All posts by swellworks

About swellworks

Blogger in Omaha. Like to do me some slow cooking while watching football.

Stuffed Green Peppers

stuffed_pepper_1
Stuffed Green Peppers

This one brings me back to my childhood. Mom would make this dish every so often & I  remember how excited my dad would get. We (me & my sis), on the other hand, did not get all worked up about Stuffed Pepper night. That smell of the peppers cooking in the electric skillet was not appealing in the least.

Now look at me! My tastes have since refined & decided to give this one a shot because it sounded easy & green peppers are sorta cheap.

electric_skillet
Electric Skillet

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium green bell peppers
  • 1 lb. ground beef, lean
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (used fancy brown rice medley)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tblsp black pepper
  • 1 can Ro-Tels tomatoes
  • a few dashes of red pepper flakes
  • (should have added some worcestershire sauce, but didn’t – next time)

Make it happen:

  • mix beef, onion, rice, and seasonings together
  • cut tops off of peppers and hollow out any seeds
  • stuff peppers with equal portions of beef mixture
  • place stuffed peppers in crock
  • cover and cook on LOW for about 6 hrs
stuffed_pepper_2
Stuffed Peppers Finished w/ crappy corn!

Was pleasantly surprised how this turned out. The green peppers had an amazing flavor to them from sitting in the crock all day long. I wouldn’t go so far as saying “roasted” flavor, but pretty damn close.

The beef…as mentioned, could have used some more flavor. Think if I’d have added the worcestershire that would have helped, along with trying to spell that bloody word.

I’ll give it a good rating as this seemed nostalgic & the pepper parts were super delicious.

Corned Beef & Cabbage

Corned Beef in Crock
Corned Beef & Cabbage in Crock

It is that time of year again &  a wee bit of corned beef & cabbage is in order. Of course, just like every other a**hole I’ll pepper my post with awful pseudo-Irish banter. Just par for the course.

Wasn’t even going to do this dish as I’d actually forgotten that it was St. Pats until I got to the store. The corned beef was all up in my grill when jauntily skipping through the meat aisle. On a lark rifled amongst the meat…low & behold, spotted a mis-marked slab, what luck! For around $5.23 (total) I procured a sizable hunk of the Irish gold.

This is uafásach (Galiec Irish for wonderful) & uncomplicated.

  • 3 – 4 lb corned beef (w/ packet if it has one)
  • 1 head cabbage (quartered)
  • 4 carrots – chopped up kinda big
  • 4 potatoes – chopped up
  • 1 onion sliced up
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 can of Guinness book of records beer
  • lots of pepper
  • No salt needed really since corned beef is loaded w/ the salts

Let’s wax the shillaly:

  • wash the corned beef off or let it soak in water for 15-20 mins
  • put the beef in crock first ( a lot of recipes say to put veggies in first – big mistake)
  • grind up the pepper on top
  • drop bay leaves on top too
  • set the crock for 8hrs ( believe me this was enough )
  • *NOTE:
  • after 2hrs add – quartered cabbage & pile on the rest of the veggies with onion being last
  • this keep your veggies in semi respectable form instead of mush
  • towards the 6th hr you can check on it & take some of the liquid & pour over top of ingredients to flavor veggies
Corned Beef & Cabbage on the Plate
Corned Beef & Cabbage on the Plate

Done & done. I could barely get the chunk of meat onto the cutting board to slice it was so tender. The slower cooker does the most amazing job of making this dish.

Lay down a good bed of the cabbage to collect the potatoes & carrots & put some of the beef next to it & dig in. Best is when you get a good leaf of the cabbage & stab a bit o’ beef then stuff it in your maw.

Pork & Vegetable Hot Pot

Pork & veggie hot pot
Pork & Veggie Hot Pot

Swine is fine.

Had this one in my recipe folder quite a while & visited the international district in Seattle to shop for some ingredients. Of course this was after the kid & I gorged ourselves on some serious dim sum – if you haven’t done it – do it.

