Family · New Favorite

Crock Pot Carnitas

Pork Carnitas are a favorite while dining at local Mexican restaurants.  This recipe, made in the Crock Pot, made the work easy.  I chose to skip the final step in the recipe and it was delicious.  If you love the crispy pork, go for it.  The pork is great in tacos, burritos, bowls, nachos….your choice!

CROCK POT CARNITAS

2 pounds boneless pork shoulder (or 2 1/2 pounds bone-in)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and ribs removed, chopped
1 orange, cut in half
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • Rinse and dry the pork shoulder. Salt and pepper liberally. Mix the oregano and the cumin with olive oil and rub all over pork.
  • Place the pork in a slow cooker and top with the onion, garlic, and jalapeno.
  • Squeeze over the juice of the orange and add the two halves. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high 4 hours.
  • Once the meat is tender, remove from slow cooker and let cool slightly before pulling apart with a fork.
  • In a large sauté pan, heat the vegetable oil over high heat. Press the carnitas into the oil and fry until crusty on one side. Serve.  (I skipped this step)

Recipe from FoodNetwork

New Favorite

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin…Tender and Delicious!

Roast Pork was a staple in our Iowa farm home, tender, juicy and always accompanied by mashed potatoes and gravy.  Through the years, I’ve cooked pork roast many ways but this recipe, shared with me by buddy Jan, was different and equally tender and delicious.  A great crock pot recipe I’ll be making again and again.

BALSAMIC PORK TENDERLOIN

Two-three pound boneless pork tenderloin
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • Place pork tenderloin into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over pork and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)
  • Once pork tenderloin has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and then ladle about ¼ – ½ cup of gravy over pork tenderloin.
  • Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.

Recipe by Cooking | Add a Pinch at http://addapinch.com/cooking/balsamic-pork-tenderloin-recipe/

Family Favorites · Holidays

St. Patrick’s Day Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage is an Irish-American tradition, not one commonly found in Ireland. None the less, it is a tradition many of us treasure and cook only 1 time a year. I prepare this dish in my trusty Crock Pot and it’s perfect every time. This time I chose to omit the carrots and go with a basic beef, potato, onion, and cabbage meal.

Pair this dish with Irish Soda Bread and a beer (green) and have yourself a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE

1 raw corned beef roast (3-4 pounds)
1 head cabbage washed and cut into wedges
8 red skinned potatoes, washed
3 carrots (optional)
2-3 medium onions (optional)
1 cup water
salt and pepper

  • Place corned beef brisket in crock pot and top with vegetables, water, salt and pepper.

  • Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
  • If you like your cabbage a bit crisper, you can add the cabbage 2-3 hours before serving.

 

Losers!

Slow Cooker Brownie … a Disaster!

A few days ago I was watching the Rachael Ray show with Emeril Lagasse as her guest. He shared a recipe for a slow cooker/crockpot brownie. With a busy day coming up and the need for a birthday dessert, I decided to give it a shot.

I followed the instructions, shown below, to a ‘T’ and anxiously awaited the yummy results, enjoying the smell of chocolate in my home all afternoon.

After the allotted baking time of 3 1/2 hours, the brownies were still liquid in the middle. I have a fairly large crockpot so the brownies were probably thinner than in many smaller crockpots.  Time was running out, so what to do?  I tried baking a little while longer on low with no improvement.  Finally I resorted to turning the crockpot on ‘high’ and you can imagine the burned edges and still uncooked center.

I was NOT a happy camper and kicked myself for not making the recipe shown below but baking, old-style, in the oven.  I think this modification for traditionally baked brownies topped warm, with the chocolate hazelnut spread would be amazing. Skip the slow cooker method.

NOTE TO SELF:  Never try to ‘bake’ a cake or brownie in the crockpot EVER!

SLOW COOKER BROWNIES (NOT!)

1 box of brownie mix
1 cup chocolate chunks, a mix of milk and dark (and I used some white chocolate)
1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread

  • Line the bottom of the slow cooker with some aluminum foil and spray it with a little non-stick spray.
  • Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and add chocolate chunks.
  • Pour the batter into the slow cooker, set at a low temperature and cook for 3 hours.
  • Remove lid and cook for an extra 30 minutes to create a crunchy top. When cool, spread hazelnut spread on top and enjoy!

Recipe from Rachael Ray Show with Emeril Lagasse

Family Favorites

Pinto Beans and Cornbread

Pinto Beans and Cornbread was/is a staple in many homes, particular in the southern states. My Mother would occasionally make a pot of beans but it was usually met with disdain by our meat and potatoes Iowa farm family.

When I met my husband, raised in southern Missouri, I quickly learned that Pinto Beans, Cornbread and all of the fixin’s was a much-loved meal. My husband, Karl, usually took charge of this meal but I’ve learned to make it in the crockpot vs. watching it all day on the stove.

Karl and his family serve the pinto beans, cornbread and butter with cooked mustard greens (today it was green beans), corn, fresh sliced tomatoes, and fresh onion.

I prefer a small slice of cornbread with a few beans and a lot of bean stock and vegetables.  My big finish…a larger piece of cornbread drowning in honey.  Oh yeah!

SLOW COOKED PINTO BEANS 

16 ounce package of dried pinto beans
1 ham hock
1/2 large onion, cut into pieces
black pepper to taste
Cover with water (about 1-2″ above the beans)

  • Place all of the above in a large crockpot on low setting.  I typically start the crockpot in the evening and let it cook all night.  In the morning, I add water as needed and cook until ready to serve (lunch or dinner).   You may need to turn the setting to high in the morning if the beans are still very hard.
  • Once cooked, remove the ham hock and cool.  Remove any bits of ham and return to the beans.
Family Favorites · My Roots · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Apple Butter…Crockpot Style

Apple Butter was a fall tradition in my Mother’s kitchen back on the Iowa farm with plenty of local apples to use.  She would can several jars and store in our ‘fruit room’ in the basement.  Neighbors and friends would share the fruits of their apple harvest with the offer to come pick what remained on their trees.  That’s just how neighbors treat neighbors.

Years ago, a co-worker shared her crockpot apple butter recipe with me.  It’s been in my recipe box ready to be used and this was the year.  The process takes a while but you don’t have to stand over the stove watching it to assure it doesn’t stick and burn.  I’m easily distracted so this is the ticket!

What to serve with the apple butter?  I made a loaf of oatmeal quick bread (see post of October 23) and served a slice of the bread with fresh apple butter on top for an autumn dessert to die for.

Apple Butter Spread on Oatmeal Bread

Apple Butter

12 to 14 apples
2 cups apple juice
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves

  • Wash, core and quarter apples (do not peel).
  • Combine apples and apple juice in lightly oiled Crock pot.
  • Cover and cook on Low setting for 10-18 hours (or on High setting for 2-4 hours).

When fruit is tender, put through a food mill to remove peel. Measure cooked fruit and return to Crockpot. For each pint of sieved cooked fruit, add sugar, cinnamon, allspice and loves; stir well. Cover and cook on High setting for 6-8 hours, stirring every 2 hours. Remove cover after 3 hours to allow fruit and juice to cook down.

You can can the apple butter by spooning into hot sterilized jars and processing according to standard cooking methods.  I chose to refrigerate and share with family for immediate (and I do mean immediate consumption).   It’s too wonderful to last long!

Yield: 5 1/2 pint jars