Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Spud's Choice Hot Noggin Sauce

     First, a couple clarifications. We did NOT give any hot sauce to our The Spud. Also, for those who like to needlessly panic, that's a sweet red banana pepper on her noggin'. We know better than to handle our little tater with hot peppery hands. To review: No Spuds were harmed in the making of this sauce. This particular sauce came about as an attempt to use up surplus peppers. I chose only red colored peppers since that was what I had the most of. I ended up with what can best be described as a sriracha variant. The sauce starts sweet and a bit garlicky, then you get a serious punch of heat that quickly levels off before slowly fading. Much like sriracha, I see this being a multipurpose sauce, topping everything from eggs to meats. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Spud's Choice
Hot Noggin Sauce
(yields just shy of 3 half pint jars)
  • 1 cup cayenne peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup red jalapeno or Serrano peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup bird or Thai peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup red banana peppers, stemmed and roughly chopped
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons seasoning salt
  1. Load peppers and garlic into a food processor. Blend until a thick paste (the peppers, not you)
  2. Dump the peppers into a nonreactive pot. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate.
  3. Place on medium-high heat and bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly.
  4. If you plan to use the sauce right away, you're done. It will keep in the fridge for a couple weeks. If you plan to can the sauce, proceed to the next step.
  5. Load sauce into 1/2 pint jars, leaving about 1/4" headspace. Seal with a 2 piece lid. Place in boiling water bath for 12 minutes. Remove to wire rack to cool. As always, make sure to refer to the National Center for Home Food Preservation for useful tips on how not to accidentally poison your friends and family.
Good times!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding

     I've been cooking some pretty unsightly food of late. This particular recipe is no exception. Granted, rice pudding isn't much to look at even on a good day, so I've got that going for me. I have always been a huge fan of rice pudding, and once I made some changes, it was exactly how I remembered it as a kid. If you've got a rice cooker, this recipe is super easy. Cook the rice, mix in the other ingredients, and done. I'm pleased with the addition of sweetened condensed milk. I think without it, this would not have been sweet enough and we would have had vaguely coconut flavored mushy rice. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Slow Cooker Rice Pudding
via Slow Cooker Magic in Minutes

  • 2 cups water 
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
  • (if you're using a rice cooker, you only need one cup of water and one cup of rice. You can omit the butter and salt)
  • 18 ounces of evaporated milk (we only had 12 ounce cans, so we used one of those)
  • 14 ounces cream of coconut (nope. We used a 14 ounce can of coconut milk instead)
  • 1/2 can (7 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (you can also use regular old raisins. Nobody will notice or care)
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • peel of 2 limes (omitted, we used 1 tablespoon of Rose's Lime Juice)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • toasted shredded coconut (optional) 
  1. Place water, rice, butter and salt in medium saucepan. Bring to rolling boil over high heat, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 10 -12 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand five minutes.
    (I just pissed this step off entirely. I ignored the butter and salt and just threw 1 cup each of rice and water into my rice cooker and wandered off for 20 minutes)
  2. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add milk, coconut liquid of choice, raisins, egg yolks, lime and vanilla. Mix. Throw in the rice and mix it all together.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW 4 hours. Stir every 30 minutes (it's not the end of the world if you can't. You just may get a couple crunchy spots at the bottom)
Good times!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Slow Cooker Greek Style Chicken

     I'm going to tell you right now: this is not a pretty looking recipe. Reviewing the photograph, it's actually pretty fucking horrifying. Fortunately, if you can get past the visual, it's really quite a tasty meal. Is it truly authentic Greek? Hell no. It has oregano. I think the whole "Greek" theme falls apart after that. Look, it's tasty and super easy to make. Just look at a picture of something nice while you eat it. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Slow Cooker Greek Style Chicken
via Fix It and Forget It Lightly

  • 6 medium sized potatoes, quartered
  • 3 lbs chicken pieces, skin removed
  • 2 large onions, quartered (this is a shit-ton of onions. We went with a single onion, cut into sixths)
  • 1 whole bulb garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tsp salt (omitted, we used 1 teaspoon Spice House Pilsen Seasoning)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Load potatoes in bottom of slow cooker. Add chicken, onions and garlic.
  2. In a small bowl, mix water with oregano and spices.
  3. Pour over chicken and drizzle oil over the top.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours
Good times!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken In Rich Tomato Sauce

     Often, while I am perusing my slow-cooker cookbooks, I come across a recipe that sounds interesting. Then I make a bunch of changes and shrug my shoulders at the mediocre results. This time, I was really pleasantly surprised, as was The Wife. The sauce was really rich and had a nice tang. It was really nice over pasta. This was crazy easy to make and was declared a winner. As always, notes and changes are in blue.

Slow Cooker Chicken
in Rich Tomato Sauce

via Slow Cooker Magic in Minutes

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-1/2 pounds chicken pieces (we used leg and thigh quarters because I found them for 39 cents a pound. What a deal!)
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms (omitted. I used 1 can (about 3-4 ounces) sliced Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes (omitted. I used a 24 ounce can of pasta sauce with mushrooms)
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 1/4 cup red wine (omitted. I'm not wasting good booze here. I used 1/4 cup red wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  1. In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat and brown the chicken. (Get that skin nice and crispy since it's going in the slow cooker. Otherwise it's going to get really soft and unpleasant looking. Honestly, you're probably better off just taking the skin off the chicken. I don't even know why people insist on leaving the skin on chicken in the slow cooker. Feel free to just chuck the de-skinned chicken right in the slow cooker.)
  2. Mix all the other ingredients up in a big bowl. Pour over the chicken.
  3. Cook on HIGH for 5-6 hours. 
  4. Serve over rice or pasta. 
Good times!