Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Did you watch the game last week? You know the one I am talking about; Patriots against Chiefs wow that was stressful. I don’t usually yell to to much during the game but I was quite loud (according to my daughter who was upstairs) and on the edge of my seat those last 8 minutes of the 4th quarter. I knew when we had the ball and 2 minutes on the clock that Brady could make it down the field. I wasn’t as confident when Mahomes had 34 seconds to do the same. That kid just might be the next Brady!

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My garlic, onion and broth – only carrots I had on hand but they worked

OK I know you don’t read this for my sports commentary so what will you be making for the Superbowl party next week? Guess I can’t stop myself 🙂 I’m thinking meatball grinders and a dip or two.I might have to do wings just because! I always make so much food and we never finish it all. We really don’t even have a party it’s just the fam. But it’s still a party. GO PATS!

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tomato paste in a tube – best invention!!!

Back to food – I was at Sam’s club a couple of weeks ago and stumbled across a package of short ribs that were sliced pretty thin, I have only ever seem them in more of a cube chunk then sliced long and thin. I grabbed them because I wanted something for the slow cooker and figured I would give them a try. They were SO good. I apologize for not taking a picture of my plate before I ate. I thought about it for a second but it didn’t happen. So I will tell you I served it with mashed potatoes and sauted broccoli – crazy good compliments from the table.

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don’t over crowd so they can brown

Below is the recipe I used however I didn’t use these measurements and she didn’t have garlic but I rarely make anything like this without it. Who am I kidding I never leave it out. I literally used what I had on hand and it worked out quite nicely. I was able to use up some things from the fridge and made a very easy, quite tasty meal.
IMG_3920.JPGIngredients
8 beef short ribs
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
Thyme
1 large carrot
1 onion – chopped
1 rib celery – chopped
1 apple – chopped
1-2 cloves garlic – chopped
⅓ cup red wine
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¾ cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper

Directions
Browning the short ribs is an important part of the process, you are building up the flavor so don’t skip this part.

Season the ribs all over with kosher salt and black pepper. Heat your pan with oil and add the ribs, without overcrowding. Let them get nice and browned on all sides. Add them to the crock when browned.
IMG_3919.JPGAfter you have browned them all, if there is too much oil in your pan drain some of it off, but leave all the browned bits, again that is all flavor and you’ll want it. Add the onions, celery, carrot and garlic saute for about 3 minutes. Add the apple and tomato paste cook for another minute or so. Then add all the liquids making sure to scrape up any and all of the browned bits in the bottom of the pan.
IMG_3921.JPGPour this over the ribs and put the temp on low and leave it for the day. 8-9 hours or 10 if you can’t get it any sooner.
IMG_3925.JPGOnce done, I took out all the meat and didn’t use the leftover liquid but you could totally strain it and use some of it to make a gravy.

 

Recipe adapted from foodtasticmom.com

Turkey Chili crockpot/slow cooker

How many parties have you hosted or attended? How many guests do you have staying with you? Who has plans to ring in the new year? So many things to do, so little time!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday however you celebrate!

IMG_3745.JPGThis time of year is always crazy busy and it’s like we are all racing to make sure we fit everything in we possibly can. Oh and let’s also throw in 2 birthdays and an anniversary all within 6 weeks. Needless to say I have already declared January a sugar free zone at the office. And I am threatening to follow suit at home. There will be a rebellion for sure.
IMG_3742.JPGWe had an awesome Christmas party last week I have no idea how many people were here but at one point in the night I walked outside and counted around 24 cars, that’s a lot of people and I think this one had the most people singing along, it was glorious!
IMG_3743.JPGWe were 11 for overnight and 13 for breakfast with that many people there is no way to not be organized and part of my organization is to have something in the crockpot all day just in case anyone needs a little something to snack on and want to help themselves.
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Turkey Chili
1.25 lbs. lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
1 small white onion diced
1 29 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can black beans rinsed and drained
1 15 oz. can kidney beans rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pan over medium-high heat. Add diced onion to the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook until it is browned, breaking it up as you cook it. Add the spices to the pan, the heat in the pan helps the spices come alive.

Add the cooked turkey and onions to the crockpot and then all the other ingredients, stir well to combine.

Cover with lid and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 6-7 hours.

Crockpot Cauliflower Bolognese

Harvest season is upon us and I WISH I had a time elapsed camera set up near my squash because for the life of me I cannot figure out how on Monday they are almost but just not the right size and come Tuesday and they are like DAMN what the heck!

