Category Archives: Murderous Mains

Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

 

Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

I’m still reeling from last night’s crazy Oscars!  I took a risk and voted for Moonlight, so when the La La Land win was overturned I was jumping with joy!  Not only was this film so deserving of Best Pic, but Moonlight was the winning point on my ballot and I won the pool at my annual Oscar party.  I love thinking up thematic foods for each film – and I made this Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo for Moonlight.  Everyone loved this traditional Latin American chicken and rice fiesta.  A winning dish for a winning film!

Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo- for the full Oscar night menu

When I watched Moonlight, I knew that Arroz Con Pollo would be the best dish to represent this beautiful film. There is a moving scene involving the main character, Chiron when he visits his childhood friend, Kevin.  Kevin works in a diner and insists that Chiron try the Chef’s Special: Arroz Con Pollo.  You’ll have to watch the film to see how the rest of the scene plays out!

Typically, a roasted chicken leg rests overtop a mountain of Spanish rice.  However, since I was using a crock pot, I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which work better for slow cooking. As for the other ingredients, they’re pretty straightforward.  The yellow saffron Spanish rice I found at the local Metro grocery store, no problem.

A healthy, super easy dish to make, this slow cooker recipe is ideal for a family-style dinner, or if you have a baby shower on the day of a big party!  Tender, shredded chicken is nestled among the slightly smoky, tomato infused saffron rice and sweet vegetables.  Serve with lime wedges and hot sauce for a bit more kick, along with some plain yogurt to cool your dancing tastebuds.

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Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

This delicious Latin America rice and chicken dish can be made in the slow cooker. Light, fluffy saffron rice soaks up the flavours of the vegetables and chicken. Reminisce about the Oscar winning movie Moonlight as you make Kevin's "Chef's Special" for someone you love!
Course Events and Holidays, Healthy, Main Dish, Poultry, Slow Cooker
Cuisine Latin American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 15 minutes
Servings 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 8 Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil I use avocado oil for cooking, but olive oil is fine too!
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper stem and seeds removed, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 28oz can low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen vegetables a mixed bag with peas, carrots and corn works well
  • 1 8 oz box yellow saffron Spanish rice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 handful fresh parsely chopped
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt for serving
  • 1 lime sliced into wedges for serving
  • hot sauce

Instructions

  1. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and red pepper and saute until vegetables have softened and are lightly browned, around 8-10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup of broth, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer to slow cooker.
  4. Add chicken, remaining broth, diced tomatoes, frozen vegetables, bay leaves, oregano and salt. Coat evenly with vegetable mixture. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
  5. At the 6 hour mark (or 2 hour mark on high) add rice to slow cooker and stir well.
  6. Top with fresh parsely. Serve with lime wedges, yogurt and hot sauce on the side.

Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

Moonlight Slow Cooker Arroz Con Pollo

What did you make for your Oscar party?  Have you seen Moonlight?  What did you think of the scene featuring Arroz Con Pollo?

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac & Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Let’s here it for Mac & Cheese Slow Cooker Chili!

<<crowd roars>>

It’s Superbowl time!

<<crickets>>

OK, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a big football fan. I never really watched football until I met my current boyfriend and I still don’t follow the sport. But I do like to put on my cute Argos hat and go to a live game once and awhile. Live sporting events are always fun, and I even won a years worth of pizza once!

But I digress.

Every year I help my boyfriend throw a Superbowl party, and in return, he helps me with my annual Oscar Party (with minimal complaints). Personally, I love any excuse for a thematic party!

Cantaloupe helmets anyone?

We’ve done the epic dip stadium, pretzel bits, wings, thematic shooters and of course, the classic chili. But I had yet to attempt a mac and cheese chili. I had read about merging these two awesome dishes together in my Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook so I decided to use my go-to chili recipe and slow cook it, mac and cheese-style!

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

 One tip I picked up from America’s Test Kitchen is to mix the raw meat with a panade, a mixture of bread and milk often used in meatballs. This way you can still brown the meat ahead of time to develop the flavour, but prevents it from overcooking in the slow cooker. Also, it helps to line your slow cooker with aluminum foil for thick dishes such as this, to prevent burning.

