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Category Archives: Crock Pot Recipes

Meat Pies (Leftover Delights)

Meat Pies

Meat Pies

Ever wonder what to do with your roast and potato leftovers from a crockpot meal? Well wonder no more. This is one item I like to make out of those leftovers. Yum, Yum!

Ingredients:   yields 3 to 4 servings

  • 9-inch double pie crust (pre-made from the store is easiest for me)
  • leftover beef roast and potatoes
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • salt and pepper, for seasoning
  • a couple shakes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400, use a glass baking dish or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Shred the leftover roast, dice or smash the leftover potatoes. Combine the meat, potatoes, onion, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Heap some of the mixture over half of one pie crust. Brush the beaten egg along the edges then flip the other half of the crust over the meat mixture and press the edges together to seal. I like to give the edges a little twist, but you can also press a fork along the edges to seal them tightly. Repeat this process with the remaining meat mixture and pie crust. Place the pies on your baking sheet. Make slits along the top crust to vent steam while it’s baking. Brush the remaining egg wash over the tops. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, until the crust if completely browned. Let rest for a few minutes to cool slightly. Serve with some sour cream and guacamole and watch your family smile.

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Butternut Squash & Chipotle Chicken Stew (Leftover Delight)

Butternut Squash & Chipotle Chicken Stew

Butternut Squash &
Chipotle Chicken Stew

I have to admit we enjoyed the Butternut Squash Soup so much that I froze the leftover for future meals. Mark asked me to try adding leftover Turkey to the soup. Well, I loved his idea but why not bump up the flavors a bit by adding leftover shredded Chipotle Chicken? And that’s exactly what I did and discovered a wonderfully flavored stew. Just lovely and oh so belly warming during these cold days.

Ingredients:

  • leftover Butternut Squash Soup
  • at least 2 cups, leftover, shredded, Chipotle Chicken

Now, I don’t know how much easier this could get…..oh yes I do. Combine both ingredients in pot and re-heat over medium-low. When heated thoroughly try serving this wonderful leftover combination with some nice hot Blue-Cheese Popovers. (All recipes can be found here on my blog, just search Butternut Squash Soup, Shredded Chipotle Chicken in a Crockpot and Blue-Cheese Popovers.)

 

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Green Bean Casserole in the Crockpot

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Green Bean Casserole

First off, I am not a fan in the least of the Green Bean Casserole…..but dang if almost all of my Thanksgiving guest are. Well at least they seem to be as it is always requested and always seems to make it to the table. (Someone always insist on bringing the darn thing) This year Mark actually requested it and look so disappointed when I said no way. Oven space on this day is at a premium and I did not want to share even a minute of it for this side dish. Then a young cousin of mine shared a recipe where the casserole was made in a crockpot….Hmmmmm, could this be? How could that change the way it taste? Well after looking over the recipe I found it used a cream sauce made from scratch. Well I can’t bear to chance a homemade cream sauce turning sour in the crockpot….so why not blend the traditional French’s Green Bean Casserole recipe and this one. And that’s exactly what I have done. Plus of course I have doctored it up a bit. (Sorry about not having the finished dish photo, but hey it won’t be done until Thanksgiving Day)

Julia Child's Sauteed Mushrooms

Julia Child’s
sautéed Mushrooms

Ingredients:   Serves about 12 people

  • 8 oz of butter sautéed mushrooms and green onions, cooled (see Julia Child’s recipe, just search “sautéed mushrooms” here on my blog.)
  • 1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup with Garlic
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 to 3 cans green beans, drained (this was hard to measure as I used green beans I had canned over the summer)
  • 1 1/2 cups French’s French Fried Onions, divided use
  • 1 TB salted butter
  • 1/2 cup Panko Bread Crumbs

In a large bowl, whisk together the soup, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, Parmesan cheese and garlic. Fold in the sautéed mushrooms and onions, bacon and the green beans. Butter the bottom and sides of your crockpot and add this green bean mixture. Top with 1/2 cup of the French’s French Fried Onions and cook on low for at least 4 hours, but it can cook all day if you need it to. About 15 minutes before serving, put the cooked mixture into a warmed casserole dish. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, add the Panko Bread Crumbs and sautéed until toasted. Stir in the remaining 1 cup of fried onions, toss well. Put this topping over the green bean mixture and serve.