1st harvest 2018

1 cup measuring cup for scale


IMG_2964This morning (Saturday) I was sitting at the island enjoying my tea planning my day, making my grocery shopping list and trying to figure out what we might we eating this week. I figured I would head out to the garden and see what needed to be pulled.  I have already gotten way more radishes that any one human could eat luckily they are my Dad’s favorite and my daughter went into work (my favorite restaurant in town) tonight and asked if they might be interested in some; thankfully they said yes.
IMG_2954Veggie season gets me thinking of inventive ways to serve them. Right now it is only the squash and radishes but I see a head of Broccoli forming an the tomatoes are a few sunny days away. I tried a new recipe today using my slow cooker, which actually is not just a winter tool in my world. It doesn’t heat up the house and we get a nice meal with not a lot of effort.
IMG_2956I am going to call it a mock bolognese only because it doesn’t have any meat in it. Though I fried up some sweet italian sausage to serve along side it for us. You could make this totally vegetarian if you so wish to.
IMG_2958Crockpot cauliflower bolognese

Head of cauliflower cut into flowerettes
28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes
1 medium diced onion
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1-2 cup chicken broth – or veggie broth
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
IMG_2962Put everything in the crockpot, stir and place on high for 3 ½ hours.  Once everything is cooked down take a potato masher and break up the cauliflower taste for salt and pepper. Leave it a little chunky and ladle over zoodles or spaghetti.
IMG_2971I had planned on making zoodles since I have so many in the house not but I was running late and my husband worked on a roof all day so he needed the pasta, some bread and even a cocktail.

Enjoy!

Crockpot Chicken Chili

The holiday season is upon us; which is quite apparent if you have ventured into pretty much ANY store. Just this last weekend there was Christmas music playing at my local craft store while I was picking up stuff for my Thanksgiving table centerpiece. Let the games begin!
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And just because you have a huge list of things to get done on the weekends doesn’t mean you can’t take a few simple ingredients; that you might already have on hand; throw it all in your slow cooker and have a warm satisfying meal at the end of the day. And probably a lunch during the week.

img_4700The last few weekends I have been spending a few hours in the kitchen preparing meals for the coming weeks lunch and or dinner. Make a roast for Sunday dinner and then a soup/stew for the following week. It’s like a win win. You are already chopping veggies, making a mess; or at least that is in my case. I swear I use pretty much every pot, pan and cutting board I own when I get going.
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Ingredients
Boneless skinless chicken breast
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
2 cans of beans – great northern, navy pea beans, black beans Or any combination
1 can hominy
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 can chopped green chilis
1 can Rotel
1 can cream of chicken soup
Chicken broth

Directions
Place chicken in the bottom of the slow cooker
saute onions and garlic till they are soft
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Top with beans
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In a medium bowl combine taco seasoning, chilis, Rotel, soup and broth. Pour over beans
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Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours
Before serving shred chicken to your liking.
Top with shredded cheese, sour cream and chives or green onions.

Balsamic-Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard

Holding cooking classes has shown me a few ways that some people perceive what goes on in the kitchen and also how some interpret recipes. Some of the people I have had in my kitchen are very literal, if they don’t have say the bone in pork chop they only have boneless on hand; they just move on to another recipe. It asks for chicken breast and they only have thighs. Some the ingredients throw them off either they don’t know what it is or have it on hand so they just bypass it. I try to give them a little more in control of what they are making. I personally am not in love with mushrooms but I have been buying and using them more. They do add a lot of earthiness to some recipes. And one of the best beef gravy I have ever had was mushroom based; and I didn’t even make it.

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Balsamic-Braised Chicken with Swiss Chard over Creamy Polenta

My point is I would love people to feel more comfortable in their kitchens and I hope I help them out a little bit one class or blog at a time. I was chuckling to myself on my short commute (less than 10 minutes) home yesterday I must have considered about 8 meals I wanted to make. It could be the weather but I am pumped to get back in the kitchen versus grilling; I have 3 soups in mind, and I am going to throw one of the 4 meals I thought about in the crockpot for tomorrow so it is ready for when I get back from my day in Boston.

