Mexican Crock-Pot Night

Mexican Crockpot Night

I’m excited to be talking about crock-pot meals this week. As moms trying to manage the dinner prep hour, having a good repertoire of crock-pot meals is essential.

But I don’t have a good repertoire. I have a few tried and true recipes that I reuse constantly. One of the reasons I’m excited about this week’s theme is that I was hoping to hear back from you all about your favorite crock-pot recipes! We are definitely in a rut around here.

So what do I do in the crock-pot? A lot of mexican. Like, a LOT of mexican. My favorite is chicken tacos, which my sister-in-law showed me last year. It’s super easy: you put boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the crockpot. Add a jar of salsa. Add water, just to cover. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, then shred with a fork. It makes such yummy taco fillings. To finish out dinner, warm up corn tortillas on a griddle, and assemble all your favorite toppings, including this yummy salsa recipe.  I take this same idea and use if for a variety of meats: pork butt, chuck roast. These types of roasts need a lot more time on low, but all that means for me is putting in the crock-pot after breakfast, instead of after lunch with the chicken. I also use a variation on this for our family’s rice-and-beans night, but you’ll have to wait till another post for that one.

However, a theme week on crock-pot meals would not be complete without a nod to my amazing rice cooker. This was a gift from my mother a couple years ago, and it is worth its weight in gold. It is programmable, with different settings for different foods. In our house, it should actually be called an oatmeal cooker, because I fill it with steel-cut oats almost every night, program it for 7, and wake up to hot cooked oatmeal. It’s amazing. Amazing. And, I even use it for rice occasionally. Oatmeal and rice can get boring, so my mother also gave me this book, which has tons and tons of different suggestions for using your rice cooker. While I haven’t tried that many, my favorite was adding cooked rice to my morning oatmeal, making more of a porridge. While is sounds pretty gross, it wasn’t. It was yummy.

So, now you’ve heard a couple of my cook-ahead secrets. I’d love to hear yours!

 

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2 Responses to Mexican Crock-Pot Night

  1. Elsa says:

    I adore my rice cooker too, ad I recently got a new one (kid pulled our old faithful off the counter and the lid snapped off) that has a slow-cooker function! I really like it, but there is a learning curve because it doesn’t have high and low settings, just a timer. Short times = higher temps; long times = lower temps.

    I like to experiment with the slow cooker and things that aren’t really fix-it-and-forget-it, like

    -Asian style dishes where the meat and hard veggies cook for a while and then I throw pea pods/asparagus/broccoli on top to steam for the last 30 minutes or so.

    -noodle dishes, with dry noodles cooked directly in a sauce. These usually need stirring to cook evenly and definitely can’t cook for 8 hours!

    -baking. I’ve done bread a number of times. The texture of the crust is odd, but when it is 120 degrees, it’s better than turning on the oven. I’d like to try steamed cakes/puddings, and cheesecake.

    -pre-cooking components for other meals, like caramelized onions or “baked” potatoes or steamed chicken breasts (great for chicken salad) or cooked dried beans to use or freeze. I’ve even used it to brown big batches of ground beef to then freeze for throwing together quick meals.

    • Anna says:

      Thanks for the tips, Elsa! Pretty much every recipe that you’ve given me has been amazing. I made a big batch of your Director’s Choice dressing this week, and everybody is loving it 🙂

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