Tag Archive: crock pot


I made dinner with a blender and a crock pot! I’m not sure I’ve said that before.  🙂  

Last weekend I was looking for something new and different to make for dinner, something I could make ahead and re-heat for easy dinners on my late nights. I found this Plum-Sauced Chicken in Tortillas in my Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook.Plum-Sauced Chicken Tacos

I love plums but I’ve never had them with chicken, or anything savory, for that matter. The recipe sounded interesting, but the kicker was how easy it looked! This was the one to try.

I followed the recipe as written, but because I’m me, next time I will make a tweak or two. Chinese Five Spice Powder is a mixture of five spices used primarily in Chinese cuisine. It may include star anise, cloves, Chinese cinnamon, Sichuan pepper, fennel seeds, ginger root, nutmeg, turmeric, licorice, black pepper, mandarin orange peel or other spices. It can be a bit sweet, depending on the mixture in your particular jar. Mine is sweet, which I like. However, I will add more grated ginger next time for some pop. The fresh ginger mellows a little when it’s cooked.

I could only find a large can of plums, so I used half the can of drained plums and saved the remaining plums to throw in my morning protein shakes. I’ve never used tapioca before, and think the little beady things are cute, but if they get loose they roll all over your counters!

This is really an Asian chicken taco, and who doesn’t like tacos, right? Be sure to top them with the broccoli slaw or some bean sprouts or something crunchy that complements the chicken and tortillas.

I liked the flavor of this for something different! Sometimes I get in a cooking rut and a new recipe adds some spice. Or five spices, in this case.  😉 I don’t know that I’ll make it often, but it’s a nice change of pace from my usual flavor profiles.

This would be a great addition to a buffet menu. Your guests will be wondering what’s in them! They’re easy to throw together, easy to cook, and easy to clean up. Perfect-o!

Plum-Sauced Chicken in Tortillas

Slightly adapted from Better Homes & Gardens New Cookbook

Stuff you need:

16 ounces canned whole, unpitted purple plums, drained
1 cup hot-style vegetable juice
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
5 teaspoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 -3 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoons 5-spice powder
1 – 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs
6 x 7-8 inch flour tortillas
2 cups packaged shredded broccoli or packaged shredded cabbage with carrot

Now what?

Remove pits from plums. Place plums in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Add vegetable juice, hoisin sauce, tapioca, ginger, and 5-spice powder and briefly blend until mixed.

Transfer plum mixture to a 3 1/2 or 4-quart crockery cooker. Stir chicken into crockery cooker.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours, or high for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from cooker, reserving sauce.

Spoon about 1/3 cup from the chicken mixture onto each warm tortilla just below the center. Drizzle with the reserved sauce. Top each with 1/3 cup shredded slaw mix. Roll up Tortillas.

* To warm up tortillas, wrap a stack in foil. Heat in a 350 degree for 10 minutes to soften.

Crock Pot Jambalaya

Crock Pot JambalayaLike a little zip in your food? Then this just might be the thing for you!

I’d bought some andouille sausage and threw it in the freezer because I didn’t use it right away. When I found this recipe, I remembered that spicy sausage in my freezer and knew I had to try it!

This was a crazy-easy recipe! The hardest part was chopping the onion and green pepper. Other than that, everything is just tossed into the crock pot and then you wait. I even stuck the chicken in the crock pot when it was still frozen!

Easy enough, right?

And I’m sure you want to know if it was good. Well, here’s what The Pretty One had to say (excuse the texting language):

“What the [whoops!] did you put in this soup my mouth catches on fire every bite i love it

i couldn’t taste anything for a week [he’d been sick] then I ate this and flavor exploded in my mouth!”

How do you like that endorsement? I had to agree with him – it was really good!

Crock Pot JambalayaNow I’ve got to say if you aren’t a fan of spicy food, you can cut back the heat but still keep the flavor profile. You can reduce or eliminate the cayenne pepper, and cut back the Cajun seasoning. I’d still use 1 teaspoon Cajun / blackened seasoning for the flavor.

