March 22, 2012 at 12:35 pm
by Jennifer Moncayo
Our associate food editor, Michael Tyrrell shared his love and knowledge of slow cooking with you, our readers, during yesterday’s Slow Cooker Chat on our Facebook wall. During this week’s chat, there was a lot of recipe swapping and even some funny crock-pot horror stories and mistakes. My favorite mistake came from our reader, Becky, who wrote, “Coming home after a long day only to realize I forget to turn it on!” That’s something I would do.
In case you missed the chat, or need to refer back to some recipes that were mentioned, here’s everything that happened:
Family Circle: Welcome to our weekly Slow Cooker Chat with associate food editor and slow cooking expert, Michael Tyrrell. He’s here to answer all of your questions, share recipes and give great tips. Please feel free to post your questions for Michael onto our Facebook wall.
Let’s start with: what did you make in your slow cooker this week? How did it turn out?
Karla: I JUST put stuff in for chicken cacciatore.
Michael Tyrrell: Karla- chicken cacciatore just came up in the chat last week. What’s your recipe? Also let us link you to one of chic cacciatore recipes.
Family Circle: Hi Karla, here is our recipe for slow cooker chicken cacciatore.
Gail: Split pea soup. I added a small can of green chilies too. It was great!
Michael: Gail: pea soup comes out well in the slow cooker. Do you use a ham bone? Also, how hot did the chilies make the soup?
Gail: I used a ham slice. It’s just me and I didn’t want to make a lot. I used a half bag of split peas. I also added red pepper flakes. It was spicy, but not too. It would have been fine for kids.
Michael: Gail: I often use ham steak for soups as well when I don’t have a ham bone. Try our bean soup in our current issue. We’ll give you a link to it.
Family Circle: Gail, here is our recipe for white bean and ham soup, which was featured in the April issue.
Gail: Bean soup…hmmm. My husband told me when he was a teen and dating, his mother made him bean soup with cornbread and green onions on the side for dinner. It was his favorite…but she was a very smart woman.
Michael: Gail: white bean and ham soup is my absolute fave soup. When I make it I parse it out into containers and freeze for individual lunches. My idea of ‘frozen assets.”
Family Circle: Hi Gail, here are some more recipes for soups and stews for you to try.
Lindsey: Made Beef Au Jus, BBQ Country Style Ribs, and Chicken Parmesan in the slow cooker this week. They turned out amazing and all of my family LOVED them.
Michael: Lindsey: they all sound good. Tell us more about the chic parm please.
Debbie: Would LOVE to see a chicken parm recipe!
Michael: Debbie: hopefully Lindsey will come through. Our web editor did a turkey meatball recipe recently that she posted to our blog. Let us give you a link. There are some other great recipes on our blog.
Family Circle: Hey Debbie, here is the turkey meatball recipe Michael mentioned.
Lindsey: Debbie: here is the recipe I use for the Chicken Parmesan.
Combine 2 Tbls flour and 4 thin cut boneless skinless chicken breasts in Ziploc bag. Shake until chicken is coated. Beat 2 eggs in a shallow bowl. Place 1/3 cup of Italian bread crumbs in a separate shallow bowl. Dip chicken in egg until coated and transfer to bread crumbs. Press chicken into bread crumbs until coated on both sides. Create a single layer of breaded chicken breasts in bottom of slow cooker. Spread 1 1/2 cups of your favorite marinara sauce over the top layer of the chicken. Cover and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 15 minutes before ending time sprinkle mozzarella cheese over chicken and continue cooking until cheese melts. Closer to finishing time, prepare your spaghetti noodles or pasta of choice and serve with more marinara and the yummy chicken. Hope you ENJOY!!!
Michael: Lindsey: I like the sound of this, and no precooking which most people appreciate. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Lindsey: This is the first I have joined the chat. Do you have a new slow cooker recipe for this week?
Michael: Lindsey: not officially BUT in our April issue we have a slow cooker story in our Healthy Family Dinner column. Try the Hacked Pork; we’ll link you to the story. Getting a lot of favorable input in regards to this recipe.
Family Circle: Hi Lindsey, here is our recipe for Chinese Hacked Pork that Michael suggested.
Mary: Think I only used it once this week. BBQ Pork Ribs. fall off the bone tender.
Michael: Mary: who doesn’t love ribs in the slow cooker. Right? Even when cooked for extended times and the meat falls off the bone; it’s great over rice.
Family Circle: Hi Mary, here are some of our rib recipes you might want to try next.
Anna: I made stuffed bell peppers this past weekend. So easy. Just get a mixture of pork veal and beef, mix in whatever you wish. I like lots if veggies so I added chopped onions spinach and mushrooms. Add in whichever spices you like. Place in slow cooker and pour about half a jar of pasta sauce and cook on low all day. A complete meal is ready when you walk in the door after work.
Michael: Anna: stuffed peppers work out well; what cooking time and was it high or low? Sometimes extended cooking times cause the peppers to break down, still delish but you have to spoon it out.
Family Circle: Hi Anna, here is our recipe for stuffed peppers, try it out.
Kim: I haven’t made anything yet, it’s been warm here. All my slow cooker recipes are sort of “winter.” Any suggestions for spring/summer recipes (lighter, etc.)?
Michael: Kim: chili is good all year and what about mac and cheese? Both family-friendly and nice during warm weather.
Michael: Let me remind everyone about our Hamilton Beach slow cooker giveaway in our current issue.
Leigh-Anne: Pulled chicken last night…fast, easy and yummy!
