1-1/2 lbs  Beef Sirloin, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 TB  Tomato Paste
1 small  Red Pepper, chopped
1 small  Green Pepper, chopped
1 medium  Onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1/3 to 1/4 cup  Cornmeal, as needed

In a large crock pot, add the black beans, tomatoes, water, cumin, oregano chili powder, chipotle powder, and cocoa.  Turn heat to HIGH and cook for 45 minutes.

While the chili begins to cook in the crock pot, you can saute the meat and vegetables.  Using a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering.  Add the beef to the skillet and stir to quickly sear the outside of the meat;  cook for 5 minutes.  Add the tomato paste to the beef and stir to combine, then add the peppers and onion and saute the beef and vegetables for 5 minutes.

Add the beef and vegetables to the crock pot and continue to cook on HIGH for 60 minutes.  Stir the chili and add salt and pepper, if needed.  Add the cornmeal to the chili and stir to fully combine the cornmeal.  Turn heat setting to LOW and cook for 60 minutes longer. 

Ladle chili into bowls and serve with sour cream and grated cheddar cheese for a garnish.  This chili is also great served over cooked pasta.  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crock Pot Chili Mac with Beer

As we continue with day 24 of Soup Month 2012, we have for you a quick to prepare Crock Pot Chili that is great for your upcoming fall football parties.  The beef we used for this chili was a tender beef shoulder roast which is ideal for the crock pot.  The longer cooking time and low temperature slowly tenderizes the meat until each bite is moist and full of slow cooked flavor.  The addition of a good Oktoberfest Beer during the last 90 minutes of cook time adds a wonderful burst of flavor that blends nicely with the beef and spices.

Total prep and cook time for this chili is about 4 hours, so you could easily start this on Saturday morning and it will be ready for the afternoon kickoff.  Enjoy!!

1 1/2 lbs  Beef Shoulder Roast, trimmed of all fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 tsp  Olive Oil
1 small  Red Onion, chopped
2 TB  Minced Garlic
1 cup  Beef Broth
1 8 oz can  Tomato Sauce
2 tsp  Cumin
1/2 tsp  Dry Mustard
1 tsp  Chili Powder
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 can  Diced Green Chilies
1 bottle  Oktoberfest Beer
1-1/2 cups  Dry Dreamfield's Macaroni

Heat oil in a large skillet, add beef and brown for 3 minutes over medium-high heat, then add the onion and garlic to the beef.  Continue to cook for 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender.

Pout the beef and veggies into a 6-quart crock pot and add the remaining ingredients through the green chilies.  Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 hours.

Add the beer and macaroni to the crock pot, stir to combine and cook for 1-1/2 hours longer on LOW.

Serve with chopped onion, grated cheese and sour cream as toppings.  Serve 6 - 8.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Savory Pumpkin Soup in the Crock Pot

For day 17 of Soup Month 2012, it's finally beginning to feel like fall and we have a perfect October-orange soup for you.  A creamy and Savory Pumpkin Soup that is made in the crock pot.  We served this soup as a side dish with garlic and herb roasted chicken thighs and it was a wonderful combination.

For me, the best thing about soup month is trying new foods and finding new tastes and textures that are just "wow", and that's what this soup turned out to be.  I wasn't sure about making a pumpkin soup.  After all, pumpkin equals pie, right?  Sweet and creamy, with all the fall goodness of cinnamon and nutmeg, poured into a flaky crust.  But wait!  This soup takes the best things about pumpkin pie and blends in a few savory ingredients like turmeric, onion and garlic to create a whole new twist on pumpkin.  For those of you not familiar with turmeric, it's the main component in most curries and adds a peppery flavor, a beautiful yellowish-orange color and a wonderful exotic scent to foods.  Turmeric also has many health benefits and I can't wait to try it in other dishes.

This soup was super easy to make.  Just toss everything in the crock pot, but hold the cream until the last hour of cooking.  Mix in the cream about an hour before you're ready to serve the soup and you'll be ready to go.  Adding a touch of sour cream or buttermilk as a garnish is the 'piece de resistance', and adds just that slight touch of sour that totally completes this soup.  I am a new fan of pumpkin soup, and I will gladly be experimenting more with pumpkin in a more 'savory' light.  Enjoy!!

28 oz can  Pumpkin Puree
5 cups  Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
2 medium  Carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium  Onion, chopped
1 stalk  Celery, chopped
2 tsp  Minced Garlic
1 TB  Brown Sugar
1 tsp  Molasses
2 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp  Turmeric
1/4 tsp  Allspice
1/4 tsp  Nutmeg
1/3 cup  Heavy Cream
Sour Cream or Buttermilk for Garnish

Place all ingredients, except the cream, in a large crock pot and turn to LOW setting.  Cook on LOW for 5 hours. 

