Category Archives: Crock-Pot

crock pot meals

Saucy Mama’s Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork

Joe, Heather and I attended the Fancy Food Show recently and were tempted by all the tantalizing new flavors and products. Rubs, marinades, spice blends…FLAVOR was everywhere! A particular standout were the offerings from Saucy Mama, maker of marinades, dressings, sauces and mustards.  We sampled some of their popular items such as Lime Chipotle Marinade, Sesame Ginger Dressing, Cracked Pepper Marinade and Chipotle Mustard to name a few.  They were all chock full of zest, spice, and character.

Saucy Mama’s motto is Make Every Meal Extraordinary, and  that is just what we decided to do.  We took Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade, combined it with pork, barbecue sauce and brown sugar, tossed it into the  slow-cooker and created a fantastic Pulled Pork recipe.  It is a little bit sweet, a little bit sour and a lot spicy hot!!!

Lime Chipotle Pulled Pork Sandwiches
Makes 8 Servings

3 1/2 lb. boneless pork shoulder roast or pork butt
1 medium onion, sliced
1 bottle (12 oz.) Saucy Mama Lime Chipotle Marinade
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Plus:
8  sandwich rolls, split
2 cups prepared cole slaw

– Place pork roast and onion in large slow-cooker.

– In small bowl, stir together Lime Chipotle Marinade, barbecue sauce, brown sugar and 1/3 cup water.  Pour over pork.  Cover and cook on LOW 8-10 hours.

– Remove pork from slow-cooker. Using a knife and fork, pull meat into shredded pieces.  Place shredded meat back into sauce in slow-cooker and stir. Keep warm until ready to serve.

– Divide pork mixture evenly between split rolls; top with cole slaw.

-Cathy

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Filed under BBQ, Crock-Pot, Pork, Reviews, Sandwiches

Slow-Cooker Butternut Squash Soup

Wow, have I been making the most of my slow-cooker this season!  Here on the East Coast, we have been hammered with snow, and  there is nothing like coming into the kitchen after hours of shoveling or sledding to the aroma of a hearty soup or stew. My most recent concoction? A creamy and delicious Butternut Squash Soup.  I pre-roast the squash for about 15 minutes which really brings out its wonderful nutty taste.  Curry and coriander add layers of flavor to the soup and are balanced by a slightly sweet touch of applesauce.  Serve the soup in a huge mug and grab a warm, crusty chunk of bread and a cozy blanket.  My frostbitten toes are tingling just thinking about it!

Butternut Squash Soup

Makes about 10 cups

1 butternut squash, peeled and halved  (about 3 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup chopped walnuts, lightly toasted
– Preheat oven to 400F.  Place butternut squash halves, cut side up, in roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil.  Roast 15 minutes.  Cut into 1-inch cubes.
– In medium saucepan, melt butter.  Add onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned.  Stir in curry powder; cook 1 minute.
– Place butternut squash and onion mixture into a large slow-cooker.  Add remaining ingredients except heavy cream and walnuts.  Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours.
– In food processor or blender, process mixture in small batches until purèed.  Return to slow-cooker on WARM setting; add heavy cream and stir  until heated through.
– Sprinkle each serving with chopped walnuts and a sprig of fresh thyme if desired.


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Filed under Butternut Squash, Crock-Pot, curry powder, Entertaining, Soup

A Chili Summer

Ask people how they like their chili and you’ll get a variety of answers. Mild or caliente, vegetarian or con carne, everyone has an opinion. Chili brings out our experimental side, and almost anything can be thrown into the pot; as evidenced by the many chili cook-offs occurring across the country each summer.

One such cook-off that I’ve frequented over the years is the summer chili cook-off at Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York.  Come August at the Spa, it’s High Society  and horses in the paddock, and folding chairs & coolers behind the grandstand.  Saratoga’s 40-day summer meet is the crème de la crème of thoroughbred racing, boasting a stakes race each and every day.  The historic grandstand & race course has even been named one of the worlds great sporting venues by Sports Illustrated magazine.

So if you’re looking for one last day-trip to your never ending summer, set a course for upstate New York, where the horses will be running through Labor Day.  Can’t get to the Spa…  then try my summer chili recipe.  It takes me back there everytime !

as photographed by our team, à la Carte Partners

Joe’s Slow-Cooker Chili
makes about 12 servings

1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground Italian sausage (hot or sweet)
1 bottle (12 oz) beer
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder (more for spicy)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2  teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2  teaspoon ground red pepper (optional)
1  package (10 oz.) frozen corn
1  package (10 oz.) frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 can (15 oz.) red pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

– In large skillet brown ground beef and sausage; drain and spoon into Crock-Pot.
– Add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours.

