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Slow-Cooked Bell Peppers with Bay Leaves and Oregano

Slow-Cooked Bell Peppers with Bay Leaves and Oregano


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Bell peppers get sweet and silky when they slow-roast. Then use them to top ricotta toast, or serve as a hands-off side, or chop them up and mix into your lunch bowl.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. any color bell peppers, halved, seeds and ribs removed
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Recipe Preparation

  • Place a rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°. Toss bell peppers, garlic, oregano, bay leaves, oil, and salt in a shallow 2-qt. baking dish to combine.

  • Turn garlic cut side down, then roast vegetables, tossing 2 or 3 times, until golden brown, very tender, and edges are crisp, 80–90 minutes. Let cool slightly, then add vinegar and toss to coat.

Reviews SectionThese are TOO good. I add more sherry vinegar, but otherwise this is perfect.VikaBellaQueens, NY05/03/20

Ropa Vieja

Jump to Recipe

Ropa Vieja is a stew consisting of shredded beef in a tomato sauce base with plenty of vegetables like bell peppers, olives, and onions. It’s rich and full of flavor, and wonderfully tender when made in a slow cooker. Ropa Vieja is the national dish of Cuba!


Italian Beef

This classic Chicago sandwich has been around since the early 1900s. It has of course changed slightly over the years and it is incredibly easy to make it at home. While you may enjoy it while having lunch out at classic Chicago establishments, there’s nothing like homemade Italian beef.

The traditional sandwich uses thin slices of beef that are slow-cooked in seasonings and au jus and then served up on a hoagie roll. You can either dip the whole sandwich in the au jus or serve some on the side. I personally believe that big slow-cooked pieces of meat lend to a meatier more delicious filling sandwich.


35 Simple Slow-Cooker Meals Every Guy Can Make

To most guys, a one-step meal is a microwaved Hot Pocket or frozen pizza—but that’s all about to change. With these healthy one-step recipes, you simply drop your favorite protein and veggies into a slow cooker in the morning, press “cook,” and come home at night to a hot, juicy chicken banquet or robust meatball stew. (Don’t have a slow cooker? Try Cuisinart’s 3-in-1 Cook Central Multi Cooker, which also lets you brown meats and sauté or steam vegetables, and has an auto “keep warm” mode so food’s still hot when you get home.)

These guilt-free dishes are packed with rich flavors but contain not an ounce of butter, cream, or fake processed food—so calories stay low while nutrients soar. There’s never been an easier—or healthier—home-cooked meal. Sorry, microwave, it was fun while it lasted.

All of the following recipes come from author and superfoods enthusiast Don Orwell’s One Pot Cookbook.

Orwell’s top tips:

1. The longer food cooks, the more intense its flavors become.
2. To speed up the week’s prep, shop for and chop up a week’s worth of ingredients and put them into separate zip-top bags for freezing. First toss in the main veggies (celery, carrots, onions, leeks, garlic, ginger) and some salt and pepper. Next, add your protein, including beans if you’re using them. Finally, add seasonal veggies like cauliflower, green beans, broccoli, and red and yellow bell peppers.

Meatballs with White Beans

Makes: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients
1 (26–32 oz) bag frozen meatballs
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 sprig dried thyme
1 (15 oz) can white navy beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups beef stock
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch parsley, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
Salt and pepper

Directions
Add all ingredients to Crock-Pot. Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Lemon Roast Chicken

Makes: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients
5 lbs whole chicken, skin removed
2-3 cups diced carrots, turnips, or parsnips
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp minced garlic
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup water
3 sprigs rosemary
3 tbsp lemon juice (for a stronger flavor, add when cooking’s done)
Salt and pepper

Directions
Add all ingredients to Crock-Pot. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours.

Slow-Cooked Pork Loin

Makes: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients
11/2 lbs pork loin
1 cup tomato sauce
2 zucchini, sliced
1 head cauliflower
1-2 tbsp dried basil
Salt and pepper

Directions
Add all ingredients to Crock-Pot. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours.

Italian Beef Soup

Makes: 6 Servings

Ingredients
1 pound minced beef
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups beef broth
A few large tomatoes
1 cup sliced carrots
2 cups raw beans
2 small zucchini, cubed
2 cups spinach – rinsed and torn
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Directions
Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Kale, White Bean, Pork Soup

Makes: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients
2 tbsp. each extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. jalapeno hot sauce
2 pounds bone-in pork chops
1 tsp. salt
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups diced tomatoes
2 cups raw white beans
6 cups packed kale

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook for 8 hours on low.