And you can always start mild and add more Cajun seasoning or cayenne later. Or pass those and everyone can add more spice if they like more of a bite.

Andouille sausage is a bit spicy, but I wouldn’t call it “hot.” It’s got great flavor so if you can handle some spice, I’d use it. If not, you can swap it out for regular smoked sausage.

This recipe is definitely a winner — great flavor with minimum effort. That’s how I like to cook!!

 

SLOW COOKER JAMBALAYA

Slightly adapted from Cats and Casseroles

Stuff you need:

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast [I used frozen chicken breasts and stuck them in the pot still frozen.]
1 pound andouille sausage, sliced [I used Eckrich or Johnsonville.]
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons dried parsley
2 teaspoons Cajun (blackened) seasoning
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 c instant rice

Now what?
Place all ingredients except rice in slow cooker. Cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken and shred. Return to crock pot.

Cook rice according to package instructions. Add rice, as desired, into each individual serving of jambalaya. Store rice separately from rest of stew.

Honey Peach Pecan Pork Roast

I was so excited to make this pork roast for my family, and it did not disappoint!

Pork is mild and lends itself well to a wide range of accompanying flavors from subtle to bold, sweet to spicy. Fruits, especially peaches, are a great complement to pork, and the Peach Jalapeno Sauce adds just enough heat to keep the sweetness from being overwhelming.

This is a wonderfully tender pork roast that is fancy enough for a special meal, yet easy enough for a “regular” dinner.  After pulling it out of the oven, my son-in-law asked for a knife to slice it — only to find that the meat was so tender it shredded with very little effort!

It doesn’t require many ingredients, and I thought it was easy to make. Pop it in the crock pot for 3-4 hours, put it in a roasting pan, spread on the preserve mixture and bake. While the roast is in the oven, heat up the Peach Jalapeno Sauce to serve on the side. Click for recipe.

We had some leftovers but not much, and The Pretty One quickly claimed those to take back to school. If I want leftovers next time, I’ll either use a larger roast or invite fewer people! I’ll also make a zippier sauce by adding more jalapenos. Or, since I love fresh ginger so much, I might sub freshly grated ginger for the jalapenos. Yep, Ginger Peach Sauce sounds like a winner!

 

Honey Peach Pecan Pork Roast

Adapted from CopyKat Recipes

Stuff you need:
1 medium to large pork roast or tenderloin [I used a 4 pound pork roast.]
4 C water (or enough to just cover meat) plus 1 chicken bouillon cube per cup of water OR 4 cups chicken broth
1/2 large onion (or 1 whole small onion)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp thyme
2 C peach preserves, divided
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. Real Lemon juice
1/2 C chopped pecans
1 Tablespoon chopped jalapenos or freshly grated ginger (optional)

Now what?
Place pork roast in crock pot and add enough water + bouillon or chicken stock to just cover meat.

Peel and chop garlic and onion and add to broth. Add thyme.

Set crock pot to high and allow to cook for no less than 3 hours (longer if meat is still frozen).

Remove meat to appropriately-sized baking dish. Add approximately 1/4 inch of broth. Keep the rest to serve on the side and use a little to keep the leftovers moist in the frig. Mix the honey, 1 cup peach preserves and lemon juice and cover top of meat using a basting brush. Sprinkle chopped pecans on top.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until glaze begins to crystallize, being careful not to overcook. Since the roast is fully cooked in the crock pot, only bake until the glaze begins to form a crust.

Remove from oven, let rest for 10-15 minutes, then slice. [My roast was so tender it shredded instead of sliced!]

Serve with Peach Jalapeno sauce or make gravy with the leftover broth.

Peach Jalapeno Sauce
Simmer 1 cup peach preserves with 1 Tablespoon chopped jalapenos. Stir often for 3-5 minutes. Taste and add more jalapenos for more heat. [I used jarred jalapenos but think fresh would have more of a kick.]