ONLINE EXTRA — SLOW-COOKING MAGIC: Rubbed Brisket . . . Slow-Cooker Bouillabaise . . . Shredded Chicken Ragu with Pasta, etc.
By: Herald Staff Report,
2 tablespoons ground dry mustard
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder or chili powder (see note)
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika, preferably hot
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground anise seed
1 tablespoon ground ginger
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
1 (5-pound) beef brisket (see note)
2 large yellow onions, diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 head garlic, unpeeled, cut in half horizontally
Combine dry mustard, thyme, chili powder, coriander, paprika, cumin, anise, ginger and brown sugar in a small bowl.
Salt and pepper the brisket on both sides. Rub the brisket with a little olive oil. Generously coat the brisket on all sides with the rub.
Place onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a 6-quart or larger slow cooker. Place the brisket, fat side up, on top of the vegetables. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
Transfer the brisket to a cutting board or platter, cover loosely and let cool completely before trimming off fat and slicing.
Strain the drippings through a fine-mesh strainer into a storage container. Discard vegetables. Cover and refrigerate the drippings until the fat rises to the top and hardens. Remove and discard the fat. The remaining drippings can be heated and served as a sauce with the sliced brisket. Cooked brisket can be wrapped well and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. To reheat, place sliced brisket and strained drippings into a casserole or large oven-safe pot and cover. Reheat in 300-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
Yield: Serves 10.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving with defatted drippings: 520 calories, 22 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 105 milligrams cholesterol, 74 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams sugar, 1 gram fiber, 120 milligrams sodium, 65 milligrams calcium.
Note: If using regular chili powder, add ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper for heat, if desired. Warehouse stores are the best source of large briskets such as the one called for in this recipe.
2 cups chopped, peeled and seeded fresh tomatoes or chopped canned tomatoes
3 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 large fennel bulb, chopped, green tops trimmed and feathery leaves chopped and reserved
1 medium leek, trimmed, well-washed and sliced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (see note)
¼ teaspoon hot smoked paprika or ground red (cayenne) pepper
1 pinch saffron threads, crumbled
4 cups water
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup bottled clam juice
1 pound boneless, skinless fish fillets, such as halibut, grouper or monkfish
8 ounces sea scallops
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
6 small hard-shell clams, soaked and scrubbed (optional)
1 small loaf French bread, sliced and toasted
Rouille (recipe follows)
Combine tomatoes, carrots, celery, fennel and leek in a large slow cooker. Add tomato paste, herbes de Provence, paprika, saffron and salt to taste. Add water, wine and clam juice. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or until the vegetables are tender.
Cut fish into bite-size chunks and stir into the soup with sea scallops, shrimp and clams (if using). Cover and cook for 30 minutes more. Taste; adjust seasonings if necessary.
Place a slice of bread into each soup dish. Add bouillabaise; sprinkle with fennel fronds. Serve hot with a spoonful of rouille on top. Pass the remaining bread and rouille at the table.
Yield: Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving (without bread or rouille): 250 calories, 3 grams (no saturated), 100 milligrams cholesterol, 34 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams sugar, 4 grams fiber, 325 milligrams sodium, 110 milligrams calcium.
Note: Herbes de Provence is a spice mixture available in the dried spice aisle of some supermarkets and at specialty stores. Typical ingredients include some combination of thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, basil, fennel seeds and lavender.
¼ cup roasted red bell peppers
1 clove garlic, peeled
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 pinch smoked hot paprika or ground red (cayenne) pepper
In a blender or food processor, finely chop red peppers and garlic together.
Add mayonnaise, oil, lemon juice and paprika; process until smooth. Serve immediately with bouillabaisse or other dishes or refrigerate in a covered jar for up to 2 days.
Yield: About ¾ cup.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving tablespoon: 80 calories, 9 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 3 milligrams cholesterol, no protein, no carbohydrate, no sugar, no fiber, 50 milligrams sodium, no calcium.
Shredded Chicken Ragu with Pasta
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 fresh basil sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 5-ounce skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat (see tester’s note)
4 cups hot cooked whole-wheat rotini
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Combine tomatoes, onion, basil, garlic, bay leaf, salt and pepper in a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Nestle the chicken in the vegetables. Cover and cook on low until chicken is cooked through, about 4 to 6 hours. Discard basil sprigs and bay leaf.
With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a cutting board. With two forks, shred chicken. Discard bones. Return chicken to slow cooker along with rotini; toss until mixed well. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 329 calories, 5 grams fat (2 grams saturated), 29 milligrams cholesterol, 20 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, 10 grams sugar, 5 grams fiber, 561 milligrams sodium, 166 milligrams calcium.
Note: For a meatier dish, use up to 4 chicken thighs. Each additional thigh will add 26 calories, 1 gram of fat and 3 grams of protein per serving.
6 large dried ancho chilies
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin seed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons honey
4 slices bacon, chopped
3 links spicy smoked sausage (such as andouille) cut into bite-size pieces
2 pounds boneless chuck roast, cut in 1-inch pieces
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
1 cup beer, such as an IPA or a Mexican lager
2 cans kidney beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 cup beef broth
½ cup strong black coffee
Soak ancho chilies in enough boiling water to cover them, at least 30 minutes, up to 4 hours; drain, reserving 1 cup soaking liquid. Place chilies, reserved soaking liquid, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and honey in a blender; blend until smooth.
Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy and fat is rendered; transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain. Add sausages to skillet; cook until edges are slightly crispy. Transfer to plate to drain; discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet.
Add beef to skillet in batches; cook, turning, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a slow cooker along with sausages and bacon. Cook onions in the skillet in batches until tender; transfer to slow cooker. Pour beer into the skillet; heat over medium-high heat, stirring up any brown bits. Add to the slow cooker along with chili puree, beans, tomatoes, broth and coffee. Cook on low until beef is falling-apart tender. (Alternately, use a Dutch oven, as before.)
Try it with sharp Cheddar cheese, raw chopped onion, chopped avocado.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10.
3½ pounds tomatillos, husked, rinsed, halved
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2½ pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
Freshly ground pepper
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 poblano chilies, roasted, diced small
2 cups chicken stock
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss half the tomatillos with 2 tablespoons olive oil and ¼ teaspoon salt; place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 45 minutes. Meanwhile, puree remaining tomatillos in food processor; reserve 1 ½ cups puree in a bowl. Add roasted tomatillos to processor; pulse until slightly chunky.
Season pork with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet; brown pork in batches. Transfer to a slow cooker. Add onions and jalapenos to skillet; cook until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 minute.
Put onions, jalapenos, garlic, poblanos, roasted tomatillos and chicken stock in the slow cooker. Cook on low until pork is falling-apart tender, about 6 hours. Add reserved tomatillo puree to pot; stir to incorporate. (Alternately, cook the chili in a Dutch oven on low until meat is tender, 2 hours or longer.)
Try it with fresh cilantro, queso fresco.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10.
Slow-Cooker Garlic Chicken
3 pounds chicken pieces, bone and skin on, patted dry
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, peeled, halved
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup pearl couscous
Chopped fresh parsley, for serving
Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. In batches, cook chicken, skin side down, until skin is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Turn and brown on second side about 5 minutes.
Combine onion, garlic and thyme in a 5- to 6- quart slow- cooker and season with salt and pepper. Top with chicken, skin side up, in a tight layer.
In a small bowl, whisk together wine and flour until smooth and add to slow cooker. Cover and cook on high until chicken is tender, about 3 ½ hours (or 7 hours on low). Cook couscous according to package instructions. Serve chicken and sauce over couscous, sprinkled with parsley.
Note: If desired, marinate the chicken several hours or overnight before cooking in a mix of crushed garlic, Italian seasoning, sugar, red wine vinegar and olive oil.
Yield: Serves 4.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 686 calories, 39 percent of calories from fat, 28 grams fat (7 grams saturated), 36 grams carbohydrates, 60 grams protein, 175 milligrams sodium, 167 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams fiber.
Slow-Cooker Pineapple Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
½ cup plus 3 tablespoons all purpose flour, divided use
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 boneless skinless chicken breast, halved
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks
1 10¾-ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
6 ounces pineapple juice
¼ pound mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon freshly grated orange peel
Combine ½ cup flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, onion powder and black pepper in a bowl. Thoroughly coat chicken pieces with flour mixture. Place sweet potatoes on the bottom of a slow cooker, then pour pineapple chunks with juice over the potatoes. Top with the floured chicken pieces.
Combine soup, pineapple juice and remaining 3 tablespoons of flour, brown sugar and orange peel in a medium bowl. Stir well. Pour soup mixture over chicken and then top with the sliced mushrooms.
Cover; cook on low setting eight to 10 hours or on high setting for three to four hours.
Yield: Serves 6.
Basic Corned Beef
1 corned beef brisket (about 4 pounds), trimmed of fat if needed
12 ounces beer, optional
Rinse the corned beef and place in a slow cooker. If the meat is too big to lie flat, cut it in half and stack it. Add water just to cover. Add spices from spice packet, or you can add a bay leaf, a few peppercorns and whole allspice berries and some mustard seeds. Cover and cook on the low setting for 9 to 11 hours or on high setting for 4½ hours or until fork-tender throughout.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 465 calories, 32 percent of calories from fat, 16 grams fat (6 grams saturated), no carbohydrates, 75 grams protein, 126 milligrams sodium, 156 milligrams cholesterol, no fiber.
3 medium eggplants, unpeeled, cubed (about 12 cups)
2 medium yellow or red onions, peeled, finely chopped
1 piece (4 inches) ginger, peeled, grated or finely chopped
12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 to 8 green Thai or serrano chilies, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon each: cumin seeds, red chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
Put all ingredients, except oil into a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker.
Drizzle oil over everything; mix thoroughly.
Cook on low, 5 hours. If eggplant begins to look dry while cooking, drizzle a little more oil into the slow cooker.
Serve with roti, naan or rice.
Yield: Serves 8.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 171 calories, 49 percent of calories from fat, 10 grams fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 20 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams protein, 1,172 milligrams sodium, 10 grams fiber.