Chicken Winter Soup

Makes: 6 Servings

Ingredients
2 pounds chicken pieces with skin on
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. minced ginger
3 bay leaves
6 cups water
½ cup sliced parsley
½ cup sliced cilantro
2 cups sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup sliced spring onions
2 cups sliced onions
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt

Directions
Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Pot Roast Soup

Makes: 6 Servings

Ingredients
1 pound leftover pot roast
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp. minced ginger
5 cups beef broth
2 sliced tomatoes
1 cup julienned carrots
2 cups julienned zucchini
1 cup green peas
1/4 cups chopped parsley
1 cup sliced onions
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. salt

Directions
Put all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Vegetarian Chili

Makes: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients
1 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 tbsp. chili powder
1-1/2 cups chopped mushrooms
3 cups chopped tomatoes
2 cups raw kidney beans
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons crushed basil leaves

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Superfoods Chili

Makes: 6 Servings

Ingredients
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
3/4 pound beef sirloin, cubed
2cups diced tomatoes
1 cup strong brewed coffee
1cup tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. salt
6 cups cooked kidney beans
4 fresh hot chili peppers, chopped

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Chicken Cacciatore

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
4 pounds of chicken thighs, with skin on
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1 sliced onion
1/3 cup red wine
1 sliced red or green bell pepper
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
2 sliced garlic cloves
3 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. dry thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 tbsp. fresh parsley

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Beef Stew with Peas and Carrots

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1-1/2 cups green peas
4 cups beef stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
4 pounds boneless chuck roast

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

Green Chicken Stew

Makes: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup chopped celery stalks
1 cup sliced leeks
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1-1/2 cups green peas
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
4 pounds boneless skinless chicken pieces

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Chicken, Mushroom & Olive Stew

Makes: 6 Servings

Ingredients
4 pounds chicken with skin on
1-1/2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 cup black olives
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh parsley

Directions
Put all ingredients in the crockpot, cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Ratatouille

Makes: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients
2 large eggplants, sliced
2 medium onions, sliced
2 red or green peppers, sliced
4 large tomatoes, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 tbsp. fresh basil
Salt and freshly milled black pepper

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Beef Stew with Red Beans

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
3 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 lb lean cubed stewing beef
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. ground turmeric (optional)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional)
2 1/2 cups water
5 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp. snipped chives
2 cups cooked kidney beans
1 lemon, juice of
1 tbsp. almond flour
salt and black pepper

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Beef Bourguignon

Makes: 8-10 Servings

Ingredients
4 pounds cubed lean beef
1 cup red wine
1/3 cup coconut oil or olive oil
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. black pepper
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, diced
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup almond flour

Directions
Marinate beef in wine, oil, thyme and pepper for few hours at room temperature or 6-8 hours in the fridge. Add beef with marinade and all other ingredients to a Crock-Pot. Cook on low for 7-9 hours.

Italian Chicken

Makes: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients
1 skinless chicken, cut into pieces
1/4 cup almond flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 zucchini, sliced into medium pieces
ground black pepper
parsley to garnish

Directions
Season chicken with 1 tsp. salt. Combine flour, pepper, remaining salt, and paprika. Coat chicken pieces with this mixture. Place zucchini first in a crockpot. Pour broth over zucchini. Arrange chicken on top. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or until tender. Turn control to high, add mushrooms, cover, and cook on high for additional 10-15 minutes. Garnish with parsley and ground black pepper.

Pork, Zucchini, Tomato & Corn Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups cooked corn
1 cup chopped onions
1-1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1-1/2 cups chopped tomato
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
4 pounds cubed pork

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Beef Ratatouille

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1-1/2 cups sliced zucchini
1 cup chopped onions
1-1/2 cups sliced eggplant
1-1/2 cups sliced red peppers (or tomato)
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
4 pounds cubed beef

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Mediterranean Crock-Pot Turkey Roast

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1/2 cup Kalamata olives
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
1 cup chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
4 pounds turkey breast
Thyme, salt and ground black pepper to taste

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Chicken, Black Bean & Brown Rice Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
1 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup uncooked black beans
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
4 cups chicken stock
4 pounds chicken breast meat cut into strips

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Beef, Leeks & Mushrooms Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cups chopped carrots
1 cup chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup chopped leeks
Salt & ground black pepper to taste
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup sliced tomatoes
4 pounds beef meat cut into strips