My fave chili recipe evolved from a Weight Watchers recipe that uses turkey.  Healthy and light it has been my go-to recipe for years.  But I knew I had to use beef for a mac and cheese Superbowl chili, so what to do?  Well, I recently learned a secret from my boyfriend’s Italian grandmother.  I could never figure out how she made such light and flavourful meatballs, cabbage rolls and lasagna.  The answer was so simple, she uses beef AND chicken!  I would never have thought to mix together red meat and poultry.  So I decided this would be the perfect opportunity to test out this combination.  I think this Mac and Cheese Chili would make Nonna proud!   

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Red, green and jalapeño peppers join forces to add a light, sweet crunch. There is a good dose of heat from the chilis as well as hints of cocoa and a splash of beer to give the tomato sauce some added richness. I used Daiya cheddar cheese because my poor boyfriend is lactose intolerant. I find this brand really holds up nicely when melted, blending in with the pasta and holding the whole meaty dish together.

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Let’s dive in shall we?

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Oh YES! This Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili is a tower of epic cheesy proportions. One spoon cannot even handle all the mac and cheese chili action that is happening. Packed full of juicy meat and macaroni, swimming in rich tomato sauce and spice, this is a meal fit for a king, or a group of hungry football fans. The best part is that it only takes two hours in the slow cooker!  This crazy delicious marriage of our two favourite comfort foods is super filling, and the leftovers are perfect to freeze for a later date.

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 slice of sandwich bread, ripped into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion minced
  • 1 red pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 green pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed, seeded and finely minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 x 398ml can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 x 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
  • 1 pound (454g box) elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup strong, dark beer or stout
  • 2 x 227g packages (2 cups) shredded Daiya cheddar cheese
  • crusty bread & butter for serving

Instructions

  1. Line slow cooker with aluminum foil sheets and coat with vegetable spray, this will prevent the mac and cheese from burning.
  2. Make a panade by mashing the bread and almond milk into a paste in a large bowl using a fork. Using your hands, mix in the beef, turkey, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, bell peppers, japaleno, garlic, chili powder, tomato paste, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes. Soften until lightly browned approximately 5 minutes, stirring frequently scraping up any browned bits.
  4. Stir in the beef and turkey mixture, breaking up any large piece with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes and cocoa powder. Simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in macaroni, broth, beer and cheese and transfer to prepared slow cooker. Cover and cook until pasta is tender, about 2 hours on high.
  6. Gently stir pasta, adding some hot water if the chili seems too thick. Season with salt and pepper and serve with some toasted, buttered crusty bread on the side.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/02/06/mac-cheese-slow-cooker-chili/

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Mac and Cheese Slow Cooker Chili

Our Super Bowl party was really fun, I even tied for second place for the prop bet and I had no idea what I was doing! We also made Brunswick stew in honour of Atlanta and some skillet corn bread for New England. I also found this recipe for football deviled eggs courtesy of My Mommy Style. So cute!

Football Deviled Eggs

Football Deviled Eggs

Also check out these awesome cupcakes that my friend made!

The highlight for me was Lady Gaga, I’ve always loved her and this performance was no exception. I feel as though she really took advantage of the platform and maximized the whole space from the skies, to the crowd to her big dance troop. I loved all the glitz and glam of her set. The power of her voice is amazing, especially with the physical intensity of the show. It’s funny and sad how everyone nowadays seems so shocked when an artist doesn’t lip sync.

I had decided to root for New England, so after the nail biting overtime I cheered in victory! A winning team with champion Super Bowl party food. My work here is done!

What did you make for your Super Bowl party?  Have you ever made a mac and cheese slow cooker chili?

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

I think January is my least favourite month, it’s the only month with nothing fun to look forward to.  The high from the holiday season is over as we all get back into our daily grind.  The days are still short, with gloomy clouds and rare sunny days.  Over the years I’ve noticed a significant change in my mood in January, and I think I have mild seasonal affective disorder, or winter depression.  Heading south for a week of sun is the ultimate cure, but if that’s not possible, I retreat to my kitchen and cook up a storm.  One of my favourite comfort dishes to make is this Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping.

