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Feature Article: Crock Pot Cooking Makes a Comeback
Quick and Easy Crock Pot Dessert Recipes
2 New Recipes From Soul Food Lover’s E-Cookbook
Crock Pot Cooking Tips
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Crock Pot Cooking Makes a Comeback
by Cassandra Harrell
A slow cooker, or to some know as a crock pot is a small electrical appliance designed for the counter top that maintains a relatively low temperature (compared to other cooking methods like baking, boiling, and frying) for many hours, allowing unattended cooking of pot roast, stew, and other suitable dishes.
Crock pots used to be something that many received as wedding gifts and were mostly used for soups, beans and stews. But today, slow cooking has taken on a different flavor and they seem to be making a comeback. Of course, today, more education is needed on how to prepare foods for slow cooking and its health benefits.
In crock pot cooking, often water must be decreased, as ordinary cooking at higher temperatures requires enough liquid to allow for evaporation, whilst slow cookers prevent vapor loss.
Some slow cookers are supplied with recipe booklets; many slow cooker recipes can be found in cookbooks and on the Internet, and some cookbooks provide recipes for making complete dishes in a slow cooker using fewer than five ingredients, while others treat the slow cooker as a serious piece of culinary equipment capable of producing gourmet meals.
And for any type of meal you always need to add spices to your food. Spices add much flavor to regular and crock pot cooking. Use spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, diced minced onions, seasoned salt, and ground black pepper to name a few. And you can also try browning your pot roast before placing in the crock pot. This really adds a lot of tasty flavor that will cook right in your pot.
Below I have compiled a few crock pot recipes for you to try including tasty and quick desserts.
QUICK AND EASY CROCK POT RECIPES -
SLOW COOKER POT ROAST
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 (1 ounce) package dry onion soup mix
1 1/4 cups water
5 1/2 pounds pot roast
In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix and water. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with soup mixture. Cook on High setting for 3 to 4 hours, or on Low setting for 8 to 9 hours.
If you prefer, you can brown your pot roast on each side on top of the stove with a few tablespoons of vegetable oil before placing in slow cooker.
SLOW COOKER BBQ PORK
1 (14 ounce) can beef broth
3 pounds boneless pork ribs
1 (18 ounce) bottle barbeque sauce
Pour can of beef broth into slow cooker, and add boneless pork ribs. Cook on High heat for 4 hours, or until meat shreds easily. Remove meat, and shred with two forks. It will seem that it's not working right away, but it will.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Transfer the shredded pork to a Dutch oven or iron skillet, and stir in barbeque sauce. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until heated through.
SWEET POTATO & APPLE COMBO
4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cubed
1/4 lb. butter or margarine, melted
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 C. apple juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Peel and slice sweet potatoes. Peel, core and cube apples. Place both in slow cooker.
Mix the melted butter and brown sugar. Spoon it over the apple and sweet potato mixture. Pour apple juice over the sweet potato and apple mixture. Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours. Serves 4.
SLOW COOKER QUICK DESSERTS
The next time you made a dessert, try one of these tasty treats. Hmmmmmmm.
BLUEBERRY DUMP CAKE
1 21 oz. can blueberry pie filling
1 package yellow cake mix
1/2 Cup butter
1/2 Cup chopped pecans, optional
Place pie filling in the slow cooker. Combine dry cake mix and butter, sprinkle over filling. Sprinkle the pecans on top of filling. Cover and cook on Low for 2 to 3 hours. Serve warm in bowls.
Top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream if desired.
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie filling
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coat the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray. Pour in the cherry pie filling. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the melted butter, milk, and vanilla.
Mix until well blended. Spread evenly over the cherry pie filling. Cover, and cook on High for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted into the topping comes out clean.
1 cup uncooked glutinous white rice
1 cup white sugar
2 (12 fluid ounce) cans evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ounce cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Place the rice, sugar, evaporated milk, vanilla, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg into a slow cooker. Cover, and cook on Low for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove cinnamon stick, and serve warm.
