Category Archives: slow cooker

Our local grocery store had advertised brisket on sale so I decided make it for the first time. When I got there, it wasn’t on sale… but I bought it anyways. Then, I couldn’t think of what else to make along with the brisket and honey cornbread, so randomly made some roasted curried cauliflower. I’ve been searching for a yummy roasted cauliflower recipe, and believe I may have found it!

Slow Cooked BBQ Brisket

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 pounds beef brisket, trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke flavoring
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups barbeque sauce (I like to use Bull’s Eye brand)

Directions:

  1. Combine thyme, paprika, pepper, salt, onion, garlic, cayenne, and cumin in a small bowl; set aside. Rub brisket all over with liquid smoke, then rub with spice mixture.
  2. Pour Worcestershire and barbeque sauces into a slow cooker; place beef on top. Cover, and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours, until fork tender.

Curried Roasted Cauliflower

  • 12 cups cauliflower florets (from about 4 pounds cauliflower)
  • 1 large onion, peeled, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon Hungarian hot paprika
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt

Preheat oven to 450°F. Place cauliflower florets in large roasting pan. Pull apart onion quarters into separate layers; add to cauliflower. Place ground coriander and cumin in a medium bowl. Whisk in oil, vinegar, curry powder, paprika, and salt. Pour dressing over vegetables; toss to coat. Spread vegetables in single layer. Sprinkle with pepper.

Roast vegetables until tender, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes. (Can be made 2 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm in 450°F oven 10 minutes, if desired.)


We spent last weekend at a beach house on the coast of New Jersey (ok, the Jersey Shore) with a bunch of friends for a conference. I volunteered to cook for everyone and to make things easy, planned a weekend of slow cooker dinners. Originally, this meal was just going to be spaghetti, but I then decided that boiling pasta and stirring sauce would involve spending too much time in front of the stove. Thus I began searching for a slow cooker recipe whose ingredients were easy to find or transport… and oh man did I find treasure! The recipe has you make your own home-made curry paste (easy to transport, check) and then after sautéing onions and browning meat, you dump everything into the slow cooker to create yummy goodness!

Ok, as long as you have time to prep your curry paste in advance, this meal is fast and delicious. Thanks to the homemade chai I made last winter, I happened to have all the whole spices needed in our pantry for the paste and was able to find some lemongrass at Chelsea Market… not sure where else I would have found lemongrass if I didn’t live in the city, though. Unfortunately for me, we broke our spice grinder the night before, so I got to spend half a day grinding spices in our little wooden pepper grinder (Marcy found this fascinating, by the way). But, curry paste was made and stored in a little glass jar to travel to New Jersey!

I really liked this dish, and I think it’s one of those that would taste even better the next day after letting the flavors come together. If you’re wondering about the 15 dried chilies, it creates a warm spiciness rather than a mouth-on-fire spiciness. I thought the sauce was a little liquid-y, but that’s easily fixable either with a little flour or by taking the lid off for the last part of cooking. All in all, a delight to make and eat. I adapted the recipe and added bell peppers and bamboo shoots, but I think next time I’ll use softer veggies like eggplant and green beans, maybe.

Malaysian Beef Curry (original recipe here)

Dry spices for the curry powder
4 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp white cumin
10 whole cloves
4 whole cardamom
6 black pepper
1 tbsp ground cinnamon or 1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp turmeric powder

Wet or fresh ingredients for the curry paste
4 stalks lemongrass
2 inches fresh galangal (optional)
2 inches length ginger
8 cloves garlic
15 dried chilies
6 tbsp oil
6 tbsp curry powder (see above)

Meat
4 lbs chuck steak, cubed

Sauce building
2 onions
6 shallots
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 can bamboo shoots
4 cups coconut milk
1 pound baby red potatoes, scrubbed and cut in half

Flavor finishing
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 kaffir lime leaves or zest of 1 lime
Sugar to taste

Toast the whole spices for the curry powder in a heavy skillet over medium heat for a minute or two – take off the heat when you can smell them. Grind them all in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. (Note: If you do not want to round up all the whole spices for this recipe, you can use a blend of their ground counterparts. Don’t toast the ground spices.) Add the last three ground spices and combine.

jarred curry paste!

Remove the outer tough leaves from the lemongrass and slice finely. Peel the galangal (if using it) and slice it as finely as you can. Peel and slice the ginger and garlic as well. In a food processor or mortar and pestle, blend lemongrass, galangal, ginger, garlic, chilies and some oil. This may seem like a lot of chilies, but this dish soaks up the heat and unless you are extremely sensitive to hot foods, this won’t be too much. I ended up tossing in a whole handful more near the end because it wasn’t hot enough.

Add spice mix and beef and toss.

Cook the onions slowly in a little oil until golden – about 20 minutes. Really take your time with these and do not let them brown. Let them slowly sweat until translucent.

