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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Week 27 : Whiskey BBQ Stuffed Baked Potatoes

1/2 onion, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic
3/4 cup whiskey
1/2 tea black pepper
1/2 tea salt
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/3 cup cider vinegar
1 Tbs liquid smoke
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
hot sauce to taste
1 beef brisket
3-4 baked potatoes

In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer garlic, onions and whiskey until onions are clear.  Add remaining ingredients to saucepan and simmer for about 10 minutes.  Place brisket in Crock Pot and pour sauce over top.  Cook on LOW for about 8 hours.  Top baked potatoes with cheese, sour cream, brisket and sauce.  Enjoy!!

This sauce is a wonderful find for me!  If you are interested in saving a little time, you could certainly use a bottle of your favorite sauce from the store.  But, if you want to try something different, this is definitely worth the extra 10-20 minutes.  (Be sure to sample the whiskey during cooking as well!)  It does make a lot of sauce though, so maybe halve the recipe or save half the sauce for another day!  Again, you can save time by throwing the potatoes in the microwave for a few minutes or just start the potatoes in the oven about an hour prior to the brisket being finished.  This is a very easy, filling meal.  Of course, the brisket would be great alone served with corn on the cob and sliced watermelon!  A great recipe to kick off the summer season!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Week 26: Jeff's Jerk Chicken

1 whole chicken
Caribbean jerk seasoning
white cooking wine

Pour enough white wine into the slow cooker to just cover the bottom.  Thaw and rinse chicken.  Rub jerk seasoning over entire bird and place in Crock Pot.  Cook on LOW about 6 hours.

First let me thank Jeff L. for being the inspiration for this recipe.  The one and only person who asked for a recipe to be named after him without actually submitting a recipe!  (The plan for this recipe accidentally slipped in front of him and he did have a hearty laugh about it...I'm not THAT mean!)

So easy to make this one.  Now, for those of you who have never cooked a whole chicken or turkey, let me tell you...there is junk inside the raw bird.  I am only telling you this because at one time or another, we were all new and we have all left something in there.  The innards, the neck, some other mushy is all still inside.  Usually the innards are separated in a little plastic bag so they are easy to remove.  Check all the way through the cavities though and then just let the water from the faucet run through the bird for a bit to finish cleaning it out.  I know some people save those organs to make other stuff with them, but I can't ever imagine what I would want to do with them, so I throw them out immediately!!  In one of my other postings, I made mention of cooking a roast upside down.  Chris from "Cooking with Kick" (see the link to her website on the right of my page) commented that she does the same with chickens and turkeys.  So, I thought I would give this a try.  All the good juices drip to the breast instead of just dripping off the bird.  It isn't as picture perfect as a Martha Stewart fresh from the oven bird, but who cares about what it looks like- you're going to carve it anyways!  This worked awesome!  Thanks to Chris for this tip as I will now be using it as the norm.  I served this with wild rice and sweet white shoe peg corn.  The leftovers made it into chicken quesadillas made with the raw tortillas I mentioned in last week's posting.

Next, I just want to make mention of this week's milestone on the Crock Pot Challenge.  HALFWAY THROUGH!!!  I would really like to express my appreciation to all of my followers.  I still am continuing to get daily compliments, suggestions and kudos about my weekly efforts.  I realize that not every recipe on here is an instant classic, but I am trying!  That's the whole point of this little see what will work and what won't.  Thanks to a last minute entry (thanks Brad F.- you too will get a recipe named after you!) I now have 60 followers!  I have been viewed in 46 states and countless countries and have close to 5,000 total pageviews!  If you are the curious type, click on the map in the upper right hand corner of the page and there is a list of all the countries who wanted to see what all the fuss is about!  So keep reading, keep cooking, keep following!  Only 26 more weeks to go!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Week 25: Chipotle Taco Meat

2 lbs ground beef
1 onion, chopped
1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 Tbs beef bouillon
1 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tea cumin

Brown ground beef and onions in skillet over stove top; drain fat from skillet.  Chop chipotle peppers into small chunks.  Mix all ingredients together and place in Crock Pot.  Cook on HIGH for 2 hours or LOW for 4 hours.  Serve with taco shells, tortillas, chips, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese......the possibilities are endless!

First question I had when I read this recipe...What in the world is adobo sauce and where in the world am I going to find it?  Well, I decided to start in the most obvious place, the "ethnic food" aisle at King Soopers.  If they don't have it there, then where?  (Yes folks, I'm a white girl from Highlands Ranch, Co!)  Low and behold, right above the tiny cans of mild diced green chilies...a small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce!  Easy!  I still don't think I really know what adobo sauce is, but it tastes great.  Kind of gives this recipe a smoky flavor.  And it is spicy!  So, if you don't want too much spice, maybe only half a can.  Second recommendation I have for you...raw tortillas.  A friend of mine, Renee K., gets the credit for this one.  These gems can be found at Walmart or Costco, next to the shredded cheeses.  They can be placed in the freezer and enjoyed whenever you need them, but they may not last until the freezer, so good.  (As per Renee's suggestion, I also eat these heated with just plain honey!  Simple, yummy dessert!)  Simply place a tortilla on a preheated skillet for 30-60 seconds, then flip and cook the other side.  Once you try these, the regular "ethnic aisle" tortillas will never be good enough again!  And lastly, to be fair to readers who don't always have 2-4 hours to cook, I will admit that the second time I made these, I made them over the stove top.  Simply start the same, but then add all the ingredients to the skillet instead of the slow cooker.  I covered and simmered on LOW heat for about an hour.  Tasted just as delicious!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Week 24 : Blueberry Fancy

1 loaf French bread
12 ou fresh blueberries
lemon juice, optional
8 ou cream cheese
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tea vanilla, optional

Slice bread and cream cheese into cubes.  Wash blueberries and toss with a small amount of lemon juice. Prepare slow cooker by spraying with non stick cooking spray.  Place half the bread cubes into the bottom of the cooker.  Layer with half the blueberries and half the cream cheese.  Repeat layers.  In large mixing bowl, beat together eggs, milk and vanilla.  Pour over other ingredients.  Cook on LOW for about 4 hours.  Serve with maple syrup...yummy!

Good morning!  I thought I would do something a little different this week- breakfast!  Well, if you don't wanna get up at 4am to make breakfast...brunch!  That is the only drawback of this recipe.  It only takes 4 hours to make, so you can't really turn it on before you go to bed!  To cube the bread, I just used kitchen scissors and cut the bread up.  I would suggest a small loaf of French bread or only using 3/4 of the loaf.  I used a whole loaf and there was one spot that turned out a little dry. Or, toss ALL the ingredients together before putting them in the Crock Pot to make sure that the bread is evenly coated.  I think that is what I will do next time I make this.  Don't misunderstand though, this is delicious!  If you are going to pour the maple syrup over the top as I did, don't skimp!  Buy the good stuff, it's worth it.  If you've ever had stuffed French toast, this is very similar.  If only I had some bacon....

Once again, I found this recipe in the Fix It and Forget It Big Cookbook.