Slow Cooker Beef Stew

This recipe literally melts in your mouth!! I first saw it on pinterest, but it comes from melskitchencafe.com. I highly suggest you click on her site and check out some of her recipes! Since my family gobbled this dinner up, I’m just using the picture from Mel’s site.  hope you enjoy this as much as we did.

INGREDIENTS:
5 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces- I used stew meat 

Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth or beef broth
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 bay leaves- I didn’t have so just left out 🙂
1 pound carrots, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 pound red potatoes, washed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons Minute tapioca
2 cups frozen peas

DIRECTIONS:
After the meat has been cut into chunks, pat it dry with a paper towel and season all the pieces with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat until the oil is rippling and hot. Cook half of the beef until it is well browned on each side, about 4 minutes. No need to cook it all the way through – just get some great brown color all around. Toss the meat in the slow cooker and follow the same process with the second half of the meat (you may need to add another tablespoon of oil to the pan if it looks a little dry). Remove the meat to the slow cooker, trying to keep as much oil in the pan as possible.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until the onions are translucent and golden, about 6 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the broth, soy sauce, 1/2 teaspoon thyme and bay leaves. Bring the mixture to a boil and transfer it to the slow cooker, pouring it over the meat.

In a large bowl, toss the carrots, potatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. On the counter, lay out a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil (use two sheets of regular foil on top of each other if you don’t have heavy-duty). Place the tossed vegetables on one side of the foil. Fold the foil over the vegetables and crimp the edges really well to form a little foil packet that will fit in the top of your slow cooker. Stir the tapioca into the slow cooker. Place the foil packet of vegetables on top of the stew, cover the slow cooker, and cook on high for 6-7 hours or low for 10-11 hours.

When the stew is finished cooking, carefully remove the foil packet from the top of the stew. Discard the bay leaves from the stew. Carefully open the foil packet (be careful of steam that may escape as you open it!). Return the vegetables and any juices to the slow cooker and gently mix them into the stew. Stir in the frozen peas and let them rest in the stew for 5-10 minutes, until they are heated through. Serve.

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January 29, 2012. Main Dishes. Leave a comment.

Orange Chicken

I have to say, among the many food blogs that I casually visit- Annie’s Eats is probably one of my favorites! This next recipe is from this blog, and is quite delicious! It requires a little time in the preparation, but so worth it. I served it over rice with a side of steamed green beans. A nice little meal- if I do say so myself! 🙂

Ingredients

  • For the marinade and sauce:
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 6 tbsp. white vinegar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar (dark or light)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1½ lbs. boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tbsp. plus 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp. cold water
  • 8 thin strips orange peel (optional)
  • For the coating and frying:
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups peanut or canola oil (I like a combination)

Directions

  1. Marinade and sauce: Combine the chicken broth, orange juice, orange zest, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper in a large saucepan; whisk to blend well. Measure out ¾ cup of the mixture and transfer it to a large zipper lock plastic bag. Add the chicken pieces to the bag, pressing out the excess air and sealing well. Refrigerate and let marinate 30-60 minutes, but no longer. Place the saucepan with the remaining mixture on the stove and heat over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan with the sauce. Continue simmering until the sauce is thick and translucent, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the strips of orange peel, if using.
  2. Coating: Place the egg whites in a pie plate and whisk until frothy. In a second pie plate combine the cornstarch, baking soda and cayenne pepper; whisk to blend. Drain the chicken of the marinade in a colander or large strainer; pat dry with paper towels. Place half of the chicken pieces in the egg whites and turn to coat. Transfer the pieces to the cornstarch mixture and coat thoroughly, shaking off the excess. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  3. To fry the chicken, heat the oil in a 11- or 12-inch round Dutch oven or straight-sided sauté pan until the oil reaches 350° F. Carefully place half of the chicken pieces in the oil and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes, turning the pieces halfway through cooking. Remove from the oil with a skimmer or slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Return the oil to 350° F and repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  4. Serve over rice.

