CHICKEN TACO CASSEROLE
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons Wondra flour
1/2 teaspoon FRESH ground sea salt
1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 cup WHOLE milk
1 cup chicken broth
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 cup sour cream
1 can original ROTEL tomatoes
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained WELL
2 tablespoons taco seasoning (see recipe below)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 bag FRITOS
1 small tomato, chopped
1 SMALL bunch green onions, sliced thin
- Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
- Melt the butter in heavy saucepan.
- Blend in flour and salt. Cook until bubbly.
- Remove from heat and gradually stir or whisk in liquid.
- Return to heat and cook, constantly stirring until smooth and thickened.
- Whisk together the white sauce and sour cream until smooth.
- Add in taco seasoning, salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in Rotel tomatoes, black beans and 1 cup of the cheese.
- Spread mixture into slow cooker insert.
- Top with chicken pieces in a single layer if possible.
- Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours* until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove chicken and shred with 2 forks.
- Mix chicken back in.
- Top with Fritos and remaining cheese.
- Cover a few minutes JUST until cheese melts.
- Top with chopped tomato and green onions.
- Serve immediately.
- Time varies based on chicken breast sizes.
- I accidentally bought re-fried black beans this time actually liked it too.
Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
1 tablespoon of chili powder
2 teaspoons of onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of oregano
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup water
- Mix all the dry ingredients together and use with your taco meat.
- Pour the water in the pan and cook just like you would for tacos.
- The amount above is the same amount that is in one packet of taco seasoning mix at the store.
COFFEE POT ROAST ala SLOW COOKER – serves 4
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, quartered**
2 Medium onions, halved and wedged
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brewed coffee
1/4 cup Bragg’s liquid amino acids
8-10 small gold potatoes, scrubbed and pricked with a fork
3 LARGE carrots, rustic large cuts
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoons cold water
- Place half the onions in the bottom of the slow cooker.
- Top with the garlic followed by half the beef. Repeat the layers.
- Whisk together the coffee and liquid aminos.
- Pour over beef.
- Cover and cook on low until meat is tender, about 8 hours.
- At 6 hours add the carrot pieces.
- Whisk together the cornstarch and water until smooth. Add to cooking juices, stirring to blend.
- Cover and cook on HIGH (about 30 minutes) until gravy is thickened.
**The original recipe was for slow cooking, but I prefer the oven unless I’m going to be gone all day. If I use the oven I DO NOT quarter it. If using the oven adjust the roasting time to 2-3 hours of covered and undisturbed roasting with the potatoes and carrots.
The original recipe had you slicing the onions thin. BUT, if you halve it root to tip and then wedge it you not only get thin pieces, you also get MORE flavor when you cut the onion in this direction.
The original recipe did NOT call for browning the meat, but I find you get a juicier roast with more flavor if you do so when roasting in the oven.
HONEY ORANGE PINEAPPLE CHICKEN ala SLOW COOKER serves 6-8
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup orange pineapple juice
Juice of 1 LARGE lemon
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup QUALITY honey
1/4 cup apricot pineapple preserves
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1/4 cup Country Bob’s All Purpose Sauce
1/4 cup Heinz Chili sauce
8 ounce can crushed pineapple
1 small can Mandarin orange segments, drained WELL
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup sliced carrots
chopped green onions for garnish
- In a mixing bowl whisk together orange pineapple juice, lemon juice, chicken broth, honey, preserves, brown sugar, cornstarch, teriyaki sauce, Chili sauce, Country Bob’s sauce and crushed pineapple.
- Spray slow cooker insert with non-stick cooking spray.
- Place chicken breasts in slow cooker in as shallow a layer as possible.
- Top with onion and carrot pieces.
- Pour juice mixture over top.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.
- Cover and cook 1 hour more.
- Top with Mandarin orange segments, turn off heat, cover and let sit 5 minutes.
- Serve over hot cooked rice. Top with fresh chopped green onions.
