Tag Archive: crockpot

Vegetable Soup

 

Not a week after I posted this, Yahoo Shine Supper Club said it was looking for one pot meals.  I guess fall brings that out in us.

When it begins to cool down the first thing I want to make is vegetable beef soup.  It never turns out exactly the same twice, but generally it has the basic fresh vegetables and anything else I have on hand.  My oldest daughter has laid claim to my soup pot.  She reminds me constantly not to give it away to the church rummage sale just because it is old.  I got it for a wedding gift and it has made some wonderful meals and memories along with it.  I’ll tell you about those as we go along.

This can be made in a crock pot too. (cut back on the quantities of veggies.  It won’t all fit in a crock pot.)  There is not a better smell than pulling into the garage at the end of the day than the soup that has been cooking all day in the crock pot.  Leftovers are even better.

We had a priest at St Francis who loved soup suppers. Several of us agreed to make vegetable soup. The plan was to combine them all when we brought them to the kitchen.  However, every single pot looked different and had a different flavor. Some were slow cooked on the stove top and some in crock pots.  The difference was surprising since they had the same ingredients.  So surprise your family with some vegetable soup and yours will be their favorite.

Vegetable Soup

  • 1 ½ pounds lean cubed stew meat cut in small pieces
  • 1 large sweet onion diced
  • 1small  leek cleaned and sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 ribs celery sliced
  • 2 carrots sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, divided
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 14.5 ounce can petite diced tomatoes + 1 can water
  • 32 ounces lower sodium beef broth
  • 1 potato peeled and diced in small cutes
  • 8 ounces frozen green peas or green beans
  • 8 ounces frozen corn

In a large Dutch oven with a lid, brown the meat which has been lightly seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt and pepper in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil until very brown.  You may need to do this in 2 batches to avoid overcrowding the meat. Remove with a slotted spoon.  Add the onion and leek and sauté until tender.  Avoid adding too much oil at this point.  (Perhaps a tablespoon.)

If using a crock pot, transfer the meat and onion and leek to the crock pot now. Add the broth to the pan you sauted in and scrape up those good brown bits and pour into the crock pot.  Add everything else and cook at least 8 hours.

Add the meat back to the Dutch oven along with the celery, carrots, bell pepper, bay leaf, tomatoes, water, broth and potatoes.  Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin and ½ teaspoon dried thyme.  Add enough water to make it the consistency you like your soup or until the pot is full.  Bring this to a boil, cover and reduce to a very slow simmer, stirring occasionally.  If cooking on the stove top add the corn and peas about 30 minutes before serving.

Serve piping hot in big soup bowls along with some very good Southern Corn Bread muffins. (Warming to the body and soul.)

Baby Back Ribs

While I was making the zucchini cake I decided to use my crock pot for something good for dinner. My crock pot is grossly underused. My goal is to correct that. Things taste so good and can be slowed cooked while I’m at work. What’s the matter with me? These were so easy and smelled good too. They were “fallin off the bone delicious”!

I made up a rub about 6 months ago for something else and I used the leftovers for the ribs.

Simple recipe for an all-round rub: Basically it was paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, and red chile powder. I used equal parts and mixed it well. Rub it on both sides of the slab of ribs and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

For the ribs:

Slice 1 large yellow onion and put in the bottom of the crock pot. Put the ribs on top of the onion. I had to cut about 1/3 off and squeeze into the pot to make them lie flat.

Pour 1 can Dr. Pepper and 1 cup of your favorite barbque sauce over the ribs. Turn the crock pot on high and cook for about 6 hours. I turned the ribs once after 5 hours and added 1 more cup of barbque sauce. I turned the crock pot to low at this point and let them cook for 1 more hour. But they would have been fine left on high the entire time.

Remove the ribs to a platter and cover tightly with foil to keep warm. Transfer the juices/sauce to a sauce pan. Simmer to reduce slightly. Serve over the ribs as desired.

Mid-Week BBQ

I guess I am still hungry for Fourth of July festivals as I woke up this morning craving BBQ.  Good thing that I know just the quick fix to cook all day while I am at work.  I’ll set up my crock pot and let it cook dinner.  Throughout the day I began to elaborate on the Tuesday night party.  Maybe I want some Mexican and something fresh and fruity too.  How am I going to get this all in one dinner?  That is how my kitchen experiments start.  I began to imagine the recipe below.  It was good.  Real good.  I have leftovers in case I need some more this week.

Pulled Pork Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa

For the pork:

  • 1 pork tenderloin fat trimmed
  • 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ Sauce
  • 1 16 oz bottle of Dr. Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of chipotle chili powder
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Corn or Flour tortillas
  • Cheese and/or toppings

In the morning place all the ingredients through the salt and pepper into the crock pot and set to low.  Leave to stew for 6-8 hours.  Before removing from the pot fix the salsa (see below).

When ready to eat remove to pan and finish the shredding.  This should be very easy and almost done for you.  Serve with warmed tortillas, salsa and your favorite cheese.  I used Cotija.

 

 

For the salsa:

  • 2 pineapple rings
  • ½ of a red onion finely diced
  • 2 jalapeños finely diced
  • 1 cup of tomatoes finely diced  (I take mine as I get them from the garden, today’s crop was cherry tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons of cilantro finely chopped
  • Juice from ½ a lime
  • Salt

Pre-heat your grill or grill pan to medium.  Spray with cooking spray and add pineapple rings.  Spray the top side with cooking spray and let cook for three minutes or until deep grill marks appear.  Flip.  Cook 2-3 minutes more to char the other side.  Remove from pan to a plate and put in the refrigerator to chill.  When they are about room temperature, cut into small pieces.

Add all of the fruits and vegetables to a bowl and pour lime juice in and stir.  Salt to taste.  Serve over tacos.

I grilled a few extra pineapple rings for dessert!