This twist on a traditional Shepherd’s pie is my go-to recipe for a cozy winter dinner party. Filled with delightfully rich, savory flavours that are guaranteed to impress.  This dish can be made a few days in advance, making a weeknight dinner a breeze! Adding Worcestershire sauce and gherkins to this pie was a tip that I picked up from Gordon Ramsay. I absolutely loved the addition of the Worchestershire sauce to the pie.  The sauce adds more depth to the flavour of the meat, a bit of a sweet fermented kick.  Using gherkins in the pie also really tickled my taste buds, their sweet crunchiness cutting through the fatty richness of the lamb.  Over the years this recipe has morphed into the ultimate Shepherd’s pie, and is packed full of some of my favourite ingredients.

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

I adore lamb, and am always looking for ways to use lamb instead of beef.  Besides being so tasty, lamb is also a great source of iron, zinc and B vitamins.  I also combined sweet potato with yellow potatoes for a healthier pie topping.  Sweet potato is an excellent source of Vitamin A, potassium and dietary fibers – something we all need after all that holiday eating!  I also made the pie topping with almond milk, as my boyfriend is lactose intolerant, but if you can find cashew milk that’s even better because it’s a bit creamier.   Finally, I added some liquid smoke to give an element of smokiness to the meat, but this is optional.

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

My dad is of British descent and fully appreciates a hearty meat and potatoes meal.  He loved my take on Shepherd’s pie (but I guess your parents are supposed to say that, no matter what age!).  Also, I’m sure that I inherited my love of pickled foods from him.  The gherkins cut through the rich mince while the generous topping of potatoes is light, fluffy and slightly sweet.  This Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping is a spin on a classic British pub dish with some healthy substitutions.  If you’re feeling blue this January, call up some family or friends for an impromptu dinner party.  This hearty Shepherd’s pie is a wonderful way to warm up the soul on a cold January evening.

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Prep Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 6 large portions

Calories per serving: 387

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Ingredients

    For the filling:
  • 900g lean ground lamb
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 x large carrots, peeled finely diced
  • 3 x garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 ¼ cup red cooking wine
  • 1 cup low sodium beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 x sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 6 x sweet gherkins, finely chopped + extra for serving
  • sea salt and ground black pepper
  • liquid smoke (optional)
  • For the potato topping
  • 2 x medium yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 x medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk or cashew milk
  • 2 x large egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 6 x sprigs of parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes in salted water for 15-20 minutes until a knife can easily pass through the potato. Drain well, and return potatoes to the hot pot over low heat to dry out briefly.
  2. Heat a large sauté pan over medium high heat.
  3. Sauté lamb until lightly browned. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl lined with paper towel.
  4. Lower heat to medium and add 1-2 teaspoons olive oil as needed to the lamb fat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot and garlic and cook until the vegetables soften and start to brown.
  5. Add the flour and tomato puree, stirring for another minute.
  6. Working quickly, add red wine and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to remove the browned bits. Simmer until reduced by half.
  7. Pour in the beef stock and bring back to a simmer.
  8. Return the meat to the pan and add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme and rosemary. Season with salt, pepper and a few drops of liquid smoke. Turn down the heat to low and loosely cover the pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every once and awhile until the sauce has thickened.
  9. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350C.
  10. Bake sweet potatoes in the microwave on the potato setting until soft.
  11. Press yellow potatoes through a ricer and into a large bowl. Using oven mitts and a large spoon, remove sweet potatoes and their juices from their skins and add to the bowl.
  12. Mix in butter, almond milk and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  13. Add the chopped gherkins to the meat mixture and spoon into a 2.3L oven proof dish.
  14. Using a large spoon, top with sweet potato mixture by carefully spooning in large dollops over meat, slowly covering the entire surface. Sprinkle some paprika over top.
  15. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes start to brown and the sauce begins to bubble around the sides.
  16. Serve with parsley and extra gherkins.

Notes

Can be made in 1-2 days in advance.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/01/09/lamb-sweet-potato-shepherds-pie/

Lamb Shepherd's Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

Do you suffer from SAD?  What comfort food makes you happy?  I hope this recipe for Lamb Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping lifts your spirits this winter!