Crock-Pot Experiments

One of the things that I love about my new job and working at home is that I get to cook for my family. Like REALLY cook – not rush home from a long work day and an hour-long commute and throw some pre-package, processed crap in the oven and call it dinner.

I’m a long way from gourmet, but I definitely feel better about the meals I’ve been serving lately, and hopefully, Jon and Jaidin have been noticing my effort.

I’ve always liked the crock-pot  and over the years have developed a few tried and true recipes that I go to when I bring the ol’ Rival Crock-Pot out of the cupboard. Lately though, I’ve branched out and have been “experimenting” with some new recipes, with the help of my Crock-Pot and AllRecipes apps for iPhone. Pretty nifty little applications – type in the ingredients you have on hand, touch the little spinner, and voila! , a recipe appears. I either throw the ingredients in the crock in the morning after I take Jaidin to school and before I head down to my office, or on my lunch break, depending on the recommended cooking time.  Then, when I get done with work, dinner is already started and I can – get this – RELAX!  And at 6pm, when we’re ready to eat, it’s ready. Dich it out, enjoy, and then minimal clean up. Excellent!

Here are a couple new recipes I’ve tried over the last week or two.

CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP


Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 cup whole corn kernels, cooked
  • 1 cup white hominy
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • crushed tortilla chips
  • sliced avocado
  • shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • chopped green onions

I left out the hominy and green chiles (because I didnt have any), and threw everything else in the pot. I also used prepared chicken breast strips and cut them in pieces (I think they were Tyson Select Cuts or something like that). I cooked it on Low for about 4 hours. Pretty tasty and has a nice kick. And Jaidin even ate it, although she said the black beans looked like “bugs”.

SLOW COOKER CHICKEN CORDON BLUE

Ingredients

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 ounces sliced ham
  • 4 ounces sliced Swiss cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) package herbed dry bread stuffing mix
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
Mix together the cream of chicken soup and milk in a small bowl. Pour enough of the soup into a slow cooker to cover the bottom. Layer chicken breasts over the sauce. Cover with slices of ham and then Swiss cheese. Pour the remaining soup over the layers, stirring a little to distribute between layers. Sprinkle the stuffing on top, and drizzle butter over stuffing. Cover, and cook on Low for 4 to 6 hours, or 2 to 3 hours on High. I used fat-free cream of chicken soup, skim milk and low-fat Swiss. I also fileted the chicken breasts and put the ham & cheese inside instead of on top.
HONEY GARLIC CHICKEN

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup lite soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained with juice reserved
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

I put all ingredients in the crock-pot (minus the cornstarch, and I used ground ginger since I didn’t have fresh) and cooked on High for about 3 hours. I then turned it to Low, added the pineapple, and cooked for another hour.  I added the cornstarch right before serving, and we ate the chicken and sauce over brown rice with broccoli (ok, I was the only one that ate broccoli – Jaidin and Jon said ‘Ewww’).  It was a little salty, so next time I wont use as much soy sauce. All in all a pretty good substitute for take-out Chinese food.

What are your favorite Crock-Pot experiments?

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