Blend the soup using an immersion blender until smooth or you can use a regular stand blender, just work in batches as needed.  Stir in the cream and cook for 1 hour longer on LOW.

To serve add a dollop of sour cream or a few tablespoons of buttermilk to the top of the soup.  Serves about 6.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Coconut-Curry Sweet Potato Soup

Today for our next Soup Month recipe we have a creamy Coconut-Curry Sweet Potato Soup.  This is another great way to serve sweet potatoes and highlight the savory side of this delicious potato. 

These tasty orange potatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can include in your diet and here are a few reasons why.  Sweet potatoes are full of antioxidants, vitamin A and especially beta-carotene.  In order to absorb the most beta-carotene it is important to include a small amount of fat in the dish and in this case we used coconut milk, which adds a delicate sweetness to the soup.

To make the soup extra easy to prepare we used a crock pot to slowly steam /boil the ingredients.  The prep time was only about 15 minutes to peel and chop the veggies, toss everything into the pot, then a total of about 5 hours to slow cook. 

1/2 large Onion, chopped
2 medium Carrots, peeled and chopped
1-1/2 lbs Sweet Potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and chopped
1 tsp  Curry Powder
1 tsp  Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp  Freshly Ground Black Pepper
3 cups College Inn Thai Coconut Curry Culinary Broth
1 cup  Coconut Milk
Sliced Toasted Almonds for Garnish

In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, carrots, potatoes, curry powder, salt, pepper and broth. 

Cook on high for 60 minutes, turn setting to low and cook for 4 hours longer.

Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, add the coconut milk and adjust seasonings as needed.  (You can also use a standard blender for this step, just work in 2 or 3 batches to puree the soup.) 

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a sprinkle of sliced toasted almonds.  Enjoy!!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Crock Pot Spaghetti Sauce

Someone asked me if there were any foods that I don't cook from scratch.  They meant this in a joking manner, but I had several foods that quickly came to mind. Spaghetti sauce and tomato sauce are two of them.  I have to tip my hat to all of the Italians out there who gather up dozens of tomatoes, steam the skins off of them and spend hours in the kitchen stirring and seasoning their wonderful sauces. Somehow, even though I have tried to make my own tomato sauce, I just don't have the time and patience to do it.  What an exhausting project!

On the other hand, if you're serving spaghetti, you're going to need some sauce, so off to the store you go.  In our grocery there are no less than 15 different varieties of pasta sauce.  Each contains tomatoes and spices, some have meat or cheese, and one even claimed vodka as its' secret ingredient.  The main ingredient that all of the sauces share is sugar, and a lot of it, up to 10 grams per serving.

Although tomatoes naturally contain some sugar, additional sugar is not necessary.  Adding sweet onions and green peppers to your sauce will deliver a fresh flavor with just a touch of sweetness.

As far as cost, the above mentioned sauces ranged in price from around $1 for the bargain can, up to $7 per jar. ( $7 for a jar of pasta sauce!! That's just crazy!)  To save yourself  a bunch of money and serve a pasta sauce that's much healthier, look for sales on large cans of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce or tomato paste.  These are all you need to create the base to a wonderful spaghetti sauce.  Next, pull out the crock pot or slow cooker and a handful of Italian spices, an onion and some green pepper and you're on your way to a delicious dinner.  Prep for this meal is only about 20 minutes and the crock pot will take care of the rest.  Enjoy!!

1 lb  Italian Sausage
1/2 lb  Ground Sirloin
1 medium  Yellow Onion, chopped
1 large Green Pepper, chopped
12 Baby Portobello Mushrooms, chopped
1 28 oz can Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Oregano, drained
1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
2 TB  Minced Garlic
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
2 tsp  Onion Powder
1 tsp  Salt
1/2 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
Regular or Whole Wheat Spaghetti, cooked

In a large skillet brown the sausage and ground beef until fully cooked.

Pour the cooked sausage and beef into a slow cooker followed by the chopped onions, peppers and mushrooms, then add all of the remaining ingredients.  Cook on LOW for 6 - 8 hours and serve over cooked pasta with a sprinkle of shaved Parmesan cheese.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Crock Pot Chili

Back to Super Bowl Foods today, we have a super easy batch of Chili in the crock pot.  Serving a pot of chili for a party will save you a lot of time since the cooking is done before the guests arrive and will allow you to enjoy the party with your guests.

This is a more tomato-based chili than I have made in the past and I was not sure if my family would give this dish a thumbs up or not.  But, to my surprise, the kids liked this version even more.  It may have been the sweetness of the tomatoes or maybe the not-too-spicy seasonings, but this got rave reviews and, as a bonus, it saved me a lot of time by cooking with the crock pot!  The spice mixture makes enough for about 3 batches of chili so be sure to save the mix in an airtight container to use for your next batch of chili!  You can also make this dish with a little more of the spice mix if you like a more spicy chili.

