The Richmond Register

May 22, 2013

Try these ‘crocking good’ foods


Register Columnist

RICHMOND — Crock pots are amazing. A crock pot is worth purchasing if you are like myself always on the go.

You can make anything in it, from desserts to breakfast foods, not just stews and soups. The other side of using one is PATIENCE, and a time for preplanning. If you use your time wisely, your crock pot will make your meal planning easier.

With the majority of American households in the workforce, these appliances are one of the useful helpers in our kitchens today.

Here are some recipes I use that might give you some ideas of how useful this appliance can be.

COKE ROAST

INDGREDIENTS:

3 lb roast-I use whatever is on sale

1 garlic clove, minced

1 onion, diced

olive oil

1 can of mushroom soup

1 can of cola (I use Coke)

16 oz of sour cream

1 pig onion soup mix

DIRECTIONS:

Cut slits into your roast and stuff with onion and garlic.

Brown roast in a small amount of olive oil in  a skillet and place in your slow cooker.

Mix mushroom soup and onion mix. Pour over the roast.

Add the Coke, cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Be sure and not remove the lid till the cooking time is over with.

Remove roast and slice. Add sour cream to liquid and whisk until mixed. Return sliced roast to the cooker and cook another two hours on high.

APPLE BUTTER

INGREDIENTS:

3 lbs apples

2 tsp cinnamon (I like to use cinnamon oil if you can find it-about 1/2 tsp)

3 cups of sugar

1 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp ground cloves

dash of salt

3/4 cup of apple cider

DIRECTIONS:

Fill cock pot 3/4 full with peeled, cored and sliced apples.

Add the remaining ingredients and stir evenly mixed. Cover and cook on low setting overnight or until the butter is of a thick, spreadable consistency.

If apple butter has too much liquid, remove lid and cook on high till thickened.

Can be stored in refrigerator for up to 6 weeks. Freeze for longer storage. To can this apple butter, pack in hot jars leaving 1/4 inch headspace and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Speaking of apple cider in this recipe ... many moons ago during the time the Army depot ran a commissary bus to Fort Knox for the families whose husbands were sent overseas during the Vietnam War. I was one of those who rode the bus.

One hot, and I mean hot, day several of the women were on their way back from the commissary and the bus broke down. I won’t disclose any names, but we suffered a misfortune to say the least.

Now, picture a hot bus, no air conditioning and the heat. Well, I had bought six bottles of what I thought was apple cider for some pickles I was to can. However, I misread the label.

It was 100-proof apple cider. Put several cups of this in one’s body, and wow, one gets a little tipsy.

When we got back and met our rides home, we went home with different groceries.

I remember having four turkeys in my bags, and I had not bought any. The moral to this story is: to always read the label. I hope all of those women have forgiven me over the years. I know the bus driver thought it was the best trip he had ever taken with a bus loaded and I mean loaded coming home.

My favorite of all crock pot recipe:

LAYERED TACO CHICKENINDREDIENTS:

1 pkg tortilla chips

1 half whole chicken that has been cooked and de-boned

or you can use 3-4 boneless chicken breast, cooked

1 can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 can cream of chicken soup

1 small onion chopped

2 cups of shredded cheese

1 cup chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

Place a single layer of the chips in the cock pot.

In a bowl, combine the chicken, diced tomatoes with green chilies, both soups, chicken broth, and onion, then mix until combined.

Place half the mixture on top of the chips. Then top with half of the cheese.

Repeat layers ending with cheese. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours. This dish can cook faster on high for 4 hours.

I do hope you enjoy the use of this cooking tool.

Arritta Morris holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a master’s degree in counseling from Eastern Kentucky University. She is a certified as Food Service Specialist by the School Nutrition Association.