Very tough to find some asian slower cooker recipes as most of those are super thick & heavy on the gravy end. Also kind of lost, cause there is no more football & didn’t have my cavalcade of folks coming over to imbibe. I forged ahead anyways.

So here it goes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped (bigger pieces work best) carrots
  • 2 medium white turnips, peeled and cut into wedges
  • 3-3 pounds boneless pork shoulder, (picnic or Boston-butt), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced, white and green parts separated
  • 1 14-ounce can reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons medium or dry sherry, (just used a bit of red wine)
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2-4 teaspoons Chinese chile-garlic sauce (used this instead: spicy chili crisp – it is the bomb)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 star anise pod, (see Ingredient Note) or 1 teaspoon aniseed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds for garnish (forgot)

Directions:

  • Put carrots and turnips in slow cooker
  • Add pork and scallion whites
  • In sauce pan bring broth, water, soy sauce, wine, ginger, vinegar, chile-garlic sauce & garlic to a simmer over medium-high heat – then pour over the pork and vegetables
  • Push star anise and cinnamon stick in mixture – meaning shove in bottom
  • Cook on LOW for 6hrs
  • Remove the star anise pod and cinnamon stick
  • Skim or blot any visible fat from the surface of the stew (eeewyheew)
  • Serve sprinkled with scallion greens and sesame seeds (Oops, forgot this step – will do so on leftovers)
Pork & Veggie Hot Pot Plate
Pork & Veggie Hot Pot Plate

Serve over rice – um, I screwed up rice. How can this happen, seriously – messing up rice… So, I made some noodles to make up for it (this was for the best actually). You can do rice or egg noodles – I think rice noodles would work best.

Have to say, was just expecting this to be a decent dish – my expectations were exceeded. This dish was (expletive-ing) amazing! Throughout cooking you could really smell the star anise & cinnamon, but at end there is just a hint of taste & maybe it just takes edge off the spicy chili… BTW, it really isn’t that spicy so the kids can eat too.

This is definitely in my top 5 of crocks.

Runza or German Beirocks

runza_filling
Runza Filling Uncooked

Had wonderful idea to make these Runzas for SuperBowel – turns out that it was a lot harder than anticipated. The Runza is a midwest  item that whenever back in NE/IA have to make sure to eat at least once. So damn excited to make them for gathering! Found a couple slow cooker recipes, but those involved those Pilsbury crescent rolls & always think they have a too sweet/buttery taste & wanted to do the original style. Cue the ominous music.

Night before slow cooked the filling so didn’t have to cook day of & could focus attention on my hangover & final vacuuming of ever present dog hair before guests arrived.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs hamburger
  • 1 head of cabbage (sliced up semi-thin)
  • 1 medium onions (diced)
  • 2 tblsp salt and pepper of each to taste (only added 1 tblsp of salt – read on)
  • 2 tblsp red pepper flakes

Cooked on LOW for 4hrs (overcooked a tad cause was out drinking, oops)

runza_cooked
Cooked Runza Turd

Directions for Dough:

  • 4 loaves bread dough (really didn’t need this much)
  • Thaw loaves of frozen bread dough overnight
  • Let dough rise a bit, then punch down and roll a portion to 1/4″ thick (ha, this was not easy at all let me tell you)
  • Cut dough into 4in. x 8in. pieces
  • Add 1/2 cup or so of meat mixture
  • (if you want mushroom-swiss / add some canned sliced mushrooms & handful of grated swiss cheese – this is my fav)
  • Fold dough pieces over and seal the edges
  • Place sealed edge side down on a greased cookie sheet
  • Let rise 20 min
  • Bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes or until brown

Well, they weren’t what was expected, but guests ate them with grace & the only grievance was that more salt was needed. Lessons were learned (a bit more prep time on the dough working) & flour from rolling them out was freaking everywhere upon clean-up.