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OK so I had to rush around this morning and wasn’t able to finish my blog, I do apologize and hope that you find this recipe yummy enough to make. My house smelled awesome and it tasted great to boot. I will be making this again!  It asked for quick polenta; which I have never made and didn’t find at the store; I did find regular polenta and made that; again for the first time and I kind of liked it; it kind of reminded me of cream of wheat; so I guess if you didn’t like that growing up; you might not care of creamy polenta.

 

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1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, mixed
5 tsp minced fresh thyme or 1 2/2 tsp dried
1 TBS tomato paste
3 garlic  cloves, minced
1 anchovy fillet, I used anchovy paste cuz that’s what I have on hand
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 TBS all-purpose flour
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar – I used Honey Ginger Balsamic Vinegar; what I had on hand
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomato, drained – I used 28 ounce plum tomatoes again; what I had
1/2 chicken broth
1/4 cup dry red wine
2 bay leaves
12 bone in skinless chicken thighs
6 ounces swiss chard, stemmed and leaves sliced 1/2 inch thick
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Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, thyme, tomato paste, garlic, anchovy, and red pepper flakes and cook until onion is softened and lightly browned. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in vinegar, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps: cook until slightly reduced, about 3 minutes and transfer to slow cooker.

Stir tomatoes, broth, wine and bay leaves into slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and place chicken into sauce. Cover and cook until chicken is tender 4 to 6 hours on low.

Gently stir in chard, cover and cook on high until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to serving platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over chicken

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Chicken White Wine, Tarragon and Cream – slow cooker

My mother-in-law mentioned the other day that she was looking for some crock-pot recipes, I noticed a slow cooker magazine at my local grocery store and I figured I would check it out and then give it to her. While looking at it I started marking pages; I can’t tell you how many times I see a recipe that looks awesome and make a note to try it later and never find it again. After marking like 7 pages I quickly came to the conclusion; I am going to have to buy her her own copy.

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Like most I don’t always have a ton of time in the morning so I planned on prepping both my dinner for the night and the crock-pot for the next day. If I have several dishes in mind I will always cut enough onions, peppers, garlic and potatoes and carrots or whatever I am going to use in multiple dishes all at the same time and just set aside per dish.  You already have the cutting board and knife out just keep going; you’ll be happy you did.

Though sometimes it doesn’t always work out quite like you planned; both dishes I was making asked for some dry white wine. I opened a bottle made the first dish, poured myself a glass, my husband walking by decided he wanted a glass, by the time I got around to making the meal for the slow cooker, yup I was out of wine and had to open another bottle. It was worth it, the chicken from the crock-pot was amazing. We didn’t save the leftover carrots and mushrooms but we did have a couple of chicken breast (they were large ones) they were so flavorful and moist, so much so my husband sent me a text on his lunch telling me how amazing his sandwich was. He just asked me what I was blogging about and told me to tell you that the chicken has a great flavor and he really likes it. He is so helpful wink wink.

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Chicken with White Wine, Tarragon and Cream (slow cooker revolution)

Serves 6 – cook on low 4-6 hours

4-6 bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts, trimmed salt and peppered

¼ cup olive oil

16 ounces cremini mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small or quartered if large

2 onions minced

½ tsp dried minced thyme

4-6 garlic cloves, minced

¼ cup flour

¾ cup dry white wine – I used chardonnay

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1 pound carrots peeled, halved length wise and sliced about ½ inch thick

2 tbs soy sauce

2 bay leaves

½ cup heavy cream

¼ cup minced fresh tarragon – (note) I used less because I am not a fan of black licorice but I would use it again in this dish

  • Pat chicken dry, season with salt and pepper. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken skin side down, do not crowd the pan. Repeat with remaining chicken. Set aside and let cool. Remove and discard the skin.
  • Add remaining oil, mushrooms, onions, thyme and some salt to the pan. Cover and cook till softened, about 10 minutes. Uncover continue to cook until the mushrooms are dry and browned about 10 minutes.
  • Stir in garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stir in flour and cook for about a minute. Slowly whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits and smoothing out any lumps. Transfer to slow cooker.
  • Stir in broth, carrots, soy sauce and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Place browned chicken along with the juices into the slow cooker.  Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours on low. Any longer and you risk drying out the chicken
  • Transfer chicken and vegetables to a serving platter and tent loosely with foil. Let braising liquid settle for about 5 minutes; remove any excess fat from the surface. Discard bay leaves. Stir in cream and tarragon and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reserving 1-2 cups of sauce to serve with chicken pour the remaining over the chicken and veggies.