Goodcookbecky's Blog

Letting the juices of life (or food) drip from my chin!


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Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls

img_4384You know when you take that first bite and there is an instant party in your mouth that has you in love instantly?  Well, this recipe falls into that category. What is not to love? A kick of spice with warm flavor of cumin over seasoned rice with black beans and minced jalapeno and cheese with a lovely green chili sauce and a squeeze of lime! Hey, I left out the fact there is chicken in that — fall apart chicken because you make it in the crock pot!  Yes, it is love all around!

I found this gem of a recipe at budget bytes it is friendly on the budget and yummy to the taste buds!  Here is my slight adaptation. Originally called Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken Verde Bowls… to me the salsa belonged with the verde… but either way it is a keeper!  I used slightly more chicken and upped the spices as a result.

Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Chicken Bowls

adapted from budgetbytes.com | Serves 6-8 | Prep time 15 minutes.  Cook time 4-8 hours (depending if on high or low)

Ingredients:

  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3 lbs total)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of black pepper
  • 1 (17 oz) jar Goya Brand Salsa Verde

Instructions:

Slice the onion into rings and place in the bottom of the crock-pot (I like to use a liner in mine, because it makes clean up much easier, and the food does not stick to the sides)

Add chopped bell peppers and place the large chicken breast on top of the veggies.  Season with cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Pour the Goya Salsa Verde over the chicken.  Cover the crock-pot with the lid and turn to high for 4 hours (8 on low).

My chicken was actually cooked through at 3 hours and I removed the chicken breasts and cut them into bite sized pieces and put them in a serving dish.  I poured the sauce and peppers and onions over the diced chicken.  Ready to serve!

Additional ingredients:

  • hot cooked rice (I seasoned mine with a tablespoon of lime juice and 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro, chopped)
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed, drained and heated
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and mined finely
  • shredded Mexican cheese (like Oaxaca or Queso Fresco)
  • 1 lime, cut in quarters
  • fresh chopped cilantro

Layer your bowl with cooked rice and beans and serve a ladle full of chicken with salsa verde sauce over the top.  Garnish as desired with jalapeno, cheese, cilantro and a squeeze of lime.  Enjoy!

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originally at http://www.budgetbytes.com/2016/09/slow-cooker-salsa-verde-chicken/

 


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Slow Cooker Sweet Fire Chicken

IMG_2397I love the Sweet Fire Chicken that is served at the chain Panda Express, and I found this Slow-Cooker recipe at another blog site: Creme de la Crumb (link).  On a day when temperatures are hovering around 100, I had no interest in heating up my kitchen by turning on the oven or standing over a hot stove.  I steamed some Jasmine Rice to go with this dish.  I did like this dish a lot – I used only 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, since my children were also eating and did not want them to be overwhelmed by the spices, but I think you certainly could use the full 2 teaspoons in the original recipe if you like a little kick.  I think it would be closer to the original cooking it over a wok, but this is not bad! Not bad at all!  I will make it again!  This could easily be made ahead and popped into zip- lock bags and put in the freezer for the days when you have no time to cook.  Just thaw and put in the crock pot! Now the recipe:

Slow Cooker Sweet Fire Chicken

adapted from Creme de la Crumb

Serves 6 | Cook time 4 hours

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can pineapple chunks, drained

Sauce:

  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp sweet red chili sauce (I used May Ploy Sweet Chili Sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Finish with:

  • 4 Tbsp cold water
  • 3 Tbsp corn starch

Instructions:

Place a crock pot liner in your slow cooker. (This is something I only recently discovered and love the ease of clean up).

Put the diced chicken breast, red bell pepper pieces and pineapple in the slow cooker.

In a medium bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and pour into the chicken, stir.  Cover with a lid and turn on to high for 4 hours.  30 minutes before serving, combine the cold water and cornstarch and pour over the chicken.  Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes.  Stir and serve over steamed rice.

Thank you Creme de la Crumb for this wonderful recipe.  It is an instant favorite already!

I discovered  May Ploy Chili Sauce on a family vacation to Hawaii and was pleased to discover it for sale in my local supermarket – it may be in your Asian ingredients section of your supermarket.

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Pulled Pork

IMG_6426There is something about shredded pork that is very comforting, but sometimes finding the right recipe is key.  I have made pulled pork in the past and it ended up greasy and bland.  I discovered this recipe on CHOW.  I was very happy with the results of this one.  We enjoy pulled pork on soft hamburger rolls with a good barbecue sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar).  This one is easy as it cooks in a crock pot.  I don’t know why I have not used the liners you can buy to line your crock pot before, because it makes clean up a snap!  In the original recipe they reduced the sauce and served it with the shredded pork.  I found the pork plenty tender and moist and adding barbecue sauce to it also adds flavor, but my husband did also enjoy it just by itself.

