Monday, January 31, 2011

Corned Beef and Cabbage Slow Cooker Meal

We had a local Aldi store open up recently. For those of you who don't have one, they call Aldi the "stock up store". They have really good prices, especially for meats and fish. The corned beef briskets were on sale so I bought one. (Mind you, this was after I went to check out and didn't have enough money so I had to put the $8.50 brisket back. The store only takes cash and so I scraped together all our change to go back and buy it since I really had a taste for corned beef and cabbage...and I already had the rest of the ingredients too.) I don't know if it was the "Aldi" brand corned beef or that it needed to cook longer, but the meat wasn't half as tender as the corned beef I've had in the past. I really enjoyed this meal with all the vegetables though; the cabbage, carrots and potatoes turned out great. We did give it a thumbs up but next time will cook the meat an hour or two longer. I may ditch the seasoning packet too. I wasn't completely sold on the flavors. For sure, I think we'll do this again for St. Patty's Day.

1 corned beef brisket of 3-5 pounds
5 medium-sized yellow potatoes
15-20 baby carrots
1 head of cabbage
3 cloves minced or crushed garlic
1 bottle of Guinness beer
Seasoning packet (if included)

  • Place beef brisket in slow cooker.
  • Add seasoning packet (if one included)
  • Add cut up yellow potatoes.
  • Add baby carrots.
  • Slice the cabbage into large quarters and add to slow cooker.
  • Add bottle of beer and garlic.
  • Simmer on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
  • When serving, make sure to use some of the juice from the slow cooker as a light "gravy".


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Dad's Chili

I haven't made this recipe in a LONG time, and it's really a good one. My dad put this recipe together over a few years of tweeking it. I have a funny story. So I was making this chili for the Packers playoff game. It calls for chili powder and I ran out of my homemade concoction. See quick chili powder. While at an Indian grocery store earlier in the week, I picked up what I thought was regular chili powder. (The red coloring should have tipped me off, but it didn't.) As I put the powder in, my eyes watered a little and I thought to myself, "Hmmmm, maybe the Indian chili powder has a little kick." Is that an understatement! It turns out instead of regular chili powder, I bought red chili powder. And not only that, but EXTRA HOT red chili powder. Come to find out, that's ground up hot chilis! YIKES! Needless to say, this just about burned your mouth off. Since people were on their way over, I used every googled tip I could find...(using slices of raw potatoes to soak up the heat; cutting the heat with a couple tablespoons of honey, using a little baking soda) but nothing really worked. I did add a 28 ounce jar of tomatoes, 2 more cans of beans and a 15 oz jar of tomato sauce. This helped tone it down a bit, but we still needed huge dollops of sour cream to actually eat it. Interestingly, one of our friends asked for some HOT SAUCE to add to his!! He loved it! (They got most of the leftovers.) careful when going to an ethnic grocery store and read the fine print on ALL labels! This chili recipe is really good when you make it right!

1 lb ground turkey
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15 oz) can light kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can dark kidney beans
1 (15 oz) can spicy chili beans
1 quart crushed tomatoes
2 large red peppers, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 T minced garlic
6 T white vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
4 T light chili powder
6 squirts Worcester
2 T brown sugar
4 squirts Tabasco or other hot sauce
salt and pepper to taste

  • Brown the meat
  • Using the juice of the meat, let the onions and peppers simmer until tender and soft
  • Place meat in crock pot and add peppers and onions (after draining meat juice)
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix together in slow cooker
  • Cook for 4 hours on low or 2 hours on high

Friday, January 21, 2011

Quick Chicken with Saffron Rice Meal

I do a weekly menu every week which makes meal time so much easier. Sometimes though I veer off my menu (like today) and try to find something quick and simple to cook. Very low-maintenance. I was supposed to make Pork Goulash in the slow cooker, but totally forgot to get it going 4 hours ago .... hence the need for something quick and easy since it's 5pm. I found (saffron) Yellow Rice at our grocery store as I'd had a hankering to try saffron rice after having it with a dish at a restaurant downtown. This particular brand has dehydrated vegetables too, which I like. It is called Vigo Saffron Yellow Rice.

1 pkg yellow saffron rice
1 lb boneless chicken breasts
1 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic
1 pkg peas
1 T turmeric (optional)

Easy Instructions:
For tonight's dish, I just prepared the yellow rice according to the package directions. While that was cooking, I took about a pound of frozen chicken breasts and threw them in a pot of water to boil for about 1/2 hour. To the water, I added the olive oil and minced garlic to flavor the chicken. Once the rice and chicken were done, I cut the chicken up and added it to the rice. Then I cooked the peas and added them too. Since I just bought turmeric from the Indian grocery store, I added about 1 T of that too. Because it was a little dry, I poured in a few splashes of milk and dinner was served!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tasty Beef and Bean Burritos

There are a couple nights of the week where we need a quick and easy meal for nights we're going to the Y. This one I found on The Pioneer Woman. I am really finding a lot of neat recipes there. She had a lot of great ideas for add-ons to the recipes which I took advantage of. The filling for the burritos was just delicious. I have never really liked the taco seasoning that comes with taco packets. The El Pato sauce really makes this dish.

