It’s that time. I’m In the MOOD for COMFORT FOOD
But I didn’t really have a choice. When my freezer had a meltdown last week I had to do some quick thinking as to what would be the best ways to use up lots of chicken, ribs, pork and fish within a short time span. I baked, steamed and grilled but I also put a few things in the slow cooker. Here are two recipes I tried for the first time that turned out extremely well. I forgot how easy & convenient it is to use my slow-cooker. The only thing is that I took it one tiny step further – instead of throwing everything into the pot (which most people tend to do) I advise first browning the meat in another pot. It only takes a few extra minutes, one extra pot to clean and it will give you so much extra flavour. Trust me – it’s worthwhile!
Recipe #1: SWEET & SPICY CHICKEN (slightly adapted from a Martha Stewart Recipe)
INGREDIENTS – serves 4
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 4 chicken leg quarters (2 1/2 pounds total) *I used boneless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges (root end left intact)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, sliced into rounds
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup raisins
- In a large zip-top bag, combine cumin, cimmamon, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; add chicken and toss to coat. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Cook chicken, skin side down, until golden, about 4 minutes each side.
- In a 5-to-6-quart slow cooker, place onion, garlic, and ginger. Add chicken, skin side up, then top with tomatoes and their liquid and raisins. Cover and cook on high until chicken is tender, 3 1/2 hours (or 6 hours on low).
MAPLE DIJON PORK CHOPS
2-3 large bone-in pork chops *(I used boneless but next time I’ll use bone-in as I think they have more flavour)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
5 tbsp pure maple syrup
4 tbsp dijon mustard
½ cup cider vinegar
1/2 tsp course salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Heat up the oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add the pork chops and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Sear both sides of chops over high heat (about 2 minutes per side) then transfer to your slow cooker.
Lower the heat to medium low and add the onions. Cook until onions are just starting to soften then add the cider vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, salt and pepper. Cook for 2 more minutes and then pour sauce over chops in the slow cooker.
Cook on low for 5-6 hours (but check after 3 hours – depending on your slow cooker they could cook faster). Serve chops drizzled generously with sauce.
Tip: Try serving it with a side of egg noodles to help soak up the juice. It’s delicious. The only thing is that there was not enough – no leftovers to enjoy next day!
Source: adapted from eat.live.run.com
What kind of food do you take comfort in at this time of year?