Tag Archives: slow cooker

Slow Cooker Chicken Bahn Mi

Basically, I’m in love with any sort of meal that involves meat between two slices of crusty bread, aka the glorious “sandwich”!  This version is known as a Bahn Mi and is of Vietnamese roots…Now, I do not claim this to be truly authentic, like from those great Viet markets along the gulf coast of Texas.  I do, however, claim that this juicy pull-apart sweet heat sandwich WILL knock your socks off and be a keeper when at a loss for a dinner idea!

*Feel free to tweak the ‘spicy mayo’ to your liking.  I like mine pretty spicy, so I typically add more Sriracha to kick it up!

**I use my mandolin to cut the veggies for the pickled slaw; be careful as these are SHARP!  You can also cut with a knife or in round slices.

***Feel free to use pork or even shrimp (Just don’t put the shrimp in the slow-cooker please ;).  Also, you can make this into a rice bowl, a salad, tacos or even lettuce wraps!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 pckg chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth (or water)
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp each garlic powder, cayenne, smoked paprika, red pepper flake

Pickled Slaw

  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 1 jalapeno thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Pinch of both salt and sugar

Spicy Mayo

  • 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • squeeze of lime juice

Garnish

  • Lime wedges
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Crusty French rolls

BahnMi1

Slow Cooker:  Spray the slow cooker with non-stick spray and place in the chicken.  Next whisk together all of the remaining ingredients and pour over the chicken.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 4 hours.  *When finished, shred with two forks and keep in the pans juices.

In a small pan, bring the 2 Tbsp rice vinegar, 1/2 cup water and a pinch each of salt and sugar to a boil.  Place the thinly sliced carrots, cucumber and jalapenos into a bowl and pour the hot vinegar/water over top.  Cover and allow to “pickle” for at least 30 minutes.  *This can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator overnight as well.

BahnMi2

Spicy Mayo:  Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.  Feel free to tweak the ingredient amount to your liking.

To assemble:  Slice each crusty roll in half lengthwise (I like to give it a light toasting), then slather on a good amount of your spicy mayo on each side.

Lay down some of the sweet-heat, shredded chicken and top with the pickled vegetables.  Finally, garnish with the chopped, fresh cilantro, a squeeze of lime and the top of the toasted roll!  Enjoy!

BahnMi3

Simple Steak & Noodles

Tis the season for hearty fare!   Growing up we ate quite a few crockpot meals and my favorite ones contained the soft egg noodles that still kept a bit of chew to them.  For the most part they’re commonly served with either chicken or tuna recipes, but why leave out my favorite??…beef!  The slowcooker makes the cut up roast so very tender and who doesn’t love not having that extra step of boiling noodles?!

*I garnished ours with a bit of chopped Italian flat leaf parsley for freshness and a spoonful of sour cream for extra creaminess..completely optional though!  However, promise me you won’t forget the bread and butter!!

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 1/2 lbs beef roast (chuck, tri-tip, etc)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp each kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 4 cups (32oz) beef broth
  • 1 packet onion soup mix (I.e. Lipton)
  • 1 package mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • A couple dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 package egg noodles, uncooked (12-16oz)

Begin by simply adding the cubed roast to a gallon size ziplock bag along with the flour and the salt and pepper; shake to coat.  

Heat a pan and the canola oil to medium heat.  Add the coated beef (in batches/do not overcrowd your pan, this will take 3-4 batches) to the heated pan and sear each side.  Once the meat has seared, add to your slowcooker.   

To that slow cooker, simply add in the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the noodles, cover and cook on low for 8 hours.  The last hour you will add in the egg noodles to cook through.

When time is up, garnish with a bit of chopped parsley,a dollop of sour cream and a nice hunk of crusty bread for dipping…if so desired ;). Enjoy!!  

Loaded Pulled Pork Fries w/ Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce

So after eating a few healthy meals, I remembered that you only live once and I wanted to dig into some southern comfort food.  I couldn’t decide what exactly, so I just mashed a few of my favorite recipes together and came up with this delight!  Man…come football season, these are going to be on my game day menu for sure!!

