Friday, February 6, 2009

Slow Cookin' Goodness

Don't know about you, but I love using my crock pot. It just does the trick, and if you haven't gathered, my favorite kind of meals to eat and make are the kind where everything is all mixed together in one pot or bowl of goodness. Here are two of my favorite one pot, slow-cooking recipes I have found of late...

Slow Cooker Lasagna
1 lb uncooked lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted are sometimes hard to find, so plain will d0)
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like the heat)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
Parsley (fresh or dried)
1 1/2 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
6 dry lasagna noodles, no-cook
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, (Romano is good)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes; simmer 5 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta cheese and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Mix in parsley (just eyeball it)
Spoon 1/3 of beef mixture into a 5-quart slow cooker. Break 3 lasagna sheets in half and arrange over beef mixture; top with half ricotta cheese mixture. Repeat with another layer and finish with remaining 1/3 of beef mixture.
Cover slow cooker and cook on low setting for 4-6 hours. Remove cover; turn off heat and season to taste if desired.
In a small bowl, combine remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese; sprinkle over beef mixture. Cover and set aside until cheese melts and lasagna firms up, about 10 minutes. Yields 1/6th of dish per serving.

Cuban-Style Pork and Sweet Potato Stew

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice (about 1 lb)
1 pound lean pork loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, with green chilies
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup orange juice
2 medium scallions, chopped (green parts only)
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Place potato, pork, tomatoes, garlic, orange juice, scallions, salt, cumin, and pepper in a 4 to 5 quart slow cooker; cover and cook on low setting for 7 hours
Stir in lime juice and cilantro; cover slow cooker and cook for 5 minutes more. (I like to throw in a little Louisiana hot sauce here as well...but be careful- it brings the heat!)
Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.


Laura said...

How many servings does the second one make?

Meredith said...

About 5- 1 1/2 cups ends up being a pretty big serving.