1 to 2 lbs ground beef
1 can (7 oz) El Pato Mexican Tomato Sauce
Cumin, oregano, garlic to taste (chili powder can be added too)
1 can (28 oz) Refried Beans (we used Old El Paso)
3/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
8 or more flour tortillas

Extras inside:
Small slices of tomato

Extras On Top:
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

  • Brown ground beef and season to taste.
  • Pour in sauce (saving a little for drizzling) and let simmer over low heat.
  • In saucepan, heat refried beans and add shredded cheddar. Stir until melted and mixed in with the beans. Keep warm over low heat.
  • Spread a few spoonfuls of refried beans onto tortilla. Add meat mixture.
  • Add lettuce and tomato and wrap into a burrito.
  • Sprinkle cheese on top and microwave until melted.
  • If desired, spread guacamole and sour cream on top.
  • Drizzle extra sauce on top. (I forgot to set some aside for this.)
Enjoy! This was delicious with a side of Mexican rice.

Burrito Filling

Side - Mexican Rice

Finished Burritos and Rice

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Curry Potato Soup (Mulligatawny)

My husband and I love anything curry or Indian-related. We eat this dish whenever we eat out at one of the restaurants we like, Sai Bai Tong. This recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Woman. She used apples in her soup where I chose to use yellow potatoes. I changed a couple other things too. I did use her suggestion of cayenne pepper and it adds a nice little bit of spice.

1 pound chicken breast
4 T butter
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced fine
1/4 cup flour
1 T curry powder
32 ounces chicken broth
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
6 medium yellow potatoes
1 T sugar
1 T garlic salt
2 tsp salt
black pepper
cayenne pepper (optional, for spice)

  • Heat 2T butter over medium-high heat in skillet. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Set chicken aside.
  • In soup pot, add rest of butter and reduce heat to medium. Add diced onion and garlic and cook while stirring. Onions should start turning brown.
  • Sprinkle in flour stirring to combine. Stir in curry powder. Cook mixture (will get thick) for one minute, stirring constantly.
  • Pour in chicken broth. Stir to mix and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add whipping cream and milk, salt, garlic salt, pepper, sugar and cayenne pepper. Cook another 5 minutes.
  • Add chicken and diced potatoes and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes. Before serving, allow to stand 5 or 10 minutes.
This goes very well with some type of bread for dipping. Enjoy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A New Look

I've taken a little blogging break, but it is soon coming to a close. I decided to find a new template and change the look a bit.

I have a couple new recipes I can't wait to make and post. One will be for Hungarian Goulash and the other for Swedish Meatballs. While on my break, I was treated to some homemade cooking by Papa Herbie my "papa-in-law" (my sister's father-in-law). These dishes were absolutely wonderful and I hope to reproduce them. I transcribed the recipes as he narrated what he was doing while cooking.

Be back soon....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Frito Pie Casserole

I got the idea for this dish from a visit at Taste of the Blogosphere. When I saw her picture, this looked like something we'd like to eat. I decided to do a search on the internet and came up with a simpler version.

2-3 cups Fritos corn chips
2 cups Mexican shredded cheese
1 lb hamburger meat
1 can of Texas style chili beans
2 T chili powder
1 T minced garlic

  • Brown ground beef adding minced garlic.
  • Once meat is no longer pink, add Texas style chili beans and chili powder.
  • Let simmer for several minutes to blend flavors.
  • Put layer of Fritos on bottom of glass pan.
  • Put half of cheese on top of the Fritos.
  • Place meat/bean mixture on top of the Fritos and spread evenly.
  • Add another layer of Fritos and the rest of the cheese.
  • Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
We dished ours up putting sliced tomatoes, shredded lettuce and sour cream on top.
Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tangy Slow Cooker Barbecue Ribs

My husband has been asking for ribs lately and I bought some beef spare ribs at the store a couple weeks ago. I finally sat down today and went through two "Fix it and Forget It" slow cooker cookbooks I got from the library. I put this recipe together borrowing from a few of theirs what sounded yummy to me.

2 lbs beef ribs (I used boneless beef short ribs, but pork ribs would work too)
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup ketchup
2 T sugar
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1 cup cola
1 T minced garlic
1 tsp dry mustard
dash or two of salt and pepper

  • Take ribs if frozen and defrost in the microwave.
  • Mix all the ingredients together (minus ribs) in a mixing bowl.
  • Place ribs on the bottom of slow cooker and pour sauce mixture on top. If needed, arrange a second layer of ribs after you pour half of mixture onto the bottom ribs.
  • Pour the rest of the sauce onto the top layer of ribs.
  • Cook on low for 4-5 hours.