Make ahead tip: After combining the bean mixture I put it into a gallon sized freezer zip lock baggy, write down the finishing instructions and place in the freezer. Now on Thanksgiving morning I will defrost it a bit on the counter, put into the crockpot and continue on my way. (I’ve completed the assembly of this dish today, Saturday….1 dish down only 7 to go)

 

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Ham & 15 Bean Soup

15 Bean Soup

15 Bean Soup

Our winter has been mild this year, but I don’t need snow and the temperature to be in the teens for inspiration to make a nice crockpot full of Ham & 15 Bean Soup. Just a little rain can inspire me.

Ingredients: Makes about 16 servings.

  • 3 to 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 summer, yellow squash, sliced or chopped
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heaping Tb chicken base (I use Das Dutchman Essenhaus)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 3 to 4 thick ham slices or ham steaks, cubed
  • 1 bag of 15 bean soup, put the seasoning packet aside
  • salt for seasoning

DSC_0792In a large crockpot combine all of the ingredients and pour in enough water to cover all of them well. Cook on high for 6 hours or more. Once the beans are very soft, season with salt if needed or add in the seasoning packet if you would like. I generally just throw the packet away.

This recipe makes a lot of soup, but it freezes great for future cold days.

 

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Homemade Chili in a Crock Pot

Homemade Scratch Chili

Homemade Scratch Chili

I make “Texas Chili” from scratch, but why don’t I make regular Chili from scratch? People love my chili, but generally I throw cans of this, cans of that and a package of seasoning together with some browned meat. Not this time. This time I made a Chili while developing it’s made from scratch recipe. A little bit more work, but it was well worth it.

Ingredients:  yields 8 to 10 servings

  • 1 pound dry Kidney Beans
  • 6 dried Chilies, that’s 2 Pasillas, 2 New Mexicos, and 2 Ancho, stems and seeds removed
  • 4 cloves garlic, roasted
  • DSC_03073 Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TB Mexican Oregano, ground
  • 1 TB Cocoa Powder, sweetened
  • 2 TB chicken base
  • 2 1/3 cups chile water, divided use, made within the recipe
  • a couple of tablespoons of bacon grease or salted butter
  • 1 pound stew meat
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 to 4 fresh tomatoes, peeled & chopped

The night before rinse the kidney beans and pick out any stones, debris and mis-colored beans. Place the beans in a very large bowl and cover with water, at least 2 inches above the beans. The more water the better. Let this sit overnight.

DSC_2537The next morning, place the dried chiles, stems and seeds removed in a heavy bottom saucepan, cover with water and a lid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 20 minutes. Remove the softened chilies, reserve the chile water as you will need it. Using a butter knife gently scrap the chile flesh from the skin. Discard the to skins and put the flesh in a food processor.

DSC_0295Roast the garlic cloves in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until they are soft and the outer skin is blackened in places. This takes about 10 minutes. Cool, peel and put in the food processor.

Now add to the food processor the chipotle peppers with the adobe sauce they came in, cumin, black pepper, salt, Mexican Oregano, Cocoa Powder, chicken base and 1 cup of the chile water. Process until well blended and set this chili sauce aside.

Melt the bacon grease in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add some of the beef cubes, but don’t overcrowd the pan, lightly brown on all sides. You may need to brown in batches. Place the browned beef in the crockpot. Continue on with browning the ground beef and add this to the crockpot also.

DSC_0299When you are finished browning all of the beef, reduce the heat to medium and cool the skillet slightly. Add the onions and saute these until they just start to soften. Add these to the crockpot also.

Now drain your pinto beans and add them along with the chili sauce and the remaining chili water to the crockpot. Stir the entire mixture until well mixed. Top with the chopped tomatoes and cook over low for 10 to 12 hours, or high for 7 to 8 hours until the beans are completely fork soft.

