Really Good, Really Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

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Thank you all for the nice comments and messages regarding Mr. Meat Eater.   The biopsy itself went fine and we didn’t hear anything bad at the 48 hour reading so I’ll take that as good news.  We will hear for sure what the problem is on the 22nd.  I will drive myself nuts until then of course.

In the meantime, I will get back to blogging.

I really, really love this sauce.  It’s easy, makes a ton so I can put some in the freezer for the next time I need sauce, and I can make it spicy or not.  If I use all the red pepper flakes it calls for, I find it too spicy for me so I just put a tiny bit in or leave it out altogether.

It is great just served with pasta and would be equally good used for lasagna or ziti or whatever.   You can use Italian sausage instead of the ground beef if you prefer.  The recipe calls for 2 pounds of meat but I use about 1 1/4 pounds since I don’t like loads of meat in my sauce.

I found the recipe on the Betty Crocker website originally.

Really Good, Really Easy Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

2 lb bulk Italian pork sausage or ground beef (I use about 1 1/4 lbs)
2 large onions, chopped
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
2 cans (15 oz each) tomato sauce
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried basil leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (use less or leave out altogether if you don’t like it spicy)

Spray 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.

In a skillet, cook sausage or beef, onions, mushrooms and garlic over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until sausage or beef is no longer pink; drain.

Spoon sausage or beef mixture into slow cooker.

Stir in all remaining ingredients.

Cook on LOW for 8-9 hours.

Serve over your favorite pasta.

Makes 24 servings.

VIEW PRINTABLE RECIPE HERE!

Happy Cooking!

Cheater’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

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On Saturday, during the hurricane, we still had power at lunchtime so I decided I would make our big meal and we would have one good meal.  Mr. Meat Eater thought I was nuts but was very happy with the results.

This is a really easy recipe that takes all the great flavor of chicken cordon bleu without all the work.  Time was of the essence since I had no idea when the power would go.  With the chicken we had mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, and garlic bread.

I put the leftovers in the fridge until the power went out and then I put them in the cooler.  The next day I heated one side of the grill and put the chicken (wrapped in foil) on the unlit side and let it warm up.  Very good leftovers!

Cheater’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

salt and pepper to taste
6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (5.5 oz) box or bag of seasoned croutons, crushed
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten and mixed with 2 tbsps water
6 thinly sliced ham slices (I used Virgina Ham)
6 Swiss cheese slices

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and set aside.

Mix crushed croutons and Parmesan cheese in a large ziplock bag.

Dip chicken in egg mixture and then place chicken in the ziplock and shake to coat. Remove to a lightly greased aluminum foil lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Bake at 450º for 20 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Top each breast half with a slice of cheese and a slice of ham. Bake for 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Makes 6 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Here Comes Peter Cottontail…Ham!

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We always have ham for Easter and I always wonder if it’s the baked ham we love or the ham salad sandwiches the day after (that recipe is included), LOL!

Here a few that I’ve made and loved.

The Barefoot Contessa’s Baked Ham and My Mom’s Ham Salad

Glazed Ham

Bourbon Ham

Glazed Spiral Ham

I don’t know what recipe I’m going to be using but I think I’ll be trying a new one!  What about you?

Happy Cooking!

Breaded Pork Chops, Italian Style

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Rainy and dreary here today which always makes me think of food.  I have to fast for a blood test this morning so it’s a doubly difficult morning.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of pork ~ except for bacon, of course ~ but I really like this recipe.  The chops turn out very tender and really go with any side.  Mr. Meat Eater ate 3 of them I think so that should tell you something.

It’s a very easy recipe but it does use an oven-proof skillet so watch out for that.

Breaded Pork Chops, Italian Style

3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsps milk
1 1/2 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsps dried parsley
2 tbsps olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 bone-in, center-cut pork chops

Preheat oven to 325º.

Combine the beaten eggs and milk in a small bowl. Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan and parsley on a plate.

In an oven-proof skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Once heated, stir in the chopped garlic and saute for a minute or two and then remove from the skillet leaving the olive oil. You can toss the garlic or save for another use if desired.

Dip each pork chop into the wet mixture then into the dry mixture, coating evenly. Place coated chops in the pan and brown for about 5 minutes on each side.

Place the skillet with the chops in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Crunchy Onion Chicken

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My friends served this chicken on New Year’s Eve and Mr. Meat Eater and I LOVED it.  She told me how she made it so I went searching for a recipe, because as my family knows, I can’t function in the kitchen without a piece of paper or a book in front of me.  Anyway, I found one that is very similar if not the original recipe so I gave it a shot.  It’s really very good BUT it’s not as good as my friend’s version ~ maybe because I didn’t have to cook it?   I’ll keep tweaking it and see how it goes but it’s a great recipe all by itself and really doesn’t need tweaking but tweaking is what I do best. Yes, this is the chicken in that French’s commercial on TV.

I marinated my chicken in olive oil and vinegar salad dressing for a bit before making this dish so I left off the egg.

Crunchy Onion Chicken
( French’s Recipes)

2 cups French’s French Fried Onions
2 tbsps flour
4 boneless chicken breasts
1 egg, beaten

Crush onions in a ziplock bag then mix with flour on a plate or a piece of waxed paper. Beat egg in a bowl.

Dip the chicken in the egg then coat with the onion/flour mixture and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.

Bake at 400º for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked thoroughly and no pink remains.

Makes 4 servings.

Happy Cooking!

Cooking a Prime Rib Roast for the Holidays

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Wow!  December 1 already.  It doesn’t seem possible that this year has gone by so fast.  Remember when you were a kid and the days just seemed to drag…not so anymore.

Since Christmas and New Year’s is coming up, I thought I would post on how I make prime rib.  It is an expensive piece of meat but don’t let it intimidate you.  It’s really very easy to do.  If you google, you will find there are lots of ways to roast it, this is just how I do it.

My family likes it RARE ~ as in waaaay too red for me.  I like it medium rare.  I’ve been known to cut it in half in order to be able to cook each to the way I want it.  Usually, I just roast to rare and I eat the ends.

I think that prime rib has so much flavor that I keep seasonings to a minimum.  I usually just salt and pepper.  Sometimes I cut slits in the meat and stick in pieces of garlic but that’s about as far and I go.  If you like fresh herbs or Dijon mustard, those would be good, too.  I usually season just before it goes into the oven.  If you are using a boneless roast, use a rack.  If it’s a bone-in roast, use the bones as a rack.

I cook low and slow ~ a lower temperature for a longer time.  That’s what works for me.  I roast at 325º for about 20 minutes per pound.  It’s really important to use a meat thermometer so you’ll know exactly whether your roast is done to your liking.  Stick it in the middle of the roast, making sure it’s not touching bone or fat.  For rare, I like the temp to read130º-140º, for medium rare, I like it to be 145º-155º.  I’ve found that those are the temperatures that work for me in my ovens.  If the meat isn’t up to temperature, I just let it go a little longer and keep an eye on it.  I know the conventional wisdom says it keeps cooking after taking it out of the oven, but I have never had it go up more than a degree or two ~ definitely never 5 or more degrees.  I’ve checked! Your mileage may vary! You can google meat temperatures to get a chart for medium and well.  I would be voted off the island if I let meat get to medium or well, LOL!

The end slices will be done the most and the middle the least so you should be able to please everyone.

I usually serve with a horseradish sauce and sometimes I defat the dripping and serve with that.

Happy Cooking!