Showing posts with label crockpot. Show all posts
Showing posts with label crockpot. Show all posts

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore #recipe @LucyBurdette



LUCY BURDETTE: With a ton of company coming this summer, it was time to try a new recipe in my crockpot, something that would pop with flavor even if it was lower in sodium. I opted for chicken cacciatore. Though there are many different versions of this dish, all include chicken, onions, peppers, seasonings, and some kind of tomato product. You can mix and match according to your family's preferences. I had fresh basil and sage, so I used those, along with dried oregano and a bay leaf. I also opted for a jar of the excellent heirloom tomato marinara sauce made by one of our local markets. You could replace that with crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and tomato paste if you prefer. I also added half a cup of red wine, plus mushrooms and baby kale at the end.

Ingredients

Four boneless skinless chicken breasts (add more for more people--there's plenty of sauce!)
One large onion, chopped
One large pepper, chopped
One large clove garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red wine
One scant teaspoon dried oregano
Four fresh basil leaves, chopped 

Two fresh sage leaves, chopped
One bay leaf 
24 ounce jar marinara sauce or crushed tomatoes
10 ounces mushrooms (I used Baby Bella)
Handful of baby kale or spinach
Spaghetti of your choosing

Brown the chicken breast, either in a frying pan or in your slow cooker if it has that setting. I am lucky to have a browning setting on mine, which saves in clean-up. 



Scrape in the onions and peppers and cook another couple of minutes. Add the red wine and spices, along with the garlic. 


Let that cook down a few minutes, then add the marinara or crushed tomatoes.


Change the setting to low, and cook six hours. Add the chopped mushrooms and kale or spinach, turn the setting to high and cook another half hour. You might also add a handful of olives or several teaspoons capers if you like them and can handle the salt. 


Serve over spaghetti with Parmesan cheese grated over the top.



Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Friday, March 17, 2017

Guest Fran Stewart

Please welcome Fran Stewart to MLK. She writes about a Scottish-themed shop in Vermont, and though it's Saint Patrick's Day today, we won't hold it against her. She's giving us a recipe that is both easy and fun. Plus a giveaway!




Why would anyone wonder why I write not one, but TWO mystery series with a protagonist who either can’t or doesn’t like to cook? Isn’t it obvious?

Peggy Winn in the ScotShop series likes to eat the leftovers from her friend Karaline’s restaurant. Biscuit, the librarian in the Biscuit McKee series, cooks three things – soups, bread, and cookies. Anything else is the responsibility of Bob, her ever-patient husband.

Those two characters just about sum me up. I can’t imagine how much trouble I’d have writing a series if I had to come up with recipes for each book.

That said, I do have a recipe for you, but you’ll have to improvise a lot, since it’s based to a large extent on what was in my cupboard one particular day.

I loved the moment I discovered crockpots. I can throw a whole bunch of ingredients in there in the morning, let it simmer all day long, and have a number of meals to chomp on (like about five of them – supper this evening, lunch and supper for the next two days).

I can hear you asking – “What!!!! Eat the same thing three days in a row?!!!!”

Well, yes. Food is not a high priority for me (as I’m sure you already figured out). If you don’t want to duplicate menus, feel free to freeze meal-sized batches for later.

Now, I do admit that sometimes the crazy combinations I put together end up being, shall we say, less than satisfying. Since I hardly ever cook for company, though, I don’t have to worry about it. I’m someone who can make a complete meal out of fresh homemade bread and creamy butter, along with hunks of cheese and good strong tea. Throw in some soup (even if it tastes a little weird), and the meal is even better.


So, here’s the way my throw-together soup happens:
1. Crockpot, dribbled with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to keep things from sticking.

2. Layer the bottom with a cup of rice (preferably brown) uncooked.

3. Dump an entire undrained can of Italian-cut green beans on top of the rice.

4. Add an undrained can of light red kidney beans (You can use the dark red, but they turn the rice sort of muddy looking. Not too appetizing unless you’re eating by candlelight.) If you’d rather, you can soak dried kidney beans overnight and add them during this step.

5. Chop up a smallish dill pickle and add it on top of the kidney beans. Why, you ask? Why not?

6. Sprinkle with a generous amount of pepper. At this point, I usually throw in some sort of herb or spice. The last soup I put together had a couple of teaspoons of mustard seed. I’ve also been known to add a little cumin and a fair amount of ginger.

7. Chop up some chicken (cooked or uncooked) or fresh salmon and layer the pieces over the rice and such. If you don’t want to chop, four to six drumsticks work just fine.

