Finally

I finally bought a copy of this cookbook for myself after checking it out from the library twice (and waiting weeks for it each time) and wanting to get it a third time. I know what you’re thinking, do I really need another cookbook? Maybe not, but this one is definitely different so I figured it was time for me to own a copy. I’ve posted a couple of recipes from this cookbook in the past (most notably Moroccan Beef Chili with Chickpeas and Raisins), but I’ll be trying lots more from now on. Stay tuned!

Twenty-fourth new recipe

Pulled pork is one of life’s great indulgences and this recipe is really good. It looked so easy so I copied it out of the Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook I borrowed from the library and made it last week. I mixed the spice rub, seasoned the pork roast, and put it in the refrigerator on Thursday night. Then on Friday night I popped the meat into the slow cooker, poured a little barbeque sauce on top, set the temperature to low, and put nine hours on the timer. On Saturday morning my alarm went off at 8 AM so that I could get up and shred the pork when it was done cooking. I went right back to bed afterwards because Saturdays are meant for sleeping in, but the house smelled wonderful – if you like barbeque. I didn’t actually serve any of the pulled pork until later in the week, but when I dug into a plate of it with some Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ sauce (which the cookbook recommended) I was in heaven. I couldn’t believe how much flavor that pork had after such a simple preparation. I think letting it marinate in the spice rub overnight made all the difference. Obviously this isn’t a quick recipe (it’s really more conducive to weekend fare), but it couldn’t get much easier. With a little bit of planning you can have homemade pulled pork right out of the slow cooker – perfect as a sandwich (with BBQ sauce and pickles, of course) or just served by itself. Delicious!

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 c packed brown sugar
3 Tbsp smoked paprika (the recipe called for sweet paprika, but I don’t have any)
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (5 lb) boneless pork butt roast, trimmed and quartered
Barbeque sauce (I used Bull’s-Eye Original, which the book recommended)

DIRECTIONS:
1) Combine sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Prick the pork all over with a fork. Rub the sugar mixture over the pork, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. Unwrap the pork and place in the slow cooker.
2) Brush barbeque sauce evenly over the top of the pork, cover, and cook until pork is tender, about 9 hours on low or about 5 hours on high.
3) Transfer the pork to a large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces, discarding excess fat (my pork roast had a LOT). Serve with barbeque sauce. Enjoy!

Based on Beginner’s Pulled Pork from Slow Cooker Revolution.

Second old recipe

Slow cooker chicken curry, take 2. Last fall when Dan was out of town I attempted to make chicken curry in my Crockpot for the first time using a variation of this recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking who I adore. (This recipe is also in her first cookbook, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, which I own.) Even though I swapped other vegetables in for the eggplant and sweet potato, I left the sauce portion of the recipe unchanged. It smelled absolutely delicious while it was cooking, but I was disheartened when the result was incredibly disappointing. I couldn’t believe how bland the curry sauce was. I have a feeling my spices were getting a little long in the tooth at that point (especially my curry powder), so that was probably the reason my first slow cooker chicken curry turned out so badly. Since then I’ve invested in some new curry powder and other spices (although I need to break down and spend a small fortune at Penzys to get the best results) so I probably need to give that recipe another try. But until then, here is the result of my second attempt at slow cooker chicken curry. This picture next to this recipe in the copy of Slow Cooker Revolution I got from the library looked so beautiful that I had to give it a try. Unfortunately the dish I ended up with was completely different than the one in the picture. I couldn’t get the chicken breasts out of the Crockpot with breaking them because they were thin-sliced so I just shredded them and dumped the chicken back into the slow cooker. I’m sure that made the result saucier than intended, which may or may not have been a good thing. This chicken tasted all right, but not good enough for a repeat performance. I froze the leftovers because I didn’t want to waste them, but I think Dan and I are going to have to be pretty desperate before we break open that particular tupperware. Anyway, here is the recipe in case anyone wants to try their own version. I’ll let you know when I make the recipe from A Year of Slow Cooking again.

INGREDIENTS:
2 c diced onions
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 c low-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp Minute tapioca
6 thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1/2 c raisins
1/2 c sliced almonds, toasted

DIRECTIONS:
1) In a bowl, microwave onions, garlic, ginger, curry powder, oil, and tomato paste, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
2) Stir broth and tapioca into the slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper and nestle it into the slow cooker, turning to coat with the curry sauce. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, about 3 hours on high.
3) With two forks, shred the chicken into bite size pieces and return to the slow cooker. Gently stir in raisins and let sit (on the warm setting) until heated through, about 10 minutes. Serve on a bed of brown rice with almonds sprinkled on top. Enjoy!

Based on Curried Chicken Breasts from Slow Cooker Revolution.

Twenty-second new recipe – Happy Easter!

Moroccan Beef Chili with Chickpeas and Raisins. I didn’t get any farther than the name of this recipe in the copy of Slow Cooker Revolution I got from the library before I knew I had to make it. Since I will have the house to myself tomorrow night I was originally planning to make this recipe then, but I decided make this for our Easter dinner/Laker game fare instead. It was definitely less stressful than making a slow cooker meal on a weeknight! Before I go into how much it sucked watching the Lakers lose Game 4 against the Hornets tonight, I’d like to say that the chili turned out magnificently. This recipe has become an instant favorite of mine and I know I’ll be making it often. Dan had two bowls so I know he liked it too. The chickpeas (which I ignorantly didn’t know were the same thing as garbanzo beans until yesterday), provided great texture and the raisins added a sweet element to the chili that set it apart. But it’s the spice combination that makes this recipe nearly perfect. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. You really must try this recipe. Unfortunately the Laker game outcome wasn’t as great as the food. I gave up watching a few minutes before the end because the Lakers were playing so badly. I’m scared that they’re not going to survive this series, but I’m going to try to not stress about that until the next game on Tuesday night. Happy Easter everyone!

INGREDIENTS:
1 slice white sandwich bread, quartered (I used half of an onion roll left over from sloppy joes on Thursday)
2 Tbsp whole milk
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 c diced onion (the onions I buy are HUGE so I just used 1/2 of a sweet onion and 1/4 of a white onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
2 tsp smoked paprika (the recipe called for sweet paprika, but I didn’t have any)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes (I used my favorite variety with roasted garlic)
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins
Zest of one lime
Juice of one lime

DIRECTIONS:
1) Mash bread and milk into a pasta in a large bowl using a fork. Mix in ground beef, salt, and pepper using your hands.
2) In a skillet, cook onions, garlic, tomato paste, paprika, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne in oil over medium to medium-high heat until vegetables are soft and slightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Stir in beef mixture and cook, breaking up any large pieces, until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomato sauce, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer skillet contents to the slow cooker.
3) Add diced tomatoes (undrained), chickpeas, soy sauce, and brown sugar to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on high for about 3 hours, or until the beef is tender.
4) Let chili settle for 5 minutes, then remove any fat from the surface using a large spoon and break up any remaining large pieces of beef. Stir in raisins and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in lime zest and juice, and serve. Enjoy!

Based on Moroccan Beef Chili with Chickpeas and Raisins from Slow Cooker Revolution.