Friday, February 28, 2014

Crockpot, Teach Me Your Ways

Here I go again with another crockpot recipe. I've tried several and I always end up with a unicolored stew; it tastes alright the first night but once it goes in a Tupperware the party is over. Some of my past failures have been:
Image courtesy of flickr

Feijoada
Black beans and rice
Cheese and ale soup
Pot roast

Etc.

But this time is going to be different, I say as I go to the store, load up on unlikely ingredients and cast them all into my cauldron. Maybe that's the problem - probably I need to dress up as Hermione and find Bezoars and junk like that. Or I need to Snape to oversee the process. Yes, that's it; I need Snape as a sort of magical Gordon Ramsey to yell at me while I brown the meats. 

Because, you see, I love the idea of crockpots. Everything goes in, like the Sneetches, to the pot around 9 am. Six hours later, the house smells heavenly and Accio Dinner. Take that, Polar Vortex!

Not how it turns out, however. The Feijoada was a pain to put together, and during the process there was a strange smell as the ingredients combined. With enough wine we were able to eat the stuff, but the leftovers (and there were plenty) went into the trash.

No, my crockpot is more of a warming device than a cooking device, as anyone who has had my sausage and peppers can tell you. Roast those sausages, sauté the onions and peppers, and throw it all in with plenty of EVOO and Frank's Hot Sauce. Add rolls from a real Italian bakery and some football = culinary heaven.
Image courtesy of flickr

But see, that's not really cooking. It's more cut and paste or combining some ingredients. I want to have casseroles! Soups! Other warm stuff I can't think of right now!

Okay, I'm going to try it again this weekend with this chicken recipe, courtesy of southernfood.com. I like it because it's all fresh ingredients without processed stuff. Cross your fingers it makes it past the Tupperware stage.

Chicken and Broccoli Casserole Recipe, Slow Cooker

 This chicken and broccoli casserole is easy to prepare and cook in the slow cooker. A homemade creamy sauce completes this tasty casserole. It makes a terrific meal with rice or noodles.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
Ingredients:
· 4 c. cubed cooked chicken or turkey
· 1 (4 oz.) can sliced mushrooms, drained, or use fresh mushrooms
· 1 (5 oz.) can sliced water chestnuts (I'm going to leave those out, but that's just me.)
· 1 (10 to 12 oz.) pkg. frozen chopped broccoli, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
· 1/2 cup chopped onion
· 1 cup Sauce (below)
· Paprika
· .
· Sauce:
· 1/4 c. butter
· 1/4 c. flour
· 1/2 tsp. salt
· 1/4 tsp. pepper
· 1 c. chicken broth
· 1/2 cup evaporated milk
· 2 tbsp. cooking sherry
Preparation:
Spread half the chicken in the slow cooker or Crock Pot. Top with the mushrooms, water chestnuts, onion and broccoli. Arrange remaining chicken on top. Cover with sauce (directions below). Sprinkle with paprika. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or high for 2 to 3 hours, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Sauce Instructions: Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Blend in flour, salt, and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in wine. Makes about 2 cups.

I'll let you know how this turns out; meanwhile, if any lovely readers have great crockpot recipes to share, please let me know and I'll put them up as well. 



7 comments:

Karen Pokras Toz said...

I love my crockpot!! I am the world's WORST cook (no joke) but I can throw anything in the crock pot and 6-8 hours later magic happens. I have no recipes. It's honestly just whatever fresh meats I have mixed with whatever canned soup/seasonings/veggies I have. A favorite with my kids is cut up chicken with cream of mushroom soup & black-eyed peas ... or cut up chicken with a jar of salsa (the kind with corn & beans) ... EASY. Then cook up some egg noodles. I use mine at least once a week. Chili is great too - just throw everything in and forget about it. Good luck!

Alison DeLuca said...

You interest me strangely with this chicken / salsa idea. SO going to try that.

Karen Pokras Toz said...

Seriously - how much easier can it possibly get?

Catherine Stine said...

Yum, great recipes to stay warm in this late-winter weather.

Alison DeLuca said...

Maybe Karen will make us a crockpot dish when we go and have our writers' weekend, Catherine!

Karen Pokras Toz said...

Wait what is this writers' weekend you speak of? If I bring my crockpot am I invited?

Alison DeLuca said...

I have fantasies of a writing weekend with my friends... wouldn't it be fun?