Pulled Pork

Serves 6-8 adapted from Chow.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 sweet onions, sliced (like Maui, Walla Walla or other)
  • 6 cloves of garlic sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth

FOR THE RUB:

  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 (4 1/2- 5 lb) Pork Shoulder (also called Pork Butt)

additional ingredients:

  • 2 cups barbecue sauce or as needed

Instructions:

Place a crock pot liner inside your crock pot.  Place the sliced onions and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot.  This will help season the meat as well as keep the meat from sitting in excessive moisture.  Pour the chicken broth over the onions.

Combine the ingredients for the rub and rub all sides of the pork shoulder (pork butt).  Place the pork roast on the bed of onions.  Cover with the lid and cook on high heat for 6 to 8 hours.

Remove the roast after it is cooked and shred the meat using two forks and pulling in opposite directions, removing any excessive fat from the meat.  I had a lot of seasoning on the fat cap, which had a lot of flavor that I did not want to lose.  I rubbed the seasoned side of the fat into the shredded pork to get as much flavor back into the meat and then discarded the fat cap.  I am glad I did this step. It added the flavor that was needed.

Serve the pulled pork with your favorite barbecue sauce and on soft hamburger buns.  Top the pulled pork with coleslaw if you desire.

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Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Sauce

IMG_2817I recently watched America’s Test Kitchen’s episode of crock-pot recipes.  Their slow cooked pork tenderloin really caught my eye.  I made it and it is quite delicious.  The classic tastes of pork and cranberry really work together.  It is an easy recipe too, sometimes the recipes that America’s Test Kitchen’s put out are a little fussy- this one is not! I doubled the recipe because I wanted to share some with a friend.

My pork tenderloin looked like it was one large piece, but it was two smaller pieces, I tied them together, but this is optional, I think it would be fine with a few smaller ones.  The meat falls apart in this preparation.  I will be making it again.

Crockpot Pork Tenderloin with Cranberry-Orange Sauce

Serves 10-12 Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages pork tenderloin (unseasoned)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cans whole berry cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (Craisins)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 strips of orange peel (peeled with vegetable peeler avoiding the white pith)
  • 4 Tbsp cold water
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch

Preparation:

Pat the pork tenderloin and season with salt and pepper

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil.  Brown the seasoned pork tenderloin on all sides for about 10-15 minutes total.

In the crock-pot, add the cranberry sauce, dried cranberries, orange juice, cinnamon and orange peel.  Stir to combine.  Add the browned pork to the crock-pot. Cover with a lid and cook on low for 4 hours.  Remove the pork tenderloin to a platter and cover with foil.  Pour the cranberry-orange sauce into a skillet and add a slurry of water and cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Serve with rice and carrots or other vegetable to round out the meal.

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Savory Pork Roast

On the topic of crock pot meals… here is another recipe from the current “Fix-It and Forget-It” Magazine that is available until 4/12.  It called to me because it sounded very German!  Pork and Sauerkraut with caraway is a classic German combination! This one is easy to make and very yummy indeed.  Be sure to drain the Sauerkraut, but don’t rinse it – it will add flavor to the roast.  After removing the pork and sauerkraut, the sauce is thickened in the end with a slurry of cornstarch.

I will make this again.  I served it with wide egg noodles and peas.  I used a pork shoulder roast, but you could use one that is less fatty.  The good thing about pork shoulder is that it really falls apart after long cooking times without being overly dry. Another change I made, was seasoning the pork with salt and pepper before browning it.  It added a touch I think that was needed.

Savory Pork Roast

adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Magazine (2012 issue) p 29

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lb pork roast (boneless is preferred, but bone in pork shoulder works as well)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 jar Sauerkraut, drained (I liked Nathan’s New York Style Kosher)
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 3/4 cup water

Thickeners:

  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water

Instructions:

Season your pork roast with salt and pepper on all sides and heat a large pot over medium high heat.  Add vegetable oil to the pot and then proceed browning the pork roast on all sides, turning the roast about every 4 or 5 minutes.

Once the roast is nicely browned on all sides, place it into your crock pot.  Sprinkle the minced garlic over the top of the roast and top with sliced onions, drained sauerkraut (but not rinsed) and caraway seeds.  Pour the water around the outside of the roast.  Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low heat.

Remove the cooked pork and sauerkraut to a large platter and strain the cooking liquids.  Place just the liquids back into your crock pot.  In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and cold water and stir to combine.  Add the cornstarch slurry into the cooking liquid.  Cover and cook for about 15 minutes to thicken the sauce, stirring occasionally.  Serve the gravy with the meat.

