Tag Archives: carrots

Slow Cooker Pot Pie

2 large chicken breasts, roasted and chopped

4 cups water

4 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon Chicken

12 oz bag frozen peas and carrots

½-1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

One large shallot, chopped

Lb bacon cooked, extra crispy and crumbled

One cup of heavy cream

2 T flour, for thickening (can substitute or leave out)

Salt and pepper

Butter

Biscuits: (optional)

1 ½ cups Bisquick

½-1 cup milk, start with ½ c and add a little at a time until all flour is moistened

Don’t let the photos make you dizzy! They do look sideways because they are; that was the best angle for optimum lighting. I had food on my hand and used my iPhone camera. This recipe went quick!

Starting with frozen chicken breast I had cooking in the Crock-Pot on High for two hours, I used tongs to remove and chop them on a cutting board and transfer them to my second Crock-Pot. Side note: I absolutely love having two! The frozen chicken releases a bunch of goo. If I remember correctly, it’s protein which makes a mess in the pot. Instead of removing the chicken and having to clean the pot before continuing, I just use the second pot when I’m in a hurry.

Add the chopped shallots, sliced mushrooms, bag of frozen veggies, water, and Better Than Bouillon, and then salt and pepper everything. Cook on High for two hours.

I waited to add the bacon with the cream and flour to keep it as crispy as possible. Stir the flour into the cream to save from dirtying another dish and add it 30 minutes before serving as well as dollops of the biscuit mix.

Bacon and cream stirred in.

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Result after two hours. I added a tab of butter to my bowl of goodness. So yummy!

I noticed the result was better after I turned off the heat and let the leftovers cool for storage. This is common when making recipes with gravy (flour). The leftovers, I suspected, would be ever more delicious!

Notice the biscuits cooked this way are not crispy, but more like dumplings or pancakes without the browning on the outside. That’s the give for this method. The Crock-Pot steams the dough rather than baking it, and I actually added foil under the lid of the pot during the last 30 minutes to make sure the dough cooked through. You would have to use the conventional oven for crispy biscuits which I love, but they take more time, dishes, and effort. Also, using the oven warms up the kitchen which I like to avoid.

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Classic Fried Rice

Childhood favorite, versatile, personalize-able, simple, quick, filling, tasty…so many words to describe this dish. It’s quick if you have rice ready or a rice cooker. I like to think of fried rice as the Asian equivalent to lasagna; it’s all your leftovers thrown together, or at least, that’s how I figure lasagna was first made, but layered! For lasagna, you need pasta and cheese; everything else is by selection. For fried rice, you need rice and egg. You can virtually put whatever else in it you choose. My mom had several versions of fried rice: hamburger fried rice, SPAM fried rice (like you see here), spicy fried rice…

SPAM is easily a kid-favorite food because it’s salty. It balances well with these light-flavored vegetables, peas and carrots. I like to use frozen vegetables for this because they keep their shape (don’t get mushy while being tossed around in this mix), are inexpensive but have similar nutritional integrity as fresh vegetables, and they’re ready to cook (no chopping, cleaning, etc).

I’m basically defrosting them in about 1/4 cup of water or chicken stock in a pan on medium-high while I chop the SPAM.

Probably shouldn’t have the kids chop this up…they like to sneak tastes!

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I’ve added the SPAM to the veggies to warm it up. I just think it tastes better this way. Once that’s done, add three scrambled eggs, salt and pepper. I’ve opened up a space in the center of the mix to cook the egg as you will see any Asian cooking fried rice will do. Drop some olive oil in there before the eggs. You could cook the eggs first and set them aside; this will also save from dirtying another pan.

Rice is done. Add it when everything else is done cooking. Don’t forget your sauce! Soy sauce, fish sauce, hoisin…whatever you like. You really have to experiment. Most Asians don’t use recipes.

