Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Slow Cooked


Slow cooking is low and slow. I love cooking in this Le Creuset pot; you probably have a slow cooker in the kitchen, a Crock Pot. This size is great for a meal or two for me and my man, or for 4-5 small meals for me to portion out over the week. I love this kind of cooking most of the year. The food I best digest is soft; slow cooking cooks every element through evenly, and the flavors just meld together and create a incredibly flavorful bite. With most of these recipes, I start on the stove top, then put the lid on and move to the oven for an hour or two at about 350.




Coconut-Braised Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes


Found this recipe in Food and Wine magazine. Start with cooking chorizo and sweet chopped onions in the pot on the stove top. Then add bite-size pieces of dark chicken meat. I use dark because it is more moist than white meat, easier to digest. Choose your chicken. Stir the chicken pieces into the chorizo and onions for five minutes or so. Add in bite-size pieces of potato. I use yukon gold, more buttery, but any kind of root veggie would be great with this. Stir the whole mess around for another five minutes. Add some salt and pepper at this point. Then, pour in a can of light coconut milk and enough chicken broth to cover the ingredients. Stir a bit. Put the lid on and move to oven for at least an hour. Serve with fresh cilantro or herb of choice. Squeeze some lime. Yum.


Chili

Chili is such a versatile dish. I make it slightly different every time; you really can't go wrong. Into my pot I put: can of black beans (drained), can of kidney beans (drained), can of chili beans (do not drain, you want all those seasonings. Then add one can crushed tomatoes and one can fire-roasted tomatoes. Stir all of this together. Add chopped onions and peppers of your choice. You can remain meatless, or you could add some ground meat already cooked in another pan. For seasoning, you could add a package of chili seasoning or add your own. I like to sprinkle in cumin, chili powder, sea salt, smoked paprika, and a bit of cayenne for some kick. Taste as you go as to not over season. Once seasonings are stirred in, put the lid on and put in oven for an hour. Top with freshly grated cheese (tastes SO MUCH BETTER than packaged pre-shredded), sour cream or plain greek yogurt, and cilantro. Throw on some jalapenos if you need more heat. 



Sirloin Pot Roast

I'm not a huge beef fan since the surgery. I can't digest it well, it actually hurts my stomach. But if it is slow cooked and practically falls apart, I can do it. Chop up yellow onions, carrots, and mushrooms into bite size pieces. Trim green beans into sizes you prefer. Put in pot with a bit of coconut or olive oil and a bit of minced garlic. Saute for about 5 minutes, add some salt and pepper as you saute. Add bite-sized pieces of sirloin. Stir whole mess around for another 5 minutes. Add enough low sodium beef broth to just cover the ingredients. I like low-sodium broths. You can always add more salt to taste as you cook. Add some worcestershire, or a balsamic vinegar. The dish needs a bit of a sour kick. This is up to your taste buds. Let simmer for 5 minutes, then put into oven for at least an hour, covered. Serve topped with sour cream or greek yogurt and some chives or a favorite herb.



Garlic Lemon Chicken. Spread those whole cloves of garlic on toast with butter. 

Oh my goodness, this has to be my favorite slow cooked dish so far. As previously mentioned, I prefer dark chicken meat. I always have a package of boneless thighs on hand. I also love this because it only has about 5 ingredients. Sometimes simpler is better; let's the flavor of a few things really stand out and NOT get muddled; although these flavors meld like heaven! OK, focus.  So, chopped onions or shallots (I have a hard time finding these in SW Missouri, so I default to onions). 5-10 whole garlic cloves. Smash a few so the garlic will permeate the broth. Pat of butter in pot, saute onions and garlic a couple minutes. Salt and pepper chicken thighs, both sides. Place right on top of onions and garlic. Cut 4 lemons in half. Juice them into the pot, careful to avoid seeds. Then tuck the lemon peels in and around the pot, under the chicken, around the edges. Salt and pepper. Pour in low sodium chicken broth until ingredients are just covered. Put the lid on and put in oven for at least an hour. Serve with some fresh herbs: tarragon, rosemary, or parsley. Pictured here is dried tarragon. Fresh is always better, but it's great to have these on hand. Eat up!

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