Slow Cooker

Slow cookers are a great way to make easy, unattended meals, or turn cheap, tough cuts of meat into tender, juicy deliciousness.

Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork

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I've been eating way too much chicken lately. It's what I know, and it's not scary. But, experimenting is the entire point of this blog! So, as an experiment, I bought a 10 lb. pork shoulder! Because the shoulder does a lot of work, it's good to cook it long and slow to tenderize it. Enter this recipe for Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork by Cooking Classy.

I cut my roast in half and tossed it in the slow cooker. Since I had more roast than the recipe called for, I had to increase the chicken broth and spices for the braise. During my last experiment with balsamic vinegar, I realized balsamic vinegar is quite powerful, so I only used half of what the sauce called for. That was absolutely the right decision: The sauce turned out fruity and sweet, but not overbearing.

This recipe was great for a lazy Sunday: I started the pork, got groceries, went shopping, relaxed a bit, then had enough time to make the sauce and some mashed potatoes for a nice dinner. And, I still have half a pork roast to consider... Maybe some tacos carnitas?

Honey Balsamic Pulled Pork sandwiches with cole slaw and mashed
potatoes

Buffalo Chicken Bowls

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When I started this blog, my refrigerator was practically empty. Now, I've got half-used bottles of dozens of condiments, all waiting for their return to the limelight. Today's recipe, Buffalo Chicken Bowls from Pretty Providence, brought back the buffalo hot sauce (leftover from an interesting pasta concoction that didn't see the publish button), and hot sauce's natural frenemy: Ranch dressing.

This recipe was a piece of cake with a slow cooker. The magic formula for slow-cooking chicken seems to be:

  • 2-3 pounds chicken
  • 1-2 cups flavorful liquid
  • 2-4 cups vegetables (beans, corn, potatoes, onions, carrots, celery)

(for other instances of this formula, see Taco Chicken Bowls and Indian Spiced Stew)

The ingredients for Buffalo Chicken Bowls, and a crock
pot

I left out a few ingredients from the recipe, leaving only:

  • Chicken
  • Buffalo sauce
  • Black beans
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Ranch dressing

In short, this was the Taco Chicken Bowls recipe with buffalo sauce instead of salsa, and no need for the spice blend.

Like the Taco Chicken Bowls, this goes great in a bowl with some rice, a bit of ranch dressing and cheddar cheese, or wrap the lot in a burrito skin, which is like a tube-shaped bowl you can eat!

The finished recipe served in a bowl over rice with cheese on
top

Taco Chicken Bowls

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Got a new crock pot, and this was the inaugural recipe! For the longest time, I had a very bad crock pot. It was small, and the cooking surface wasn't removable, making even simple things a lot harder than necessary.

So, since I really wanted to try this Taco Chicken Bowls recipe from Budget Bytes, and a bunch of other recipes in America's Test Kitchen's Slow-Cooker Revolution books, I bought myself a new slow-cooker.

Continue reading Taco Chicken Bowls...