Perhaps I am posting recipes because I wish I had a stocked refrigerator and pantry in order to cook real meals. Lately, I have been fortunate to make it to the grocery store to buy milk. Cereal and other daily staples have been in short supply because I have just had other things to do with my Saturdays, and going to the store on a weeknight after work is also just not appealing. But I popped on over to Annie’s blog, and she was, as usual, posting some great recipes. Some of these recipes were for her crockpot, and I was inspired to share a recipe that I love for the crockpot.
My sister-in-law, Tricia, sent it to me probably ten years ago, and I have made it pretty often since then. At some point, I lost the recipe she sent, so I searched on-line to find one very similar to it, if not exactly the same, and the taste was very close. So, here it is (Of course, for my crew, this has to be doubled.):
3/4 cup flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper blend
1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
4 boneless pork loin chops (1/2 inch thick)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 c. chicken broth
1 C. sherry
1. In a shallow dish or pie pan, whisk together 1/2 cup flour, mustard, pepper, and salt. Dredge pork chops in mixture.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fry pork chops in hot oil until browned on both sides, about 4 minutes, then place in a 5-quart slow cooker.
3. Whisk 1/4 cup flour into chicken broth and sherry, then add mixture to slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
4. Serve pork with pan juices poured over each.
(I am thinking of trying this recipe with chicken breasts instead of pork tomorrow, since I happen to have chicken breasts in the freezer. I think it will work well!)
Another source of recipes I use all the time is a cookbook called Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas. I have had this cookbook for at least 15 years, and some of my “regulars” come from this book.
I use this first recipe for Mexican Style Chicken and Rice at least 3 times a month. I LOVE it, and my family likes it. It is easy and quick as the book title promises, and it is obviously tried and true.
Mexican Style Chicken and Rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chopped chiles (We don’t eat chiles at our house, and it is great flavor without them.)
1 can chicken broth (low sodium, if you want to be super healthy)
1 3/4 C quick cooking brown rice (I use white rice sometimes)
6 drops tabasco sauce (I never use this)
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 oz grated, lowfat cheddar cheese (true confession–we use regular cheddar most of the time
Preheat oven to 350. Cook onion and pepper in skillet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Add the next 6 ingredients. Mix well and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and spoon into a 9×13 baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange chicken on top of rice mixture. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 35 minutes or until rice is cooked. Sprinkle cheese over chicken. Let stand for 5 min or until cheese is melted.
I often skip the cooking of the onions and peppers and boiling of the rice in the chicken broth when I make this because of time and a desire to keep the number of cooking pans to a minimum. When I do this, I bake for another 5 – 10 minutes. It turns out fine using this method, but the chicken is not quite as moist.
I serve this with sour cream as a garnish.
Also from the Quick & Healthy Recipes and Ideas cookbook is the recipe that my 13-year-old son made for me for my birthday dinner. It is really yummy. Since Nevin made it, I found a variation of it for the crockpot on line, so I am sharing that version here. I haven’t tried it in the crockpot yet, but I am sure it will be as good as it was baked in the oven.
Chicken a la Soda
3 skinless boneless chicken breasts (or eqiuvalent of boneless tenders)
1 can orange soda
1/4 cup of water
1 cup diced celery
1 can of sliced mushrooms
3 cups cooked instant brown rice
place chicken in crock pot
pour soda over chicken
add 1/4 cup of water
cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 4-6 hours. (check internal temp of chicken to make sure done)
Cook rice in microwave or stovetop.
When done, place .5 cup of rice on plate. Place chicken (4 oz) on rice and spoon juices w/veggies on top of chicken and rice.
(The recipe Nevin used was practically identical to this. If you want to cook it in the oven, place in a covered 3qt casserole, and bake it for 35 – 35 minutes.)
Reflecting on all these tried and true recipes may have motivated me enough to have a plan for meals for the next few days. Maybe they’ve inspired you, too.