Needed some sort of party punch/drink & had had this at a restaurant so tried hand at making this one.

infused_tequila
Infused Tequila

Party Drink – Paloma

  • 1 bottle silver tequila infused w/ 4 jalapeños
  • 4 fresh squeezed limes
  • 1 2lt bottle of Squirt
  • 6 pinches of salt

How to infuse:

  • slice up 4 jalapeños lengthwise
  • de-seed
  • pour some of tequila out of bottle (drink immediately!)
  • put in jalapeños & let sit for at least 24hrs
  • after 24hrs use cheese cloth to strain out particles
Serve:
Pour tequila & rest of ingredients into large serving container (we used sun tea jar) & enjoy

This is the bomb my good friends. Might have been my downfall, but libation is a bit spicy & sweet/sour enough. Didn’t really hear a complaint about this one.

bday_zombie_cookie
Zombie Cookies

Birthday Cookies:

Don’t know how they were made, but my son turned 17 this week & Josefiend was kind enough to bake some Zombie cookies for the occasion. There was a good mix of present day humanistic & naturalistic evolutionary biology zombies.

Other hilights:

Artichoke Jalapeño Dip (via Josefiend the party organizer) – very rich & delicious on sliced baguette.

Bacon Wrapped Figs (or was it dates?)[confirmed it was dates] & Cottage Cheese Ranch Dip (via NE friends Mary/Heavy) – your dip “one up’d” mine.

Loads of beer & wine left at my place – although don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse.

All ‘n all –  was excellent to have a fantastic group of folks over to enjoy a lot of talking while football sporting event was going on ( I won’t name names, you know who you are) with great food/apps.

Finalize that with some Downton Abbey – quite a day.

BTW: Giants won & I assume Madonna did somehow.

Gingery Carrot Soup

hungry_man
Carrot Soup

Whew… if this isn’t out of my wheelhouse I don’t know what is. Trying to spread my foodie wings & fly like an eagle – until I’m free. Couldn’t help that one. The fruit vs. savory on this one was way out of bounds, yet I felt a need to make it my own by throwing the original recipe a curve & adding a few items that were not called for. In essence, I parried. Plus according to some, I’ve been usurped by a dude doing some sort of hand job at his house or something (props to the name)…that is beside the point. Onward!

The original is Gingery Carrot Soup w/ Orange & Parsley

Fixin’s:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped up
  • 3 tbsp ginger root, minced (that is hard to do btw)
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tbsp rough graded peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 6 thinly slice lg carrots
  • 4 cups chicken stock (or veggie)
  • 1 1/2 fresh squeezed orange juice (are you kidding! just buy high grade oj w/ pulp)
  • 1 bunch parsley, chopped up all nice
  • 1 or 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • tad bit of salt
  • 1 can (14/15 oz) Coconut milk

Let us get it started:

  • Put onions in skillet w/ olive oil & cook until softened ( 3 mins ). Stir in ginger root, orange zest, black pepper & bay leaves & cook for extra 1 or 2 mins. Once done, throw in slow cooker.
  • Add carrots & chicken stock – stir that thing up!
  • Cook on LOW for 8hr or HI for 4hr. At end of that time stir in Orange Juice, parsley & red pepper. Cover & cook for 30 mins longer on HI. Remove the bay leaves at end of the 30 mins.
  • Puree. If you’re like me & don’t have one of those fancy pants immersible blender things – then just work in batches in a regular blender. Transfer back to slow cooker. Add 1-2 handfuls of spinach & 1/2 cup of coconut milk. Cover & cook for 30 mins+ longer on HI (until spinach wilts a bit).
  • At the end – put in bowls & drizzle with some coconut milk to make it all pretty.
  • Serve w/ a nice crusty bread for some dipping!
soup_in_bowl
Soup in bowl w/ bread

Well, well, well aren’t we all Downton Abbey there gov’ner? With your puree’d soup & crusty bread.

Admission – this was damn good. Would serve this as a small bowl before a light meal (but could go for main dish if thats what you’re into). For you veggies & soup connoisseurs this is flavorful, smells excellent & visually appealling.

Good day to you sir. I said good day (audible snort & turn back whilst putting monocle back in).