Add the meat over low heat, cover and cook for 15 minutes. You don’t want to sear the meat or brown it in this recipe. The toasted spices will give it that roasted taste.

Put in slow cooker with halved potatoes, vegetables, coconut milk, lime leaves and soy sauce and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8, or overnight. Leave lid off at the end to reduce the sauce a little if you wish. Taste and adjust flavors with soy sauce and sugar. Serve with rice or rice noodles.

new skills learned: prepping lemongrass


There was a sale on ground turkey ($2.99/lb @ Wholefoods!) and Noah said I should buy a bunch for the freezer. So, I bought all that they had on the shelf and brought it home (don’t worry, they only had 5 lbs out). 4 packages went in the freezer and I decided to use one right away. The only problem was finding a way to cook ground turkey that didn’t involve pasta or bread crumbs (I’m making a second attempt at this low-carb diet). While searching and searching I came across a few recipes, and decided to try this one – New Mexican Stew with Ground Turkey and Green Chiles. I was intrigued, yet also apprehensive, about the butternut squash and lime-cilantro combination, that I thought it was worth a shot – despite the fact that the recipe has potatoes, which… is still a carb. oh well, maybe next time. 🙂

This was actually an excellent dish, the lime in the stew was reminiscent of tom yum soup, but not too much to be weird. A nice change from the norm. I also adapted the recipe for what we had on hand and what’s easier to find in a NYC grocery store.

Lime Cilantro Turkey Stew with Butternut Squash

1 lb. fresh ground turkey (or chicken or pork)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 butternut squash, diced
2 large potatoes, peeled, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled, chopped
1 chile pepper
1 quart chicken broth
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
juice of 2 limes
1/2 bunch fresh chopped cilantro

Directions:

Brown the ground turkey in a skillet and pour off the fat, if any.

Add the turkey to the slow cooker and add the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, squash, potatoes, carrots, chiles, broth, salt and pepper (everything except the last 2 ingredients). Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours.

Just before serving, stir in the lime juice and cilantro. Taste the stew and add a dab of sugar, if needed, to balance the spice. If you need a tad more liquid, add more broth. Heat through.


My good friend and old roommate shared many scrumptious, rich and hearty dinners with me while we lived together. I remember meeting my potential new apartment and roommate for the first time and being offered the most wonderful slice of cheese while I was there. Maggie really knew the way to my heart and we became great friends after that. Possibly one of the best stranger-to-roommate living situations ever to exist! 🙂

She came over for dinner and naturally, I was inspired to make something hearty and satisfying. Along with the chili and jambalaya, this may be my favorite slow cooker recipe yet! Maggie brought over a yummy tomato-cucumber salad, bursting with the perfect touch of a lemon-olive oil dressing, and I also threw in a spiced pine-nut-couscous.

Slow Cooked Braised Lamb Shanks

  • 1 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 6 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 to 6 pounds lamb shanks (preferably not trimmed of fat)
  • 15 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 2 medium yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut in 1/4-inch slices
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
  • 2 heaping tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

In a small bowl mix the red wine, broth, mustard, salt, and pepper and place in slow cooker. Brown lamb in pan and then layer the shanks in the slow cooker so they fit. Scatter the remaining ingredients around and on the shanks. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours. Use tongs to reverse the position of the shanks, top to bottom. Reduce the setting to LOW and cook for an additional 4 hours.

Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shanks to a serving platter. Skim the fat from the cooking juices, taste, and add salt and pepper, if needed. Pour the juices, carrots and onions over the shanks, and serve.

Spiced Couscous with Toasted Pine Nuts

1 cup couscous
1 1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp white wine
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp cardamom
1 tsp ground cloves
1 cup toasted pine nuts
salt and pepper, to taste

Bring chicken broth, white wine and olive oil to boil. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover promptly for 10 minutes.

Fluff couscous with fork and add spices and pine nuts. Stir to combine.


Our big cooking nights are usually Tuesday and Friday, and I try to make enough leftovers to last us an extra day or two.  I usually begin thinking about Tuesday’s meals by the start of the weekend, and by Sunday night have some idea, if not a recipe of what I will make. Come Tuesday morning of last week, I had nothing. So before Noah went to work, he suggested just making something in the slow cooker. So, I looked up some recipes and chili was the winner! This meal took about 15-20 minutes (amazing!) to prepare and it was absolutely delicious!

Magical Slow Cooker Chili

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, diced (seeded optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (10.75 ounce) cans tomato puree (next time I’ll use diced tomatoes)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained
  • 1 bottle beer
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce

Directions:

  1. Place the beef in a skillet over medium heat, and cook until evenly brown. Drain grease.
  2. Place the beef in a slow cooker, and mix in onion, celery, green bell pepper, garlic, tomato, kidney beans, black beans, jalapeno and beer. Season with chili powder, cumin, parsley, salt, basil, oregano, black pepper, and hot pepper sauce.
  3. Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low (4 hours is probably fine, too).