Comfort Foods in the Slow Cooker

 

Grow Cook Learn Recipes: Comfort Foods in the Slow Cooker

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015.

Here are the recipes demonstrated at tonight’s Grow Cook Learn Session.

 

Slow Cooker Cheddar Corn Chowder Recipe

Ingredients:

8 ounces bacon, chopped

1/4 cup good olive oil

6 cups chopped yellow onions (4 large onions)

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/2 cup flour

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

12 cups chicken stock

6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (2 pounds)

10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds)

2 cups half-and-half (or milk)

1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into slow cooker, except for milk and cheese. Cook on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 5 hours.  Use immersion hand blender to blend to desired consistency. Add milk and cheese and cook another 15-30 minutes, until melted. Season to taste.

Adapted from the recipe below: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/cheddar-corn-chowder-recipe.html

Conventional Instructions:

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon and olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

 

 

Slow Cooker Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Ingredients:

1 pound lean ground beef

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated (about 2 cups)

1 small onion, minced (about 1 cup)B-pY5phUUAAsDYV

1/2 cup bulgur

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper

3 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise, cores and ribs removed

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium stewed tomatoes, finely chopped

1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese

Instructions:

In a large bowl combine the beef, spinach, zucchini, onion, bulgur, egg, oregano, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Arrange the pepper halves cut side up in the slow cooker and fill each pepper half with the meat mixture. Pour tomatoes over the peppers and sprinkle with feta cheese. Cook for 2-3 hours on high or 5-7 hours on low, or until meat mixture is completely cooked and peppers are tender.

Adapted from the recipe below: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/greek-style-stuffed-peppers-recipe.html

Conventional Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the beef, spinach, zucchini, onion, bulgur, egg, oregano, salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Arrange the pepper halves cut side up in a 9 by 13-inch baking dish and fill each pepper half with the meat mixture. Pour the tomatoes over the peppers and sprinkle with the feta cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until the meat mixture is completely cooked and the peppers are tender, about 25 minutes longer.

 

 

Dianne’s Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

6 medium-sized sweet peppers (I like several colours just for the visual appeal)

1 sweet onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, grated finely

1- 1 ½ lbs. good quality lean ground beef (pork, chicken, turkey)

1 tsp. salt for each lb. of meat

½ tsp. ground pepper

1 small can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

½ lb. mushrooms, sautéed until well-done – with a couple of sprigs of thyme and fresh lemon juice

1 cup cooked brown rice (I use basmati)

1 tsp. dried oregano

½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

 

Instructions:

Rice preparation:

½ cup brown rice

¾ cup broth or water

½ tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. olive oil

B-pU1ZMWwAAEb-gRinse brown rice thoroughly in a sieve until water runs clear. Shake off excess water and pour rice into a dry skillet on medium heat. Toast rice until it becomes dry, begins to turn colour and becomes fragrant. You will hear it beginning to ‘pop’. Heat water to boiling. Add rice, salt, oil and stir to combine. Cover and turn down heat to simmer until rice is cooked and all the water has been absorbed.

 

Mushroom preparation:

Wipe off mushrooms with a damp cloth. Slice thinly. Melt 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. olive oil in a skillet. Add mushrooms, sprinkle with a little kosher salt and ground pepper. Sauté until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and cook until all the liquid is gone. Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.

Filling:

In a large skillet, brown beef in a couple of tbsp. of olive oil with the salt and pepper.

Add onions and cook until onions are translucent and meat is cooked. Stir in the garlic, grated or finely chopped and cook for a couple of minutes. Add rice, cooked mushrooms, tomatoes and dried oregano. Taste and adjust seasoning. (sometimes, I add a splash of balsamic vinegar)

Find a cooking vessel or slow cooker with a lid and make sure the peppers will fit. Cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out the membranes and seeds. If necessary, shave a thin slice from the bottom so they will sit upright. Fill the peppers with the mixture.Place in the cooking vessel with a ¼ cup of water, tomato juice or broth.

In a slow cooker, cook on low for about 4 hours.

In the oven, cook at 350 degrees, uncovered for about 40 minutes or until peppers are tender but not limp.

Top with grated cheese, if desired and cook for about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt.

