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Archive for the ‘slow cooker’ Category

So I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Pati’s Mexican Table blog, but you should definitely check it out.  I used her recipe for the enchiladas and the tomatillo salsa in this post.  The enchiladas are kind of a PITA, but they were delicioussssss.  The salsa, on the other hand was easy and I am in love with it.  I want to make it every week, now.  Also, I love going to the mexican market, Pancho Villa to get cheaper, fresher ingredients for stuff like this.  Check out this huge hunk of queso fresco I got for less than $4!

Anyway, I will separate the two recipes so you can make one or the other easier, if you wish.

Tomatillo Salsa

What you need

  • Two pounds green tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 2-5 garlic cloves, to your taste
  • 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles (I accidentally bought anaheim, wah)
  • 1-2 cups cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped white onion
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola oil

What to do:

  1. Put the tomatillos and garlic into a large stockpot.  Cover with water and bring to a boil. 
  2. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatillos change color to pale green.
  3. Put the tomatillos, garlic and 1/2 cup of the cooking water into a blender.  Puree and then add the onions, cilantro, salt and chiles.  Puree until the salsa is mixed throughout. 
  4. In the same stockpot, heat a tablespoon of oil, and add the salsa back into the pot.
  5. Simmer the salsa for another 10 minutes or so, until it thickens up a bit.  Add more salt to taste.
  6. Enjoy!

Enchiladas Verdes

What you need:

  • 2 pounds of chicken breast
  • a few cups of chicken stock
  • oil
  • 12-14 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup mexican style crema Brand doesn't matter, but this one is great
  • queso fresco
  • a generous amount of tomatillo salsa, at least 4 cups

What to do:

  1. Add the uncooked chicken and the chicken stock to a slow cooker and cook on low for 7-8 hours
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  3. In a saute pan or cast iron skillet, add enough oil to cover a tortilla lying flat in the pan.  Preheat the pan on low for 5 mins for a normal pan or 10-15 for cast iron.
  4. Let 2-3 tortillas soak in the oil for a minute or two, then take them out, let the oil drain, and repeat until with the remaining tortillas.  You will be able to tell when they are ready because they will become WAY more pliable, and won’t break when rolled up.  The first time around, I didn’t soak them long enough and ended up with a bunch of broken enchiladas… Don’t repeat my mistake!
  5. Fill each tortilla with a 3 tablespoons of chicken and some queso fresco
  6. Roll up the tortilla around the chicken and queso, seam facing down, and place into oven safe dish
  7. Cover generously with tomatillo salsa
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes
  9. Serve with queso fresco and crema on top on the enchiladas.  Enjoy them while they are hot!

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One thing you may or may not know about me… I am obsessed with finding good deals and then stocking up in the freezer.  I dream about the future, when I will have a garage and can buy one of those huge freezers.  Please don’t judge me.

Anyway, I bring this up because around Thanksgiving I bought turkey breasts (the whole bone-in breast, basically the turkey w/o legs and wings, not just boneless, skinless breasts) for 99 cents a pound – which is CRAZY cheap.  So obviously I bought three, two of which I was not planning on using for Thanksgiving.  After a particularly robust trip to Costco, I had to free up some freezer space and I finally made one of the breasts… IN A CROCKPOT.

SO EASY and SO DELICIOUS.  Do it, you will thank me, later.

What you need:

  • Full bone in turkey breast (make sure it will fit in your crock pot, first!), defrosted
  • 1 packet of dry onion soup mix
  • minced garlic
  • two onions, chopped
  • one bunch of celery, chopped
  • a few red potatoes, chopped
  • carrots, I used a bag of baby carrots
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth or white wine (or half and half)
  • 1 stick of butter, softened, mixed with oregano, sage, thyme, rosemary

mmm veggies

What to do:

  1. Put the breast into the crock pot dish.  Prepare the bird by lifting as much of the skin off as you can, then rubbing the butter & herb mix into the meat.  Cover back up with the skin.  Kind of gruesome, but so worth it.

