Monday, March 19, 2012

Crock Pot Corned Beef & Cabbage

Well, here we are! 70's expected this week for temps (yay!), so this will be the last Crock of the Week until the Fall. And since St.Patrick's Day is this Saturday, I am giving you a special crock pot recipe to celebrate the holiday of (some of) my ancestors, Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage! No need to go out for this, you can make it yourself, easily. Now, for some, this dish just isn't appealing no matter how it is prepared, but I made this for the first time last St.Patrick's Day, and I have to say, it turned out pretty well. It was pretty tender, not tough, which corned beef can be. I got the beef at my local meat shop, so check out your local shops, and get yourself a quality piece of beef, it makes all the difference, in my opinion.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef & Cabbage

•4 large carrots, peeled and cut into matchstick pieces (I just buy a bag of shredded carrots)
•10 baby red potatoes, quartered
•1 onion, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
•4 cups water
•1 (4 pound) corned beef brisket with spice packet
•6 ounces beer
•1/2 head cabbage, coarsely chopped
Place carrots, potatoes and onions on the bottom of the crock. Pour in the water, and add the brisket on top of the veggies. Sprinkle the spice packet on top of the meat (mine came pre-seasoned already) and pour the beer over the meat. Cook on high for about 7 hours.

Add cabbage, and cook on high for another hour. ENJOY! Happy St.Patrick's Day!

Now this pic isn't mine, I didn't make this over the weekend like I usually do with the Crock of the Week, because I am saving it to make on St.Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Italian Chicken

Well folks, we are nearing the end of this weekly feature for the season. Spring is inching in, so I will shelve the Crock of the Week for now, and maybe bring it back in the Fall. Next week will be the last Crock of the Week. But don't cry, because here is another recipe to add to your collection, Italian Chicken. Super easy and tasty! My 2 year-old son gobbled this up like he was never going to get another meal in his life.

Crockpot Italian Chicken

4 to 6 chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 lbs)

1 envelope dry Zesty Italian Dressing mix

1 8oz brick cream cheese

1-2 cans cream of chicken soup (depending on how much 'sauce' you want

Place chicken breasts in the crockpot (I used frozen, and it worked just fine). Sprinkle the Italian dressing mix over the chicken. In a saucepan, melt the cream cheese on low heat with the cream of chicken soup. Pour mixture over chicken in the crock, and cook on low for at least 4 hours (at least 5 if using frozen chicken), but you can leave it on all day if you need/want to.

When done, you can serve how you want. I shredded the chicken in the crock which made for a good chunky sauce. Serve over pasta or rice. We used rotini pasta this time.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Slow Cooker Corn & Potato Chowder

OK, so no more naughty fudge cake for this week. Back to a good meal! Potato and corn chowder!! This hearty chowder will leave your belly full and your tastebuds happy too. Even my non-corn loving husband ate it. Although I don't think he is having leftovers, but that's his fault, not the chowder's :) And I am plugging an "As Seen on TV" gadget which helps me so much for recipes like this...the Vidalia Chopper. OMG, makes cubing potatoes and dicing veggies for recipes like this a BREEZE!

Slow Cooker Corn and Potato Chowder

-8 ounces (1/2 pound) bacon, cooked until crispy and crumbled (I used the packages real bacon bits, I am all for ease in prep)
-2 1/2 pounds Russet potatoes (approximately 5 medium sized potatoes), NOT peeled, diced in 1/4 inch cubes
-8 cups (about 2 pounds) kernel corn (I used frozen)
-1 medium/large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
-1 cup chopped celery
-6 - 8 garlic cloves, crushed
-1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
-32 ounces (4 cups) chicken stock
-16 ounces (2 cups) half & half or heavy cream
-salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients EXCEPT half & half in the slow cooker.

Cook on low for 10 hours or high for 6 hours.

Blend about half the soup using an immersion blender or just scoop it into your upright blender then return to slow cooker. (Or if you are like me, and prefer easier ways, I just took a potato masher and mashed up the soup some in the crock pot, I like some potato chunks in my chowder anyway)

Add half & half or heavy cream and continue cooking, uncovered, for about another 15 minutes, until heated through. Salt and pepper to taste.

Recipe from the blog "Mama Loves Food."