Buffalo Meatball Subs

Buffalo Meatball Subs

Buffalo Meatball Subs

A day late & dollar short, that kinda sums up this here blog. Made this concoction for the playoffs & it turned out way better than expected (I’m not one for the buffalo sauce).

Surprised that I really couldn’t find a meatball recipe that didn’t involve frozen Italian meatballs from the store, so just somewhat had to wing it on that end. Really try to do mostly whole foods when making these crocks – sometimes it doesn’t work out that way.

Stuffs:

  • 2 lb ground chicken/turkey
  • 1.5 cups bread crumbs
  • 2 carrots – finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks – finely diced
  • 2 egg – beaten lightly
  • 2 cups buffalo sauce (Franks, is what I used)
  • 4 oz blue chess crumbles
  • 1 small container greek yogurt (4-6 oz?)
  • 6-8 hogie buns (from bakery not crappy off the shelf – you have more self respect than that, right?)

Make it happen:

  • Heat oven @ 450 degrees (sadly, you need to oven)
  • In large bowl combine chic/turkey, bread crumbs, eggs, carrots, celery
  • Form into 2 in. balls – yes, I said balls
  • Cook in baking dish for 15 mins (might need to do a couple batches)
  • Move the meatballs to crock pot & pour the buffalo sauce over
  • Crock on low for 6-8 hrs.
  • When ready to serve, put meatballs on hogie buns & broil for 1 min (for crisp buns, be careful!)
  • Top with yogurt/blue cheese mixture

Yep, this is one of those amazing sportball slow cooker dishes. Just enough bad crap with some good mixed in there for good measure. Not scientific, but I believe taking out the frozen meatballs helps somewhat.

These were amazing – you could eat w/o the buns – so that is something. Great tasting main dish with the yogurt/blue cheese topping – you can eliminate if need be, but I wouldn’t suggest doing so.

P.S. swear I’m going to learn how to take good photos of food – there is an art to it & obviously I don’t possess that skill.

Chickpea & Vegetable Curry

Chickpea & Vegetable Curry

Chickpea & Vegetable Curry

Ok,  veggie folks who may have asked for at least one more crock – that I’m not being a complete carnivorous biped, here you go. Had a head of cauliflower & some other veggies that needed to be used up. So, thought I would look around a bit & see what could be made with the items that I had on hand.

Haven’t been too successful with the veggie dishes so I was a bit worried that this one would go down the same. I was super happy with the end result.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 peeled & 1/4” sliced carrots
  • 2 tblsp curry powder
  • 1 tblsp peeled & grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and diced
  • 2 14oz cans chickpeas
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper flakes
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 14oz can vegetable broth
  • 3 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
  • 6 lemon wedges for serving

Lets get it going:

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot – cover and cook until tender. Add curry powder, ginger, garlic, and chile (add 1 tblsp of water – mixing curry powder) – cook for a minute or so.
Dump onion mixture into slow cooker.
Stir in chickpeas, salt/pepper, pepper flakes, tomatoes, broth & put the frozen green beans on top.
Cook on HIGH 6 hrs or LOW 3 hrs. (I did the 3 hr method & think this works best so the veggies don’t get too soggy).
Add spinach, basil & coconut milk about 15/30 mins before serving or until spinach wilts.
Serve over couscous & garnish with lemon wedges.

Side dish:

Baked some sweet potato french fries (as you can see in photo – keep an eye on your fries or they’ll turn out a tad crispy!).

As mentioned, this crock turned out pretty darn great – tons of flavor & the cauliflower came out fantastic & wasn’t mushy.

There you have it – a veggie dish done right. I think for veggie crock I’m going to attempt Eggplant Lasagna…

Pork Loin with Pablanos

Pork Loin Pablano in Crock

Pork Loin Pablano in Crock

Got a 1.5lb pork loin – of course it was a manager special @ $3.50 (that is the way I roll). Couple days later went to the most intense farmers market ever – they shut it down because of natural disaster – wind bringing the tarp things down. Anyway, got the idea of crocking something with the fantastic peppers that I gathered at my peril.

