The humble slow cooker sure has seen a resurgence in popularity, hasn’t it? And it’s no wonder, because who doesn’t like to come home in the evening and have dinner waiting for you? I do! Sadly, though, it turns out that we have pretty particular tastes when it comes to crock pot cuisine. My husband doesn’t like it when the soup gets too thick (so out with my favorite bean and barley one). I, on the other hand, am really picky about the meat dishes. If it gets too fatty, or takes on a gamey flavor, it’s a no-go. This is usually an issue with anything containing chicken thighs or pork.
Happily, there have been some real winners so far this season:
- Chicken Enchilada Chili was a real crowd-pleaser; I’ve already made it three times in the past six weeks. I omit the onion and celery (because I don’t care for either one in my chili). Also, it calls for 1 1/2 cups of enchilada sauce, which is just a little more than the can, so I just added a little water instead of cracking into a second one.
- Leftover chili is great over baked potatoes. These came out so much better than when I make them in the oven! We’ve tried both russet and sweet potatoes, and they were both terrific (with the chili, in fact, which surprised me as far as the sweet potatoes were concerned.) I still have the somewhat irrational fear that my crock is going to crack, but so far so good.
- The Carnitas was also a hit. The second time around, we didn’t have any beef broth on-hand, so I just used water. Also, the orange wasn’t very juicy, but a little additional orange juice from the carton in the fridge subbed in nicely.
If you have any slow-cooker favorites, please send them my way! As good as these have been, my crew will soon tire of them if I’m not careful. Today, the plan is to fire up the crock and make stock out of the remains of Monday’s rotisserie chicken. The thrifty part of my heart is singing with joy.