October 12, 2011. Main Dishes. Leave a comment.

Chili

With the weather getting colder and fall quickly approaching, chili is always a good dinner idea. It seems like I’m always trying new chili recipes, and they usually ALL are great. This one is no exception. I got the recipe from allrecipes.com. It’s called boilermaker tailgate chili because it’s eaten at Purdue football games!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef chuck
  • 1 pound bulk Italian sausage
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans chili beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chili beans in spicy sauce
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 green chile peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon bacon bits

  • 4 cubes beef bouillon
  • 1/2 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (e.g. Tabasco™)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) bag corn chips such as Fritos®
  • 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Heat a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground chuck and sausage into the hot pan, and cook until evenly browned. Drain off excess grease.
  2. Pour in the chili beans, spicy chili beans, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add the onion, celery, green and red bell peppers, chile peppers, bacon bits, bouillon, and beer. Season with chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, oregano, cumin, hot pepper sauce, basil, salt, pepper, cayenne, paprika, and sugar. Stir to blend, then cover and simmer over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. After 2 hours, taste, and adjust salt, pepper, and chili powder if necessary. The longer the chili simmers, the better it will taste. Remove from heat and serve, or refrigerate, and serve the next day.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls, and top with corn chips and shredded Cheddar cheese.

September 26, 2011. Main Dishes, Soups. Leave a comment.

Slow Cooker Chicken Thighs

This next recipe is a great go-to dinner recipe. Just throw it in the crock pot in the morning, and dinner’s done! My picky 2 year old even eats this meal- and that’s saying a lot!

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 4 medium-size new potatoes (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
  • 4-6 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs

Preparation

  • 1. Place onion in a lightly greased 6-qt. slow cooker; top with potatoes and carrots and the chicken on top. Pour broth over vegetables and chicken. Sprinkle seasoning evenly over chicken thighs.
  • 2. Cover and cook on HIGH 1 hour; reduce heat to LOW, and cook 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is done and vegetables are tender.

September 26, 2011. Main Dishes. Leave a comment.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

I’m sure you can guess where this next recipe comes from…. allrecipes!

This is a super easy recipe for chicken and dumplings made in a crock pot!

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (I used 6 chicken tenders)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup diced onions (I used frozen)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green beans
  • 1/2 cup frozen sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Directions

  1. Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover.
  2. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook until the dough is no longer raw in the center.

This turned out great and it really couldn’t have been more easy to prepare! You could really use any veggies you want, I just used these ones because they were what I had in my freezer. Great meal idea for a busy day!

June 23, 2011. Main Dishes. Leave a comment.

Pulled Pork

I have to admit that I’m not super organized about my dinner schedule for the week. Most of the time, I just buy whatever is on sale at the grocery store and then figure out how to use up those ingredients. This week, Meijer had their pork tenderloin on sale. I bought a small one and decided to try a pulled pork. I also didn’t want to put too much effort into this recipe since the weather is just now warming up, so I used my crock pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can or bottle root beer
  • 1 (18 ounce) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted

Directions

  1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours. Note: the actual length of time may vary according to individual slow cooker. Drain well. Stir in barbecue sauce. Serve over hamburger buns.
This turned out great, and was super easy with the crock pot!

May 20, 2011. Main Dishes. 2 comments.

Ginger Glazed Mahi Mahi

I’m not a huge fish person, but I do like mahi mahi. This recipe seems pretty simple yet it still looks pretty gourmet!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 (6 ounce) mahi mahi fillets
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions

  1. In a shallow glass dish, stir together the honey, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, ginger, garlic and olive oil. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and place them into the dish. If the fillets have skin on them, place them skin side down. Cover, and refrigerate for 20 minutes to marinate.
  2. Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove fish from the dish, and reserve marinade. Fry fish for 4 to 6 minutes on each side, turning only once, until fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove fillets to a serving platter and keep warm.
  3. Pour reserved marinade into the skillet, and heat over medium heat until the mixture reduces to a glaze consistently. Spoon glaze over fish, and serve immediately.

