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Charski

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Everything posted by Charski

  1. This is from Allrecipes.com: "Imagine walking in the door tonight and being stopped dead in your tracks by the rich, enticing aroma of what can only be dinner. You can't believe it -- someone has been home all day cooking for you! Then you remember -- that someone is your slow cooker. All you had to do last night was chop up some meat and veggies, and all you had to do this morning was toss them in that magical appliance and switch it on. Slow cooking is hip again! Dust off that pot and get ready to rediscover just how easy and delicious a slow cooker can make your life. Go Easy on the Juice Because slow cookers work at low heat and with their lids on, there is hardly any liquid lost during cooking. In fact, it may appear that you have even more liquid than you started with. That's because almost all food, especially meats and vegetables, contain water. As they cook, they begin to release their water. With most cooking methods, the water turns to steam and evaporates. But, since the lid is on the slow cooker, there's nowhere for the steam to go; it just collects on the lid and drips back into the food. So, if you're inventing your own slow cooker recipes or adapting your favorite stovetop and oven recipes for the slow cooker, decrease the amount of liquid you use. Is Browning Better? There is some debate over whether or not you need to brown meat before cooking it in a slow cooker. There are advantages to it, but it's not necessary. Tossing meat in flour and searing it with a little oil in a hot skillet for a few minutes will give it an appetizing color and a more complex flavor than simply tossing it raw into the crock, but either way, the meat will still cook. One type of meat that you should always brown in a skillet before adding it to the crock, though, is ground beef (or, for that matter, any ground meat). If you don't brown it first, it will clump together, remain an unappealing color and add lots of grease to the finished product. Be Nice to the Spice Whole spices such as bay leaves, peppercorns or cinnamon sticks will give slow cooker items a very intense flavor if left in the pot for the entire cooking time, so use them sparingly. Ground spices as well as fresh and dried herbs, on the other hand, can lose much of their flavor if allowed to simmer for several hours in the slow cooker. It's better to add these items during the last two hours of cooking if you can manage it. Dairy products such as milk, sour cream and cheese also do not hold up well to several hours of simmering. To avoid curdling, wait until the last hour of cooking time to stir in these items. Sooner or Later . . . The slow cooker is one of the few cooking methods where you can cut the cooking time in half by turning up the temperature, and still get great results. Food will not burn in a slow cooker because it retains moisture so well, and because the heat is so evenly and gently distributed around the sides as well as the bottom of the pot. If something takes 10 hours on the "low" setting, you can safely cook it for 5 hours on the "high" setting with very similar results." Char
  2. Here's a little more helpful info on the vindaloo paste - the brand I bought is called Patak's Original. It comes in a 10 oz. glass jar with a brick-red label. It says, "Vindaloo Curry Paste - concentrate for sauces" and it says "Hot" in a red circle; has a tannish colored lid. I refrigerate it after opening, although the label says, "Once opened store in cool dry conditions - can be used up to six months after opening." And here's a link to their UK website, replete with recipes: Patak's Foods So now you know what I know about it! Char
  3. Hi PM! I've gotten it locally at both Ralph's Market and Albertson's in the ethnic food section. The first jar of it I tried was sent me by my stepdaughter who lives in England. So it appears to be available, you may have to search it out! Char
  4. Vindaloo ala Char 2 lbs pork tenderloin 1 large eggplant, not peeled, cubed 1” 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped 1 large bell pepper, red, green, or yellow, cut into 1” pieces 2 large portabello mushrooms, cut into 1” pieces 2 tbsp Vindaloo paste 1 tbsp chopped garlic (from a jar) 1 4 oz can chopped mild green chilies, not drained 1 1 lb 12 oz can crushed tomatoes with heavy puree, not drained 1 1 lb can diced tomatoes, not drained Garlic flavored cooking spray Trim pork tenderloin of all visible fat and silverskin; cut into 1” cubes. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium high heat; spray with cooking spray. Brown onions quickly; add garlic, stir about 30 seconds; put mixture into crockpot or roaster oven. Brown pork in small batches – don’t cook it, just sear it on at least a couple of its sides; Add to pot with onions. Do the same with the eggplant. In the last batch of eggplant, add the vindaloo paste. Stir to mix well. Add to pot and mix well with pork and onions. Add bell peppers and mushrooms. Add the can of diced green chilies, and both cans of tomatoes. Stir well to distribute vindaloo paste. Cover. If using crockpot, let cook on low 6-8 hours or til pork is very tender. If using roaster oven, bring to a simmer and then let cook 3-4 hours, or til pork is very tender. Adjust vindaloo paste to taste. I usually use between 2 and 3 tablespoons for the batch. This is also equally good with very lean beef, turkey breast or chicken breast, cut into cubes. My batch today yielded 13 cups at a value of 3 points per cup.
