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Slow cooker favorite recipes

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  • Jamie Rahm
    All in good time: Slow cooker favorite recipes By Tom Wilkowske Duluth News Tribune staff writer / Jan. 18, 2001 This recipe comes highly recommended from News
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2001
      All in good time: Slow cooker favorite recipes

      By Tom Wilkowske
      Duluth News Tribune staff writer / Jan. 18, 2001

      This recipe comes highly recommended from News Tribune features
      editor Connie Wirta. Its source is uncertain -- maybe Mabel Hoffman,
      maybe a magazine -- but the result is a definite hit with the family.

      Chicken with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Cilantro

      2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs
      4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
      4 large cloves garlic, minced
      1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
      1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice
      1/4 cup dry white wine
      1 cup Monterey jack cheese

      Rinse chicken, pat dry. Place half in a single layer in bottom of
      slow cooker. Top with half the tomatoes, garlic and cilantro. Repeat
      with the second layer. Sprinkle lemon juice over all, pour in wine.
      Don't stir. Cook, covered, on low 6 to 8 hours or on high 2 to 2-3/4
      hours. Turn to high, sprinkle with cheese, cover and cook 15 minutes
      until melted.

      The following comes from ``America's Best Slow Cooker Recipes'' by
      Donna-Marie Pie (2000, Robert Rose Inc. publishers.)

      Homestyle Pot Roast

      1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      Salt and black pepper
      1 3- to 4-pound beef cross rib or rump roast
      1 tablespoon vegetable oil
      2 onions, quartered
      4 carrots, peeled and sliced
      4 to 6 potatoes, peeled and quartered
      1 cup beef stock
      1 7.5-ounce can tomato sauce
      1 clove garlic, minced
      1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
      1 bay leaf
      Salt and pepper

      In a bowl, season flour to taste with salt and pepper. Pat meat dry
      and coat on all sides with seasoned flour. In a large skillet, heat
      oil over medium-high heat. Add meat and cook, turning with a wooden
      spoon, for 7 to 10 minutes or until brown on all sides. Transfer meat
      to slow cooker. Add onions to slow cooker, along with carrots,
      potatoes, stock, tomato sauce, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cover and
      cook on low for 10 to 12 hours or high for 6 to 8 hours, until
      vegetables are tender.

      Remove roast, onion, carrots and potatoes; cover and set aside.
      Discard bay leaf. Tip slow cooker and skim off any excess fat from
      surface of gravy; season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour gravy
      into sauceboat. Slice roast, arrange on a serving platter and
      surround with vegetables. Serve with gravy.

      Savory Orange Turkey Breast

      1 2- to 3-pound bone-in turkey breast
      1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
      Salt and black pepper
      1 cup orange juice
      1 bay leaf

      Season turkey breast with thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Place
      in slow cooker. Add orange juice and bay leaf. Cover and cook on low
      for 6 to 8 hours, until turkey is tender and no longer pink inside.
      Remove bay leaf and discard before carving.

      Polynesian Chicken

      1/4 cup all-purpose flour
      1 teaspoon curry powder
      1 teaspoon dry mustard
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon black pepper
      8 chicken thighs, skin removed if desired
      1 19-ounce can pineapple pieces, drained, juice reserved
      4 green onions, chopped
      1/4 cup soy sauce
      2 tablespoons dry sherry
      1 tablespoon brown sugar
      2 tablespoons cornstarch
      1-1/2 cups snow peas, cut in half diagonally
      Slivered almonds, toasted

      In a bowl or plastic bag, combine flour, curry powder, 1/2 teaspoon
      of the mustard, salt and black pepper. Coat chicken in flour mixture
      and place in slow cooker. Add pineapple. In a bowl, combine all but 2
      tablespoons reserved pineapple juice, soy sauce, sherry, brown sugar
      and remaining 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard; stir to mix well. Pour over
      chicken in slow cooker.

      Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, until juices run clear when
      chicken is pierced with a fork. In a bowl, combine cornstarch and
      remaining pineapple juice; mix well. Pour into slow cooker. Add snow
      peas. Cover and cook on high for 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce has
      thickened. Serve garnished with slivered almonds.