Mee Hoon

You may know this dish as pancit. Depends on what kind of restaurant you visit or where you’re from. It’s difficult memorizing the names of all the foreign dishes you like unless you eat out a lot…or you cook them yourself. I honestly didn’t even know the name of this dish until I was an adult trying to duplicate something my mom had cooked on occasion while I was growing up. I had to ask her, describing it as best I could not knowing the name of mushrooms she used but only how they crunched in my mouth; the noodles by how she prepped them before cooking.

It doesn’t have the exact same flavor as my mom’s cooking it myself, but I’m able to leave out the ingredients I didn’t like, especially onions, and replace them with shallots while choosing other vegetables I like.

This time I used Napa cabbage, shredded carrots, and shallots…

Also, rice noodles and frozen shrimp whereas traditionally, you use dried shrimp.

Having a variety of colors adds to the culinary experience.

Here’s some of the prep: soaking the noodles, chopping the shallots, washing/drying the cabbage. Similarly to https://cookingupuneecrivaine.wordpress.com/2017/03/29/classic-fried-rice/ , you make sure everything that needs to be cooked is cooked and then combine everything, including sauce, to heat through. Very simple.

 

Shepherd’s Pie

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I crushed in pretzel crackers to give it the crunch you would normally get from roasting this with mashed potatoes on top.

Traditionally made with lamb meat and a mashed potato crust, I will be using ground turkey for Shepherd’s Pie. Since it’s called Cottage Pie if you use beef, maybe we should rename it to whatever protects the turkeys. Pen Pie. Not so appetizing. Remember the story that ends with a blackbird pie? Can we find something that hints at the ingredients? Free-range pie? Ha ha. Playing with collective nouns, Rafter Pie. I like it. Enough of that, let’s get to the food!

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Here again, we start with the culinary trinity. Carrots, celery, and I’ve replaced onions with shallots. Add potatoes which would be the “crust” if you cooked this in an oven.

I’ve added the ingredients I would use to make a cream of mushroom soup. Butter, mushrooms, dried thyme, flour, garlic, salt and pepper, chicken bouillon, and water.

Add the rest of the ingredients for Shepherd’s Pie; green beans and ground turkey.

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In the pot:

1 pound ground turkey, browned in skillet with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder (½–1 teaspoon each, depending on your taste)

1 shallot, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

6 red potatoes, chopped

8 oz sliced fresh mushrooms

10 oz frozen green beans

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chicken bouillon (1 teaspoon Better than Bouillon, plus one cup water used here)

4 tablespoon butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Salt and pepper, about ½ teaspoon each used for the veggie layer as well as the meat layer

Stir together. Cook on High for 4 hours. Top with crumbled, crispy, butter crackers or pretzel crackers.

 

Beef Stew

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If you prefer a more traditional beef stew over the previously posted meatball stew, then this is one way to do it.

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The fresher your food, the better!

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While chopping these potatoes, I was trying to remember how many times in my life I’ve cut myself while cooking. I could probably count on my fingers; but then again, I’m careful (I would never complete a meal on the Iron Chef)!

The beast. This may be the single food that can instantly give me a migraine, and I’ve never liked taste. In addition to wetting the knife and rinsing the onion after peeling off the paper, I actually held my breath. Wetting the knife is sufficient enough for me to chop shallots to avoid the always uncomfortable fumes of the onion causing my eyes to burn and water, but this beast requires extra measures. Also since I can’t palate the raw, bitter flavor or unique crunch of onions between my teeth, I find that chopping it into quarters and removing the centers makes it very easy to not only find in the pot, but remove and discard from the recipe before serving. Why use it at all? Good question. There are few recipes, in my opinion, that require onion to maintain the integrity of the dish. Keeping to traditional cuisine, the Holy Trinity of French cooking or mirepoix requires carrots, celery, and onion. It’s always a good start when trying a new recipe or attempting to hack an old one, as I did here.

Salt and pepper the meat. Coat it with flour. Add the water and bouillon cube.

