Archive for the 'slow cooker' Category

Chicken Sausage, Butternut Squash & Apple Chili

squash apple chili Chicken Sausage, Butternut Squash & Apple Chili

Guys! I dunno.. my paper wall calendar says it’s October. I think it might be broken.

We still have no kitchen.. our makeshift dining room kitchen now has a slow cooker and an electric skillet, which take turns on the chair closest to the one electrical outlet that is currently occupied by the microwave and coffee machine.

Apples are in, butternut squash is in.. and sausage is always in. This is something you can chop on a rolling cart and make in a slow cooker – even without a kitchen.

Update soon! Promise.

Chicken Sausage, Butternut Squash & Apple Chili

canola oil, for cooking
1 onion, chopped
3 fresh chicken-apple sausages
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 Tbsp. chili powder
4 cups (1 L) chicken stock
1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
1 19 oz. (540 mL) can white kidney beans or chickpeas
1 Tbsp. butter or oil
1 tart apple, diced

In a medium pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion for 4-5 minutes, until soft. Squeeze the sausage out of its casing into the pan and cook it, breaking it up with a spoon, until it’s no longer pink. Add the garlic and chili powder and cook for another minute or two.

Add the chicken stock and stir to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the squash and bring to a simmer; cook for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is tender. Stir in the beans. (Alternatively, toss the lot into a slow cooker and turn it on low for 8 hours.)

In a small skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat and saute the apple for a few minutes, turning until golden and caramelized. Stir into the chili before serving.

Serves 6.

button print gry20 Chicken Sausage, Butternut Squash & Apple Chili

October 01 2014 | beans and slow cooker and stews & braises | 17 Comments »

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

slow cooker mac cheese 1 Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

We’re taking turns catching colds around here. As I write this I’m wrapped in a blanket with a stiff neck (my mom keeps telling me to wrap a wool sock around it, like my grandad did, and I just might) and a mug of warm lemonade (yes!), sneezing approximately every 3 minutes, my face fixed with that expression you get when you’re just about to sneeze. (This cold is such a cliché.) We’re anticipating a high of -19 tomorrow, not that we’ll likely leave the house anyway after getting up at 5 to watch the gold medal hockey game. My ambitious plan is to make doughnuts and bellinis – or perhaps fizzy wine smoothies – and plenty of coffee. But later in the day, when everyone is cold and sleepy and huddled on the couch to catch the last of the Olympics, a batch of mac & cheese will be in the slow cooker. Oh yes it will. I wish it was in there now.

Slow cooker mac collage 1 Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

The first time I made this was back in late December, when some friends threw a house party and asked me to bring slow cooker mac & cheese. I have not had good experience with slow cooker mac & cheese in the past, and I debated cheating and making a regular batch of mac & cheese and bringing it in a slow cooker to keep warm. But I love the idea of a gooey, extra cheesy mac & cheese done in the slow cooker – it’s something that should work well, and there should be no need to have to precook the pasta – its starch should contribute to the thickening of the sauce and all that. It should work. And its success should not rely on a can of condensed cheddar cheese soup.

Also: I need crispy bits.

slow cooker mac collage 2 Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

Mostly when I make mac & cheese I cook the noodles while simultaneously turning butter and flour into a paste to which I add milk and cook to thicken (or if you want to get fancy about it, make béchamel with a roux) and add big handfuls of grated old cheddar to melt. But this macaroni with lots of cheese went about things differently, amalgamating pasta, butter, milk and cheese into one delicious unit, rather than dousing cooked noodles with cheese sauce. A variation worked in the slow cooker – huzzah! I used up half a cheese ball from our Christmas party, which was really just grated cheese and cream cheese anyway, but if you don’t happen to have half a leftover cheese ball, cream cheese will work just fine. And there will be crispy bits aplenty.

slow cooker mac cheese 6 Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

And while it was meant for the kids at the aforementioned party, the adults devoured it and asked for the recipe, and I’ve made it twice since. Soon to be three times.

Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

1 lb (450 g) elbow macaroni, uncooked (41/2 cups)
1 – 1½ lb (454-750 g) old cheddar cheese, grated
one 8oz (250 g) pkg cream cheese, cut into chunks
4 cups (1 L) 2 % milk
salt and pepper
pinch freshly grated nutmeg (optional)

Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker; cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, removing the lid to give it a stir about once an hour.

Serve warm. Serves 8-10.

pixel Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese
button print gry20 Slow Cooker Mac & Cheese

February 22 2014 | one dish and pasta and slow cooker | 22 Comments »

« Prev - Next »