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Chicken & Brown Rice Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cups brown rice
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup chopped carrot
Salt, ground black pepper, and ground cumin to taste
4 cups chicken stock
4 pounds chicken pieces with skin on
½ cup chopped parsley and 8 kalamata olives

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Chicken, Garlic & Tomato Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
3 cups tomatoes
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 garlic clove, cut across
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
1 tbsp. minced garlic
4 pounds chicken breast meat cut into strips

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Slow-Cooked Red Peppers, Zucchini and Eggplant

Makes: 4 Servings

Ingredients
2 chopped carrots
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cup sliced red peppers
4 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano
2 pounds sliced eggplant
1 cup tomato paste

Directions
Put all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours.

Beef, Eggplant, Celery & Peppers Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1 cup cubed eggplant
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup sliced celery
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup sliced red peppers
4 pounds beef meat cut into strips

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Venison & Green Peas Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cups green peas
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
1 cup chopped carrot
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
2 cups beef stock
4 pounds venison meat

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Beef, Cauliflower & Carrot Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cup chopped carrots
2 cups chopped red onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
2 cups cauliflower florets
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
2 cups beef stock
4 pounds cubed beef meat

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Slow-Cooked Pork & Leeks

Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
2 cups chopped carrot
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
3 cups chopped leeks
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
2 cups beef stock
4 pounds cubed pork meat

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Italian-Style Beef

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cups red peppers, sliced
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
2 cups beef stock
4 pounds beef chuck (rump) roast
2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp. chopped garlic, 1 tsp. oregano, dried basil and dried parsley each (optional)

Instructions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours.

Mustard Chicken

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped leeks
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
Salt, ground black pepper
2 tbsp. mustard seeds (white and brown or black seeds)
1 cup chicken stock (3 cups if adding optional rice)
4 pounds cubed chicken meat
1 cup brown rice (optional). Rice will soak some liquid.

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Oxtail Stew

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cups broccoli
1 cup green beans
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 cups beef stock
2 cups tomato paste
4 pounds oxtail cut into 2-inch chunks

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours.

Osso Bucco (Veal) with Shredded Veggies

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cups shredded carrots
2 cups chopped leeks
2 cups chopped celery
Salt, ground black pepper to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 cups beef stock
1 cup white wine
4 pounds veal (osso bucco)

Directions
Mix all veggies and spices and put half at the bottom of the slow cooker dish. Put osso bucco on top, add the rest of the mix and pour liquid. Cover, and cook on low for 9 hours.

Tuscan Pork & White Beans

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
1 cup tomatoes, sliced
2 cups chopped onions
2 cups kale or spinach
2 cups dry navy beans
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
Salt, ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp. chopped garlic
2 cups beef stock
2 cups water
4 pounds pork shoulder meat

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 9 hours.

Slow-Cooked Carnitas

Makes: 8 Servings

Ingredients
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
Salt, ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds pork shoulder
2 pounds pork neck
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (to taste)
2 tbsp. minced garlic.
1 tbsp. ground cumin.

Directions
Put ingredients in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

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Authentic Ropa Vieja Recipe

After making and taste-testing Ropa Vieja several times, Ava also mentioned that no matter how I changed the recipe, the Cuban version they ate was always more intense in flavor, and a little bit dry or crispy.

We decided this is because they usually make it ahead, so the beef has (potentially) several days to soak up the spices.

They also, warm up the Ropa Vieja on a hot griddle before serving, so the sauce dries up and the beef shreds get a little crispy around the edges, similar to traditional carnitas.

When we tried this method, our recipe tasted even more authentic.

However, we feel it’s just as delicious fresh and saucy. So you can enjoy it immediately after cooking. Or you can let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days then reheat it in a skillet.


How To Make Ropa Vieja In The Crockpot

This easy Cuban recipe benefits in flavor from browning the beef before adding it to the slow cooker. No worries, you can easily do this while you are prepping your veggies. The flavors developed from searing the meat far outweighs the 10 minutes spent on this easy task. If you have an Instant Pot with a slow cooker setting, you can brown the meat directly in the pot.