  5. Diane, the small amount of sherry vinegar doesn't really give this a sherry taste at all; I like it a lot, and I'm not into drinking sherry either. You could, however, probably substitute apple cider, champagne, or white wine vinegar for it without a problem. I just made another batch of this last weekend, after not making any for a while - I had forgotten how good it really is! Char
  6. Tex, when it's freshly cooked, the sauce is a little thinner. Our dinner plans changed the night I had this in the crockpot, so I just put it in the fridge in a plastic container. The next night the sauce was much more "gravy-like" on consistency, even when warmed in the microwave. If you plan to eat it right out of the crockpot, and you want the sauce a little thicker, you could remove the meat, dissolve a tablespoon of cornstarch in some cold water, add to the pot and cook on High uncovered until it thickens to your liking. Char
  7. Hi Dawna! It's kind of - uh, BOTH! It's like a very thickly cut steak/roast. Usually London Broil is cut about 1-2" thick and is a full cut across the top round. It's even thickness from one end to the other and usually has a layer of fat along one side, which of course I trim off entirely. I had to cut mine in half, crosswise, to fit into my round crockpot, layering half the onion soup mix and cream soup on the bottom piece and the rest on top. YUM! Char
  8. DH swooned when I served this to him tonight! 16 oz. lean London broil, trimmed of visible fat 1 envelope Lipton's Onion Soup Mix 1 can 98% FF cream of mushroom soup 1/2 cup diced onions Place diced onions in bottom of crockpot. Sear London broil (aka top round) in a nonstick pan on both sides til browned. Cut if necessary to fit crockpot. Sprinkle onion soup packet over beef, then spread the can of mushroom soup over the top. Cover and cook on Low 6-8 hours or til meat is very tender. You could add sliced mushrooms and/or other veggies if you like. This came to a total of 19 points using the ingredients I had on hand. Divide into servings (3 or 4 total) and figure points accordingly. Serve over or alongside bulgur, rice, pasta, or polenta if desired (don't forget to account for THOSE points! ) Char
  9. I bumped up the mockamole too in this same board - can't have mockaritas without the mockamole!! Char
  10. BUMP - can't have MOCKARITAS without MOCKAMOLE! Char
  11. So, Dawn, how'd your pizza turn out?? Char
  12. From LazyGourmets: Crockpot Taco Sauce Skip the mix, make your own taco sauce in your crockpot. 56 oz. canned whole tomatoes, undrained 3 cloves garlic; chopped 2 tsp. salt 1 cup chopped onion 1 tsp. chili powder 1 tsp. dried cilantro 1 tsp. dried thyme 1 Tbsp. sugar 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce 2-3 jalapeno peppers; seeded, chopped (optional) 1 Tbsp. flour 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil 1 Tbsp. wine vinegar Combine all ingredients, except oil, vinegar and flour in crockpot; stir. Cover and cook on LOW for 8-10 hours. Remove cover; turn heat setting to HIGH. Cook an additional hour for sauce to thicken. Turn off crockpot; stir in flour, oil and vinegar. Cool. Note: For smoother sauce, puree in foor processor. Makes 8 cups. Freeze up to 3 months. Char
  13. Boy, THIS sounds good! Will have to try it soon! Char
  14. Snowie, you can use the "search" feature to find some good recipes on here - just go up right under the "new topic" and "post reply" buttons and you'll see where you can click on "search" - in the search box, type "french onion" and and then click the "search" button below. There are several good recipes that have been posted in the past. Yum, I may have to make some myself! Char
  15. Since I cut my pizza into 8 slices, (and this is a big 16" pizza) then 1/4 of the recipe would, indeed, be in the 6 points neighborhood--I count mine at 3 points per slice. Trust me when I tell you that 2 slices is a LOT and makes a meal for me. DH eats 3 slices (9 points) and is totally satisfied with it. Add a green salad if you think you'll have room for it! Char