Shitake Hot & Sour for National Soup Day

shitake_crock
Shitake Crocke

Back to normal one crock mode. So, apparently it was national soup day the other day. Was snow bound, but was able to trek down to store for supplies.

Had almost all of the sundries except for a few (who the hell has firm tofu on hand?). Anywho, this seemed like a good one to do – loves me some asian fare. (more ranting below)

The ingredients:

3oz/24 dried shiitake or black Chinese mushrooms
2 carrots, cut in slices
1 can bamboo shoots, rinsed
2 14-ounce pkg firm tofu
1 tsp pepper
4 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
4 1/4 water
4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (you’ll need a lot more, trust me)
1 tablespoon chile-garlic sauce or spicy chili crisp
1 tblsp minced ginger
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
3 cups cooked lo mein noodles  (did bean thread noodles)
1 cup sliced green onions

Make it:

  • Cut up dried mushrooms in 1/4 slices if you can – might break apart. Add to slow cooker.
  • Add carrots and bamboo shoots. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes, add to slow cooker and sprinkle w/ pepper. Top with cabbage.
  • Combine 4 cups water, broth, both vinegars, soy sauce, chile-garlic sauce and ginger in a lg bowl/pan; add to the slow cooker.
  • Cover & set on LOW for 8 hours (4-6 if in hurry)
  • Whisk the remaining 1/3 cup water, cornstarch and sesame oil in a bowl. Stir into the soup. Cover and cook on High for 20 minutes.
  • Cook noodles separately (keep it that way). Add noodles to bowl & put broth/soup mixture over noodles & serve!
shitake_bowl
Shitake Bowle (too much?)

This was subtle – meaning, I get why the asian dishes are good – TONS OF SALT. Tried reigning it in, but just isn’t the same. Would suggest adding more hot chili sauce to make up for it.

Not to say this wasn’t delicious – this completely was, but realized when you get soup (or other delicious dishes) @ restaurant that they add assloads (technical term) of salt to your food.

Won’t end this as a downer or failure – let us crock on bitches! Oh, wait – Jay-Z retired bitch…

Let us crock on respectable women peoples. Doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.

P.

Crock Polyamory

carnitas_1
Carnita Crock

Was asked to crock our company holiday party (it was a bit late, but party none the less). Had 4 crocks going at once. A bit of sweat & some improvising made this happen. The only downside to this is that I don’t have many photos.

1. Carnitas

  • 3 lbs pork shoulder or 3 lbs pork butt
  • 4 cups chicken broth , hot
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder , medium hot
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
  • small tortillas

Cooking: basically throw the shoulder in cooker & dump the spices in – cook on LOW for 8hrs (we had to cook on HI for 4hrs)

Very good. Serve w/ shredded cabbage, salsa & sour cream on a small tortilla.

lettuce_wraps
Let Us Wrap

2. Chicken Lettuce Wrap Things (the biggest hit) supposedly like PF Changs although, I’ve never had, but supposed to be good.

  • 1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar   no need to add this
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Asian chile paste or spicy chili crisp
  • 5 ounces bamboo shoots, canned and drained
  • 12 ounces sliced water chestnuts, canned and drained
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 14 crisp iceberg or romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce

Making this: put all of the ingredients in cooker – you’ll need to toss this quite a bit to make sure that the meat gets separated. May want to add a bit more hoison. Hoison not my fav, but most folks like the sweet meats.

Serve on Romaine lettuce or other broad leaf lettuce. Very delish. Everyone loved this dish, so this is a winner!

3. Swedish Meatballs

  • 1 cup bread crumbs – not spiced
  • 2 lbs lean ground beef
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • the below is for later –
  • 1 (10 1/2 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Cook this: lots of work

  • Put most ingredients together in lg bowl. Mix. Once mixed roll the mixture into teaspoon sized balls & put in cooker.
  • Cook on HI for 4hrs. At 4hr mark, mix last ingredients (soup, flour, sour cream & worcestershire) & pour over balls. Cook for another 1hr.