A couple of things that are awesome about this recipe is A.  It’s actually easy!  You basically put all the ingredients into two different vessels and walk away for HOURS!  Assemble once finished and done!  B.  Any leftovers can be used for other meals!!  Pulled pork? Sandwiches, wraps, etc.  Cheese sauce? A fantastic chip, cracker or veggie dip, pour on the sandwiches, quesadillas, etc.  Man the ideas are coming to me now!

So please do your family a favor and try this out ASAP!

*You can also cook the pork in a crockpot as well..if possible, still sear the meat and then place in your slow-cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

The Starting Lineup

Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce

  • 8oz block cream cheese, cut into cubes
  • 2 cups sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 cup evaporated milk, divided
  • 4oz can green chilis, with juice
  • 4oz jar Pimiento’s, drained
  • 1 jalapeño, finely diced (I keep the seeds in)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • A pinch of kosher salt & ground pepper

Braised Pulled Pork

  • 3 lb pork butt/pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed
  • 16oz beer
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Your favorite bbq sauce (I use Franklin Barbecue ‘Texas Style’) 
  • French fries (homemade or store bought)

Garnish

  • Green onions, sliced
  • Red onion, chopped
  • Jalapenos, slices
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Bbq sauce drizzle 

    Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce

    Braised Pulled Pork

Let’s begin! 

In your non-stick sprayed crockpot, simply add in all of the Spicy Pimiento Cheese sauce ingredients: cream cheese, cheddar cheese, 1/2 evap milk, green chilis, pimientos, jalapeño, garlic powder, salt & pepper.  Place the cover on and set to low for 2-3 hours.  Stir a couple times while melting and add the remaining milk half-way through to slightly thin.  Done!  Easy, right?  *This is soooo good, I had at least a couple spoonfuls 😬👍 

   On to the pork!!  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Combine all of the spices together while heating the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot to med-high. *Reserve 1 Tbsp of the spice blend, set aside. 

Evenly coat your pork with this spice blend and sear all sides of the roast to create a nice crust on the outside.  *Typically takes 10-15 minutes. 

    

Follow the searing by tossing in the cut onions and pouring in the beer. *If you’re over 21, take a swig!  

Now simply cover the pork with the lid and place into your preheated oven for about 3 hours. *If you’ll be away longer, you can drop the temp down to 275 and give yourself another couple of hours.

As your house is smelling magnificent, wipe the cheese sauce you’ve been sneaking from your chin, and start to chop and dice your garnishes. 

 Now that everything is ready to go, remove the pork from the oven and begin pulling it, literally.  Shred with two forks (careful, it’s hot!!) and toss in your desired amount of bbq sauce.  *Here is where your oven is now free and you can bake your french fries if not using a deep fryer.

Assembly time!  Once your fries have finished cooking, sprinkle them with a bit of that reserved spice blend and then top with a good amount of the warm pulled pork and a drizzle of bbq sauce.  Now ladle the Spicy Pimiento Cheese Sauce overtop and garnish with all your favorites!  Dig in and enjoy!  *I hope you bought a six-pack of beer, because it goes great with this!! 

Shredded Buffalo Chicken (Crockpot)

Just about everyone I know enjoys eating a plate of buffalo wings every now & again.  For me, the hotter the better really…but unfortunately, I’m usually still a bit hungry after.  Here you get that exact same great flavor, but in a fat and tasty sandwich form!  It’s filling for your entire family, kiddos included!!

Now if you’re eating on the lighter side these days or are perhaps gluten-free, you can simply stuff the buffalo chicken into some crunchy celery sticks alongside your favorite dipping sauce!  

Seriously, there is A LOT that can be done with this fantastic chicken filling!  Quesadillas, tacos, made into a dip with cream cheese, on grilled cheese, stuffed into an avocado…the options are almost endless!