  • Cut the flank steak in 2 or 3 pieces so it can fit comfortably in the slow cooker then, season the beef with salt and ground black pepper.
  • Heat oil in a skillet and brown the beef on both sides. Transfer the meat to a plate.
  • Heat some additional oil and saute the onions and peppers. Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
  • Place the carrots and celery at the bottom of the crock pot, then top with half of the bell peppers and onions. Place the seared flank steak on top of the vegetables and finish by placing the rest of the onions and peppers on top of the beef.
  • Pour the the wine, broth, tomatoes and seasonings into the slow cooker and gently mix it to combine. Cover and cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  • Remove the beef from the slow cooker and shred the meat into thin and long shreds Return the meat to the crock pot, add the olives, parley or cilantro and season to taste. Cook on low for an additional 20 minutes.

No. Although very similar, pimento peppers come from a smaller, roundish, almost heart shaped sweet red pepper that is very mild and sweet in flavor. Each pepper is about 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide. They are commonly harvested and canned or bottled.

Ropa Vieja is usually served with white rice. Other traditional Cuban side dishes served alongside this tasty stew are maduros (fried sweet plantains) and black beans.

Absolutely! Make Instant Pot Ropa Vieja in a fraction of the time. Detailed instructions in the recipe card below.


Slow-cooked red beans bring the South home

Red beans, cooked all day (or overnight) in the slow cooker make a simple yet tasty meal when served over rice. It reminds me of a years-ago trip to New Orleans.

Red beans get a quick rinse before they go into the slow cooker for the day. Slow cooking them means you can skip the step of soaking them for hours before cooking.

The holy trinity of Cajun cooking is a variation of the classic mirepoix of celery, onions and carrots. In the Cajun version, you use celery, onion and bell peppers. Typically the peppers are green, but I like a mix of green and red in these slow-cooker red beans.

Garlic is a boost to the flavors of the holy trinity in this slow-cooker version of red beans and rice. I sometimes use fresh garlic, finely chopped. I sometimes use a few cubes of the frozen, crushed garlic.

Bay leaves, a member of the laurel family, are added to the pot when making these slow-cooked red beans. The leaves should be fished out prior to serving. Even after they are cooked, dried bay leaves can remain stiff to the point that they can scratch someone's throat or digestive tract if swallowed.

Creole seasoning can be added to your taste. I start with one tablespoon of Tony Cachere's seasoning in this large batch of red beans. Then, if needed, I add more after the beans are cooked. Since I am using this and ham or ham hocks in the beans, I skip adding any extra salt.

Red beans and rice are garnished with sliced green onions. Hot sauce is an option to add at the table, as are tiny hot peppers such as these Tabasco peppers. The combination of the beans and rice is a simple, yet filling meal.

For years I resisted making beans at home for a meal. It just felt like not enough somehow. Not fancy enough or special enough. Not enough going on in the dish to make it a real meal.

Then I went to New Orleans about 10 years ago and had my first bowl of red beans and rice. A simple, soulful dish that changed my mind about the humble legume.

I ended up eating red beans and rice many more times over the course of that week. Each place I had it, the dish was slightly different, but no less satisfying. Every time it just seemed like a dish that was made slowly and with so much heart.

And when I got home from the vacation, I searched for a place with such a dish, one that would live up to my memories. I did not have much luck. To be honest, one of the better versions of it was found at Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen. But not really knowing at that time about the sodium content and calorie count and the like, I was leery of eating them too often.

Turns out, it was easier to just make them myself. At least then I would know exactly what was in the pot. But a giant pot of beans for one was just too much. So I continued to resist making them on a regular basis.

Enter the Man and the toddler, and suddenly I have help in polishing of a pot of red beans. And my kid is a huge fan of beans. Which I love, since beans are so good for us: high in antioxidants, fiber, iron and so many other great things.

White beans, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans. Hot or cold, he likes beans. And he loves the version of red beans and rice I make in the slow cooker.

Flavored with a little Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning, garlic and some ham hocks, the beans also get great authentic flavor from the Cajun holy trinity of celery, onion and bell peppers. Since I am not a huge fan of green bells, I mix in some red peppers to balance that flavor. The peppers and onions and celery cook down in the 8 to 10 hours this is going, while the beans retain the right about of bite yet are still soft and silky.

The ham hocks add a layer of smokiness. This inexpensive cut of pork does not come with much meat, but there is a lot of flavor to be had when you cook them for hours like this. If you are up to it, you can let them cook then pick out any little bits of meat and add it back into the pot before serving. But if you are not, just fish them out and discard them.

I was up to it, saving every little morsel I could find.