I hadn’t tried an actual pork loin in the crock & so was wondering how this was going to turn out. Crossed my hooves & hoped for the best.

Ingredients:

1.5lb Pork Loin
2 pablano peppers (cut into long strips)
2 jalapeño peppers (diced)
2 white sweet potatoes quartered
4 scallions (diced)
1/2 onion (diced)
handful of cilantro
1 tblsp pepper

Make it happen:

Pork Loin Pablano Plate

Pork Loin Pablano Plate

Put just a bit of olive oil on the bottom to lube it up. Add the pork loin in then surround with the potatoes & cover all of this with the peppers, cilantro & throw the pepper on top.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

This was damn good. The peppers added so much flavor to the pork & calmed down the sweetness of the sweet potatoes (which I mashed up in a bowl before serving). Not the prettiest looking dish, but so damn simple.

Served with Romanesco broccoli steamed with lemon – I’d never had this type of broccoli. Liked the fact that it was more hearty than normal broccoli & so doesn’t get mushy.

Breakfast Frittata

frittata

Frittata Cooking

Have done some other breakfast crocks, but wanted to do a bit lighter one – a nice frittata like substance. Somewhat similar to an omelette, so I thought it would be a good change from the ones I’ve made before that have a bag of hash browns.

This is a fantastic breakfast dish that can feed 4 people & only takes about 3 to 4 hrs to cook.

Ingredients:

  • 10 eggs beaten (1/2 just the egg whites)
  • 3 to 4 cooked bacon slices (diced up) – used pre-cooked, much easier
  • 1/2 head broccoli chopped
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 1/2 cup leeks sliced (Trader Joes has frozen sliced)
  • 1/2 bag of spinach (2.5 oz)
  • 10 cherub tomatoes sliced in 1/2 or 1 diced roma tomato
  • 8 oz mushrooms fresh sliced
  • 1/2 tblsp pepper
  • 1 tblsp parsley leaves
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (optional)
Frittata Dish

Frittata Dish

Make it happen:

  • Sauté the onions & garlic & throw the leeks in at just the last minute of sautéing.
  • Spray the inside of crock with some cooking spray.
  • Beat the eggs up real good, pour into the crock.
  • Dump the rest of the ingredients in spreading out evenly.

Cook on low for 3 to 4 hours – check to make sure the the eggs have cooked thoroughly.

Verdict: was quite surprised with this one, cooked up very light & with great flavor.  Didn’t use the cheese, but you can & I’m sure that it will up the taste. Great for an early game day or lazy Sunday.

P.S. – R.I.P my old crock pot that died 10/26/2013 – you will be missed. Now I have a brand new 7 qt cook & carry – invite me now, NOW, to your holiday party: dishes & dips will be brought!

Fajitas Via Crock

Fajitas

Fajitas

So I’m going the way of the Paleo eating & cutting out some of the gluten (I know a bit trendy), but I need to lose a tire size or two for my Costa Rica vacation @ end of Jan. along with an nice back waxing.

This dish is pretty darn easy & if you’re able to stick around to put the veggies in at the half way mark to keep them crispier. A big plus is that you can use the food in a few different ways – put it in omelet, eat out of a bowl or throw it on a tortilla.

The trick to this is time cooked & slicing the meat pretty thin.

Stuff:

  • 2 lbs boneless sirloin or flank (sirloin is cheaper) – slice 1/8″ thick
  • 1 whole lemon, juiced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tblsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tblsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 cup cilantro, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 chipolte peppers w/ sauce, blend in mixer/processed

Crock it:

  • Put meat in crock
  • Mix lemon juice, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, jalapeño, cilantro & chipolte together – then stir in w/ the meat
  • Cover with onion & diced tomatoes.
  • Set on LOW for 6hrs – at the 3hr mark – add the bell peppers (doing so keeps them from getting too mushy)

Great crock & comes out with a lot of flavor. Depending on the meat choice – flank vs. sirloin – the meat will either stay together or fall apart (sirloin tends to fall apart). Also, if you don’t like the heat – use 1/2 the chipolte & 1/2 the jalapeño.