  16. Here's another way, if you know the poster's number or it's your OWN recipe - go to Search, in the bottom of the search box enter the member #, and it will show all posts by that member. If there is more than one page full of posts by that person, at the top left side you'll see "more" and you can go to the next pages that way. That's how I found Dawna's recipe - put in her number and scrolled through the pages til I found that former Navajo recipe! Char
  17. Oh, MAN! :rolleyes: There goes our pizza party. And Jeanette, we were counting on you to bring the nonalcoholic beer! Glad you finally tried it AND liked it! Char
  18. Dawna, I found the original posting and bumped it back up - I'd hate to lose the 2 pages of comments on it! It's really tasty stuff - I'll have to make it again soon...... Char
  19. Hey Bethanne! I don't do cinnamon in my chili, but hey, whatever makes ya happy! For anybuddy else who may be trying to locate this recipe, it's called "Vegetarian Chili (2.5 points) and is made with lentils instead of beans. It is some GOOD STUFF!! Char
  20. Sorry, Denise, I didn't see this til I noted your question on a separate thread - so I'll post here what I posted there! The amount of unsweetened cocoa powder I use does NOT impart a chocolate flavor, it just adds a complexity to the flavors as it pairs really well with chili powder. It tasted "flat" to me til I added the cocoa powder. Sometimes I add cold perked coffee to recipes too, for the same reason - no coffee flavor remains, but it "perks up" the other flavors of the dish. I dunno where this stuff comes from, probably about 40 years of cooking and reading recipe books and magazines! And also sitting at the knee of my mother who was an adventurous cook, and not being afraid to TRY something. That's the beauty of trying out new things in recipes - if it's no good, no major permanent damage has been done. You might have to go out for dinner or yank something out of the freezer though! Char
  21. What Paris says, except the amount I use does NOT impart a chocolate flavor, it just adds a complexity to the flavors as it pairs really well with chili powder. It tasted "flat" to me til I added the cocoa powder. Sometimes I add cold perked coffee to recipes too, for the same reason - no coffee flavor remains, but it "perks up" the other flavors of the dish. I dunno where this stuff comes from, probably about 40 years of cooking and reading recipe books and magazines! And also sitting at the knee of my mother who was an adventurous cook, and not being afraid to TRY something. That's the beauty of trying out new things in recipes - if it's no good, no major permanent damage has been done. You might have to go out for dinner or yank something out of the freezer though! Char
  22. I'm having the same thing as Cheryl for dessert - but I favor the light chocolate flavored ReddiWhip.... However, for dinner, I am going to buy two nice big lobster tails, remove them from the shell, butterfly them, marinate briefly in a little extra virgin olive oil and ponzu sauce, then grill on the George Foreman. We'll have some tender/crisp asparagus with it; DH will dip his in melted butter and I'll dip mine in Butter Buds with homegrown freshly squeezed lemon juice. Now THAT'S a low point Valentine's dinner, and you could have plenty of whipped cream if you have plenty of activity points! Char EDIT: When I reread this, I thought I had better clarify before Cheryl comes back - DH will dip his LOBSTER into melted butter and I will dip my LOBSTER into - oh, forget it, I may just be making things worse!!! Yep, we're sometimes but we're sure a lot of FUN - as this journey SHOULD be!!
  23. I made this a few weeks back and it was REALLY good! Thanks for this one, Dawn! Char
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