Monday, March 8, 2010

RECIPE: Bad Day Comfort Food Beef

I'm not saying yesterday was a bad day. It was actually an awesome day -- brunch with friends, a three-mile walk, and some Oscar dress-bashing. (Loved Cameron, hated Charlize.) And to top it off, I concocted a delicious pot roast recipe which I'm totally whipping out the next time I do have a craptacular day. I LOVE COMFORT FOOD.

Doesn't this just make you feel warm and fuzzy?

  • 2-3 lb. beef roast
  • 1 can of beef broth
  • 1 can of condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can of whole peeled potatoes, diced
  • 10 baby carrots, chopped
  • 1 package of dry onion soup mix
Brown the roast on all sides (I used a cast iron skillet on high heat; only took a minute or two). Throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. The juices from the meat will mix with the other stuff and make a killer gravy, so I recommend having some mashed potatoes or biscuits at the ready. You can always add extra carrots or potatoes. I might try substituting canned FO soup for the dry mix next time, just to have more gravy.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

RECIPE: Stroganoff...hehe.

I didn't take a picture of the stroganoff. Why? Because beef stroganoff kind of looks like barf. I posted a plea on Facebook to see if anyone could help me with the aesthetics, and one of my friends helpfully replied, "That's why you cover it with noodles." Gotcha.
  • 1 lb. beef cubes
  • 1 T. garlic
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. organic ketchup
  • 2 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can mushrooms
Throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6 hours or until the beef is fully cooked. Serve under egg noodles. Under. Okay?

RECIPE: Slow Cooker Piña Pork Quesadillas

I'll put pineapple in just about anything. It drives my husband crazy. Doesn't he know that eating pineapple is like taking your taste buds on a tropical vacation? (Dole, send me freebies. NOW.) I think it's the perfect addition to chicken, ham, rice, ribs, ice cream, cake, and pretty much every other food except maybe an Angus burger. (Won't knock it 'til I've tried it, though.)

So, I made these pineapple pork quesadillas for my in-laws over the weekend. And even my hubby had to admit they were the bomb. Welcome to Team Pineapple, babe!

The recipe:
  • 1-2 lb. pork loin
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup organic ketchup
  • 1 cup Newman's Own pineapple salsa
  • 2 T. A1 steak sauce
  • 2 T. Jack Daniels
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
Throw everything in the slow cooker and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. I flipped the pork loin halfway through to make sure it was cooking evenly and juicy all the way through. About 20 minutes before serving, shred the pork and return it to the sauce to let the juicy goodness sink in. Scoop into quesadillas -- I like using Mexamerica's ginormous burrito shells, and I heat them in our beloved cast iron skillet until they're just slightly golden. Dip in guac or more salsa. Or both.

Monday, February 8, 2010

RECIPE: Slow Cooker Chocolate Hot Mess

I got snowed in this weekend, so I decided to convert my boredom into a sugar rush. Pretty sure I gained two pounds in the process, but whatevs. I'm just stoked because I got to use the cocoa powder I accidentally bought in Holland, thinking it was hot chocolate. Oops.

This recipe is a two-parter, so put your domestic hat on...

1/2 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup water
2 T. cocoa powder
....and bring it to a boil.

1 box of brownie mix (I like the fudgy kind)
2 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup applesauce (this makes it healthy...right?)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chocolate chips
....and pour the batter into a greased slow cooker.

Dump the boiling sugar-goo over the batter, but don't mix it in. Cook the whole thing on HIGH for about two hours, but check it periodically so it doesn't overcook. Same way you'd check brownies -- stick a toothpick in it and see if it comes up clean. Really, this is just a hybrid of molten lava cake and fudge brownies. It ain't pretty, but if you serve it hot with ice cream, it's perfection.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

RECIPE: Easy-Cheesy Potatoes

Velveeta is like my bad-boy crush. I know it's wrong, but I can't resist. I was in a comfort-food mood last night, so these scalloped potatoes are full of bad choices. I'll do penance at the gym next week, I promise.
  • 2 cans of sliced white potatoes (low-sodium)
  • 6-8 slices of bacon
  • 1 cup shredded asiago cheese
  • a cup or two of cubed Velveeta (about 2/3 of the big bar)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
Fry the bacon; don't spill the fat on the hot burner and almost burn down your kitchen like I did. Shred it and add it to your slow cooker with all the other ingredients. Cook on LOW for 2 hours, or until the cheese is all melty. It may seem a little thin while it's cooking, but once you remove the lid and let it cool for a minute or two, the "pasteurized cheese product" will magically attempt to reconstitute itself, creating a thick, gooey sauce. Yum.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

RECIPE: Bootleg Chili

Some chili purists believe that real chili shouldn't have beans. But purity's never been my strong point. And when it comes to beans, my personal policy is: The more, the merrier. So here's my recipe for thick, meaty chili with just a little bit of kick -- not enough kick to put hair on your chest or anything, but enough to make it interesting.
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (or beef, if you want to keep it real)
  • 1 can kidney beans (Goya oh boya!)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes (I like Del Monte with zesty jalapenos)
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (14 oz) stewed tomatoes (I go for low-sodium)
  • 1 can (10 oz) Campbell's tomato soup concentrate
  • 1 1/2 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. minced garlic
  • 1/2 T. cumin
  • 1 t. crushed red pepper
  • pinch of black pepper

Brown the ground turkey, then add everything to your slow cooker. Cook on LOW for a couple of hours -- doesn't really matter, because the meat's already cooked. For me, 3 hours did the trick. I served it with Italian boule bread, but any carbolicious dipping tool will do!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

RECIPE: Biere Dip

There are few foods in the world I love more than French dip. Seriously. If you put Russian caviar next to a poorly-made French dip, I'd still pick the dip -- no question. So it was high priority for me to come up with a solid French dip recipe. And here it is.
  • 1 1/2 pounds of chuck roast, cubed
  • 12 oz of beer (I used Leinenkugel, but I bet an amber or a stout would be even better...)
  • 1 can of beef broth (low-sodium for me)
  • 1 package of onion soup mix (generic rocks)
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce (Kikkoman)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
Throw everything in the slow cooker on HIGH for 6 hours. Move the beef to a bowl and shred it with a fork; put the shredded beef on a roll.  Strain the little onion bits out of the broth, and make bowls of au jus for dipping. My hubby recommends a slice of cheese on the sandwich, but I can go either way. Tres delish, dude.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

RECIPE: Fakeyaki

I'm addicted to Chinese food but a total wok-o-phobic. Too easy to overcook the chicken, too easy to undercook the veggies. Not to mention, my inner health nut feels guilty super-soaking the pan with sesame oil. So I came up with this dish that takes about five minutes to prep, two hours to cook, and tastes like real teriyaki. You don't even have to invest in sake.
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup (I'm anti-HFCS)
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken breast, cubed
Throw the chicken on a cast iron skillet for about two minutes, so the outsides are white but the insides are still pink, then throw it in the slow cooker along with everything else. Whisk it up and cook on HIGH for two hours. Added steamed broccoli for the last 15 minutes of cook time (or add frozen broccoli halfway through). Serve over rice, obvi.