      Lentil Curry with Squash and Cashews

      2 teaspoons vegetable oil
      1 medium onion, chopped
      2 cloves garlic, minced
      2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      1 tablespoon curry powder
      1 tablespoon grated peeled ginger root or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
      1 teaspoon ground cumin
      1 teaspoon fennel seeds
      1 teaspoon salt
      2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
      1 cup water or apple juice
      1 cup dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed
      2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash
      1 large potato, chopped into 1-inch cubes
      6 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
      1/2 cup cashews (salted or unsalted)

      In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and
      cook for 5 minutes or until softened and translucent. Stir in flour,
      curry, ginger, cumin, fennel seeds and salt; mix well. Stir in stock
      and water; bring to a boil, scraping up bits from bottom of skillet.
      Transfer mixture to slow cooker. Add lentils, squash and potato; stir
      to combine. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or on high for 3
      to 4 hours. Add spinach leaves; stir to combine. Cover and cook on
      high for another 15 minutes or until leaves have wilted. Spoon into
      individual bowls and sprinkle with cashews.

      Kid's Favorite Tuna Noodle Casserole

      1 tablespoon butter or margarine
      8 ounces mushrooms, sliced or finely chopped
      1 onion, finely chopped
      2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      1 cup chicken stock
      1 13-ounce can evaporated milk
      4 ounces light cream cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
      1 6.5-ounce can solid white tuna, drained and flaked
      1 cup frozen peas
      Salt and pepper, to taste
      8 ounces penne or rotini pasta, uncooked

      For the topping:
      1/2 cup crushed corn flake-type cereal
      1 tablespoon melted butter
      1 cup grated Cheddar cheese

      In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add
      mushrooms and onion; cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms have
      released their juices and onion is softened. Add flour, stirring to
      blend. Pour in stock and evaporated milk. Bring mixture to a boil,
      stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Stir in cream cheese
      until melted. Add tuna and peas, stirring to combine. Remove from
      heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, cook pasta in
      a pot of boiling, salted water until tender but firm. Drain and toss
      with tuna mixture. Transfer mixture to prepared slow cooker.

      Topping: In a bowl, toss together cereal and melted butter. Add
      Cheddar cheese, stirring to combine. Sprinkle over noodles in slow
      cooker. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or on high for 1-1/2
      to 2 hours, until bubbling and heated through.

      The next two recipes are from ``The New Crockery Cooker Cook Book,''
      a Better Homes and Gardens title in its third edition.

      Beef Brisket in Beer

      1 3- to 4-pound fresh beef brisket
      2 onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
      1 bay leaf
      1 cup beer
      1/4 cup chili sauce
      2 tablespoons brown sugar
      1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon pepper
      1 clove garlic, minced
      2 tablespoons cornstarch
      2 tablespoons water

      Trim fat from brisket. If necessary, cut brisket to fit into cooker.
      In a 3-1/2-, 4-, 5- or 6-quart crockery cooker, place onions, bay
      leaf and brisket. Combine beer, chili sauce, sugar, thyme, salt,
      pepper and garlic; pour over brisket. Cover; cook on low heat setting
      for 10 to 12 hours or high heat setting 5 to 6 hours.

      Transfer brisket and onions to a platter; keep warm. Discard bay
      leaf. For gravy, skim fat from cooking juices. Measure 2-1/2 cups
      juices and place in a saucepan. Combine cornstarch and water; add to
      saucepan. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly; cook and stir 2
      minutes more. Pass gravy with meat. Yield: 10 servings.

