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Posts Tagged ‘Slow cooker’

a slow cooker Oval Crock Pot

A Slow Cooker Oval Crock Pot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Blessed are the meals made in crockpots for those are the days free to go and do and not worry about getting home to make dinner.

Today was a lovely sunny Saturday;  Just the kind of day to clean up the rest of the snow on the walkways, to throw peanuts out to the squirrels and of course with the bright sunshine, I was able to see some more of winter/old radiator  dust!  It was also warm enough for Peter to put the sensor light we bought a couple of weeks ago. The days are growing noticeably longer and so when we went shopping this afternoon to pick up this and exchange that, we stayed out quite late.  Then we stopped by to see our friends Joe and Michael and have a pre-dinner cocktail.  Soooo relaxing and WHY?

Because my supper was already mostly made!  This morning I prepared  a recipe that I had never tried before.  I knew this would be a good night to try it out.  It turned out to be not only amazingly rich, but also economical.  

2 TBS vegetable oil

3 lbs. boneless short ribs cut into 3″ pieces

coarse salt and pepper

1 medium yellow onion diced small ( I used a good size Mayan onion)

1 large carrot diced small (I chopped up quite a few small ones) (the kind that come in a bag already peeled)

1 can (28 oz) whole peeled tomatoes

2 sprigs of oregano or rosemary

Serve with pasta or soft polenta

In a large skillet, heat oil over med-hi.  Season short ribs with salt and pepper.  In batches, cook until browned on all sides, about 10 minutes.  Transfer to ribs to slow-cooker.  Pour off all but 1 TBS of oil and add onion and carrot.  Season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are soft, about 3-4 minutes.  Add 1/2 cup of juice from tomatoes, stirring and scraping bits up with wooden spoon.  Transfer veggies and liquid to crockpot and add tomatoes, breaking up.  Add sprigs.  Cover and cook on high till fork tender – 6 hours.  *I only had rosemary and removed them after about 2 1/2 hours).  Skim fat off. Remove meat and shred with 2 forks and return to pot.

 I thought it didn’t look like enough sauce for 1 lb of pasta so I added about 1/2 to 1 cup of a tomato basil sauce and about 1/2 to 3/4 cup of red wine and heated it through in the slow cooker.  My intention was always to serve this Ragu over large shells pasta although I think the recipe may have been meant to be a main meat dish, served with sides of polenta or pasta and a vegetable.  We ate it as a pasta dish with Italian bread and a salad.  It was one of the richest sauces I have ever tasted.  And economical too.  

The costs were: Short ribs – $10.44

 Tomatoes – $1.49

                                      Bag of peeled carrots $1.29

                                      Box of large shells $1.29

                                     Mayan onion $1.00

                                    Italian bread – $1.39

                                   Half bag of salad mix w/dressing – $2.50

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Sunday sauce

Sunday sauce (Photo credit: letouj)

This past weekend, I decided to make Sunday Sauce.  It is so tasty, so delicious and even though it takes a long time to cook down, it is well worth it.  Pick an afternoon you’ll be home and soon your home will be filled with the aroma of simmering tomato sauce.  I thought I could make it in my crockpot BUT my crockpot was not big enough.  Using a crockpot would make the whole process easier since you could just let it simmer away for hours.

I started with a large stockpot but then thought, “Oh why not use the crock pot?”   I filled the crock pot and still had a lot of sauce in the braising pan so now I had to make a decision;  I took half of the meat out of the crock pot and put it in the braising pan and cooked the sauce in both.  I tell you all this so you won’t make the same mistakes I made which made a fairly simple recipe into a complicated process.  Mangia!

SUNDAY SAUCE

(but you can call it Gravy!)

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1.5 lb of boneless country spare ribs ( I used bone-in)

6 links of Hot Italian Pork Sausage (I used Hot Poultry Sausage)

2 cups (16 oz) chopped onions

8 TBSP of minced garlic (from jar) OR 20 cloves minced

2 cans of tomato paste

4 cups of water

6 cans of coarsely ground Italian tomatoes

4 TBSP dried basil (I used 2TBSP and basil from my yard)

16 meatballs (cooked)

Salt and Pepper to taste

You’ll need a large braising pan and a 16 Qt stockpot

Heat olive oil in large braising pan on MEDIUM HIGH; add ribs and sausage.  Cook, turning 2-5 min, until meats are browned on all sides.  Transfer meats to stockpot.