These were good, but not up to IKEA standards. Had leftovers 2 days later & way better then initial launch. So goes it & I wouldn’t discount the balls if you’re doing a party.

ingredients_1
Ingredients

4. Veggie Chili

  • 1 Medium Zucchini, diced
  • 1 Medium Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1 Medium Onion, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup Celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 cans Ro-tels
  • 1 bag Frozen Corn, thawed
  • 1 can Kidney Beans, rinsed
  • 1 can Black Beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (14 oz) Vegetable Broth
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 3 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper or, to taste
  • 1 tsp Salt or, to taste
  • 1 tsp Pepper or, to taste

Put all of this in crock & set for 8hrs (had to set for 4hr) – didn’t really eat this, but according to others this was very good & kinda spicy.

Creamy Tomato Soup & Grilled Cheese

tomato soup & grilled cheese
tomato soup & grilled cheese

So, I had planned on making this earlier in the week & decided to wait. Then the night before making, I went out & had some at restaurant. Tomato cappuccino (all frothy like), I forgot to ask what kind of cheese they used, but yummo (seriously hit me if I ever use that in mixed company). Also ate blue cheese stuffed dates – usually opposed to mixing my fruits w/ anything. Me denying mixing of said sweet & savory lets me keep my non-foodie card just a bit longer. And I usually pronounce foodie bullshit all wrong so that helps.

Anywho, to the soup. This is so easy (except for one aspect) that I can’t believe I hadn’t done so before.

The components:

  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes , undrained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tblsp oregano
  • 1 tblsp sweet basil
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 tablespoons butter (oops, forgot this – you’d never know the difference unless you’re Paula Dean riding on my back)
tomato_crock_1
Exciting Shot of Tomato Soup

Make it happen:

  • Add undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, oregano & basil to the cooker on HIGH for 5hrs
  • @ 5hrs strain tomato remnants & blend to a puree until no bits are left (see below)
  • Add puree back in
  • Add cream to the mix
  • Leave on WARM or LOW for 1hr

This is the below section. So talking about foodies – well, if I’d have had the proper “straining” apparatus the straining may have went easier. Attempted to use a 1/2 moon pan colander, that did not work the best & hilarity ensued. Wish I had video cause this was a comedy of errors that left the countertop, floor & pants covered in tomato spunk.

panini_maker
Sexy Panini Shot

Grilled cheese – are you freaking kidding me – you have to have this. Used Dave’s Killer Bread, munster cheese & butter. Here is where it gets to the “danger zone!”. Give just one side of the bread w/ butter a quick grind of sea salt. This is a grilled cheese turning point for me personally. Try it & you’ll agree.

End result: the soup was amazing (on par w/ any I’ve had in a restaurant) – glad I didn’t use the full 2 cups of cream it called for or the butter – you know the grilled cheese part.

 

Black-Eyed Peas – Lucky!

black_eyed_peas_1
Can you see Fergie in there?

Supposedly black-eyed peas are good luck for the new year – I’m willing to put this to the test. There are an ass ton of recipes out there about this dish & I hated them all for the most part (jk). Like my other dishes try to find something that can be altered, changed or updated. For instance: one of them mentioned DelMonte – haven’t seen that label/company since moving out to PNW, so must be a midwest thing.

A lot of them called for ham hocks (which were a staple while growing up), but had done this already & wanted to take the “hock” level down a notch.

Here goes:

  • 1 (16 ounce) bag dried black-eyed peas (pre-soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 pkg hardwood smoked chicken sausage (hillshire one that looks like horseshoe turd)
  • 1 can ro-tel (diced tomatoes & green chilies)
  • 1/2 (3 oz?) can pickled jalapeños
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 2 stalk celery, chopped (seriously, if you didn’t chop it walk away from kitchen)
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, diced up (see above)
  • 1/2 tblsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a few dashes of hot sauce (frank’s red hot)

To cook:

  • This is where it gets tough – combine all that shit & put in slow cooker – set controls for the heart of the sun, wait that is something else, set on LOW for 8hrs.
collard_greens
Greens, Greens, the magical...