This turned out great, and I love that the marinade was cooked down to make a glaze! I hate wasting marinades. This recipe is definitely worth a try.

March 11, 2011. Main Dishes. Leave a comment.

Meatloaf

This next recipe is for meatloaf. I was really drawn to this recipe because of all the veggies incorporated into the loaf. I’ve never been a huge fan of ‘just meat’, but this recipe looks promising.

Ingredients

  • 2-1/4 pounds of ground sirloin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion, cut in chunks
  • 3 green onion, cut in chunks
  • 1 stalk celery, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 of a green bell pepper, cut in chunks
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread, torn in chunks
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms
  • 1 cup chicken broth or stock
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • Glaze
  • ½ cup of Heinz ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

Directions

  1. Put ground beef in a large mixing bowl. Pulse garlic cloves in food processor to mince. Add chunks of onion, green onion, celery, and green pepper, processing about 10 seconds. Add to meat. Process the bread and mushrooms together about 10 seconds and add to meat. Add in the remaining ingredients, mix gently and place into a large 10 x 5 loaf pan, pressing mixture in lightly. Place meatloaf pan on top rack in oven and place an aluminum covered baking pan on the rack underneath to catch any overflow drippings.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. If extra time is needed, you may tent with aluminum foil to prevent burning and continue baking until done. For glaze, combine the ketchup, mustard and brown sugar and stir well. Brush glaze across the top of meatloaf the last 10 minutes of cooking. Alternatively, serve the meatloaf with a brown gravy instead of glazing.
  3. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.

This turned out delicious! I’m definitely going to keep this recipe, and it’s a great way to add veggies to the meal. I served this with brown gravy, but the ketchup glaze is going on it next time. Either way works.

 

February 11, 2011. Main Dishes. 1 comment.

Anniversary Chicken

This recipe is from allrecipes.com. It’s called anniversary chicken because it was made for a big anniversary party.  Anyways, it looks easy enough- so here it goes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki basting sauce
  • 1/2 cup Ranch-style salad dressing
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 (3 ounce) can bacon bits
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts, and saute 4 to 5 minutes each side, until lightly browned.
  3. Place browned chicken breasts in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Brush with teriyaki sauce, then spoon on salad dressing. Sprinkle with cheese, green onions and bacon bits.
  4. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear. Garnish with parsley and serve.

 

This turned out really good. I usually make a dish like this with bbq sauce instead of teriyaki, but this is a nice mix up. I would also recommend marinating the chicken in the teriyaki sauce before cooking. This would make that flavor a little more intense.

 

February 11, 2011. Main Dishes. 1 comment.

Sausage, Peppers, and Onions

Once again, I’m back in my recipe box on allrecipes.com. I really do love this site!

Anyways, one of the recipes on my ‘try’ list is sausage, peppers, and onions. I have to admit that I’m personally not a huge sausage fan, but the hubby LOVES sausage. So, this recipe made the list.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds Italian sausage links
  • 1 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 large red onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) bottle beer or chicken stock
  • 3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoons hot sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

Heat olive oil in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Cook sausage until browned on all sides. Remove sausage from pan, and set aside. Pour in 1/2 of the beer or stock to deglaze the pan, scraping up any blackened bits from the bottom. Place the red peppers, green peppers, onions and garlic in the pan. Stir in the remaining liquid and the tomato paste. Season with oregano, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Cover, and simmer until onions and peppers are tender. Slice the sausages into bite size pieces, and add to the peppers. Cover, and simmer until sausage is cooked through.

This actually turned out great. It had great flavors and was fairly simple to put together. I served it with bread and brown rice. The rice was a nice accessory to the dish. My hubby loved it and informed me to keep this on the ‘rotation’. 🙂

February 4, 2011. Main Dishes. Leave a comment.

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