Reduce heat to LOW.  Add onions and garlic to braising pan; cook, stirring, 10 minutes, until veggies are translucent.

Raise heat to MEDIUM; add tomato paste.  Cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes, until paste just begins to brown.  Add water, stirring to loosen browned bits on bottom of pan.  Bring to simmer.

Transfer tomato paste/water mixture to stockpot. Stir in canned tomatoes and basil.  Bring to simmer on MEDIUM.  Reduce heat to LOW.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 hours.  Add cooked meatballs.  Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 hour.

Carefully transfer meats to serving platter; cut meats into manageable pieces. Transfer sauce to serving bowl.

Recipe from Wegman’s MENU magazine

Congratulations to me! This is my 1000th blog post!  Wow, I’ve had so much fun doing this, I hope my readers/followers are enjoying  this journey too.  Thank you for all your support and comments.  

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It’s a sunny Sunday in October, one of those peculiar days in that time of the year when it’s warmer outside than it is in the house.  I feel like I have to open the windows to let some warm air in.  The angle of the sun is just so warming, I wish I was sitting in the back yard instead of the cold living room.  Peter is replacing some of the screens in the doors with storm glass and that for sure is a sign summer is over!

1. The Morning Glories are getting really scraggly and dying, and pots of purple, rusty red, orange and yellow mums are omnipresent on porches all over town.

2. We made our seasonal pilgrimage to Delicious Orchards, loading up on apples and cider donuts.  If this were summer, we’d be at Matt’s buying corn and tomatoes.

3. Hard as it might be to believe, I have packed away my flip-flops and even my Tevas, not sure how my feet are going to react to real shoes.

4.  Somewhere between Labor Day and Columbus Day, the urge to take the crock pot out overcomes me and I begin to think about Hearty Beef Minestrone, Chilli, and One Pot Chicken.  Slow cooked meals are a hallmark of Autumn.

5. The air conditioner units are out of the windows and put into storage, the door-draft snakes are out of storage and the lawn furniture is cleaned and ready to store for the winter.

Mum's the Word!

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Linguine

Image via Wikipedia

Now there’s a crazy phrase! Let’s see how do you bake a tornado, or souffle a hurricane? Well look for this one sometime in the future in another blog.  Today is really about cooking;  what’s in the crock pot right now is Slow-Cooked Collard Greens with Smoked Turkey and it smells so good, the whole house is filled with the aroma.  I started on Saturday morning cooking;  Into the crock pot went the makings of Slow-Cooked Beef Minestrone see previous blog for recipe:

https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/09/29/slow-cooked-beef-minestrone/. And while that was simmering all day, I decided to make some Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash Soup also published in a previous blog: https://pbenjay.wordpress.com/2010/10/05/roasted-chicken-and-butternut-squash-soup. It wasn’t really that cold this weekend so I’m not sure where the urge to soup-things-up came from but nonetheless, I love soups and am glad I now have a few containers of Minestrone in the freezer.

Last night’s dinner was the Roasted Chicken and Butternut Squash soup and when asked by you know who,“what’s for dinner”? and I told him, I got a less than enthusiastic reply.  I was informed that soup didn’t sound like much of a meal.  First of all I had to remind him that he has had it before and has remarked that “its a meal all by itself” because this soup is chunky, thick and full of chicken too.  So I thought about it and had recently seen a pasta recipe that I considered light- so why not make that as well.  Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce was delightful, I loved it and I never really told you know who that it had cream in it.

Linguine with Lemon Cream Sauce

Coarse salt and ground pepper

1# Linguine

1 tsp. Olive Oil

2 Shallots, minced

1 cup of Heavy Cream

1 TBSP Lemon Zest (1 lemon)

2 TBSP Lemon juice

Cook pasta and reserve 2 cups of  pasta water.  Drain and return to pot.  Cook shallots in oil in small pot over MEDIUM heat till tender (4 min).  Add cream and lemon zest and bring to boil and cook until slightly thickened ( I stirred almost constantly) about 8 minutes.  Add lemon juice, salt, pepper.  I added some pasta water at that point, judging the consistency as I like it.  I also sprinkled some grated cheese over the top also.

Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Every Day Food


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