real food. real life.
I miss my oven. I miss the smell of baking bread. The sweet crispiness of roasted vegetables. It's been waiting for a "part" for over a month now. Not impressed.
However, the silver lining here is that I am forced to think outside of my little cooking bubble.
We always cooked pork chops by searing then baking in the oven, paired with roasted veggies. We've had these 2 wonderful-looking, local pork chops in our freezer for a while now and I was craving the sweet juiciness that comes with all the searing and the baking. So, here goes. A different tool aiming for the a slightly similar result. Insert the slow cooker. It's been working hard this past month to give us some great meals. I've never been much into slow cooking, but I'm definitely starting to see the appeal!
The outcome? Amazing! We seared the chops first (I mean, I still have my stovetop!) and then placed them in the slow cooker with a bit of chicken broth and veggies. I actually think they are better this way. Juicy, flavourful, and still crispy on the outside front the sear. So good. And to boot, you get a lovely gravy out of the whole thing!
Total Time: 4-6 hours or 6-8 hours
2 pork chops, sprinkled with sea salt/pepper
1 onion, chopped
a couple potatoes, halved
a couple carrots, chopped into chunks
1 parsnip, chopped into chunks
1/2 cup chicken stock
tsp each of rosemary & thyme
tbsp of flour & red wine vinegar (used at end for gravy)
What to do:
1) Place veggies in bottom of slow cooker.
2) Heat a bit of oil on high heat in a medium pan. When nice and hot, place chops seasoned side down to get a nice sizzle. After a minute, flip over to sizzle the other side. Add a bit more sea salt/pepper on the side up. After another minute, remove from the pan and place on top of veggies in the slow cooker.
3) Pour chicken broth over top. Place lid and cook on low for 6-7 hours, or 4-5 hours on high, or basically until meat is cooked through and veggies are tender.
4) If making gravy, remove veggies and meat when they are done cooking, leaving the broth in the slow cooker. Leave heat on high, add flour, and whisk. Continue stirring until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and serve overtop meat and veggies. Oh my goodness yum.
Yes, this tastes good. Sooooo good. Very simple ingredients that are create a clean, sweet and garlicy sauce. Using the slow cooker, the meat soaks in all the yumminess of the flavours and practically falls off the bone. (As you can see by the chunks of chicken in the sauce overtop the rice in the picture, that I proceeded to gobble up seconds after this pic was taken!)
Using corn starch or arrowroot flour will help create a thicker sauce. However, it's not necessary if you're avoiding things like that. The sauce is just as delicious.
Total Time: 2-4 hours in slow cooker (or longer if using more chicken)
Chicken drumsticks/wings (We have a small slow cooker and usually only cook for 2, so we did only 5 drumsticks. Feel free to do more!)
1 stalk of green onion or leek
1/4-1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp. coconut oil (melted)
3 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp. hot pepper flakes
dash sea salt/pepper
2 tsp arrowroot flour or corn starch - optional at end of cooking
What to do:
1) Add sauce ingredients to slow cooker - omit arrowroot flour/corn starch until the end. Turn on high. Stir to combine.
2) Add chicken and stir to coat in sauce.
3) Cook, on high for 2-3 hours, or on low for 4-5 hours (depending on how much chicken you're using)
4) When chicken is done cooking and no longer pink on the inside (and starting to fall of the bone) remove to a side bowl. Add arrowroot flour / corn starch to sauce. Keep slow cooker on high. Stir to allow sauce to thicken. Once starting to thicken, add chicken back in and turn off heat or remain on low until ready to serve.
Pairs great with rice & summer rolls! Or at least that's what we had tonight. :)
In need of an extremely easy, staples-only ingredients, 30 minutes from cutting board to plate type of meal? Try this! So easy and the flavour in this version was just like homemade chicken soup.
And it's versatile. Very versatile. Tonight's version included: 1 chicken breast, 4 potatoes, 1 onion, and some handfuls of frozen peas and corn. Yes, that's pretty much it. Oh, wait, I added a random parsnip and 2 small celeriac, as well. Needed to use those suckers up! This is a great meal for those types of nights.
The seasoning for tonight's version was really on the fly and could be adjusted if you wanted something spicier, or sweeter. This combo came out tasting hearty and chicken-soupy. Which is just what I was going for. Made up for the fact that I was stretching 1 poor old chicken breast between us! And it made enough for lunch tomorrow!
Total time: 30 minutes
1 chicken breast, sliced into strips/nugget sized pieces
1/4 cup corn starch (this is optional)
olive oil for pan
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 potatoes, chopped small
other firm veggies: 1-2 parsnip, peeled and chopped, 1-2 small celeriac, peeled and chopped
as many handfuls as you like of frozen corn and peas
1/2-3/4 cup chicken broth
tsp of each: basil, oregano, summer savoury
dash(es) sea salt/pepper to taste
1 tbsp. Earth Balance Butter (or butter, I suppose, if you're good with dairy!)
What to do:
1) Boil potatoes (and other firm veggies) until they are half cooked to cut down on frying time. Start with this so that they are ready when you are for them!
2) Heat oil in frying pan. *Optional step: coat chicken pieces in corn starch. This provides them with a crispy coating and keeps the chicken moist on the inside. Totally up to you if you want to do this. If not, just add chicken straight to heated oil in pan. Saute chicken until no longer pink.
3) Add onion and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, then add half-cooked potatoes/firm veggies. Stir.
4) Add broth and spices. Stir to coat and get flavours from pan coating the chicken & veggies.
5) Add corn and peas. Keep stirring. Add more broth if it is cooked off. It shouldn't be much, just enough moisture to coat each vegetable and provide a 'sauce'.
6) Turn heat to low. Add butter, stir to melt in. Remove from heat and serve!! Careful, it's hot!!
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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