Cooking with Tammy Kelly: Crockpots are still my favorite

Cooking with Tammy Kelly: Crockpots are still my favorite

Crockpots are still my favorite

These days there are so many new cooking gadgets and equipment to choose from, from instapots to air fryers, and combinations of the two, the good old crockpot remains my favorite!! Just start it in the morning and magically you have dinner when you get home. I am always looking for new recipes to cook in the crockpot. Try something new for dinner in your good old crockpot

Potato and Corn Soup with Sautéed Shrimp

7 ears yellow corn, shucked
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
8 ounces Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 3/4-in. pieces
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided

Cut kernels from corn cobs to measure about 4 cups. Using the dull side of a knife blade, scrape liquid from corn cobs directly into a 6-quart slow cooker. Add cobs and 3 cups kernels. Stir in chicken stock, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and potatoes. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours and 30 minutes.

Discard cobs. Stir half-and-half and 2 tablespoons butter into corn mixture. Transfer half of corn mixture to a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining corn mixture. Stir in pepper.

Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until foamy. Add shrimp, remaining 1 cup corn kernels, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp turn pink and are done, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons chives. Divide soup among 10 shallow bowls; top evenly with shrimp mixture, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons chives.

Serves 10, each serving contains: Calories 192, Fat 8g, Carbohydrates 19g, Protein 12g, Cholesterol 78mg, Sodium 428mg.

Better Than Takeout Beef and Broccoli

1 1/2 pounds flank steak — cut across grain into thin slices
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup oyster sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chili-garlic paste — Sriracha, or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, plus additional to taste
2 teaspoons minced garlic — about 2 large cloves
2 tablespoons cornstarch
5 cups broccoli florets — about 2 small crowns
Prepared brown rice — or quinoa for serving
Chopped green onions — and toasted sesame seeds optional for serving

Coat a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place the beef in the bottom.
In a small bowl, stir together the beef broth, soy sauce, oyster sauce, honey, rice vinegar, chili-garlic paste, and garlic. Pour over the beef, then stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 1 1/2 hours.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup water and cornstarch. Stir into the slow cooker with the beef and sauce, then place the broccoli on top. Cover, turn the heat to high, and cook another 30 minutes, until the broccoli is tender. Serve warm over rice, sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds as desired.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 519, Fat 14g, Carbohydrates 46g, Protein 43g, Cholesterol 113mg, Sodium 1375mg.

Mushroom and Black Bean Chili

(Modified from an Eating Well recipe)
1 pound dried black beans, (2½ cups), rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil ¼ cup mustard seeds
2 tablespoons chili powder
1½ teaspoons cumin seeds, or ground cumin
½ teaspoon cardamom seeds, or ground cardamom
2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
8 ounces tomatillos, husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped
¼ cup water
5½ cups mushroom broth, or vegetable broth
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 can green chilis
1¼ cups grated Monterey Jack, or pepper Jack cheese
½ cup reduced-fat sour cream
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes, cut into wedges

Soak beans overnight in 2 quarts water. (Alternatively, place beans and 2 quarts water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for 1 hour.) Drain the beans, discarding soaking liquid.

Combine oil, mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a 5- to 6-quart Dutch oven. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add onions, mushrooms, tomatillos and water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are juicy, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover and stir often until the juices evaporate and the vegetables are lightly browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Add broth, tomato paste and chilis; mix well.

Place the beans in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Pour the hot vegetable mixture over the beans. Turn heat to high. Put the lid on and cook until the beans are creamy, 5 to 8 hours.
Garnish each serving with cheese, a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 10, each serving contains: Calories 299, Fat 10g, Carbohydrates 38g, Protein 18g, Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 413mg.

Slow Cooker French Dip

For the Beef
3 to 4 lb. lean beef round roast, trimmed
1 tbsp. minced garlic, minced
1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, or 1 tsp. dry
1 tbsp. fresh thyme, or 1 tsp. dry
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 to 3 14.5 oz. cans Swanson's low-sodium beef broth
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
10 whole peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1/2 large onion, cut into chunks

For the Onions
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt

For the Peppers
1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into strips
1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced into strips

For the Sandwich
Reduced Fat Provolone or Mozzarella slices
Whole-wheat baguette or rolls cut into 2 oz. pieces

In a small bowl mix garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub the spice mixture onto all sides of the roast, then place in the slow cooker.

Pour the broth into the side of the roast until it just cover the meat. If the broth doesn't cover the roast you can add water and top with onions. Add the Worcestershire sauce, peppercorns and bay leaf to the broth.

Cover and cook on low until the meat flakes apart easily with a fork, about 9 to 12 hours, depending on the size of your roast.

An hour before the meat is done, prepare the onions and peppers. In a large nonstick skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook until golden, stirring often, reducing heat as needed if the onions are burning or browning too quickly, about 30 to 35 minutes. Add 1 tbsp. to the pan if it becomes too dry. The onions should turn golden and the flavor should be sweet.

Transfer to a serving bowl, then add the peppers to the skillet and cook stirring often until soft, 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the meat from the slow cooker to a cutting board and shred with a fork or slice with a knife. Strain the broth through a fine sieve then place in a gravy separator to remove any fat.
Pour 1/4 cup broth into each small ramekin.

Preheat the oven to broil. Split the bread open and top with 2 ounces of beef. Top with onions, peppers and cheese and broil until the cheese melts. Place on a plate with broth for dipping.

Serving size one sandwich, each serving contains;Calories 308, Fat 9g, Carbohydrates 31g, Protein 29g, Cholesterol 40mg, Sodium 620mg.

Crockpot Cooker Tomato, Spinach, and Quinoa Soup

1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
2 (14.5-ounce) cans petite-diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cups vegetable broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bunch spinach, stems removed and leaves chopped

Place quinoa, tomatoes, beans, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in vegetable broth and 2 cups water until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. Stir in spinach until wilted.
Serve immediately.

Serves 8, each serving contains: Calories 214, Fat 3g, Carbohydrates 38g, Protein 12g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 211mg.

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