Sunday, August 12, 2007

Recycled food... not bad, either

Our crockpot rocks, occasionally. I like putting in all the food at one time and eating when we get the impulse. Frozen, boneless, skinless chicken breasts will cook to doneness on low heat in eight hours, but also to dryness. The recipes all say that you can cook them for six hours on high but I never did that until a couple of days ago.

I layered veggies in the pot, then layered the frozen chicken, sprinkling with spices of choice as each layer went in. Lastly, I used drained mushrooms, two cans of soup, (one cream of chicken w/herbs and one regular cream of chicken, with one water refill for each can) pouring the mix over the top of the layers. Then, we waited six hours, while the high setting did its work.

The chicken, when I took it out of the crock, was just as we like it and was moist. The most interesting result was that the veggies smelled like the best chicken and dumplings, without the dumplings.

We did have some Dreamfields elbow macaroni, though. So, while the chicken rested outside the crockpot, I added a box of macaroni and some boiling water for the pasta to absorb and let the high setting work for 20 minutes more. It was really a winner. But, it gets better.

Next day, we had a huge volume of the veggie mixture
left over, Recycle time. One can of cream of mushroom soup with a can of milk went into a wok-shaped skillet to heat. Adding a cup (more likely it was nearly two cups, I didn't measure) of grated parmesian cheese to the hot soup I stirred until everything was hot through. Then it was mixed it into the cold, leftover veggie with elbows. I chopped the two leftover chicken breasts into it, too. All of this went into a wide, shallow casserole dish which had been liberally sprayed with Pam.

The fridge yielded some no-fat (American) cheese slices along with some garlic/cheese croutons that had been pounded to crumbs and saved for who knows what.

The experimental mixture, topped with the cheese slices, baked at 350 for 30 minutes and then I rotated it in the oven and added the crumbs. Another 20 minutes and it was bubbly with a crusty top.

I have to say, I have never been good at making up recipes on the fly, although sometimes substitutions work out okay.

This was really different on the second day and it didn't feel like eating leftovers. J and I are having leftover-leftovers tonight and really looking forward to it.

I know I mentioned it before, but Dreamfields pasta does not elevate blood sugar. Thanks again to Zeta and M for turning us on to that information.


Big Ed said...

Despite the leftovers I ate out at Sports Grille today, Sunday. See, I went out with friends and decided I did not want leftovers. The idea for the made up recipe tasted good and all yesterday, but there is nothing like eating out.

Zeta said...

The Sports Grille is a nice change and the cooks get an evening off from the kitchen. Left overs simmered on the slow setting of the crock-pot also gives the cooks a feeling of time off since several hours must pass before the food is ready to eat. Broccoli Casserole is a recipe handed down to me from Ranger and is sssoooo good. The smell of the casserole reminds me of Christmas and allows me to remember family gatherings. The crock-pot is a life saver to me since everyone in the household arrives home at different intervals. There is warm food for everyone; including employees who wander inside our home from A.’s work. How can they smell the crock-pot from six houses away, or maybe, word of mouth? HUMMmmm.

ol Doc said...

Rignt now, the only one who might use the crock-pot would be T. And he's thinking it's better to pressure cook than take a chance on burning the house down with an all day plugged in cooking session. P'rhaps when I retire, we'll take a stab at using ours and will greatly appreciate any notes passed along from Ranger!

RANGER said...

O1 Doc, This site:

says that the crock pot uses as much electricity as a 75 watt light bulb does in 8 hours.

It also recommends buying a crock pot cook book. The internet has so many good recipes or instructions for basic crock pot cooking that I would skip the book and use the 'net, instead.

Just go and Google "crock pot recipes" and Bob's your uncle. Which is true, no?.

Copy and paste the URL as all one thing, no spaces. It didn't fit here so I had to use a line break to make it *wrap*. Ah, so.

Zeta said...

This is my favorite recipe for crock-pot cooking.

Onions entered on top of roast
A little H20 on the bottom
Favorite seasoning mixed in water and spread on top of entire mixture as well.

Sometimes, I like to brown the side of the roast in a frying pan if I wish to have a the roast a little tougher than normal.

ol Doc said...

Thanks! If Bob's not my Uncle, then Jim is! Chester. Harry.....

Big Ed said...

I stand corrected, there is nothing like eating out of a crock pot. o1 Doc you don't know what your missing.

RANGER said...

Nice try E. Smokey barbeque wings from the Sports Grille versus crock pot chicken.

I know where you'll be eating!

Zeta said...

Hummmm, toss up.

ol Doc said...

Actually, those smokey wings do sound kind of - interesting. Very interesting. Could you adapt a recipe for a crockpot and let the meat almost fall off the bones and the smoke flavor sink in?
Argh, Matey!

Big Ed said...

Yes, smokey bbq wings done in a crockpot. Couldn't that be done, it would be the best of both worlds. Yeah! That's the ticket!

ol Doc said...

Right now, I can taste those wings. Those chickens living out behind our house had better look out or they might be flapping some stubby little appendages, when I catch them!

RANGER said...

Mmmm, really fresh chicken wings. Maybe yummy rooster wings? If you get the feathers off, I'll get out the crockpot.

Big Ed said...

You got a deal. Chicken wings in a crock-pot, never would have thought that one up. Next, we'll be using an Ostrich.

Zeta said...

OK all of you have been busy cooking up a storm. What time do we eat?