One of our local organic grocery stores ran a deal last month for free boneless, skinless chicken breasts so I made the trip and bought the meat. I brought it home and stuck it in the freezer and the pretty brown paper has been staring at me every day since then. You’ve read in my other posts that I’m not a huge fan of plain chicken breasts, but it was such a good deal, I couldn’t pass it up.
Living in North Carolina, barbecue here is done two different ways– sloppy, smokey and sweet OR vinegar-based and tart. I’m more a fan of the first, so it’s easy to go out and buy a barbecue dinner, but even more difficult to find a good bottled sauce to use at home. I’ve tried A BUNCH of store-bought sauces and have found a few favorites.
My #1 choice above all else is Montgomery Inn Barbecue Sauce, from Cincinnati, Ohio. It isn’t distributed everywhere, but you can buy it online. It’s smokey and just the right thickness and I love it on the meat on the grill or in the crock pot.
I also recently discovered Budweiser’s Sweet Barbecue Sauce. It’s sweet and sticky, but great flavor for pulled chicken sandwiches. I added some additional flavors in today’s meal, but this sauce was delicious.
Make this recipe and then serve it on warmed sesame buns or in a wrap with some shredded cheddar cheese. You can vary the flavors by switching out what kind of beer and what kind of barbecue sauce you choose to use. Enjoy!
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 c. caramelized onions
6 oz. beer (your choice!)
1 bottle barbecue sauce (your choice again!)
Put chicken in crock pot and pour beer over meat. Add caramelized onions on top of meat. Cook on low for 6 hours. Use a baster and remove the excess liquid from the pot and then shred the meat with a couple of forks. If cooked properly, the meat should fall apart very easily. Pour enough barbecue sauce over the meat that it coats it well but isn’t soupy. (You can always add more, you can’t really get it back out!) Cook on low for one additional hour.
I can’t believe I haven’t published this recipe for you yet! I make this once a month and then use it in other dishes. This is so easy and tasty and lasts for up to a month in the refrigerator– unless you are like me and use it all up first! Three pounds of onions fits in a one quart plastic container when cooked. Make sure the lid shuts air tight (tupperware, rubbermaid, gladware, mason jars, etc.).
Suggested uses for caramelized onions: put a scoop in any dish that you usually would use fresh chopped onions, like meatloaf, hamburgers or potato soup) or make it into super easy french onion soup– put a scoop in a bowl, cover with beef broth. Then put a crostini on top and some cheese and broil until cheese is melted. Seriously– french onion soup in five minutes or less!
You will save so much time if you take 8 hours and make this in advance. Enjoy the extra time and the extra flavor!
3 lb. yellow onions, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 stick butter
Put onion slices into the crock pot. Put one stick butter on top. Cook on low for 7-8 hours. Cool. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Filed under: Appetizer, Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes, vegetarian
I’m totally enjoying soups this week and I hope you are getting a chance to enjoy some of these recipes too. I love it when I can make an entire meal in ONE pot and feed the whole family. This soup is a variation on my crock pot potato soup recipe (search for it in the recipe index) and adds in the unique sweetness of parsnips and carrots and sweet onions.
Even though it’s almost spring, we still need to survive on the rest of winter’s vegetables. If you can already grow things in your garden or windowsill, try adding fresh herbs like flat parsley, dill or chives to your soup when it is done cooking. I think you’ll find the promise of spring in the soothing warmth of this chowder. Enjoy!
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
3 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
3 c. water
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. celery seed
1 c. milk
1 T. corn starch
1 can cream-style corn
Put all vegetables and seasonings in crock pot, cover with water. Cook on high for 4 hours. When vegetables are all soft, dissolve corn starch in milk and then add to crock pot. Add cream-style corn and mix ingredients together. Cook on low one more hour. Use an immersion blender and puree the soup until thick and creamy. Serve with fresh parsley, dill or chives on top.
At this time of year, everyone is trying to hang on to at least a shred of the New Year’s resolution that they made only a couple weeks ago. This recipe is a great one to help— you can eat healthier and save money by making French dip. You don’t need a lot of meat on your sandwiches and you get to savor so much of the flavor by using the cooking liquid as the au jus. Plus, you don’t need to add extra condiments, cheese, oil or any other typical sandwich toppings that just add fat and calories anyway. (You can also make a great salad and top it with the leftover meat as a second meal!)
This meal was inspired by my friend T.D.H. who made these sandwiches for her family last week. I altered her recipe a little, but I appreciated her recommendation. Thank you! I hope you enjoy these crock pot French dip sandwiches so much that you share it with your friends, too. :)
1.5-2 lb. London Broil, trimmed
32 oz. beef stock (I use low-sodium)
1/4 c. soy sauce (again, low-sodium)
1/2 medium yellow onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 t. celery seed
1/2 t. thyme
1/2 t. rosemary
2 bay leaves, whole
1 t. whole black peppercorns
Serve on 4-6 crusty french rolls
Heat a flat skillet with 1 T. olive oil in it. Sear your London Broil on both sides, but do not cook meat through. Put all other ingredients in the crock pot and then delicately place the meat in. Cook on high for 3 hours. Remove meat, slice across the grain, then put the meat back in the crock pot for an additional hour. Serve meat on warmed, crusty french rolls. Remove bay leaves from the crock pot and discard. Either drain the remaining liquid through a cheese cloth– or be lazy like me… I used a ladle and removed 1/2 c. of the liquid for each sandwich and served it in a ramekin. So what if some rosemary or thyme comes along for the ride, it just adds more flavor!
