This week has been a busy one, what with making presentations, writing presentations and all kinds of additional things going on at work. Even though I try to post 5 times a week, sometimes there is a week like this, where I post on Monday and then it’s radio silence until the weekend. Over the last several weeks I have made several crock pot meals, but haven’t gotten around to posting all of them.
Several weeks ago, after having an enthusiastic chat with the butcher at Marty’s Market, I bought a 1/2 rabbit and tried my hand at rabbit stew. The butcher recommended the Robert Irvine recipe from Food Network, which I modified a little to make in the crock pot. The stew came out pretty good, but it did need a little tweaking, because the wine flavor was fairly overpowering compared to the other flavors. The whole family did like it, but did not love it enough for me to go out and drop another $20 on rabbit. If, however, I end up with some butchered rabbit for free, sure I’ll try it again.
I made crock pot stuffed peppers that were SUPER easy, I’ll never make stuffed peppers in a stove again. I can’t find the recipe I used online, but it needed a few tweaks anyway because it turned out kind of bland. Here’s how I would try making it next time:
4 bell peppers, cored
1 lb ground turkey
2 cups instant brown rice (it sounds like a lot, but it works out)
1 cup V-8 Juice
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes, preferably with some kind of flavoring (italian style, with green chiles, etc. depending on how you want it to taste)
4-6 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bag frozen diced onion
some salt and pepper
1 jar of pasta sauce, whatever flavor you like.
Mix all the ingredients except the bell peppers and pasta sauce. Fill the peppers with the mix. Pour a little pasta sauce on the bottom of the crock pot and placed the stuffed peppers inside. Pour the rest of the pasta sauce on top. Cook on low for like 8 hours.
I tried my hand at barley mushroom risotto. The recipe tasted good, although barley has a chewier texture than arborio rice. Risotto is just so easy to make, and you had to cook the veggies separately ahead of time with this recipe anyway, so I didn’t consider it to be much of a timesaver. It tasted good and made a decent dinner, but was no revelation.
This week, we tried “The Very Best” Chicken & Biscuits from Ella Claire Inspired. The recipe was good, but needs some tweaking before I can agree to the “Very Best” title. There wasn’t enough liquid in the pot and the flavor was too mild for my family’s taste. This recipe was easy enough that we’ll likely try it again, but we will throw in a lot more chicken broth and a whole bunch of garlic. Every recipe in this house has to involve nearly a whole bulb of garlic, what can I say?
I went shopping at Costco this week while hungry, which resulted in me buying a giant brisket because WHY NOT. Looks like that giant slab of meat will be my crock pot project for dinner tomorrow night. I have to say that doing one night of crock pot cooking a week has made a world of difference for our family. The meal is already done when we get home (instead of not getting to eat until nearly 8pm), and there is usually enough to last 2 or 3 nights. The small added task of picking and prepping recipes has had an unexpectedly wonderful payoff.