Michael: Leigh-Anne- pulled anything works for me in the slow cooker. The best leftovers ever.
Julie: I made pepper steak…..wow, was it ever tender!
Linda: Bbq pulled chicken, buns and salad on the side… couldn’t be more awesome.
Family Circle: Slow Cooker Chat continues: What’s the best slow cooker dish you’ve ever made? Share your recipes and ask for tips from our slow cooking expert, Michael Tyrrell.
Mrs. Cleaver: London Broil with an easy as pie gravy…after 7 hrs it’s to die for!
Michael: Mrs. Cleaver: welcome back! Share the recipe with us please. I am guessing you brown the beef first?
Mrs. Cleaver: A super quick sear on the stove top with a 2 lb. London broil cut. Placed it into the slow cooker and topped with sliced onion and a handful of whole clove garlic. Seasoned with salt and pepper. Mix together gravy by combining 2 cans cream of mushroom soup, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp cocoa powder, 1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and a cup of water. Pour this over the meat and sprinkle one packet of onion soup mix over top. Allow to cook on low for 7 hrs. then slice ACROSS the grain and serve with gravy. Been making it this way for years and my family loves it.
Barbara: I have never had luck with London broil, it’s usually tough. Maybe I am buying the wrong cut?
Michael: Barbara: London Broil is usually top round which is lean and long cooking times are a prob. Try chuck, do a pot roast or stew, you can’t go wrong. Check out the link for pot roast 5 ways.
Alicia: I don’t really know what to make in my slow cooker.
Michael: Alicia: for starters download our free slow cooker cook book on our Facebook page. Also, check out some of the recipes we’ve linked to during the chat. Go with a beef stew or pulled pork first; always crowd pleasers.
Family Circle: Hey Alicia, here is one of our pulled pork sandwich recipes.
Family Circle: Also, Alicia, here are some of our easy slow cooker recipes, give it a try.
Sabra: Michael, I’m not a fan of pears or fruit with pork. Any other good pork chop or tenderloin crock pot recipies (besides BBQ)?
Michael: Sabra: try the Asian hacked pork recipe I mentioned earlier, everyone loved it here and it couldn’t be easier.
Family Circle: Hi Sabra, here is our Chinese Hacked Pork recipe that Michael mentioned.
Mary: Sabra, I have a recipe that uses a can of diced tomatoes and a can of cream of mushroom soup along with some spices to make a yummy gravy. I throw in the veggies I am in the mood for along with the pork roast & let it cook on low all day. Meat practically falls apart and veggies are cooked through with the gravy flavoring on all of it.
Ronda: The Beef, Tomato and Rosemary Stew you featured in the article about French food last month. It is amazing. I’ve made it twice.
Michael: Ronda: good to hear, I’ll let Michele Scicolone know. All of her recipes were wonderful. Let us link to where you can get her book if interested.
Family Circle: Hi Ronda, here is the link to Michele Scicolone’s cookbook.
Family Circle: Want to see your slow cooker recipe featured on FamilyCircle.com? Send us your favorite original recipe and we may publish it on our Momster blog! Please email your recipe (including directions and ingredients), an image of the dish, and your contact info to FamilyCircle.Momster@gmail.com.
Here is a recipe featured on our website that we received from a reader like you:http://momster.familycircle.com/blog/a-delicious-reader-recipe-slow-cooker-buffalo-chicken-mac-and-cheese
Kasee: Pot roast, I have a recipe I use but it is not mine.
Michael: Kasee: let us give you a link to a story I did in the fall, Pot Roast 5 Ways. Some nice variations, try one!
Kasee: OK, I am all for trying new recipes.
Family Circle: Hey Kasee, here is our story on how to make pot roast five ways.
Kasee: Yankee pot roast sounds good, thanks for the link.
Family Circle: Only a few minutes left in our Slow Cooker Chat! What mistakes have you made with your slow cooker? Share your mistakes and tips for others, or ask our slow cooker expert, Michael, for advice!
Lori: The absolute BEST tip for corn beef slow cooker. Rinse the brisket. Cover with straigth apple juice. Pour pickling packet on the top. Set on low for 8 hours. AWESOME!!! Take it out and put the cabbage in for an hour. I have had 80+ women exclaim it’s the best brisket they have every eaten!
Michael: Lori: thanks for sharing that one. Corned beef is a good candidate for the slow cooker. Some people think that you have to make more than you need and have too much leftover. I love cold sandwiches or Reuben’s with the leftovers.
Family Circle: Here is our recipe for slow cooker corned beef.
Patricia: Mistake … not browning hamburger before adding to crock pot. Yuck the color and texture were awful.
Michael: Patricia: what was the recipe? A meat sauce for pasta, chili or meatloaf usually work out well with no browning.
Becky: Coming home after a long day only to realize I forget to turn it on! Lol!!
Debbi: Leaving my husband in charge of turning it on.
Patricia: It was a beef soup.
Missy: Not using enough liquid while cooking on high and it dried to a crisp! Learned my lesson! Love using my crock pot!
Julie: Noodle meals in the crock-pot…yuck. Either too soggy or not done enough. Can’t ever get it just right!
Family Circle: Thanks for joining our weekly Slow Cooker Chat, everyone! Please come back again next week from 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday to talk more with our associate food editor and slow cooking expert Michael Tyrrell. PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE TIME CHANGE for next week’s chat—it will be held 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET. Thanks for participating! Happy slow cooking!
Join us on our Facebook page next Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EST for another Slow Cooker Chat.
Check out these links for more slow cooker recipes:
Jennifer Moncayo is web assistant for FamilyCircle.com.