Come see what is on the menu this week! I work toward once a week grocery shopping and fast, easy cooking!!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Week of Crockpot

David is traveling this week so I'm using my trusty Crock all week!

Monday - Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup/Grilled Cheese
Tuesday - Beef Mac n Cheese
Thursday - Chicken Tortilla Soup

Creamless Creamy Tomato Soup


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 pinch hot red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes in juice
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
3 large slices good-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed, torn into
1-inch pieces
2 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth, to make it vegetarian)
2 Tablespoons brandy (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh chives


Heat 2 tablespoons oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
Add onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring frequently,
until onion is translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes and their juice. Using a potato masher, mash until no pieces
bigger than 2 inches remain.

Stir in sugar and bread; bring soup to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook,
stirring occasionally, until bread is completely saturated and starts to break down,
about 5 minutes. Remove bay leaf and discard.

Transfer half of soup to a blender, add 1tablespoon olive oil and process until
soup is smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes (See notes). Transfer to a large bowl
and repeat with remaining soup and oil. (Or use an immersion blender!)

Rinse out Dutch oven and return soup to pot. Stir in chicken broth and brandy.
Return soup to a boil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle each portion with pepper and chives and drizzle with olive oil.

Serve (of course) with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Beef Mac n Cheese

The Ingredients.

1 pound lean ground beef, browned and drained
5 bacon strips, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes --- any flavor, or plain
1 can water (empty tomato can)
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (26-ounce) jar prepared pasta sauce
1 (16-ounce) package elbow macaroni (I used brown rice pasta)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

The Directions.

Use a 6-quart slow cooker. In a large skillet, brown the beef,
bacon and onion all together until the meat is no longer pink.

Drain well and plop into your slow cooker. Add everything else
into the pot except for the pasta and cheese.

Stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or
high for about 4. Stir in the raw pasta and cook on high for
approximately 30 minutes, or until pasta is bite-tender. Serve
in a wide-mouthed bowl with a handful of cheese on each serving.

Tortilla Soup Crock pot

The Ingredients:

3 cups of chicken broth
1 1/2 cups cooked chicken (I have leftover chicken in the freezer)
1/2 onion
2 cup frozen veggies
2 green onions
28 oz can of tomatoes and juice
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 t cayenne pepper
1 t cumin
salt to taste (especially if using a no-salt broth like I was)

garnish: tortilla chips

The Directions:

dice all veggies into fine chunks
dump everything into the crockpot

it's okay if you have frozen stuff. My broth, vegetables and chicken were all frozen.

totally okay to assemble the night before.

cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 6 or so.

before serving, add whatever garnish you choose.

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