 

 

Slow Cooker Potato Salad

Ingredients:

3 pounds small white potatoes

Kosher salt

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard

1/2 cup chopped fresh dill

Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/2 cup chopped red onion

Instructions:

Place cleaned potatoes in a slow cooker lined with aluminum foil, shiny side up. Cover with another piece of aluminum foil. Cook for 1 hour on high or 3-4 hours on low. Transfer potatoes to a bowl to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Adapted from the recipe below: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/potato-salad-recipe.html

Conventional Instructions:

Place the potatoes and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large pot of water. Bring the water to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the potatoes are barely tender when pierced with a knife. Drain the potatoes in a colander, then place the colander with the potatoes over the empty pot and cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel. Allow the potatoes to steam for 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, dill, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set aside.

When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut them in quarters or in half, depending on their size. Place the cut potatoes in a large bowl. While the potatoes are still warm, pour enough dressing over them to moisten. Add the celery and red onion, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Toss well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to allow the flavors to blend. Serve cold or at room temperature.

 

 

Slow Cooker Spiced Pumpkin Oats

Adapted from: http://www.thestar.com/life/food_wine/recipes/2010/05/26/spiced_pumpkin_millet_pudding.html and http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-oatmeal-recipe.html

Ingredients:

1 cup steel cut oats

1/2 cup plain or vanilla soy, rice or almond milk (or regular milk)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup pumpkin purée (canned, fresh or frozen and thawed)

12-oz (400-ml) can coconut milk

1/4 cup light agave nectar

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Instructions:

Mix all ingredients in slow cooker and cook over night, or 8-9 hours on low.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/simple-balsamic-vinaigrette-recipe.html

Ingredients:

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons dark brown sugar (optional*)

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup olive oil

Mesclun salad mix or favorite greens, for accompaniment

Assortment of salad ingredients, such as cherry tomatoes, chopped carrots, sliced red onion, chopped celery, diced cucumbers, walnuts

Blue cheese (optional, for garnish)

Instructions:

Beat the vinegar in a bowl with the optional sugar, garlic, salt and pepper until sugar and salt dissolves. Then beat in the oil by droplets, whisking constantly. (Or place all the ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake to combine.) Taste and adjust the seasonings.

*If using a good quality balsamic vinegar you should not need the sugar, but if using a lesser quality you might want the sugar to round out the dressing.

 

 

 

Additional Resources

Here are some great recipes that can be easily converted into slow cooker recipes. Some have already been converted for you! Keep in mind the following conversion of cooking time for recipe -> slow cooker:

15 – 30 mins -> instead, cook for 1 – 2 hours on High or 4 – 6 hours Low

30 mins – 1 hour -> cook 2 – 3 hours on High or 5 – 7 hours on Low

1 – 2 hours -> cook it for 3 – 4 hours on High or 6 – 8 hours on Low

2 – 4 hours -> cook it for 4 – 6 hours on High or 8 – 12 hours on Low

 

Breakfast:

Overnight Oatmeal: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/overnight-oatmeal-recipe.html

 

Entrees:

Roast Chicken: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/perfect-roast-chicken-recipe.html

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Galumpkis) http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/stuffed-cabbage-rolls-galumpkis-recipe.html

Braised Short Ribs: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/braised-short-ribs-recipe0.html

Lasagna: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/lasagna-recipe.html

Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/stuffed-shells-with-arrabbiata-sauce-recipe.html

 

Soups:

Split Peak Soup: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/parkers-split-pea-soup-recipe.html

Butternut Squash Soup: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/butternut-squash-soup-recipe.html

Potato and Leek Soup: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/potato-and-leek-soup-recipe2.html 

 

Side dishes:

Baked Beans: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/jamie-deen/homemade-baked-beans-recipe.html

Collard Greens: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/sandra-lee/collard-greens-recipe.html

 

Sweets:

Rice Pudding: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/rice-pudding-recipe2.html

Spiced Red Wine with Poached Pears: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/spiced-red-wine-poached-pears-recipe.html

 

Condiments:

Ketchup: http://chefmichaelsmith.com/recipe/ketchup/

 

Drinks:
Mulled Wine: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/mulled-wine-recipe.html

Hot Apple Cider (with Rum): http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/hot-apple-cider-with-rum-recipe.html

Hot Chocolate: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/hot-chocolate-recipe.html

 

Broth/Stock:

Chicken Stock: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/chicken-stock-recipe.html

Seafood Stock: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/seafood-stock-recipe.html

 

Cooking Temperature Guidelines:

http://healthycanadians.gc.ca/eating-nutrition/safety-salubrite/cook-temperatures-cuisson-eng.php?src=food_nutrition-safe_cook_temp&medium=banner_en&campaign=topic_footer