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!

Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

Squash Meatballs

Squash Meatballs

Lets turn the last post on its head, spaghetti – decided to go with an ingredient I hadn’t yet tried, spaghetti squash. It is my mission to go outside my comfort zone when making these crocks.

Need to lose a tad bit of this gut that I’ve acquired from copious amounts of fermented hops via excellent Northwest beers. Enter the somewhat paleo diet.

For the most part, just trying to eat whole foods with limited packaged foods.

Enough with the preachy, more with the crocky.

Ingredients:

  • 1 med/lg spaghetti squash
  • 1 can 14oz tomatoe sauce (no salt added)
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 3 green onions / diced
  • 4 cloves garlic / minced
  • 1/2 leek / diced
  • 1 stalk celery / diced
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp each | basil / thyme / oregano (be liberal with these)
  • 2 tsp of homemade chili garlic sauce*

Do it:

Squash Meatballs

Squash Meatballs Plate

Mix onions, garlic, leek, celery, egg whites, herbs & turkey meat together – form into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.

Cut squash in half – use a big knife, cutting is kind of difficult.

Mix tomato sauce & chili garlic sauce together*. (see sauce below)

Put a small layer of tomato sauce in crock bottom (just enough to cover bottom), put squash cut side down. Layer the meatballs as best you can & then pour remaining tomato sauce over meatballs.

Set on LOW for 5/6 hrs.

Other:

  • Pull the squash out w/ fork or other implement – scoop out the innards of squash & separate to plates.
  • Put a few of the meatballs on top of spaghetti squash & then pour some of the sauce over all of that.

Dang, that dish was amazing. Had no idea that spaghetti squash was so good & my homemade hot sauce would push it forward. Low fat, meaty & just enough hot (its a steady hot).

.* Homemade Chili Garlic Sauce

  • 2 jalapenos
  • 2 red jalapenos
  • 2 serranos
  • 6 habaneros
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
  • Put in food processor – processor it up to a viscous paste.
  • Simmer on Med for 10 mins
  • Done with that

Last tip: I would make a whole crock of the meatballs & minus the squash – they are amazing.

Peace out.

Chicken Sausage with Bell Peppers & Spaghetti

Chicken Sausage Sauce

Chicken Sausage Sauce

Welcome back to me & the slow cooker. Definitely been a while, but I aim to do a lot more posts. The other item that I need to address is my food photography.

There is some sort of art to this & I’m going to do my best to make the dishes appear to be more appetizing. In the past I’ve just went for the “whatever” mode & am going to try to change my ways after this post.

Picked up some chicken sausages via my favorite store display “Managers Special”. Had some whole wheat pasta that needed to be removed from cabinet – so begins the newest slow cooker dish.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 mild Italian chicken sausage links (prefer hot, but this is was a $1.43 “managers special”), sliced at 1 3/4″
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced into 2 to 3 inch long strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced into 2 to 3 inch long strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced into slivers
  • 1 yellow onion, thin sliced & halved
  • 8oz of Agaricus bisporus (crimini) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sm can (14oz) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lg can spaghetti sauce (just got the cheap stuff)
  • 1 Tbsp of dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pkg spaghetti

Make it:

offensive dish

offensive dish picture

Saute the peppers, garlic & onion until semi-soft. Throw the sliced sausage in there until just browned – doesn’t need to be cooked thoroughly as the slow cooker will do the rest of the work.

Throw ingredients in crock (besides spaghetti – don’t be stupid!) & set for 8 hrs.

Just before ready to eat cook spaghetti per instructions on the box.

Put pasta on plate, pour some stuff from crock over it & serve with a baguette.

Experience: this was quite good – tons of flavor & just the right amount of sausage to sauce ratio.

A ton of leftover sauce – frugal as I am, threw that in a freezer bag for later use.

Done, P.

White Bean & Chicken Stew

White Bean Stew

White Bean Stew

I haven’t crocked as much as I should, since receiving a dutch oven… hard to say, but enjoy that one too. Wish we could have a ménage à trois w/ me, crock & dutch oven – damn, that is so sexy. Ok, done with the dream sequence (keep going if you aren’t finished).

Here is a quick & easy white bean stew (still haven’t matched the dutch oven version I did a bit ago, dammit).

Fixin’s:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper (more if you like the heat)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans (white beans)
1 cup canned chicken broth
1 7-ounce can diced green chilies
2 handfuls of cut up kale
1 cup Chopped fresh cilantro (throw on top at end)

White Bean Stew #2

White Bean Stew #2

Make it happen:

  • throw chicken in crock
  • saute onion & garlic & put on top of chicken
  • mix cumin, oregano, red pepper, chilies & chic broth together then pour over
  • add the beans & kale at half way mark (4hrs) if possible

Cook:

  • Set crock to 8 hrs
  • as mentioned add beans/greens @ 4hr mark if possible – you don’t want that shit soggy!

Done:

  • Put some diced up cilantro on top of that delicious dish!

End result was quite pleasing. Although, if I had it to do again – would love to cook whole chicken a day ahead & then add 1/2 the chicken meat to crock at the 4hr mark – seems like a lot of work, screw that.

White Bean Side Dish

White Bean Side Dish

For a side dish, I made baked soy sauce brussels sprouts w/ pine nuts – I love greens (yum, btw). For your info – I was the weird kid that took leftover spinach at school lunch. Remember that odd pizza with the cornmeal at the bottom – loved it!

Crock out, P.

#chicken, #crock, #brussel, #schoolpizza

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.

Moroccan Beef & Parsnips

Moroccan Beef & Parsnips

Moroccan Beef & Parsnips

Forgot to publish this earlier – did this one a couple weeks ago!

Felt like doing something a bit different & out of my wheelhouse taste wise. Recipe called for a beef brisket, but damn that piece of meat is super expensive & wasn’t small enough. I should have thought ahead & went to my local butcher & checked with them, alas, I am quite lazy & did not.

Hmmm, apricots with meat. This is where it gets iffy for me, but I know a lot of folks enjoy the sweet & savory. Really trying to expand my palette & attempt new items in my cooking.

Here goes:

  • 1 large onion, sliced into wedges
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 2 lbs boneless beef brisket (too expensive so I just used a pot roast)
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup whole dried apricot

Add the onion & parsnips to crock (I never add the veggies to the bottom, they just get too mushy & I usually add at about 1/2 way thru time wise, but didn’t this time).

Mix coriander, cumin, cinnamon, garlic & nutmeg together then rub into the meat. Place meat in the crock. Mix the wine, broth & honey together & pour over the meat & veggies.

Add the apricots around the meat & on top of the veggies.

Set on LOW for 6hrs.

Well… not too bad, but as mentioned not my thing. The parsnips, onion & apricots made a nice side to the meat. Weird, usually when I cook the meat in some liquid the meat just falls apart, but this time it was a tad dry – good taste to meat though.

Not sure I’d make it again, yet is always fun to experiment & try something new.