1 1/4 pounds stew meat

2 pounds red potatoes, chopped

4 carrots, chopped 

6 stalks of celery, chopped

One yellow onion, chopped into quarters, center removed 

One cup water 

One low-sodium beef bouillon cube

6 ½ oz tomato purée (I made enchilada sauce at the same time and needed tomato sauce but only had a can of chopped tomatoes which I blended to make purée, so 8 ounces went into the enchilada sauce and the rest into the beef stew an hour before it was done)

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

2 tablespoons flour 

2 tablespoons garlic powder

On teaspoon of dried basil

½ teaspoon dried oregano

Salt and pepper

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The onions should go where you can find them easily if you intend to remove them at the end like I do. Make sure to avoid breaking them up when you stir the pot halfway through (if you’re home); otherwise, I would make sure to put the carrots on the bottom of the pot (or whatever veggie you want to make sure becomes tender by the time it’s done). Chopping the potatoes and carrots into smaller pieces will also ensure everything cooks evenly.

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Salt and pepper the veggies.

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Add garlic powder, dried basil, and dried oregano. Wait until an hour before it’s done to add the tomato puree. Definitely stir it then.

Everyone in the covered Crock-Pot on Low for 5 ½ hours. Great with rice or sourdough (maybe a sourdough bread bowl?). Yum!

 

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

So simple, so delicious! Another one. Yes, I could potentially eat this everyday. The optional sour cream and cilantro gives a fresh, zingy creaminess to the meaty spice of the completed casserole. Does that make sense? You have to try it! It will be a potluck request!

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In my experience, frozen chicken breasts cook perfectly on High in the Crock-Pot in four hours. I have had to remove them to shred and clean out the pot. This Dubliner cheese from Costco was in the fridge, so it went into this recipe. It’s a very nice, mild cheddar mix and it’s also very versatile. It’s worked well in Mexican dishes and Italian dishes. The carrots, shallots, and celery cooked in the pot with the chicken, and I ended up having to rinse them to get the chicken protein goo off of them. Luckily now, I have the second pot to cook the chicken separately making that a much easier task. I was trying to finish this recipe in four hours and without the Mexican beer…I had to improvise a bit.

Here’s what I did:

3 large frozen chicken breasts, lightly salt and peppered

1 stalk of celery, chopped

1 small carrot, chopped

Cook in Crock-Pot on High for 4 hours. Remove chicken when done, shred with fork and tongs. Removing ceramic pot from base, dump into a colander what’s still in the pot. Using a rubber spatula, scrape anything else out of pot. Return pot to base. Rinse contents of colander with kitchen hose removing chicken goo. 

3 cups cheese, shredded (with a grater while chicken was cooking)

1 can (19 ounces) enchilada sauce (recipe below)

7 ounces tortilla chips

1 shallot, chopped

1 lime

Optional: sour cream, fresh cilantro (both of which I highly recommend!)

Layer ½ cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pot, one third of tortilla chips, 1/3 of the shredded chicken and veggie mix, and one cup of cheese. Repeat. Squeeze lime (cut in half) to juice over top, discard peel and seeds. Cook on Low until cheese is melted, up to 4 hours or High for 2 hours.

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Random nachos (snack while cooking) using extra cheese and chips, bottom left photo.
You could theoretically cook the chicken with salt and pepper in one pot on High for 4 hours and everything else in a second pot on Low for 4 hours. When they’re both done, clean up and shred the chicken, plate it, and top it with the yum from the other pot. It will be hot and fresh. The leftovers may be better in that the meat will have had time to sit in the sauce, but it won’t have that same fresh-cooked taste. Either way, it’s utterly delectable!

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I made enchilada sauce instead of buying it in a can and used chili powder that I could find, olive oil that I already had, the Bullet to blend it all, and the following recipe as a guide. It keeps very well in the fridge. http://allrecipes.com/recipe/61727/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/

 

 

Cerveza Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Crock-Pot Slow Cooker Recipes (binder), p. 65. Publications International, Ltd. Lincolnwood, 2013.