Tag Archives: crockpot

recipe: super-lazy coconut-lime curry chicken

24 Mar

This is almost laughable, as recipes go: four indispensable ingredients and a few optional ones. But I make it pretty often, and my family likes it. This Thai-inspired dish is very quick and easy, which makes it a good choice when I leave dinner to the last minute. It also goes well in the slow cooker, and most of the ingredients are things that I usually have on hand.

It is most delicious if you use all of the ingredients, but I don’t scorn it if I don’t have everything. And no, I don’t know why it’s called a curry–it hasn’t got any of the spices in it that I associate with curry.

Ingredients:
* chicken (I usually use two boneless, skinless breasts or a package of chicken thighs–bone-in is even more delicious)
* one onion, diced
* two or three cloves of minced or pressed garlic
* 2 cans of coconut milk (I recommend Trader Joe’s light coconut milk, which has a great flavor and is fairly healthy)
* juice from two limes, or the equivalent in bottled lime juice if you must
* a few shakes of fish sauce
* the zest from your limes

garnishes (use any or all):
* sliced hot peppers (I like Serrano, but any kind works)
* chopped cilantro
* chopped green onions
* chopped peanuts

You can make do with just chicken, onion, coconut milk, and lime, if that’s all you’ve got on hand. It’s not terribly interesting that way, but it’s still tasty and sort of comfort food-y.

Spray a heavy pot with cooking spray and cook the onions and chicken in it. If you’re using boneless, skinless chicken, you may want to dice that, too–it’ll cook more quickly and evenly. When it’s almost done, add the garlic.

When the chicken is cooked through, pour in the remaining ingredients (except garnishes) and cook until hot.

Serve over rice or some other delicious whole grain and top with garnishes.

If you would rather have soup, just add a few cups of chicken broth and ditch the rice. Voila–soup.

If you are in more of a seafood sort of mood, this is also good with shrimp instead of chicken.

If you want to put it in the slow cooker, just toss everything in together (except the garnishes) and cook until the chicken is completely cooked (in my slow cooker that’s about 4 hours on high, but yours may vary). If the chicken is frozen, your slow cooker can handle it–just add some cooking time.

staple: beans in the Crock Pot

9 Nov

I always used to buy canned beans, because I had never had any luck cooking dry beans. They’re cheaper, and salt-free…but they never turned out, so I gave up.

Finally, though, I figured out the best way to cook them: the Crock Pot! I do a whole 16-oz bag at a time, and then I use what I need (usually half) and freeze the rest, ready to be pulled out and used as conveniently as canned beans.

Here’s what I do. This works for any long-cooking bean: black, pinto, white, red. Lentils, though, are a different post altogether.

* Pick over the beans to remove any gravel or anything else that’s gotten into them. Frankly, I almost never find anything; the only time I’ve encountered gravel is in lentils, which don’t need special soaking or cooking.

* Pour them into a pot and soak for several hours in cold water. Don’t use hot water; they’ll turn sour and smell like the end of the world (ask me how I know).

* Drain and rinse the beans.

* Put into Crock Pot. Add water to cover them, plus at least an inch or two. Depending on what you’re planning to do with these beans, you could also use stock. I often throw in a chopped onion, but that’s because I put onions in everything.

* Cook until tender. That’s it! The timing can vary depending on how hard-core your Crock Pot is. I usually put it on “high” and it only takes about 2-3 hours, but my Crock Pot means business. My old crock took at least 6 hours to cook them; however, there’s a reason I have a new one. Just check them every hour after the first 2 hours, and write down how long it takes so that you can plan for next time.