As an extra bonus, this chili will also be great on top of Chili Hot Dogs!

Seasoning Mix
4 TB  Chili Powder
2 tsp  Ground Coriander
2 1/2 tsp  Ground Cumin
1 1/2 tsp  Garlic Powder
1 1/2 tsp  Onion Powder
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp  Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp  Black Pepper

2 lbs  Lean Ground Beef
1 small Onion, finely minced
1 28-oz can  Crushed Tomatoes
1 15-oz can  Chili Beans in Medium Sauce

In a small bowl, mix together dry spices;  set aside.

In a large skillet, cook ground beef until cooked through and drain.  Add the onion and 3 teaspoons of the seasoning mix.

In the crock pot, add tomatoes, beans and 2 more teaspoons of the seasoning mix.  Stir to combine, then add the ground beef to the crock pot, stir again, and cook on LOW for 6 - 8 hours.

Crock Pot Chili for Hot Dogs

Cooking Bonus and Time-Saver!  The best thing about making chili, soups or stews is...leftovers! 

The Crock Pot Chili was so yummy on the hot dogs we wanted to add this picture.  By making chili one night you easily have dinner ready for another night.  Chili freezes well in freezer bags, just spoon chili into bags, lay flat in freezer and use within about 3 months.

NOTE:  If serving Chili Dogs for a party, use another crock pot filled about 1/3 deep with hot water to heat the hot dogs and then keep them warm during the party.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crock Pot Guinness Beef Stew

This is a hearty meal that you can make in the crockpot and it's ready to eat when you arrive home after work.

4 TB Olive Oil
1-1/2 - 2 pounds Boneless Beef Chuck, cut into 1" pieces
1/4 cup Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 large Onion, chopped
1 - 2 Baking Potatoes or 5-6 Red Potatoes, chopped
3 large Carrots, coarsely chopped
3-4 cloves Garlic, minced
1 16-ounce Guinness Stout
1 TB Worcestershire Sauce
1 1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
1 15.5-oz can Beef Broth
3 TB Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl toss meat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and pepper, tossing to coat all pieces. Arrange the meat in a single layer in the heated skillet. Cook about 2-3 minutes per side, just browning the outside.

Next, toss the onions, potatoes, carrots and garlic into a crockpot. Pour the Guinness and Worcestershire sauce over the veggies, sprinkle the thyme on top, and drop in the bay leaf. When all your meat is browned, place it in the crockpot, on top of the veggies.

Return the skillet to the stove and pour in the can of beef broth. Stir in the tomato paste, and use a wooden spoon to scrape the browned bits on the bottom of the pan into the broth. Those flavorful brown bits add a lot of flavor to this stew! Add the beef broth mixture to the crockpot, and top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.Stir gently to combine.

Place the lid on the crockpot and set on LOW for 7 - 8 hours or on HIGH for about 5 hours. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Crock Pot Split Pea & Ham Soup

Serve with garlic toast or crusty french bread and a salad for a delicious and healthy meal.

2 TB Butter
12 - 14 oz Smoked Cooked Ham, diced (or Ham Bone with Meat)
1 medium Onion, chopped
2 cans (14.5 oz each) Chicken Broth
1 quart Water
16 oz dried Split Peas, sorted and rinsed
2 to 3 medium Carrots, diced
2 ribs Celery, sliced
2 large Potatoes, cubed
1/2 tsp Dried Marjoram Leaves, crumbled
1 Bay Leaf

Place a skillet over medium heat; add butter, ham, and onion, cook until onion is tender and ham is slightly browned. Combine ham mixture and remaining ingredients in slow cooker.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 - 8 hours, or until split peas are tender. Remove bay leaf before serving.
Serves 8.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New England Seafood Chowder

Leeks are related to onions and scallions but have a mild and sweeter flavor. Look for leeks that are firm and straight with dark leaves and for the best flavor choose leeks that are less than 1-1/2 inches in diameter. 

Store unwashed and untrimmed in the refrigerator until ready to use. Wrap loosely in plastic bags and Leeks will stay fresh for 1 - 2 weeks.

* Slow Cooker Recipe *

2 Leeks, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced (use white & light green only)
4 - 5 medium Red Potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 (11 oz) can Corn, drained
1 (10 oz) can Condensed Cream of Celery Soup
1 2/3 cups Water
1 Bay Leaf
1/4 tsp Dried Thyme
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
10 oz Cod Fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces
10 oz Raw Large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup Milk
6 Slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled

Place leeks, potatoes and corn in a 4 quart or larger slow cooker. Add soup, water, bay leaf, thyme and cayenne and mix gently.

Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours until potatoes are tender. Add seafood about 20 minutes before serving; heat until fish is just cooked through. Remove the bay leaf and gently stir in milk. Remove from heat.

Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with bacon pieces.  Serves about 6 - 8.