Crock Pot Flank Steak Fajitas

July 13th, 2015

Crock Pot Flank steak Fajitas 1

Busy days on the lake call for easy meal preparations.  Flank steak fajitas cooked in the crock pot could not be easier.  But my hands off plan was somewhat thwarted when I realized I had forgotten to buy flour tortillas.

Crock Pot Flank Steak Fajitas 2V

I googled homemade tortillas and found a recipe that I was able to turn into the very best tortillas I have ever had.  It was not complicated and made me happy that I had forgotten to buy them.  Also, the bonus is having additive free tortillas. I did substitute half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour though.  It called for only whole wheat flour.

Gampy Fishing with kids

There are so many things going on around the lake.  Gampy has enjoyed taking the grandkids fishing this summer.  So far they have not caught anything.  Maybe it is because getting them up early when the fish are biting is not easy.

Crock Pot Flank Steak Fajitas 3

Add all the condiments you would like to this simple recipe.  It is sure to be winner with the whole family.  The recipe came from a new cookbook that I checked out of the library.  It is 100 Days of Real Food by Lisa Leake.  She also has a blog of the same name where she stresses a diet based on whole foods rather than processed foods.  The only change I made to the crock pot flank steak fajita recipe was holding out some of the bell peppers to cook separately because the long cooking in the crock pot made them very soft and colorless.  The flavor of the meat is mild, so if you want more kick add the seeds of the jalapeno and a few pepper flakes.

CROCK POT FLANK STEAK FAJITAS

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds (grass fed) flank steak
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped (leave seeds in in you like it spicier)
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 or 5 bell peppers, any color, cored, seeded and sliced (Save two to saute separately)
1 onion, sliced

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper.

Rub the spice mixture over all sides of the flank steak, place it in the bottom of the slow cooker, and add the soy sauce.

Top the flank steak with the jalapeno, garlic, 3 of the peppers, and onion.  There’s no need to add any water or other liquid.

Cook on high for 5 to 6 hours or on low for 8 to 9 hours, or until steak can easily be shredded with two forks.

Near the end of cooking time, heat a small amount of oil in a medium saute pan and cook the 2 remaining sliced peppers until softened, but still retaining their bright color.

Thoroughly drain the meat and peppers, saving the juiced.  Shred the meat, and serve with the fajita fixings of your choice.

Recommended accompaniments:  Whole wheat flour Tortillas, freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese, sliced avocado, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, fresh chopped lettuce, sour cream and/or diced jalapenos.

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Crock Pot Balsamic Shredded Beef

January 13th, 2014

Crock Pot Beef 1

Because it has been so cold in Florida and because I have been reading so many blogs from the more frigid regions of our country, I just had to pull out the slow cooker to cook something long and slow all day; something that would perfume the house and build an anticipation for the satisfying meal to come. I had a chuck roast freshly defrosted from the freezer and several different recipes for crock pot beef to choose from. I ended up combining several.   What I was looking for was intense flavor to offset the richness of the beef.  The balsamic vinegar went a long way in achieving that goal.  There are some recipes for slow cooker beef that include dried onion soup mix and cream of “whatever” soup.  I try to stay away from those recipes.  The additive ladened products just seem to intensify over long cooking, in my humble opinion. And not in a good way.

Crock Pot Beef 3

 

The ingredients I used were simple; beef broth, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and a bit of ketchup.  The resulting beef was succulent and delicious.  The sauce was especially good.  It was so good in fact that for lunch the next day I made a “Dip Sandwich”.  The tender beef and juices made for a marvelous sandwich.

Crock Pot Beef Sandwich

The sandwiches would be great for a super bowl party.

CROCK POT BALSAMIC SHREDDED BEEF

1 4 to 5 pound chuck roast
1 tablespoon of canola oil
1 large onion, halved and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
Red pepper flakes to taste, 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon

Place 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet.  When hot, add chuck roast and cook until browned on one side.  Turn, add onions and garlic to pan along with the meat.  Cook on second side until it is browned and onions are softened.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Place browned meat. onions and garlic in a slow cooker.  Mix together the remainder of the ingredients and pour over beef.  Cook the beef, covered in the slow cooker on a low setting for 7 to 8 hours.  Remove beef to a plate.  Shred it with two forks and return to slow cooker to combine with the juices.   Serve.

Printable recipe

A Class Reunion and Trip Home

September 6th, 2012

My husband and I actually went to high school together.  He graduated a year ahead of me.  This summer his class held their 50th class reunion.  Can that really be possible?  So the weekend before last we traveled back to Michigan to attend the event.  It was great to see everyone.  In my opinion most people looked the same because, in my mind’s eye, I can still picture the teenagers that dwell within.  I hope everyone else has as vivid an imagination as I have.

A trip home also includes time spent with my Brother and his family.  My Sister-In-Law, Barb, claims not to be a good cook, but I have never had a bad meal in her house.  In spite of the fact that she read the recipe wrong for this Caribbean Pork Stew with Peppers, it tasted yummy and makes a great Crock Pot meal.

My niece Morgan loves to cook and her contribution to the meal was flavorful Hawaiian Chicken Skewers.  The skewers were threaded with cubed chicken breast, pineapple chunks and red onions.

My Brother Bill is a grill master.  He refuses to use a gas grill and everything is done over charcoal and sometimes flavored with wood chips.  He has a serious grilling platform.

He has 6 Weber grills and sometimes they are all in use at the same time.  Bill got all of his grills for free.  His charcoal grills were all discards.  People throw away grills when the bases rust out.  The grills themselves are usually just fine.  He mounted the grills on old gas grill bases that were also discards.

