Category Archives: Slow Cooker Scares

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 make an aluminum foil collar or sling for thick dishes such as this, to prevent burning.

My favourite chili recipe has evolved over the years, and uses the winning combination of beef and pork. 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, and there is no shortage of oozing cheese, as you can see from the photo below.

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 medium ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 onions 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 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • ½ of a 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder
  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup low sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup strong, dark beer
  • 2 cups shredded Daiya cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Line slow cooker with 6 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 and pork, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon.
  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 approx. 8-10 min.
  4. Stir in the beef and pork mixture, breaking up any large piece with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in crushed and diced tomatoes, honey and cocoa powder. Stir frequently scraping up any brown bits, and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in macaroni, broth, beer, 1 cup cheese and transfer to prepared slow cooker. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, 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 hot sauce on the side.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2017/02/06/mac-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?

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb may sound contradictory but when you’ve forgotten to defrost your meat the night before, and 2pm rolls around, you no longer have 6-8 hours of slow cooking time.  Not to worry, you can still achieve tender, juicy lamb and have dinner ready by the time you come home.

Speedy Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder

Slow cooked lamb & root vegetable bowl

I’ve recently started to buy boneless lamb leg from Costco.  One $30 leg makes about 8 meals, a really good deal!  I split the leg in two and froze the other half for a later date.  The first time I made lamb in the slow cooker I had it on low for 3 hours and 1 hour on high and the leg came out a flavourful and juicy.  For the second half of the leg, I reversed the process and cooked the lamb for 4 hours on high and 1 hour on low and the result was very different.  The leg fell apart into tender strands and chunks, and my mouth watered as I pulled the meat apart.  I added different root vegetables each time, they give another layer of flavour and are nice and soft after being cooked in lamb juice.  Squash, potatoes, parsnips –  you can’t go wrong!  

Pulled lamb taco with peach salsa, guacamole and hot banana peppers & onions

Pulled lamb taco with peach salsa, guacamole and hot banana peppers & onions

The pulled lamb was so versatile!  We used the meat for tacos on Taco Tuesday and in a carb-free root vegetable bowl.  I plan to blend the remaining vegetables with my canned tomatoes and add the leftover meat to make a lamb ragu sauce – stay tuned for those photos!

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

51

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Speedy Slow Cooked Lamb

Ingredients

  • Boneless leg of lamb (depending on the size of your slow cooker) approx 3 pounds
  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • 4 garlic cloves, trimmed and peeled
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 2 tablespoon fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 2 pounds root vegetables scrubbed and chopped into 1 inch cubes
  • ½ cup low sodium beef broth
  • (I've used various combinations of sweet potato, yellow potato, parsnips and butternut squash)

Instructions

  1. Heat a large cast iron pan on medium high heat.
  2. Rub lamb with 1 tablespoon olive oil and a sprinkling of salt & pepper. Using tongs, sear each side for 30 seconds. Remove lamb and place on plastic cutting board. Deglaze the pan with ¼ cup of red wine.
  3. In a food processor, combine garlic, lemon zest, olive oil, ½ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon ground pepper, mint and rosemary. Process and spread paste over lamb, making sure to get into all the little crevices.
  4. Place lamb in slow cooker along with sauce from the deglazed pan, root vegetables, beef broth and ½ cup of red wine.
  5. Cook on high for 4 hours, then for 1 hour on low.
  6. Remove lamb from slow cooker and let sit for 10 minutes before serving. Pull apart using a carving fork. Using a slotted spoon, remove root vegetables.
  7. Reserve juice for gravies or for cooking quinoa.
  8. Serve lamb alongside root vegetables or in a taco.
  9. Root vegetables can be blended into a tomato sauce for a lamb ragu.

Notes

I leave the skin on the root vegetables to add flavour to the lamb, with the exception of the butternut squash which has to be peeled.

http://iseehungrypeople.net/2016/10/31/speedy-slow-cooked-lamb/

Speedy Slow Cooker Lamb Shoulder

Slow cooked lamb and root vegetable bowl

Cooking lamb in the slow cooker is a delicious meal to make on a winter’s eve.  There is nothing more comforting then walking in from the cold and being greeted by the smell of savory lamb, all ready to be served!

What is your favourite meal to make in a slow cooker? 

American’s Test Kitchen’s Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Growing up, my mother would often serve Habitant Pea Soup and this was always one of my favourite lunches. Every so often, I have a craving for pea soup so when I found a recipe in my America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook I was all over recreating my favourite childhood soup.

I picked up a ham hock from the local butcher and had some delicious leftover ham steaks from Thanksgiving. I shredded and cubed the ham a bit thicker than the recipe and the result was everything I dreamed of and more. Chunky salty pieces of ham swimming in a creamy, smoky split pea soup; the perfect comfort food to warm your soul on a chilly fall evening.

American’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 9 hours

Total Time: 9 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

American’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons minced fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pound green split peas (2 cups ), picked over and rinsed
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 smoked ham hock, rinsed
  • 8 ounces ham steak cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. In a medium microwave safe bowl, microwave the onions, garlic, oil, thyme and red pepper flakes, stirring occasionally until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Stir broth, water, split peas, carrots, and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Place ham hock in slow cooker and cover. Cook 9-11 hours on low or 5-7 hours on high until peas are soft and tender.
  3. Remove ham hock and shred. Discard skin, bone and bay leaves. Allow soup to settle for 5 minutes then skim fat from the surface with a large spoon.
  4. Stir in shredded ham hock and steak, cover and cook on high until heated through for about 15 minutes. Stir in lemon juice, season with salt and pepper to taste.
http://iseehungrypeople.net/2015/10/26/slow-cooker-split-pea-soup/