      Hot-and-Spicy Cranberry Punch

      4 whole cardamom pods
      8 inches total of stick cinnamon, broken
      6 whole cloves
      2 cups dry red wine
      1-1/3 cups water
      1 6-ounce can frozen cranberry juice concentrate
      3 tablespoons honey
      1/2 cup cranberry liqueur or creme de cassis (optional)
      Orange slices, halved (optional)
      Whole cloves (optional)

      Pinch cardamom pods to break open. Tie cardamom, cinnamon and 6 whole
      cloves into a spice bag (use a square of cheesecloth or a coffee
      filter). In a 3-1/2 or 4-quart crockery cooker, combine spice bag,
      wine, water, frozen juice concentrate and honey. Add cranberry
      liqueur or creme de cassis, if desired. Cover; cook on low-heat
      setting for 4 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2
      hours. Remove and discard spice bag. If desired, stud orange slices
      with additional whole cloves. Ladle punch into cups and float an
      orange slice atop each serving. Yield: 9 4-ounce servings.

      For 5- or 6-quart crockery cooker: Double all ingredients. Prepare as
      above. Cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat
      setting 4 to 5 hours. Yield: 18 4-ounce servings.

      Spinach and Prosciutto Turkey Roulades

      1-1/2 pounds turkey cutlets (about 6)
      1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained
      2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
      1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
      3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
      3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
      2 teaspoons dried sage leaves, crushed, divided
      1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
      6 thin slices (about 3-1/2 inches by 6-1/4 inches) of prosciutto or ham
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon paprika
      1/4 cup dry vermouth or white wine
      3/4 cup chicken bouillon or broth
      1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
      2 tablespoons water
      Cooked rice

      Pound the turkey cutlets between plastic wrap to about 1/4-inch
      thickness; set aside. Press out any excess moisture in the spinach
      using the back of a large spoon. In a large bowl combine the spinach,
      parsley, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts, 1 teaspoon of the
      sage and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; mix well.

      Place a slice of prosciutto on each turkey cutlet. Spoon about 1/2
      cup of the spinach mixture on top of the prosciutto. Starting at the
      short end, roll the cutlet, encasing the filling. Repeat with
      remaining cutlets.

      Place the roulades in a slow cooker, seam side down, and sprinkle
      each with salt, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and paprika. Pour
      the vermouth or wine, and bouillon or broth, around the turkey rolls.
      Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours or until turkey is tender.

      Remove the roulades from the slow cooker and keep them warm. To make
      a sauce from the juices in the slow cooker: Turn the heat to high and
      add remaining 1 teaspoon sage to the cooker. In a small bowl dissolve
      the flour in water and add this mixture to the slow cooker. Cook,
      stirring, on high for 10 to 15 minutes or until thickened. Slice each
      turkey roll into about 1/2-inch thick slices and serve on cooked
      rice, topped with the sauce. Makes 6 servings.

      -- -From ``Healthy Crockery Cookery'' by Mable Hoffman.

      My wife even dubbed me ``Know-It-All Chicken Man'' when I came up
      with three different variations for chicken inside two weeks.

      Slow cookers were initially marketed as a way to stretch the food
      budget, turning cheaper cuts of meat into delectable dinners and
      dried beans into rich soups and stews.

      These days, the primary selling point is convenience. Harried home
      cooks can toss ingredients in the pot in the morning before going to
      work and have a hot meal waiting by dinnertime.

      Most slow cookers have the standard ``low'' and ``high'' settings.
      These work well in most situations -- even if, for example, you're
      running late at the office -- since slow-cooker recipes are pretty
      forgiving. If you're really running late, you might wind up with some
      overcooked food.

      Thankfully, progress marches on. Rival recently rolled out its
      programmable ``Smart-Pot.'' It allows you to set the temperature
      level and cook time, dropping the food to a safe, keep-warm level
      after it's done cooking.

      Throw in the optional two-compartment ``Duet'' liner, which allows
      two separate dishes to cook at the same time, and you're in down-home

      Mind you, slow cookers can't do everything.

      They'll turn pasta gooey -- unless you add it par-boiled near the end
      of cooking time. And they'll actually overcook more expensive cuts of
      meat like leg of lamb or prime rib. Those are better roasted in the

      But slow cookers can do a lot. They'll braise tough cuts of meat to
      fork-tender softness. They'll revive stale potato chips and crackers
      (heat them on low with the lid off for two to four hours).

      And for slow-simmered stew, Super Bowl chili, back-from-skating
      barbecue or mulled cider, nothing's better than the good old (or new)
      slow cooker.
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