Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Hot and Spicy Roasted Nuts (Crock Pot)

Put 2 cups raw almonds, cashews, or pecans in a medium slow cooker. 
Mix in 1 tsp. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. cayenne powder, and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 20 minutes until the nuts are roasted.
Combine 1 Tbsp. olive oil with 2 tsp. sea salt, and stir into nuts.
Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.  Yields 2 cups.

Caramelized Sweet Onions (Crock Pot)

A time-saver!
For no tears, place 3 pounds of sweet onions in the fridge until they are cold (or outside on a cold day until they are cold).
To the slow cooker add 3 pounds of sliced onions, 1/2 cup butter and 1 tsp. sea salt.
Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours until soft and golden in color.
Use immediately, refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze to add wonderful flavor to future dishes.  Yields about 3 cups.
A double recipe would also work fine, although you might need to cook it a little longer.

Baked Potatoes (Crock Pot)

Saves using your large oven for baking potatoes, and if you aren't home during the day, you can get these started early!Scrub and pierce 6 to 8 baking potatoes several times with a fork.  Rub softened butter generously on potatoes and arrange in a circle around the bottom of a large slow cooker.  Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 9 hours, or on HIGH for 3 to 5 hours until soft.

Flavorful Chicken, Vegetables & Broth (Crock Pot)

Using a large slow cooker, place 5 pounds chicken thighs, 3 coarsely chopped onions, 3 coarsely chopped carrots, 3 coarsely chopped stalks of celery, 10 peppercorns, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. celery salt, 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar, and 10 cups pure water.  Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours.  Cool for an hour and strain broth into a bowl.  A little sea salt may be needed to suit your taste.  Reserve cooked chicken and vegetables for dinner that evening.  Use leftover chicken for soup, a casserole, or chicken salad.  Refrigerate broth up to 3 days or freeze for making delicious soups. The apple cider vinegar helps release extra minerals from the chicken bones for added nutrition.

Freshly Baked Bread (Crock Pot)

I don't normally recommend buying frozen bread dough, but there are times when you may need the aroma of a loaf of yeast bread with little effort, especially for company.  Here's how you can do that, but start cooking it about 6 to 7 hours before you need to serve the bread.  Rub a one pound loaf of frozen bread dough generously with olive oil, and place in a greased loaf pan (for an oval slow cooker) or a greased round cake pan (for a round cooker).  Place pan in slow cooker, and cover.  Cook on LOW for 2 to 3 hours until dough is thawed and beginning to rise.  Turn setting to HIGH.  Cover and cook an additional 2 to 3 hours, until the loaf is golden and sounds hollow when tapped.  Let cool a bit before slicing.