The Starting Lineup

  • 4 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts
  • 12oz bottle Franks Red Hot (original)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste*
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Garlic powder, to taste
  • Onion powder, to taste
  • Pinch of salt

*to taste: I used about 1/2 tsp of each

To Make Sandwiches (optional)

  • Large kaiser rolls or slider buns
  • Blue cheese crumbles 
  • Ranch dressing
  • Thick cut dill pickles
  • Red onion slices

Keeping light (optional)

  • Celery sticks
  • Ranch/blue cheese dressing for dipping  

Simple.  Simple.  Simple.  Spray your crockpot with a bit of nonstick spray and place the chicken breast in the bottom.  Sprinkle the 5 seasonings over the chicken (cayenne & black pepper, garlic & onion powder, pinch of salt). 

 Next pour in 3/4th of the bottle of Franks Red Hot Original sauce, cover, and set to low for 8 hours or high for about 5 hours.

Times up!!!  Add the butter to the now cooked chicken and using two forks, shred away!  Next, add in the remaining 1/4 cup of wing sauce and toss to coat.  Done!  Easy right?? 

     Now if you’re making these into sandwiches, here’s how we like them!  I toast the buns first and place a heaping portion of the shredded buffalo chicken on top (depending, I’ll lather on a bit of ranch dressing onto the inside of each toasted bun before adding the chicken).  Then I top with a bit of the blue cheese crumbles and a few slices of thick cut dill pickles and red onion!  Delish!! 

 Lighter fare??  Clean and cut up some celery and simply stuff full of the shredded buffalo chicken.  Serve alongside either ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping!  *The blue cheese fanatic that I am, I also like to add the crumbles to the top of these

 

Restaurant Style ‘Refried’ Beans (Crockpot)

Having the taste of restaurant style beans (for pennies) in your own home versus that glop from the can is priceless.  Who knew it could be sooo easy AND make so much!  Given the large batch this recipe makes and its simplicity, it is great for a gathering, a large family or to freeze for another Mexican inspired meal!

The Starting Lineup

  • 1lb bag of dried pinto beans
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1-2 Jalapenos, halved and seeded (decide YOUR heat level)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp cumin, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt & ground pepper, to taste
  • 3 Tbsp chicken bouillon, to taste (Knorr)
  • 6 cups water  

THE NIGHT BEFORE, pour your dried pinto beans into a large bowl and fill with water.  Cover with saran wrap or a plate and allow to soak overnight while you sleep your sweet dreams. 

 Let us now fast forward to the next morning….Drain the beans in a collander and give a quick rinse before pouring them into your slow cooker (sprayed with non-stick). 

   Next add in every other single ingredient listed above.  Dang..this is pretty easy right?? 

   Cover the crockpot and set to low for the next 6-8+ hours.  Your house will soon start to take on that delicious mexican restaurant “I need chips & salsa” smell.  Delightful. 

   After time is up you have a few options to finish the beans.  

  • Leave them whole and enjoy.
  • Literally refry them.  Add them to a hot pan with a bit of lard and mash them till theyre your desired consisitancy.
  • Ladle the beans into a food processor with a bit of the cooking water and puree.  Pour back into the slowcooker to keep warm.
  • Ladle the beans into a blender with a bit of the cooking water and puree.  Pour back into the slowcooker to keep warm.  *Be careful with HOT liquids in a blender.  Make sure to cover lid with a small towel and your hand as the heat causes everything to expand.
  • Ladle a bit of the cooking liquid OUT of the slowcooker and use your immersion blender to puree the beans right in the dish.  *Add the liquid back in IF needed.  We like them ‘soupy’ but not overly so.  This is the route I chose today.    

Now that they’re all mashed to their refried bean gloriousness, season a bit more to taste if needed.  Serve topped with a bit of cheese & cilantro.  Delicious! 

 *This makes A LOT.  So if you have quite a bit leftover, transfer to a freezer bag, zip up, lay flat and place in freezer.  To eat: defrost over night and reheat in a pan or microwave with a pad or two of butter.

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