8. Add another layer of rice – if you make it wild rice, it’ll add a nutty consistency that’s delicious – and one more can of green beans. You could use the French-cut beans, but they’re a little harder to eat without dribbling. Once I used a can of each, and it just looked messy, so now I stick to the stubby Italian-cut version.

8. Top with four or five pieces of pickled okra, sliced thinly.

9. Add enough water to make it sort of soupy.

Cook on high from 4 to 6 hours (or on low overnight). You may need to add more water halfway through.

I almost never add salt – but you might want to in step #6 if you’re a “salty” kind of person.

That’s it. Simple. Quick. Tasty (we hope).


Fran will be giving away one copy of her book to one lucky reader who leaves a comment!


About the book:

The annual Highland Festival in Hamelin, Vermont, means caber tossing, sword dancing, and just a spot of murder...

Hamelin is overflowing with tourists enjoying the Scottish-themed games—and most of them are donning tartans from Peggy Winn’s ScotShop. And her fourteenth-century ghostly companion, Dirk, has been indispensable, keeping an eye out for shoplifters and matching customer’s family names to their clan plaid.

Adding to the chaos is Big Willie, a longtime champion of the games, but not everyone is happy to have him in town. So when he misses the first event of the weekend, Peggy senses something is awry. After Willie is discovered dead in his hotel room, the victim of a bagpipe-related crime, Peggy decides it’s up to her and Dirk to suss out a murderer—because another death would really blow... 






Find A Wee Homicide in the Hotel at:

Amazon
AmazonSmile
iBooks
Books a Million
Books a Million


About Fran:

Hoping to be judged on her writing ability and not on her cooking ability, Fran is the national best-selling author of fourteen books, including the Biscuit McKee mystery series (seven books so far) and the ScotShop mystery trilogy; as well as a standalone mystery A SLAYING SONG TONIGHT; and FROM THE TIP OF MY PEN: a workbook for writers, written to help emerging writers use the English language more effectively. She lives and writes quietly beside a creek on the other side of Hog Mountain, Georgia, after having moved repeatedly from her birth through her fourth decade. The small fictional towns she writes about embody the hometown she always wanted—except for the murders.





Thursday, January 19, 2017

Maple Chipotle Chicken Sandwich #recipe @LucyBurdette


LUCY BURDETTEI’ve told you how I love love love my new slow cooker. Here’s one of the first recipes I tried with it, found on Pinterest and adapted for low-sodium eaters. Now we’ve made it several times and served it to guests too, with good reviews! And it's perfect for winter, even in Key West.


Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes, fire roasted
  • ½ cup real maple syrup
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coarse ground mustard (I use Kozlik’s)
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper

Directions




Brown the chicken on both sides, then add the onions to the pot and let those brown a little too.





Mix the tomatoes and water with the maple syrup and spices and add all this to the crockpot.









Cook on low for four hours. Shred the chicken (using two forks) and return it to the pot. Remove the pepper and discard. 







Serve on crusty rolls or a nice baguette to catch all the yummy juice. Maybe a little cole slaw piled on top? We happened to have my sister’s homegrown broccoli in the fridge so we used that for our greens.


Honestly, it's like magic to drop all that stuff in the crockpot and come back hours later to--a meal!

Lucy writes the Key West food critic mysteries.  Follow her on Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Heart & Soul Warming Crockpot Split Pea Soup

From Peg Cochran

Growing up, there was no way I would touch pea soup.  Yuck!  It's green.  My first exposure came from the canned variety, and I have to tell you that homemade is a world apart!  This soup can be put together in the morning, simmer in your slow cooker all day, and when you get home you have a delicious dinner waiting for you.  Top with a grating of parmesan cheese, a handful of croutons and serve with some crusty bread and butter.


Ingredients



1 onion, chopped
3 carrots peeled and chopped 
1 15-ounce can of chicken broth
3 cups water
2 or 3 turkey sausages, squeezed out of the casing and broken into small bits
1 16-ounce bag of split peas, picked over and rinsed

Chop carrots in food processor until desired size (or you can slice them thinly--my husband prefers his vegetables disguised!)  Add along with the rest of the ingredients to your slow cooker.  Cook on low until peas are tender--approximately eight hours.  Soup will be thick--add more water if desired.

Carrots chopped in food processor

Carrots can be chopped or sliced

Carrots and chopped onion ready for the slow cooker

1 lb. rinsed split peas

Carrots, onions, split peas and sausage in slow cooker

A delicious warm dinner on a cold night!


Sign up for my newsletter at my website and join me on Facebook or Twitter @pegcochran!

Coming February 4!