In addition to the wonderful meals we were served, I came home with a bounty of potatoes and tomatoes from Bill’s garden.

Here are Barb’s and Morgan’s recipes.  I am lucky to have such a talented and creative family.  By the way Barb just started a blog called The ReShore House.  She and Bill live in an 1860 house on 2 1/2 city lots next door to the house where Bill and I grew up.  Mrs. ReShore still appears on occasion to those who believe in ghosts.  Visit Barb’s new venture that chronicles her antique business and life in an old house.  Welcome her to our blogging community.  Thanks.

CARIBBEAN PORK STEW WITH PEPPERS

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 lbs boneless pork loin, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper , cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups orange juice

In a large resealable food storage platsic bag, place flour, salt and pepper.  Add pork; sela bag and shake to coat.  In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Brown pork cubes in oil on all sides, working in batches if necessary.

Spray 31/2 to 4-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  With slotted spoon, remove pork from skillet to slow cooker.  Stir in all remaning ingredients.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 to 8 hours.   Serve over cooked rice.

HAWAIIAN CHICKEN SKEWERS

6 boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1 red onion, cut into 1 to 2 inch squares
Cubed pineapple to taste
1 bottle of Lawry’s Hawaiian Marinade
Garlic powder and salt and pepper to taste

Sprinkle cubed chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Place in resealable plastic bag.  Add marinade and marinate overnight or 8 hours or so.  Remove chicken from bag.  Place chicken cubes alternately with red onion squares and pineapple chunks on skewers that have been soaked in water for 1 hour.  Grill over indirect heat on a charcoal grill until chicken is cooked through.

Printable recipe – Pork Stew with Peppers

Printable recipe – Hawaiian Chicken Skewers

Pork Roast and Karma

August 16th, 2012

Please tell me you see the pig sitting upon this pork roast.  I am having a strange feeling about my karma and the pictures I take.  When I photographed this beauty all I saw was a succulent glazed pork roast.  When I looked at the image I saw only a pig.  Why is that pig taunting me?   He looks a little scary.

Seriously though, this was a very good roast for a Saturday when we were both busy with other things.  I decided to cook my bone-in pork loin in the crock pot.  As much as I like my crock pot, I always feel like I need to add extra braising flavor.

I like to brown my roast before I put it in the crock pot.

I then like to deglaze the pan to release all of the browned bits of pork and onion.

After that I put it all in the crock pot with an herb bundle to cook on its own.

Ahh, this is a better angle on the pork roast.  It doesn’t look as much like a porky pig.  Just a pork roast right?

But wait.  What is this?  I moved a rabbit planter on the porch after a thunderstorm and this is I what I saw in the accumulated water.  I think I will become a vegetarian.  (Unless I start seeing weird vegetables in my pictures).

Here is the recipe for the pork roast if you dare try it.  A ate the snout first.

CROCK POT PORK ROAST

1 Bone-in Pork Loin Roast
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 onion cut in half and sliced
1 to 2 cups of apple cider
A bundle of fresh herbs (I used thyme and sage)

Salt and pepper roast on all sides.  Heat olive oil in heavy skillet.  Add roast and onions and brown roast on all sides.  Remove roast to crock pot.  Add some of the apple cider to the pan and stir to release all of the browned bits on the bottom.  Add the herb bundle and cook for a few minutes.  Pour liquid into the crock pot with the roast and add the rest of the cider.

Place lid on crock pot and cook roast on high for 1 hour.  Reduce to low and cook an additional 3 hours.
Remove roast and let rest tented with foil for about 5 minutes.  Slice and serve topped with liquid from the pot.

Printable recipe

Meatballs Bayonnaise with Spicy Tomato and Pepper Sauce

May 12th, 2012

The city of Bayonne is in the Southwestern region of France near the border with Spain.  The region is heavily influenced by the Basque language, architecture, and food.  It is known principally for its fine chocolates and Bayonne Ham, which is cured with the espellette peppers.  But these meatballs are also popular.

We will not be traveling to this region of France but this recipe sounded so good that I had to try it.  It was in the cookbook The French Slow Cooker by Michele Scicolone.  I have found many good recipes in this book and this one did not disappoint.  There are lots of red bell peppers in the recipe and although the title suggests that it is spicy, I found it to be quite mellow.  The large meatballs were almost “fall-apart” tender and it was delicious served on a toasted sourdough baguette with a serving of kale on the side.

Although it was easy to do in the slow cooker, I see no reason why you couldn’t assemble it in a dutch oven and cook it in the oven at a low temperature.  It can also be served over rice or orzo.  I used orzo for our second meal (it makes a lot!) and it was a perfect combination; kind of like spaghetti and meatballs.

MEATBALLS BAYONNAISE WITH SPICY TOMATO AND PEPPER SAUCE

1 28-ounce can tomato puree
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
Salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup crumbled French bread
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 pounds ground beef chuck (I used lean ground beef)
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram
Freshly ground pepper

Stir together the tomato puree, peppers, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, crushed red pepper, and bay leaf.  Pour half of the sauce into a large slow cooker.

In a small bowl, soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes.  Lightly squeeze the bread and discard the milk.  Spread the flour on a piece of wax paper.

In a large bowl, mix together the soaked bread, ground beef, parsley, garlic, egg, cumin marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste.  Moisten your hands and shape the mixture into 2-inch balls.  Lightly roll the meatballs in the flour.

Transfer the meatballs to the slow cooker and top with the remaining sauce.  Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or until the meatballs are cooked through.  Discard the bay leaf and serve hot.

As a side note I found it interesting that mayonnaise was purported to have been first made in Bayonne.  Its name is a corruption of Bayonnaise.

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© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.