Filed under: Dinner, Recipes, Side dishes, Uncategorized, vegetarian
Most of you probably just read the title of this recipe and giggled. Yes, cowpea sounds a lot like cow pie. In fact, cow pee makes it seem even more funny. So if you haven’t heard of a cowpea before, let me tell you a little about it. But seriously, you can stop giggling now. Cowpeas are meaty little legumes that come in long pods. Once you pull the string off, you’ll see the tightly packed peas pop out of the pod. They are sometimes classified as a black-eyed pea, but you can also get purple-eyed ones, they can be green, white or dark in color and they are hearty little nuggets to cook.
When you can get them fresh, you are good to go once they are out of the pod. If you get them dried, then you need to soak them in water overnight for about 8 hours and then rinse them a few times before you throw them in the pot.
Cowpeas are common in a lot of Read more
One of my favorite things about Indian food is that you can have such a variety of purely vegetarian dishes. With the right balance of ingredients, you can have a healthy, protein- and vitamin-rich meal with an array of flavors and nothing in it will have ever had a face.
There is also a misconception about crock pots that I’d like to ruin. Many people think the crock pot is just for cooking the hell out of a piece of meat or else making soup, but indeed there are so many other great dishes that we can make in a matter of minutes! So for the skeptics out there, I invite you to try this vegetable curry. It’s hot and spicy, almost sexy, and definitely enjoyable. Experiment today with this cultural culinary specialty.
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 16 oz. bag of frozen cauliflower Read more
My 93-year-old grandmother-in-law was visiting last week and the woman is amazing. She is clear minded and sound of body. She might not win the race, but she will definitely reach the finish line. She loves her grandchildren and great-grandchildren and hates to be idle. So when she was here visiting and offered to help in the kitchen, I was pleased to have her assistance.
My least favorite food prep is cutting onions. Let’s be honest– I’m a big baby about it. My eyes first burn and tingle, then water profusely and run all down my face. I look like I’m in a bad soap opera by the time that innocent white bulb is finally all chopped up. So, I politely asked my ”sous-chef” to complete this task and she diced enough onions to fill half of a gallon-sized freezer bag full!
Now I needed to figure out what to do with all these onions. I thought about a side dish of creamed onions or maybe crisping them up with some garlic to start a nice curry dish, but decided instead that it would only be appropriate to make my mother-in-law’s recipe for for potato soup and to use the onions that her own mama chopped up. My M-I-L didn’t make this dish in the crock pot, but Read more
It’s Friday! I work hard all week waiting for today. Tonight we get to start our weekend. I can’t think of a better way to welcome the weekly 2-day vacation than to have a family meal together at home. To make it more special, we are having guests this evening as well. Ok crock pot, it’s time to do your thing and make dinner tonight taste like it was hard to make (but really it’s only noon o’clock and it’s already done).
The most challenging part of this recipe is making sure that your meat will fit in the crock pot. If you have a round and more vertical design of a crock pot, you might have to use a cornish hen instead of a chicken if you want it to fit! This recipe really works best in a 5-6 qt. crockpot that is oval shaped. I just thought you should know this before you start trying to shove everything in and then being disappointed when it doesn’t fit. (check out my next post about buying a new crock pot!)
If you have leftover chicken after tonight, I’d recommend making curried chicken salad tomorrow. Add a stalk of fresh, chopped celery (not a cooked one from the pot), add a small can of diced water chestnuts, 1/2 c. quartered red grapes and then enough mayo to make it a good consistency. Then, add curry powder, a little salt and pepper— I can’t tell you how much because I don’t know how much chicken you have left, but remember that curry powder becomes more potent after it gets a chance to fester. Make this salad up and then put it in the fridge for a couple hours– when it turns a darker copper color (from the curry), it’s ready to eat!
Well there you go, I guess it’s a two recipe day. You have one for today and one for tomorrow!
Now for to the roasted chicken recipe:
1 3-4 lb. fresh chicken, thawed, rinsed and patted dry
2 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped Read more
A friend of mine wants to use her crock pot more, but has an allergy to tomatoes. After doing a little research, I agreed with her– most crock pot recipes seem to have some sort of tomato or tomato-based product in them! It is an injustice that my friend should not be able to embrace easy crock pot cooking more often. So, my next few recipes will definitely not be red. And if it’s just that you don’t like tomatoes, these might just become some of your new favorites too.
This is an easy potato casserole that gets jazzed up by the cheese and chips. Since the french word for potato is “pomme de terre”, I am honoring my friend Tara with this recipe for “Pomme de Tara”. Enjoy!
(Is there a recipe you’d like to see or an ingredient you’d like to avoid?? Click on my contact page and send me a note– I’m happy to post something just for YOU!)
6-8 potatoes, diced
1 onion, chopped
4 T. butter, melted
1 c. milk Read more