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Salmon with Creamy Herb Sauce

I recently picked up a copy of Fix-It and Forget-It slow cooker magic.  You should be able to find a copy until April of this year (04/12).  They had several recipes that caught my eye.  I liked the look of this recipe but I adapted it to serve 6 (not 4), so the sauce ingredients are doubled and instead of 4 pieces of salmon I used 6.  I also changed a few ingredients in the sauce.  I thought there was too much mustard, so I reduced that and I increased the sour cream and added a dash of Worcestershire sauce to give it that last oomph that it needed.  I was afraid that cooking the salmon in a crock pot would make my whole house smell fishy.  It was not the case.  I think I found some very fresh salmon, which I am sure helped keep it from smelling too fishy.

Salmon with Creamy Herb Sauce

adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Magazine (4/12) p. 70

Serves 6

Crock Pot Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 large lemons, sliced
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups chicken broth (or 1 cup white wine/1 cup chicken broth)
  • 6 (6 oz) skinless salmon fillet (1 inch thick)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Sauce ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (or reduced fat if you like)
  • 5 Tbsp sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:

Place the first 4 ingredients into the crock pot and pour the chicken broth over them.  Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 2 hours.

In the meantime, season the salmon with the garlic salt and red pepper flakes.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is time to add the salmon.

Prepare the Creamy Herb sauce:  Combine the ingredients listed and stir together.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

When the two hours are up for the lemon slices.  Carefully place the salmon on the lemon slices.  Cover the crock pot and cook on high for 30-45 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.  Remove the salmon to a platter and discard the liquids.  Serve the salmon with the creamy herb sauce.  Good with steamed rice and broccoli.

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Chili

In my quest to find a new chili recipe I turned to the Food Network website.  I have to admit, I don’t like watching Guy Fieri- from the way he wears his hair, to his over the top loud obnoxious personality -to the way he pronounces his name “Fi-etti!”  I am sorry, is there a “t” in your name? He just isn’t my cup of tea, but if you love him that’s great.. he needs a fan base– and he is on TV and I am not…

But I digress!  I did however try his recipe for “Dragon’s Breath Chili” after I read the reviews.  The name (of the chili) is more intimidating than the taste and I made some changes.  I reduced the peppers and cayenne pepper for one thing, because I wanted my kids to have half a chance of eating it!  This is a good recipe with a bit of spice to grab you, but not overpowering.  I may have to change my opinion of Fi-etti yet (Nah, that’s not going to happen!)  But the guy can cook – I give him that much!  It is more involved than my regular chili recipe that I make.  I changed a few things from the cooking too… I first cooked the peppers and onions- removed them from the pot.  Browned the chuck pieces in batches so they would brown properly (if you follow the directions of the original you won’t get nice browned pieces), then cooked the ground beef and sausage together. Once cooked added the spices and then threw it all in the crock pot to cook.  Here is the link to the original recipe. For best flavor, plan ahead and make this a day in advance.  I would place this in the medium+ heat category.  My kids were able to eat it.

Dragon’s Breath Chili

adapted from Food Network (Guy Fieri)

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 Tbsp jalapeno, minced
2 Anaheim chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled, chopped
2 yellow onions, diced
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 lbs boneless chuck, trimmed of most fat and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 lb ground beef, coarse grind
1 lb bulk Italian sausage

2 tsp dried minced onion
2 tsp granulated garlic
3 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 (6 oz) cans tomato paste
12 ounces lager beer
1 cup chicken stock
2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained, but not rinsed
2 (15 oz) cans kidney beans, drained but not rinsed

Topping:
8 oz bacon, cooked and chopped
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded Cheddar

Instructions:

Roasting peppers: I don’t think it is completely necessary, but it does add nice flavor.  How? You place the peppers on your gas burner grate above the flame (or over a barbecue) and turn it from time to time after the skin blisters and turns black.  Then while the peppers are still warm, place them in a paper bag and seal the bag to “steam” them. This loosens the skin and makes them easier to peel later.  I did this process the day before I made the chili.

Chop the peppers and onions.  Heat a large stock pot over medium high heat and melt the butter and heat 1 Tbsp canola oil.  Saute the onions and peppers (bell, chilis) until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant.  Remove the pepper mixture and set aside.

Add 1 Tbsp of canola oil.  Season the chuck cubes with salt and pepper and brown them in batches in the stock pot.  Remove the browned pieces (set aside), and brown the next batches. (Julia Child was right, for proper browning, don’t crowd the meat).  After the chuck is browned, cook the ground beef and Italian sausage in the same pot.  Remove any drippings.  Add the seasonings (the long list of them- it is worth it).  Stir into the meat and cook for a minute or two. Add the tomato sauce, paste, beer, and chicken broth and bring to a boil.

Carefully pour the contents of your stock pot into your large crock pot.  Add the peppers and browned chuck beef.  Add the beans and stir everything together.   Turn the crock pot on to LOW setting.    Cover and cook on low for about 5 hours, stirring from time to time, or until the chuck beef is tender to the point of falling apart when you try to shred it with a fork.

To serve: top each serving with diced green onions, cheese and crisp bacon, if desired. Serve with cornbread or corn bread pudding.

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