Side dish:

  • Collard greens w/ bacon – freaking delicious. Recipe here.
  • There was a mention from the cheap seats that a nice crusty bread should have been involved for sopping purposes. That was quickly waved off as – next time bring your own damn crusty bread.

My hopes weren’t to high for the black-eyed peas (insert joke about the hip-hop group here), but damn if this didn’t turn out excellent. The dish had JUST the right amount of kick from the jalapeños to make it spicy, yet not too spicy. In layman’s terms –  got a bit of sweat on the brow from eating, but not enough where a dish towel was needed to catch the flop sweat.

Lastly, honorable mention goes to: Pussy Liquor, my new favorite drink.

  • 2 oz Seagrams 7
  • ice cubes
  • Squirt – didn’t even know they made this anymore
  • mix it in a glass
  • drink

Hope this finds you all well & sticking to your revolutions (joke – google it)  for the new year. Mine are to do all the bad things from last year ten fold!

On serious note, one of mine is to put up some videos of the crocking process that we do here at Casa del Crockhole. Watching 8hrs of simmering is as compelling as it sounds & its gotta be funnier than drunk kitchen girl (faker).

Rock Out With Your Crock Out, please.

 

Paella Slow Xmas Dinner

seafood
I See Food I Eat It

Not down with all the traditional stuff for the most part & we have excellent seafood around these parts, so… thought we’d go all rogue on xmas & do some Paella.

These folks were great: http://wildsalmonseafood.com/

There were so many recipes & different takes on this dish it made it hard, but decided upon full seafood feast. Knew this would be a tough one in the crock since doing seafood or rice in slow cooker is a challenge – challenge accepted. I got served on one of those – read on.

The ingredients for the most part are quite standard with the exception of one: saffron. Seriously saffron, get over yourself. You are not worth $12.00 for a pinch (unless a happy ending was involved). Maybe the dish suffered cause I wouldn’t put out, but my kid gave it a “delicious” so there.

Ingredients:

  • paella_plate_1
    Tentacles

    1 cup long grain white rice

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup chic broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 small tomatoes, diced
  • pinch of ground saffron ( I don’t think so)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb fresh medium shrimp, shelled and tails removed
  • 1/2 lb fresh sea scallops, cleaned
  • 1 1/2 lb mussels (debearded – rub the crap off them)
  • 1/2 lb squid parts (tentacles included, whee!)
  • 1 8 oz bag frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 1 sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges

Rections:

paella_plate
Plate of It

Put rice, water, broth, tomato, onion, garlic, cayenne, salt/pepper, (once again – screw you saffron) in crock & mix up thoroughly. Set to HIGH for 2 hrs ( I forgot time, let it go extra hr & that was a mistake).

At the 2hr mark, add the seafood & place red bell on top – cook on HIGH for 30+ mins (red bell I forgot, too many eggnogs possibly) – keep an eye on it. I said keep eye on it dammit!  Once the squid starts to curl & the mussels start to open up you should take it out! This is important as the squid will get chewy & the mussels will start to cook to the shell.

Remarks:

This turned out pretty darn good & as mentioned, my son ate tentacles & all. Was a bit wary cooking this in the crock, but if you have the time to check on it – you’ll come out a winner. The only thing I’d like to figure out is the rice aspect – either it is not done or over done. What the hell rice make up your mind!

Sidenotes:

acorns
Acorns / Buckeyes

We also made “buckeyes“. Seriously not a baker – way to messy, but  wanted cookies or something… my fav is peanut butter cups so thought this would do the trick. DO NOT confuse blender with beaters. Once we smelled burnt plastic, it was all manual. After slight SNAFU, treat came out quite nice. Although the 2 cups of confectioners sugar – excuse me – powdered sugar made me wonder if this was a good idea.

Had a great afternoon & got to share something that I love doing – cooking. Bought gifts, booze, romance novels & whatnot, but my son said to me (queue the strings) – “Can you show me how to cook?”. Can I? Hell yes I can.

You complete me (sob). Merry/Happy whatever you celebrate, P.