Sunday, February 23, 2014

Modern Cauldron Recipes

Lately, I've been cooking a lot with my crock pot, and no, it's not due to whatever challenge or foodie fad is going on, I'm doing so because I love soups, stews, chowders, and chilis.  And I think foods slow cooked for hours on end have the best flavor.  I am a lover of flavors!

And, over all, it's easy.  Just toss in your ingredients, turn it on, stir it once in a while, tastenadd, and eat!

Last week, I made some pretty rockin Beef Stew; oh it was divine.  The best I've ever made...partially because I slow cooked it for nearly 24 hours.  

(Now I'm not too much of a....measuring kind of gal.  I measure the first and/second time I make something new [including reading the recipe], but after that I go solely on memory and taste; so no measurements.  Sorry!)

Majority of the box of Beef Stock
1-2 cups of Water
4 small Potatoes, sliced and cubed
Baby Carrots, whole
Onion Powder (I'm having a touch of sensitivity to fresh onions this pregnancy)
Garlic Salt
Pepper
A chunk of beef (as it cooks, it gets tender; as it gets tender, I shred it apart), thawed

Combined it all and slow cooked it on low for near 24 hours.  It was sooooo good!
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I really like to make things from scratch, however Red Chili isn't exactly where my strengths lay.  However, I found the secret to great chili: Don't Let My Husband Help!  Why?  Because he adds waaaay too much cayenne pepper!  He likes his chili hot, whereas I like to enjoy what I'm eating.  I like flavors!  

This time, instead of having him help me with the hamburger (I hate cooking ground meat and I'm not sure why), I put him in charge of buying the ingredients.  It's a curse, I think, because he bought pre-made chili....that stuff is awful.  I tasted it and yuck!  But I was optimistic!  I knew I could fix our mystery chili problem!  

2 cans of Canned Chili
1 29 oz can of Tomato Sauce
Salt
Pepper
Onion Powder 
Garlic Salt
Oregano
Paprika
Chili Powder
1-2 cups of Water
1 lb. Hamburger, browned before added
Lots of CHEESE (which I add towards the end)

Many hours later, and perfection, with more cheese and crackers..  Even better the next day.  Normally, I don't care for meat, unless it's turkey, in my red chili.  But it was good.  

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Here's a recipe that my SIL gave me yesterday.  She makes it and loves it.  It came on, when I was talking about my love for Mexican Hot Chocolate.  

Cocoa Chili
2 lbs beef
1 64 oz can tomato juice
1 29 oz can tomato sauce
1 15 oz can kidney beans, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, drained
1 1/2 cup chopped onion (I usually just use the whole onion lol)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper (usually use the whole pepper too)
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp white sugar
2 tbsp cocoa
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 cup chili powder
Salt & pepper
Brown beef & drain. Combine all ingredients in big pot... let boil on high then let simmer for 1 hour 45 mins 

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Last night, I started on one of my favorite chilis, White Chili:

(This is only my second time making this recipe, so there are some measurements.)

3-4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I shred as they get tender)
3 15 oz cans of Great Northern Beans
8 oz. Sour Cream
2 cups Water
1 cup of Medium Salsa
Salt
Pepper
1 25 oz can of Corn
2 lbs 1 lb.  of Queso Blanco (white cheese), cubed, sliced, or shredded.

You can add green peppers, tomatoes, and other peppers and herbs like cilantro if you want; but since the salsa I bought already had these ingredients, I didn't feel the need to add anything else.  Although I may next time!  Oh, and some recipes call for turkey instead of chicken, and spicier cheeses, like pepper jack or a mild/medium queso.  Let your taste buds be the judge!

You can eat it as is; instead of crackers, use tortilla chips.  In the past, we've wrapped it in tortillas.  Use it as a dip.  Eat it with rice.  It's food and we've eaten it in a variety of Spanish/South Western inspired ways.

It was nummers, but 2 lbs of queso is far too rich!  And next time I'm going to add more salsa and MORE beans!  

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Later this week, I'm planning on making some delish vegetable soup, it'll be my first time making it (and without a recipe) so fingers crossed.  I'll be trying to go on what my mom's looks and tastes like from memory.  AND I'm going to make some homemade bread!

There's something about cooking in a crock pot (using my wooden spoons) that just feels so Witchy!

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