26 Oct Special of the day: One-pot Wonders
Blades of grass flocked with frost announce the coming of colder times and a call for cooking up some comfort food in the kitchen. What better way to welcome winter than a collection of one-pot wonders? Delectable dishes whose ingredients you gently tuck into a slow cooker, cover with a lid and let simmer while you go about your day. Daycare for dinner, at its best, I say.
Penning this week’s column on slow cooking was a good excuse to buy a Crockpot of my own, at long last. The advantages of owning one became quickly apparent, though I was admittedly skeptical at first. Call it a big leap of faith-or perhaps a control issue on my part- but I had a hard time letting the slow cooker do the cooking that first day. Again and again, I found myself lifting the lid to take yet another peek at what was going on under cover, which wasn’t much at all for awhile. It took its own sweet time getting going, but slow and steady wins the race, sometimes, and in this case that was surely true.
Upon walking in the house the first evening into my slow cooking extravaganza our older daughter Mackenzie cheerfully commented that something sure smelled good. But by the second night, the newness had worn off, and her inquiry had digressed to, “What’s in the pot tonight, Mom?”
Not exactly music to my ears, but understandable, nonetheless. It was fun, and ever-so-easy, while it lasted. And don’t think I won’t be hauling that Crockpot out again later when the cold sets in and I am in need of an effortless way out of dinner prep.
Dust off the Crockpot and take it easy for this week’s Special of the day: One-pot Wonders and a few of my favorite no-fuss simple suppers. Happy carefree cooking!Slow-simmering Pulled Pork (serves 8-10) ¼ cup olive oil 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced 3 pound pork shoulder roast 3 cups ketchup 1/3 cup orange juice 1 teaspoon garlic powder 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ¼ cup honey Preheat slow cooker to high. Add olive oil and onion and cook briefly. Add remaining ingredients and cook on high for 4-5 hours, stirring occasionally to break up meat. Serve pulled pork hot over garlic buttered buns. Enjoy!
Beef Bourguignon (serves 8-10) ¼ cup brandy 6 ounces tomato paste 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 ½ cups dry red wine 1 ½ cups beef stock 2 pound chuck roast, cut in 1inch cubes 5 bay leaves 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon salt 1 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed 2 cups mushrooms, quartered Preheat slow cooker to high. Combine brandy, tomato paste, garlic powder, wine and stock in slow cooker. Add chuck roast cubes, bay leaves, thyme and salt and let cook on high for 3 hours. Add onions and mushrooms, reduce heat to low and cook for an additional hour or until meat is tender. Serve hot over parmesan poppy seed noodles.
Parmesan Poppy seed Noodles(serves 8-10) 12 ounce package wide egg noodles, cooked according to package instructions 1/3 cup sour cream ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated 1 tablespoon poppy seeds Dash of salt Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine hot cooked noodles with sour cream, parmesan cheese, poppy seeds and salt to taste. Transfer to greased baking dish and bake in 350 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. Serve hot with Beef Bourguignon. Enjoy!
Sydne George is a food journalist specializing in recipe development, food writing and food photography. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sydne’s “Special of the day” columns and recipes are archived at: http://sydnegeorge.com/blog.