Monday, September 1, 2008

Crock Pots: Magically Delicious!

I am such an old lady. But I adore the crock pot! Yes, that item that everybody puts on their wedding registry (along with the KitchenAid mixer) but never uses. Shame, shame! Don't you know what a wonderful tool of cooking prowess you have sitting right under your nose? I know, I know, you say you can't cook. But the awesome thing about the crock pot is that even a monkey could make a delicious meal using one of these things. You just throw a bunch of crap in there, set it on low, and 8 hours later you have a yummy concoction. 

Take for example, this recipe:

Ashley's W.T. Mexican Stew

A few frozen chicken breasts or tenderloins
1/4 packet low-sodium taco seasoning
1 can condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
1  cup of salsa
1 can of black beans, drained
1 can chopped green chilies

Put the frozen chicken tenderloins into the crock pot and sprinkle with the taco seasoning. Throw everything else in. No need to stir. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Shred the chicken and stir. Makes 3-4 bowls.

This is a recipe I adapted from some a couple of similar recipes I found on Sparkrecipes.com. I realize the combination of ingredients sounds a little nasty and oh-so pedestrian, but it turns out to be kind of like a creamy, spicy black bean soup.  And you can't tell me that you can't make it because there is zero prep work involved. Unless you count opening cans as prep work. By the way, I made that in my mini-crock pot, so you could double the recipe to use for a bigger one.

Speaking of crock pots, I found my dream crock pot in my new Williams Sonoma catalog. Behold the All-Clad Deluxe Slow Cooker ($279):





How pretty and amazing is this thing??? Not only can you remove the inner liner, but you can actually put it on your stove to brown meats, as in for a beef stew, and then transfer the liner back into the cooker, eliminating the need for an extra pan. Genius!

I think it's time for me to start my own registry. Or if you own the pretty All-Clad Slow Cooker, a KitchenAid mixer, or any other useful kitchen gadget that's still in its box and collecting dust and taking up valuable storage room in your kitchen cabinets, I will gladly accept these items as a donation from you and put them to good use. I might even use them to bake you some cookies or any other number of delightful treats at Christmas time. You're welcome.

3 comments:

Suzy Shoup said...

I agree about the fabulousness of the crock-pot. We used ours for my 30th birthday luau in July with this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Kalua-Pig-in-a-Slow-Cooker/Detail.aspx

It was so low maintenance and despite actually having 2 crock-pots of it, it was GONE!

sBs said...

Hmm..I do have a crock from a Christmas white elephant game, and that recipe has all ingredients I like - may have to try. That Williams Sonoma cooker is amazing; the parents have one very similar.

Ashley said...

Shannon: It's also low-fat! Woo-hoo. But you specialize in that stuff so I'm sure you already knew that. BTW, your little sister looks almost exactly like one of my cousins.