PUMPKIN PIE PUDDING
(15 ounce) can solid pack pumpkin
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup biscuit/baking mix
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients. Transfer to a slow cooker coated with nonstick cooking spray. Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours or until a thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Serve in bowls with whipped topping if desired.
Recipes are from AllRecipes
OVER 250 SOUL FOOD RECIPES FOR UNDER $9.99 - TRY 2 NEW RECIPES FROM SOUL FOOD LOVER’S NEW E-COOKBOOK -
GUMBO CHICKEN WINGS
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 ½ pounds chicken wings
2/3 cup green pepper, chopped
2/3 cup onions, chopped
2/3 cup celery, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon allspice, ground
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup lima or butter beans, cooked and drained
2/3 cup corn kernels, cooked and drained
¾ teaspoon season salt
8 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
Remove and discard wing tips; reserve remaining wings. Heat oil in large skillet; fry wings until slightly done; remove with slotted spoon. Add green pepper, onion, celery; saute until crisp-tender. Stir in beef and cook until done. Drain off fat.
Transfer to large pot. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, thyme, allspice, cayenne, black pepper, salt, and wings. Simmer, covered until wings are tender, about 15 minutes. Add lima beans and corn; simmer until wings and vegetables are hot, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add bacon on top.
Note: The spices make this delicious dish. Serve over steamed rice. It’s wonderful!
COUNTRY CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
2 cups all purpose flour
Herb seasoning to taste
Season salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 eggs, beaten
2 pounds veal cutlets
1/4 cup oil for frying
In a shallow bowl, combine flour, herb seasoning, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Coat each veal cutlet with the flour mixture, then dip into egg, then back into the flour mixture. Heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium to high heat. Place veal cutlets into hot oil, and cook until browned on each side. Yield: 6 servings.
For more exciting recipes like the ones above, order your copy of Soul Food Lover’s E-Cookbook with over 250 recipes for under $9.99. A real deal!
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SOUL FOOD COLUMN - A QUICK SPIN ON ONIONS
Onions is one of the oldest vegetables and are found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world's cultures. They are now available in fresh, frozen, canned, pickled, powdered, chopped, and dehydrated forms.
Onions can be used, usually chopped or sliced, in almost every type of food including cooked foods and fresh salads and as a spicy garnish. They are rarely eaten on their own but usually act as accompaniment to the main course. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy and pungent or mild and sweet.
As with garlic, onions help prevent thrombosis and reduce hypertension, according to the American Heart Association. The juice of one yellow or white onion a day can raise HDL cholesterol (the good stuff) by 30% over time, according to Dr. Victor Gurewich, director of the Tufts University Vascular Laboratory at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Boston. Red onions don't provide the same effect.
A medium onion has about 60 calories with no fat. What a deal! So don’t be afraid to eat your onions!
CASSANDRA’S CROCK POT COOKING TIPS
· When trying a conventional recipe in a crock pot for the first time, reduce the liquid by 1/3 or ½ unless you’re making a rice or soup dish.
· Fill the crock pot half to two thirds full. The food will not cook properly if it’s filled higher.
· It is recommended that you do not use frozen foods in a crock pot. Food should be defrosted so the temperature can reach 140 degrees quickly.
· Ground beef should be first cooked before placing in the crock pot. This will prevent the beef from cooking in chunks.
· In crock pot time, one hour on high speed is equal to two hours on low.
· More Crock Pot Cooking Tips
Also, watch for more exciting tips next month!
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Until Next Time
Cassandra Harrell is an avid soul food lover and the author of the new Soul Food Lovers’ Cookbook with 250 easy-to-follow soul food and southern recipes from three generations of Southern cooks. Throughout the cookbook you’re find helpful cooking tips and fun recipe stories about the dish.
Editor & Soul Food Advisor
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