Who doesn’t love a classic salisbury steak? We have all eaten it at some point growing up. Salisbury steak was mom’s way of keeping it homestyle while stretching the budget too. Now I have a recipe that still does that, but works as an appetizer or a pot luck dish and utilizes the slow cooker so you don’t heat up the kitchen. 😀
SALISBURY STEAK MEATBALLS – 24 meatballs
1 medium Vidalia onion, halved and sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced thin
- Place the onion slices, minced garlic and mushrooms in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2 pounds lean ground beef
1 cup PLAIN breadcrumbs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon each FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
- In a large mixing bowl thoroughly combine the ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, milk, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
- Form 24 meatballs of equal size.
- Gently arrange meatballs in slow cooker on top of the onions and mushrooms. (About 2 layers)
2 cups beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon each FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water
- Whisk together the beef broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
- Pour over the meatballs evenly.
- Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours until meatballs are cooked though and still tender.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs, onions and mushrooms to a serving platter.
- In a small bowl whisk the cornstarch and water together until smooth to form a slurry.
- Whisk the slurry into the crock pot until well blended.
- Add the meatballs, onions and mushrooms back into the slow cooker.
- Adjust the seasoning to taste, cover and cook on low another 30 minutes.
- Serve over noodles or mashed potatoes.
This is a wonderful fall or winter recipe!
SLOW COOKER CHICKEN with BACON GRAVY serves 4
adapted from Sarah Olson
1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground pepper, to taste
4 sprigs FRESH thyme
2 bunches green onions, sliced thin
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
6-8 slices bacon, diced and cooked crisp
1 Pioneer country gravy packet dry mix DO NOT PREPARE PER PACKAGE
1 Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing packet dry mix DO NOT PREPARE PER PACKAGE
2 1/4 cups water
1 cup heavy cream
- Spray slow cooker with non-stick spray.
- Add the chicken to the slow cooker.
- Generously salt and pepper the chicken breasts.
- Add the garlic, green onions and bacon.
- Lay thyme sprigs on top.
- Whisk together the gravy mix and ranch dressing packets water until smooth.
- Pour the gravy mixture over the chicken.
- Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
- Remove the chicken and shred with 2 forks.
- Stir heavy cream into gravy mixture until well blended.
- Return chicken to gravy mixture and stir to coat well.
- Serve over mashed potatoes.
CHINESE BEEF & BROCCOLI ala SLOW COOKER serves 4
1 1/2 pounds chucks roast
4 leeks, (whites and light green parts only) halved and cut into pieces
6 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled**
6 thin slices ginger, unpeeled**
1 red jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
1/3 cup beef broth
1/4 cup dry sherry
3 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
2-3 cups broccoli florets
- Combine leeks, garlic, ginger and jalapeño pieces in slow cooker.
- Sprinkle with the flour and toss to coat. If using the meat in pieces, add meat, then flour and toss with the flour. Otherwise nestle meat into vegetable mixture after tossing veggies with the flour.
- Whisk together Hoisin sauce. beef broth, liquid aminos, brown sugar and rice wine.
- Pour over meat, cover and cook on low 7 hours.
- Remove meat to cutting board to rest.
- Discard garlic and ginger.**
- Slice meat against the grain into bite size pieces.
- Add meat back to slow cooker along with broccoli florets.
- Increase heat to HIGH and cook 5-10 minuses more until desired broccoli consistency.
- Serve over rice.
- **I use a small cheesecloth spice bag for these so they are easier to discard at this stage or you can peel them, chop smaller and leave them in.
- You can cut the cooking time in half by chopping steak into small bite size pieces first.
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Some of the recipes I have been waiting to try are from Southern Living’s Off the Beaten Path series. This recipe is from Maxine’s on Main in Bastrop, Texas. I made very few changes as time went on. While this was good, I still prefer MY old recipe that I’ve been using for years and I’ve shared at the bottom. But, one of my ALL time favorites is my Laverne DeFazio Pot Roast!
These slow cooker recipes are perfect for while I’m “LEARNING” to eat again. These allow me to cook a few times a week with plenty of C.O.R.N. (Clean Out Refrigerator Night) in between.