Tips

– Leftovers can be frozen.
Any combination of beans can be used.
– Seasoning can be adjusted to your taste buds.
– To make a vegetarian version, remove the beef and sausage  and add your favorite vegetables such as zucchini, carrots, yellow squash, butternut squash,  bell peppers, etc.

-Joe


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Filed under Beef, Chili, Crock-Pot, Sausage

On a Roll with the Crock-Pot

I tell you, without a kitchen, my new found friend is the Crock-Pot. I made Pork Chops with Sauerkraut, a blast from the past from my childhood! My Mom used to make this in the oven. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t touch it, but today — I love it. And in the Crock-Pot, the pork is so tender, it slips right off the bone. Caraway seeds and bacon– my secret ingredients!!!  OK, I know that bacon is not the best thing for you, but boy, does it add great flavor. You’ve got to live sometimes!!!

Tips:

– I added some baby potatoes, halved to the sauerkraut mixture.  You can also add sliced carrots.
– If you are not a caraway seed fan, just eliminate them.
– Use turkey bacon if you don’t want the extra fat and cholesterol.
– Recipe can be doubled to make 4 servings.

Here’s the recipe:

Makes 2 servings

3 slices bacon
1 bag (16 ounces) sauerkraut
1 small onion, sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 center cut loin bone in pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)

    – Cook bacon in skillet until crisp, reserve bacon drippings.

    – In 5 to 6 quart Crock-Pot, place sauerkraut, onion, brown sugar, caraway seeds and black pepper.  Crumble bacon over sauerkraut mixture and add reserved bacon drippings; stir well.

    – Place pork chops over mixture.  Cover and cook on LOW 7 to 8 hours.

    C

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    Filed under Crock-Pot, Main Dishes, Pork, Potatoes

    Healthy Crock-Pot Oatmeal

    My husband Rich and I have been trying to eat healthier.  No more bacon, egg and cheese sandwiches for our weekend breakfasts!  I’ve discovered steel-cut oats. I love the texture of the oats—nutty, crunchy, so good ! They are the healthiest variety of oats, but also take the longest to prepare.  Crock-Pot to the rescue!!  Since it’s just the two of us for breakfast, I purchased a small Crock-Pot just for the oats—a 1 1/2 to 2-quart size works great, plus they are inexpensive.  I start the oats the night before and have a healthy breakfast in the AM.  I add lots of good toppings, too!

    Tips

    – Be sure to spray the inside of the Crock-Pot with vegetable cooking spray.  If not, the oatmeal forms a sticky crusty coating on the sides of the Crock-Pot.
    – Add dried fruit such as cranberries, blueberries, raisins, pineapple, apricot, apples—the combinations are endless.
    – Add nuts, flax seeds, toasted wheat germ, granola—be creative!
    – You can also add fresh fruit.  If I do, I get up a little early and add it about 1/2 hour before the oatmeal is done.
    – I love adding brown sugar or a touch of maple syrup (okay, so much for being healthy!)
    – If you have a large family, use a larger Crock-Pot and double or triple the recipe. To make a smaller amount as in this recipe, it is important to use the right size (smaller) Crock-Pot as specified above.

    Here’s the recipe:

    Makes 2 heaping servings

    4 1/2 cups water
    1 cup steel-cut oats
    1/4 cup dried fruit
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    – Spray inside of  1 1/2 – 2 quart crockpot with vegetable cooking spray.
    – Place all ingredients in Crock-Pot.  Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours.

    C

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    5 Comments

    Filed under Breakfast, Crock-Pot, Healthy

    Crock-Pot BBQ

    The salad dressing recipe is coming but I have to tell you about the great BBQ baby back ribs I made last night. The secret: my new Crock-Pot. It is the greatest invention. I have been in the food business for more than 30 years and I only just bought one, thanks to Heather. It comes in handy, especially right now when I have no kitchen to work in! Easy, easy easy ribs: two racks baby back ribs, one onion, sliced and one bottle of your favorite bottled BBQ Sauce ( I used Bulls Eye BBQ Sauce). Place all in Crock-Pot (be sure to add some water to bottle of empty BBQ sauce; shake to get the last drop of sauce and pour over all) Cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours. We are talking about fall-off-the-bones goodness. The sauce caramelizes—yummy. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers! Till next time…
    C

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    Filed under BBQ, Crock-Pot, Ribs