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Lemon-Onion Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos

Chicken Nachos

Mark loves homemade Nachos … so for the Super Bowl Game I made him some. This recipe uses my Lemon-Onion Chicken. It has a light and clean chicken taste. This recipe is also perfect used tacos, tostadas and burritos.

Ingredients: yields 8 to 10 servings

  • 5 chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on
  • 2 lemons
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 18 corn tortillas, quartered and fried, see my recipe for “Corn Tortilla Chips”
  • re-fried beans, see my recipe for “Traditional Re-fried Beans”
  • approximately 4 cups of shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Guacamole, see my recipe for “Chunky Guacamole”
  • Sour Cream

Generously season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Place in your crockpot and juice the lemons over the chicken. Add the diced onions, stir and cook over low all day or high for about 5 hours.

If your making completely homemade nachos try following my recipes for the “Corn Tortilla Chips”, “Traditional Re-fried Beans” and “Chunky Guacamole”.

When you are ready to assemble your Nachos: Drain the cooked chicken from the crockpot in a strainer. Pick and discard the skin and bones. Place the cooked chicken in a large bowl and using 2 forks shred whatever has not fallen apart.

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a large baking dish with a nonstick spray.

Using a rubber spatula spread some re-fried beans on each chip and single layer them in the bottom of a greased baking dish. Sprinkle some of the shredded chicken and cheese over them and then start another layer. If you have enough assemble a third layer, making sure you have enough chips for the top. On the final and last layer place the corn tortilla chips on top of your layers of nachos and sprinkle with cheese. Tent the dish with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 7 to 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.

Serve warm with my “Chunky Guacamole” and Sour Cream.

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Abondigas Soup…(Meatball Soup)

Abondigas Soup

Abondigas Soup

I can’t remember where, when or from whom I learned this recipe, but I’ve been making this flavorful soup since I was about 13. I generally cook it on the stove, it’s fast and easy…but this time I put it in my crockpot and we loved it. Same great taste and it was there waiting for me when I got home from work.

Meatball Ingredients:  yield 20 meatballs

  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • a quarter of an onion,
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 2 tsp Mexican Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • DSC_07651/4 to 1/2 cup of Instant Corn Masa Mix, (you can also use minced corn tortillas, or bread crumbs)

Soup Ingredients:  serves 4 to 5 people

  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 @ 28oz can of whole tomatoes, juice and all, slightly crush the tomatoes
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 4 cups chicken broth, (you can use beef broth, I just prefer chicken)

Garnish ingredients:

  • 4 corn tortillas, quartered, thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil
  • salt

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Make ahead if cooking in a crockpot the next day or later in the week: In a medium bowl place the ground beef, eggs and 1/4 cup of the Masa mix. In your food processor add the 1/4 of onion, Mexican Oregano (there is no substitute for this spice, Italian Oregano doesn’t have the same flavor.), salt, black pepper and cumin. Pulse until the onion is well minced. Add the onion and spice mixture to the bowl and with your hands combine the meat, eggs, masa  and onion mixture until well mixed. (If needed add a bit more Masa. You want the meatball mixture to be firm yet moist.) Roll the meat mixture into 1-inch balls, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze for about an hour. Once the meatballs have frozen you can transfer them to a freezer ziplock bag to be stored until you are ready to assemble you soup.

When your ready to cook the soup place your frozen meatballs in the crockpot, add the celery, onion, carrots, tomatoes, sugar and chicken broth. Stir a bit, cover and cook on low all day long.

When it’s time to eat: In a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat add vegetable oil until it measures about 1/8-inch deep. Once the oil is hot, add a few of the sliced corn tortilla strips and fry until they crisp up a little. Remove to drain on a paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with salt to season. Use these crisp strips as a garnishment in the soup, kinda like crackers in tomato soup.

Suggestions: You can also make my Abondigas Soup on the stove top also. No need to freeze the meatballs, just refrigerate them for 1 hour prior to cooking the soup so they firm up. Add all the soup ingredients, bring them to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low, gently slip in the meatballs and continue to simmer the soup for 30 minutes until the meatballs are fully cooked.

For your children try adding some cooked pasta after the soup is done cooking. If you want it spicier, add a diced jalapeno to the soup.

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