This week I made Frijoles Gorditos from one of my new cookbooks...The Slow Cooker Ready & Waiting Cookbook : 160 Sumptuous Meals That Cook Themselves. It's got some great recipes in it, although they generally have more prep work involved than the majority of slow cooker recipes. But the dishes I've made from the book have been worth the trouble. So, there you go...

1 lb dry pink bean (rinsed, drained, picked over)
1 lb chorizo, sliced into rounds (I ended up using a bulk chorizo, because it's all I could turned out fine)
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 chile, seeded and minced (I used a Serrano)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp marjoram
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (I used more, but I like things spicy)
salt & pepper to taste (I didn't use any)

Soak beans overnight in enough cold water to cover PLUS two inches. Drain, and put beans into pot with enough cold water to cover PLUS two inches and bring to a boil on HIGH heat. Lower heat and simmer for 30-40 min until just tender. Drain, and reserve 3 cups of the cooking liquid.

In a large skillet, saute the chorizo, onion, chile and garlic until the sausage is browned and the onions are transparent. Add spices, and saute for a few minutes more. Drain off extra fat and put sausage mixture in slow cooker. Add beans and stir to mix. Add reserve liquid and stir again. Cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours. Stir in pepper and salt at end, if desired. Mash some of the bean against the side of the crock with a spoon for a thicker consistency.

I used two cups of cooking liquid and a cup of chicken broth. :) I also found that mashing round, slippery beans with a spoon isn't so easy...unless you're way more coordinated than I (which is entirely possible). I found it easier to scoop up a cup or two of beans and mash them with a potato masher and then mix them back in.

The beans are hearty and filling. I like 'em.

I also made some shredded chicken for a taco party at work for St. Patrick's day. Don't ask me why a taco's never been explained to me. My favorit tacos are shredded pork tacos, but we have so many Muslims working at my job, that I decided to go with shredded chicken. It'll be a change from ground beef with Ortega chili mix, eh? I made up the recipe myself, and it turned out pretty well.

3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 Serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin ( can't find my cumin seeds...)
1 1/2 tbsp fiesta chili powder (from Whole Paycheck)
1/4 cup white wine

Put everything in crock pot. Stir to mix. Cook on LOW for 5-7 hours. Scoop chicken out with a slotted spoon, shred with two forks. Reduce cooking liquid in pan on stove and drizzle over shredded chicken. It's good, if a little bland for my palate. If I were making it just for me, I'd up the spice quotient.


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