MAXINE’S POT ROAST
2 tablespoons Avocado oil
3 pound boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
3 medium red potatoes, washed and quartered
2 celery ribs, washed and large chopped
2 carrots, washed and large chopped
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, large diced
3 cups STRONG brewed coffee
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Wondra flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
- Whisk together 1 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper, 2 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon onion powder and 1 1/2 seasoned salt.
- Rub seasoning mixture over entire roast.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown roast on all sides and edges.
- Place roast and potatoes in slow cooker.
- Saute’ celery, carrots and onions in hot drippings from browning the roast.
- Add coffee, Worcestershire sauce and Kitchen Bouquet cooking for 3-5 minutes, loosening any particles stuck to the bottom of the skillet.
- Pour over the roast and potatoes.
- Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours or until roast and potatoes are fork tender.
- Transfer roast and vegetables to a serving platter.
- Shred roast with forks, cover and keep warm.
- Melt butter in saucepan.
- Whisk in flour until golden.
- Add to drippings in crock pot, stirring to blend well and cooking until desired consistency.
- Serve with Mashed potatoes, vegetables and roast.
MY SUPER SAVORY POT ROAST & VEGGIES
I love Pot Roast. I adapted grams old recipe to my family and their likes.
3+ pound Pot Roast
2 medium Onions
1 bag baby carrots
3 Tablespoons Avocado Oil
3 large Yukon potatoes~scrubbed clean, but not peeled
White & Black Pepper
2-3 LARGE cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon Pampered Chef Rosemary mix
Red Wine (2 cups) OR White Wine (2 cups) or plain old broth (2 cups) or combination of the three.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350°. The meat you use is important. My favorite roast is the chuck roast because it has wonderful marbling throughout the meat, and when cooked right (prep, cover, cook ~ don’t fiddle with it while it’s in the oven) any chuck roast winds up being tender and melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Be aware that the tougher the piece of meat is, the longer it needs to cook so that the connective tissue will soften and break down. You truly can’t rush a pot roast, you’ll be disappointed if you try as it will be dry or lack flavor. BE PATIENT. You want the meat to basically fall apart. You SHOULD NOT need a knife to cut it.
- Bring the piece of meat to room temperature.
- GENEROUSLY sprinkle the first side of meat with the Kosher Salt and Pepper mix.
- Heat enough avocado oil in the bottom of a fry pan on medium-high heat to make a thick coating.
- Cut the onions tip to root, cut off root and stem, peel and lay flat into hot oil. Brown both sides well.
- Remove to side.
- Add the baby carrots and do the same. I normally cut each carrot just in half. Brown carrots (you’re aiming more for color here than cooking them). They will have plenty of time to cook in the oven.
- Add garlic and spices at this point. By this time I have put them all into a mortar and pestle to revive their scents and aromas.
- When carrots are finished, remove them to the same plate as the onions. If necessary add more olive oil to the pan and add the roast seasoned side down. While it’s browning season the other side really well. Brown both sides and all edges really well.
Now, for the oven I like to use my grandma’s old Magnalite dutch oven which cooks really even! And see those little hobnail bumps in on the bottom side of the lid? Those are better known as drip catchers. They collect the steam from the juices and redistributes it all right back down on the roast as it cooks. These help keep the meat moist and juicy.
- After the roast is browned, place it in the dutch oven and spread vegetables all around it.
- While fry pan is still hot, add white or red wine and the beef bullion to deglaze the pan ~ make sure you scrape up all the stuck little bits from the bottom. Cook long enough to mix well and then pour over the roast. The liquid should come up at least half way on the sides of the roast and vegetable mixture. For this recipe we added the white wine to the recipe and drank the red. The red wine, Harrod wine, is from our nephew’s vineyard so we don’t waste it cooking, but enjoy every last drop.
- Put the lid on the dutch oven, put it in the oven, don’t open the door for AT LEAST 3 hours! Today’s roast was 2.39 pounds and I roasted it for 3 1/2 hours. Go relax or at least get the dishes you’ve dirtied so far done up. At 3 hours, I prep the potatoes for boiling. I prefer not to cook mine with the roast every time ~ sometimes I prefer a bit of substance instead of the mush they can become with the roast. I do a basic mashed with heavy cream, salt, pepper, and butter (hey you gotta splurge a little sometimes!)