For Valentine’s Day, Emma Taylor and her aunt Arabella have organized a special evening for men only to shop for their sweethearts in the Sweet Nothings lingerie shop, complete with champagne and hors d’oeuvres. But when a former valentine shows up, Aunt Arabella is not her usual bubbly self.

Art dealer Hugh Granger is still a charmer, though. He invites the women to a ball he’s having to celebrate his birthday and his return to Paris, Tennessee. But when Granger is pushed from the balcony, it paints a sinister picture for Aunt Arabella, who gets framed…for her old flame’s murder.

Out now!

For middle-aged “Jersey girl” Lucille Mazzarella, only two things in life really count—her family and her friends. When her brother-in-law’s body falls out of a church confessional, everything she holds dear is threatened, especially when the police arrest her husband for the murder. 

Plagued by hot flashes, a thickening waistline, a mother addicted to the home shopping channel, and a sexy old flame who’s come back to town, Lucille really has her hands full. And while she may not know much about solving crimes, this traditional churchgoer with very modern attitudes knows that with some prayers, some fast thinking, and some even faster talk she might just be able to nail the killer and restore order to her life. 

Stop by my Facebook page and click on contest for further details!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Kitchen Tools and Chicken Chile

by Sheila Connolly


Recently I received one of those glossy cookware catalogs in the mail (please don't tell me it's holiday season already!), so of course I drooled over it during lunch. Then I realized that we seldom talk here about what we cook with (except maybe cookie cutters!).  And I also realize how much of my cookware collection is inherited—and vintage.

 
Many of the pieces I use every day belonged to my grandmother or my mother, which makes them as old as I am.  I keep them and I use them because they were well made and they've lasted.  (If you go looking for Revere Ware today, it looks exactly like it did in 1950-something, and I've got the originals.)  The metals were heavy-gauge and spread heat evenly, and they have never warped or developed hot spots, unlike cheaper ones that have come and gone over the years. 

 
I've got four stainless steel cookie sheets that are better than the crummy aluminum ones I've bought myself; I can remember taking a pair of those old cookie sheets to kindergarten, when we made chocolate chip cookies—the masking tape used for my name label on the back lingered for years.

 
I finally broke down and retired my mother's KitchenAid stand mixer a couple of years ago only because the motor wasn't up to large batches, but it still works just fine.  The meat grinder attachment she bought still fits the new one I acquired, not that she ever ground meat, as far as I recall. I'm still using the family Pyrex bowls (although my sister made off with one of the set; but I could replace it at any number of flea markets).

 
Then there are the middle-aged pieces, like the Le Creuset dutch oven and baking dish that I got as a wedding present.  The bigger piece is a bit chipped around the edges, and the interior is kind of dingy, but if I'm not serving a formal dinner it's just fine. There's an electric skillet that was also a wedding present, that I bring out now and then because there are a few things it does that nothing else does. And there's my Cuisinart food processor, that I can't imagine living without now (the first one died of old age, after thirty years, so I have a replacement one).

I inherited my mother's crock pot, a decade or more ago, and I'm still learning to use it. To honor it, here's a recipe from Sarah Atwell's Pane of Death. Sarah was my pen name a while back, and her heroine was culinarily challenged, but even she could handle this recipe. 

 

FOOLPROOF SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CHILI

 

 
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 large white onion, chopped

3 ancho chiles with seeds and veins removed, cut into strips or pieces (A word about chiles:  if you can't find fresh ones in your local market, you can use dried ones.  Just soak them in hot water for a bit, then rinse out the seeds and cut into large pieces.  Anchos are fairly mild, but you can use hotter ones if you like.)

2 tsp. oregano

2 large cloves garlic (you may leave them whole or chop them)

4 cups chicken broth

salt and black pepper to taste

 

1 15-oz. can beans (you may use black, white, or whatever you have)

 

fresh cilantro, chopped

 

In your crockpot, put the chicken, the chopped onion, the garlic, the chiles, the oregano, and the salt and pepper.  Pour in the chicken stock to cover.  Cook at low heat for four hours (more or less), stirring now and then.

 

Remove the chicken breasts, shred them (when they're cool enough to handle), and return them to the cooker.  Add the beans and continue cooking for another hour (more or less).

 
Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed. Just before serving, add the cilantro and stir.

 
Serve over cooked rice.  Serves four.



The beauty of this dish is its flexibility.  You can use pork instead of chicken, or increase the proportion of meat or beans. If you want more heat, add more chiles, or a different kind of chile, or throw in a dash of Tabasco sauce.  You can stir in heavy cream or sour cream at the end.

 
It's very hard to mess up!