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FRAGILEWRITER's Photo FRAGILEWRITER SparkPoints: (5,132)
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11/29/11 8:53 P

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Thick sauces: tip the lid a bit for the last while (depending on how watery it is). Let it evaporate.
Make sure there is actually good goo that can turn into sauce. (Goo is my favourite culinary word).


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DANCEANDSING2 Posts: 105
11/29/11 7:16 P

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What is the trick to cooking things in the crockpot and ending up with a thickened sauce at the end? Mine always turns out watery and effects the taste of the dish.
Any thoughts?
Mary

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SIMBAKITTYCAT's Photo SIMBAKITTYCAT Posts: 78
11/29/11 6:12 P

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Here is a video of SparkPeople's Chef Meg demonstrating her recipe for pork, beans and greens:

http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/videos.as
p?recipe=743409

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FRAGILEWRITER's Photo FRAGILEWRITER SparkPoints: (5,132)
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11/29/11 5:49 P

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I hate to throw this back on you but,
a. my crock pot is where foods from the fridge go to live another day. My family groans in ecstasy and begs me to make 'it' again. As if.
b. buy meat, on sale, throw it in the freezer and get ready to rely on it as the anchor in the crock pot. Onions, potatoes, tomatoes,... and any veg that's freezer burnt.
c. you need to come to terms with herb combinations. French: Thyme, parsley, onions, butter, (tarragon, oregano, bay) garlic. Italian: Basil, Oregano, parsley, onions, olive oil (bay,...) garlic. Greek: Oregano, basil, parsley, onions, olive oil, garlic. Indian/African/Middle East: Cinnamon, cumin, coriander, curry, onions, garlic. Far East: Garlic, onions, hot peppers, sesame oil, mint,... Mexican: Cumin, coriander, hot peppers. And on and on. A lot of the herbs are the same, but in each culture a different herb takes the lead. Some herbs change.
Get your meat, find an acid (tomatoes, wine,..). Vegetables. Then imagine which way you want this creation to lean. Spice it moderately early on, then taste a hour before serving. Spice it again according to taste. Don't be shy with a tiny bit of salt.
Finally remember to keep the vampires away, or, go always go heavy on the garlic.

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MARGIE100%PURE's Photo MARGIE100%PURE Posts: 1,514
11/29/11 5:32 P

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What are his favorite foods? Chicken is a shorter cook time than long fiber cheaper cut meat.. Meat and potatoes are common guy things. A pot of well crock cooked pot roast meat in classic spice flavors with a few vegetables potatoes, carrots, a few onions thrown in about 1 hour before serving to get flavor blending/marrying and done through the middle without going to mush is a win at my house. When I am in a hurry I stove top the vegetables to rush the serving times and can control tenderness without meat flavor in the cooked vegetables. A nice loaf of hot fresh (almost any) bread yeast rolls or muffins is a win at my place.
Take his favorites and at more water then allow 2-6 hour depending on the cut and size of protein choice a meat thermometer can help gauge doneness; accessorize to match the ingredients within the crock to round out a full tasty filling meal. The crock is used almost daily at my house. A crock pot full of (over night or 1 day soaked first) beans is my current favorite. But be sure to always toss the soak water and cooking water; this is where the gut gas gets into the drain not my gut. An inexpensive cut of meat can be ambrosia after a few hours in this magic flavor pot with fresh or dried herbs and spices. So any recipe of meat and or beans with vegetables added with time to soften (the bigger the pieces the longer the time in the pot) is a basic plan. I use my crock for belly happiness and nutritional success with side of a fresh fruit or vegetable crunch or warm carb of separately cooked grain or noodles on the side can please most guys I know. I do not care for overnight work the smells distract my deep sleep.
The hot pot full of ready to eat food after work is a win. I feel safe with a trip circuit or turn off timer between my pot and the power outlet. I use a 4 quart small simple unit. Never let the pot go dry, add water or other liquids up to the top of the meat is wisest to avoid breaking the ceramics and ensures even cooking of all pieces. The fancier ones have timers.
No tenderizer is needed just time and flavor are the key. Sounds like you just need some time to play with this appliance. Cook it one night cool it and serve it the next night. You do not have to serve the same day. A crock pot with apple cider and cinnamon is an interesting way to get a feel for crock heating. Sometimes, in the water bath cooled pot I fridge it; usually, I transfer to other dishes to prevent cracking the ceramics from extreme hot to cold or the reverse. A water bath cool temperature is efficient. Fridge space is limited putting the hot foods in smaller than the crock pot sized dishes with lids first separating liquids from solids then store for another time keeps the classic ruling of foods left out under 4 total hours safe down to the shortest time possible; at heat 141 or cool 41 degrees has longer food life rulings. The liquids can be stove top prepared pan gravy from crock liquids. Yum.
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Edited by: MARGIE100%PURE at: 11/29/2011 (17:39)
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SIMBAKITTYCAT's Photo SIMBAKITTYCAT Posts: 78
11/29/11 11:23 A

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I shop the sales for reduced price meats, freeze them, cook them in the crockpot so they're tender. Here are a few of my favorite Spark Recipes:
The Best Crock Pot pot roast
Slow cooked Korean style short rib soup
L.R. Sausage sauerkraut supper
Crockpot Pozole (I use pork shoulder)
Albondigas (I buy frozen meatballs)
I'll be interested to learn what else you find and enjoy. My bf is 6'6", and has a big appetite!



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SFLEMIN2 SparkPoints: (761)
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11/29/11 10:32 A

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When I do a search for crock pot recipes, they are all loaded with processed junk. I don't really want to make soup (I don't mind making that on the stove top). I am looking for something filling to make for the boyfriend. He LOVES carbs (which I am trying to cut out) so I need to be more creative when I cook so I can convince him. I don't like hot stuff..not a huge fan of chicken but he is. Any ideas?

PS..we have a severe weakness for cheese and have no problem giving in to it :)

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