    Boyfriend giving the bird a butter rub down

  2. Fill the crock pot around the bird with half to two thirds of the veggies.  Stuff the remainder inside the cavity.

    This is post-cook, but you can see how the veggies are around, and stuffed inside

  3. Mix the soup packet with the wine/ stock, and add to the crock pot.
  4. Cook on low for about 7 hours
  5. Don’t worry about the lack of liquid!  While it cooks, it will let out all the juices, as you can see in the photo above.

finished product

with stew on the side!

This is seriously the easiest and most tender turkey I have ever made/ had.  We usually fry turkey for the holidays, which is awesome, but a huge PITA.  This is so easy, and it literally falls apart when touched.

P.S. you don’t have to use the veggies, but it so easy, and in the end you have an entire one pot meal waiting for you.

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I saw a recipe in Real Simple a few months ago for buffalo chicken sandwiches and jotted it down on my list of things to try out.  I was feeling lazy and decided to take a crock pot route instead of following the RS recipe.  I found this one on allrecipes.com, which I followed for the most part: http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/slow-cooker-buffalo-chicken-sandwiches/Detail.aspx

Basically, all you need are the following: crockpot, chicken breast (I used chicken breast tenders), hot sauce or buffalo sauce (I used Frank’s Buffalo Sauce), a few tablespoons of butter, some ranch dressing mix (I used Hidden Valley Buttermilk Ranch), and some kind of bun/ roll to put it on.

Put the chicken in the crockpot, along with the sauce (I used a whole 12 ounce bottle), the butter, the ranch mix (I used about 1.5 packets, or tablespoons).  My chicken was frozen, but I knew it wouldn’t be dinner time in 7 hours, so I still kept it all the way down on the lowest setting… my old ass crockpot is older than me and has no fancy timers, etc.  So it was on low from about 10:30am – 5:30pm, then I turned it off, then turned it back on around 7 to eat at 7:30pm.  I didn’t end up shredding the chicken, because I didn’t want to lose it in the sauce.  I had tenders anyway, not huge breasts, so it worked out.

To top the sandwiches off, I shredded some green cabbage and mixed it with some homemade bleu cheese dressing (to follow).  It was totally delicious, especially with a side of fresh, sweet corn on the cob.  Beware though, we used regular hamburger buns, which proved to be no match for the dressing + hot sauce.  Assemble your sammy, then eat IMMEDIATELY.  It is superrrr messy!  I think next time I am going to try using a tortilla and making it more like a burrito/ wrap, simply to contain the sauces more effectively.  All in all, it was big (and easy!) hit for a quick spring dinner.  I think kids would love this, and it’s not too spicy (with the sauce I used) if you don’t shred the chicken or add more sauce after the fact, as the OG recipe calls for.  In fact, for me, it was tame.

Oh and P.S. the nutrition facts on the allrecipes recipe is WAY off, by my calculation at least.  I got about 420 cals per sandwich (including cabbage and 2 tbsp bleu cheese dressing) with a hamburger bun that was 150cals.

Bleu Cheese Dressing:

Over the Christmas holiday in 2009, my BF and I went to San Francisco, for a mini-vacay.  SO MUCH GOOD FOOD!  One bar we went to, the name of which I can’t remember for the life of me, had delicious beer and even more delicious pub fare.  The best things we had were the bleu cheese dressing and this crazy roasted broccoli, which had the most interesting and unexpected texture (which I have never been ever to replicate, sadly).  I was raving to the server about the bleu cheese and he came back with the recipe!  Their recipe was as follows:  equal parts sour cream and mayonnaise, gorgonzola cheese, and then sauteed scallions which have then been pureed.

I randomly had all the ingredients on hand (random because we are not fans of sour cream or mayo).  I didn’t measure anything out, just eyeballed it, mayo + sour cream + bleu cheese + some of the leftover HV buttermilk powder.  I sauteed the scallions in garlic olive oil (AMAZING) and tried pureeing it in my mini food processor.  This didn’t work out too well.  It was actually pretty gross, so I just chucked it.  I must say though, it was delicious!  I will definitely be making this more often!

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