I made a batch of tremendously good baked smothered chicken burritos the other day. The chicken was cooked slow all day, resulting in the perfect tender filling. I was still enjoying flashing back to those great burritos when I came across this idea for slow cooker cream cheese chicken taquitos. Just like the burritos, these taquitos are stuffed with fantastically tasty chicken that just falls apart as it cooks. The creamy chicken and melted smooth cheese needed a little kick in my opinion, so I topped the taquitos with diced jalapenos and spicy salsa. Then all was right in the world again!
Cold weather can sometimes make me ‘cooking lazy’. That’s when I just want to toss a few out-of-the-pantry and out-of-the-fridge ingredients into a slow cooker, turn it on, and come back half a day later to a done dish. Doesn’t mean it has to be all out of a can, but it isn’t all from scratch either. And it’s still good. And spicy. Gotta have spicy and these bold ranch pork chops deliver on that. I served these pork chops with warmed leftover mashed potatoes. The gravy from the slow cooker is great over mashed potatoes, but I think it’d be even better over grits, so I’ll give that a whirl next time. They’ll be instant grits, though, to keep with my ‘cooking lazy’ mood.
We spent a week in a condo on fabulous Tybee Island, Georgia not long ago. I wanted to maximize our time on the beach, which meant that I wanted meals that I could prepare with minimal effort and time. Slow cooker spaghetti and meatballs was the perfect choice. And it was mighty tasty too. Yummy meatballs in a flavorful sauce, with the spaghetti already mixed in. It really doesn’t get any easier. I always like a little kick in my spaghetti and meatballs, whether they’re from the slow cooker or not, so I added a bit of red pepper flakes. You can leave them out if you like.
I’m usually a crispy, grilled or fried chicken wing kind-of-guy. But I am open to other ideas, and I can’t pass up a tasty wing no matter what. So I went into the idea of cooking wings in my slow cooker with an open mind and empty stomach. What resulted were very tasty, very tender wings covered in a fantastic homemade Buffalo wing sauce. Cooking the wings in Buffalo sauce in the slow cooker before transferring them to the oven ensured that each and every bite was packed with that great traditional wing flavor. These wings aren’t just covered in sauce, there’s sauce all the way through. The sauce is what makes these slow cooker chicken wings great. It’s the perfect traditional Buffalo wing sauce. I make a big batch and keep it on hand. I like to fill a squirt bottle with wing sauce and squirt it on macaroni and cheese. Yep, try it. It’s good.
You can get a bit of a char and crisp on these wings if you put them under the broiler for a bit just before serving. Keep an eye on them, though. You don’t want to burn them.
I absolutely love chicken wings, cooked any way, with any sauce (or without). I love them so much that I created a free eCookbook that is full of my favorite wing recipes.
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.