I would’ve liked to have made this slow cooker tomato sauce using tomatoes from our garden. For some reason, our tomatoes just didn’t produce this year. Usually I have to worry about the raccoons stealing them but not this time. They just didn’t come out. So, Plan B, I picked up a big batch of ripe tomatoes at the grocery store. The end result came out very, very flavorful. Quite honestly, I had my sights set on using this sauce to make pizza sauce, but it’s so good by itself you could easily serve it as-is as tomato soup. I used Roma tomatoes because I like how they taste. You can substitute any good tomato, just make sure they’re good and ripe. Do not use those hard-as-cardboard tomatoes you often find at your grocery store. If you’re lucky enough to be near a farmer’s market, it’s well worth the trip. When tomatoes are at peak you’ll want to make several batches of this slow cooker tomato sauce and freeze it for later.
One of my favorite things to do in the summer (around July 4th here in Indiana) is to buy a lot of sweet corn and put it up for the winter. And I do mean a lot of sweet corn. For the two of us that often means 100-150 ears at once. It’s a good day’s work, but well worth it later in the year, specially when I can use it to make great-tasting dishes like this slow cooker chili cheese corn. I really enjoy cooking corn in the slow cooker. The corn keeps it’s light crunch, and all of the sweetness. Add bit of roasted green chiles and cream cheese and you have a truly fantastic side dish. For a little more kick, use diced roasted jalapenos instead. Or for less kick, roast a poblano (or even green bell pepper) under your broiler until blackened, then remove the burnt skin, seeds and chop. No matter what you use, it’ll add a nice contrast to the sweetness and creaminess of the corn.
It was a cold and crappy day. I didn’t really feel like cooking much, so I threw all of the ingredients for pot pie into the slow cooker and let it go for 6 hours. Into pie pans, topped with dough, and a few minutes later… bingo! Slow cooker pot pie! Yummy and creamy and with just a little bit of that crunchy crust that I think is pretty much required by law. There’s nothing fancy about this slow cooker pot pie. It takes minimal time to throw together, and it makes a nice big batch. Great on a cold day. Perfectly good on a warm day.
It was a cold day. The kind of day that screams stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. These slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls hit the spot and then some. They’re pretty easy to make, couldn’t get any easier to cook, and are the perfect cold-day food. Ground pork and beef get mixed with rice and a few spices to make a tender, flavorful stuffing. The rolls are bathed in a wonderful tomato sauce that reminds you of tomato soup (for a reason, since it contains tomato soup). You can’t eat just one, that’s for sure! The next time I make slow cooker stuffed cabbage rolls I might add a bit of heat to spice things up a bit. I’m not sure. They’re mighty good as they are. I am sure I’d double the amount of sauce, though. The sauce is mighty darned good.
Red pepper flake or hot sauce, to taste (optional)
For the sauce
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
Red pepper flake or hot sauce, to taste (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
Remove the core from the cabbage but keep the leaves intact.
Carefully lower the cabbage into the water. Boil for 2 minutes then remove and let cool slightly before gently removing any softened leaves that will come off without tearing, Return the head to the water and continue boiling/removing leaves until you have 12 nice large leaves.
Chop any remaining cabbage and use it to line the bottom of your slow cooker.
Place the remaining cabbage roll ingredients into a large bowl and combine well.
Working in batches, lay out a cabbage leaf and spoon 1/3 cup of the meat mixture into the middle. Roll the leaf up like a burrito, folding the sides in to seal it as you go. Place into your slow cooker, seam-side down.
Place cooker on low. Add the sauce (see below), cover, and cook for 8 hours.
Let cool 15 minutes before serving with sauce spoon over the tops.
It was the first frosty day of fall, and I needed something to warm me up. Something hearty. Something beefy. Something easy. So I made BBQ pot roast in the slow cooker and it fit the bill perfectly. It wasn’t long before I forgot how cold it was and how cold it would get in the coming days and weeks. Brrrrr! I should’ve made a double batch! I like my pot roast shredded, but if you like yours chopped or sliced you can do that instead. Either way this BBQ pot roast comes out very tender and very tasty. You can substitute beef broth for the Coke too if you don’t have soda on hand.
I think pot roast is best served with grits, but mashed potatoes are just (well, almost) as great. I like the textural contrast of the grits with the tender, juicy beef.
I’m a sliced-corned beef Reuben kind of guy. Or I was. We recently ate at a little restaurant where a Reuben was on the menu. I’m a big fan of Reuben sandwiches, and I think they are a good test of the quality of the food a restaurant turns out. Tough corned beef? I’m not coming back. Well, to my surprise the Reuben at the restaurant had chopped corned beef mixed in with kraut. I thought…. hmmmm… I’m not sure about this… but I took a bite and loved it! So I went home and made a big batch for the week’s lunches! There’s nothing fancy about this Reuben. It’s your standard fare. Slow-cooked corned beef, tender, and then chopped. Mixed in with well-rinsed and drained kraut. Easy dressing, cheese, and rye. Done. Eat!
2 pounds fresh sauerkraut, rinsed and drained well
2-3 pound corned beef brisket, rinsed
1 cup Thousand Island dressing
16 slices pumpernickel rye bread, toasted
8-16 slices Swiss cheese
Place kraut in slow cooker.
Add corned beef brisket and the spice packet that came with it.
Add lid and cook on low for 12 until the corned beef is about to fall apart.
Remove the corned beef and chop. Yes, you can slice it if you prefer. Return the beef to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
At this point you can add the Thousand Island to the slow cooker and stir, if you desire, or simply slather it onto the bread slices.
Spoon kraut and beef mixture onto the bread. Note: I like to transfer the mixture to a strainer first. I press down on it lightly to remove as much moisture as I can. This prevents me from having a soggy (bleh!) Reuben.
I love shrimp. Boiled peel-and-eat shrimp loaded with Old Bay flavor are my favorite. All I need is a bit of spicy cocktail sauce and I’m ready to go. I thought I’d try something new this time instead of boiling shrimp in spices. I thought I’d try cooking the shrimp in a slow cooker. And wow! Perfectly cooked shrimp, tender and moist, about as hassle-free as you can possibly get. This is absolutely the easiest way to cook up a big batch of shrimp for a party.
You can cook the shrimp ahead of time and chill them to serve them cold, or let your guests grab the shrimp right out of the slow cooker. Well, using tongs would probably be a good idea.
I used 20-24 count wild caught Gulf shrimp for this dish. I prefer Gulf shrimp, and I prefer wild and not farm-raised. I think the taste of Gulf shrimp that have been living in the wilds cannot be beat.
I’ve done that corned beef and cabbage thing. Loved it. I’ve done the corned beef sliders thing. Definitely loved it. Time for something new. Time for slow cooker spicy corned beef. Oh yes. Tender, sliced, and the best part, topping with a simple glaze that doesn’t remind you of the usual corned beef ‘thing’. You can tell that just by looking at the list of ingredients? Oranges and corned beef? Yes. Cloves, you bet! And lots and lots of other great things that end up packing the corned beef with crazy good flavor. I sliced this slow cooker spicy corned beef thinly and served it on rye bread with just a bit more of the glaze drizzled over the top. That’s it. That’s all it needed. No kraut, Swiss cheese, or anything else.