Sides: Guacamole, cheddar cheese, sour cream, tortillas or whatever else you think is proper.

I made this to keep on hand for quick easy meals & throw some guacamole on top for a good time.

*Sorry for un-meal photo, but was just cooking to eat later.

Vivir felizmente.

Curry Tomato/Shrimp Soup

curry tomato

Curry Tomato & Shrimp

I’ve done another tomato soup in the blog, but this one cut out the dairy & replaced with coconut milk – and adding a bit of spice. Trying to do a few more soups in my crock quest & this one did not disappoint (except for one item, revealed later).

Pretty darn simple & really not a ton of ingredients compared to some of the crocks that I do – I love that.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (14oz ones) diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can of coconut milk.
  • 3 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large yellow/red pepper cut into strips (I used sliced fire roasted in jar)
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower, cut large chunks of florets – try to keep as much of stem as possible
  • 1 bunch of chopped green onions (keep the green tops for garnish)
  • 1 cup of chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 pound uncooked shrimp (thawed)

Cook it:

  • Set on LOW for 6hrs, but heres the trick for nice veggies… put the first 5 ingredients in for 3hrs – then at the 1/2 way mark put in the cauliflower, green onion, carrots & celery.
  • 10-15 mins before the time is up, place thawed shrimp in to cook.

Serve it up. I served this w/ Allens | Kale Greens in a can – holy crap these are super good.

Oh, I didn’t get any of the shrimp – my son decided any shrimp in the soup was his & fished out every single one. The soup was good enough anyways & enjoyed eating sans crustacean.

Onward, P.

Spicy Hot & Sour Soup w/ Pork & Mushrooms

seaweed

seaweed toasted

So, had been kicking around idea of making some soup w/ crock this Sunday since the Seattle gray has descended.

Settled on doing this hot & sour soup. Made a trip to our asian market to pick up some ingredients & spent $75 more than I should have buying a bunch of crap that I can’t even read the package. Don’t be daunted – you can pick up most all of these ingredients at any large grocery store.

Here are the items (enough for 4 people):

  • 8 ounces shiitake mushrooms (slice up in strips – I buy dried, so you’ll need to drop them in hot water for 30-45 mins)
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms (sliced – these are kinda hard to find, so you can double the shiitakes)
  • 1 -2 tablespoon chili paste  (1tblsp – for semi hot & 2 for a nice heat)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste (or minced ginger)
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced/smashed
  • bamboo shoots (small can)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (more about this later)
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 lb pork, thinly sliced (used small pork shoulder & cut off as much fat as possible & then cut as thin as possible – takes a sharp knife or you’ll struggle)
hot sour soup

hot sour soup

Put the chicken broth in crock w/ soy sauce, rice vinegar, pepper, bamboo shoots.

Mix ginger, garlic, pork, 1/2 of the green onion & lightly cook til pork is just cooked on outside.

Set the crock for low 6hrs.

At about the 3hr mark add the mushrooms, then at the 4hr mark add the cornstarch mixture (1/4 cup cold water & 3tblsp cornstarch) & dump in crock.

Finally, about 30 mins before serving slowly spin in the 2 eggs. This doesn’t work very well. If you’ve had egg drop soup you need the broth to be almost boiling & put in the eggs so it cooks on putting in…sadly, in crock it doesn’t get hot enough to make the great egg, but you do get the eggs to cook in broth. Maybe, put in diced hard boiled eggs?

I have to say (besides the eggs not cooking correctly) this was a great soup. The pork was tender, mushrooms still meaty & the spice (to me) was just right – not too hot, but just hot enough. Again, if you can’t take heat, just use 1 tblsp of chili paste.

Serve w/ spring rolls or rice crackers & top w/ rest of green onion. I thought soup was enough & just served w/ toasted seaweed (I know fancy!)

Crock soups for winter are amazing & this one was fantastic & inventive – two paws up.