This is one of those recipes where you put all the ingredients in the pot, add in some blind faith, then let it go for 8 to 10 hours. Once it is done, give it a stir and serve it over steamed rice with some sliced green onions and a little dash of Tabasco sauce or the like.

It really does not get much easier than that.

And with a big ol’ pot of beans to dip into for at least a couple meals, it means a little vacation from cooking.

Slow-cooked Louisiana red beans

Time: 20 minutes prep, 8 to 10 hours cooking

  • 1 pound dried red beans or red kidney beans
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning or similar
  • 2 ham hocks or 1 cup cubed ham
  • 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 6 to 8 cups hot, cooked rice

Serve with: thinly sliced green onions Tabasco pepper sauce or similar small hot peppers such as pickled Tabasco peppers.

Combine beans, red and green bell peppers, onion, celery, garlic, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and Creole seasoning in the slow cooker. Stir to combine.

If using ham hocks, nestle them down into the mixture. If using cubed ham, stir that in with the mixture.

Cover with 7 cups low-sodium chicken broth. Cook on low heat setting for 8 to 10 hours. Once cooked, stir well to combine.

Remove bay leaves before serving. If using ham hocks, remove before serving. Season to taste with more Creole seasoning if needed.

To serve, put desired amount of rice in a bowl, ladle beans over the rice then garnish with sliced green onions. Serve with hot sauce and/or pickled peppers if using.

Cook’s note: While on that New Orleans vacation, I took a cooking class. The chef said that he rarely used water in cooking. He reasoned that water generally dilutes the flavor. He prefers to use broth (or in some cases beer or wine) in place of water. So I use low-sodium chicken broth instead of water in my bean recipe. You could use water, but I am not sure how that would change the flavor.


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When thinking of summer vegetables, squash and zucchini are probably at the top of the list. But, cucumbers are abundant too and we think they deserve the same spotlight. While they are technically a fruit, for cooking many consider them and treat them like a veggie. From a classic cucumber, tomato, and onion salad to [&hellip]

21 Easy Grilling Recipes

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Are you looking to do something special for dad this year? Why not take over the grilling duty and prepare an outstanding meal. From the main course to dessert, any of these 21 easy grilling recipes will make a dynamite dinner for dad.


Ingredients

2 lbs beef top round or stew meat, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 sour oranges (or 2 oranges and 2 lemons), juiced

1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 Tbsp smoked mustard (*If you can&rsquot find smoked mustard, coarse Dijon works, too)

5 Tbsp olive oil, separated

fresh ground black pepper

1 green bell pepper coarsely diced

1 red bell pepper, coarsely diced

1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

2 lbs small white-skinned potatoes, halved

1 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1 Tbsp of a spice mix involving salt, ground black pepper, garlic powder, coriander, cumin, oregano and annatto seeds. (Sound complicated? Sazón Goya is ready-mixed.)


Slow-Cooked Bell Peppers with Bay Leaves and Oregano - Recipes

Few dishes embody tradition quite like a hearty Cuban Arroz con Pollo , which directly translates to “chicken with rice”, but is so much more than that! This is one of those foods that often stands out as a “ abuela ’s favorite,” and each household has their own twist to the recipe.

Arroz con Pollo traces its lineage back to the Spanish colonization of Latin America, which brought rice to the region. As a result, many Latin countries have their own version of Arroz con Pollo . The Cuban way of preparing it has a lot of seasonings and ingredients, but it isn’t spicy.

Arroz con Pollo can turn any meal into a special occasion!

Chicken Marinade:

  • Mix ½ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon. red wine vinegar, ½ cup water, 1 garlic clove, 1 tablespoon. Sazón , and a pinch of salt, pepper, cumin and oregano.
  • Marinate chicken overnight if possible, otherwise at least for one hour.

Arroz con Pollo :

  • Brown chicken in ¼ cup of olive oil over medium heat for about 15 minutes and reserve.
  • In the same oil over medium heat, sauté onion, bell pepper, and garlic until onions become translucent. Add tomato and capers at this time and continue cooking for about 5 additional minutes.
  • Mix in bay leaves, and tomato sauce. Also add in 2 tablespoons of Sazón , 1/2 teaspoon of salt, ½ teaspoon of pepper, 1½ teaspoons of cumin, and 1½ teaspoons of oregano.
  • Add chicken broth and ¼ cup of beer into pot. Stir in the uncooked rice.
  • Bring this all to a boil and then reduce heat to low. Cover for 25 minutes.
  • Uncover pot and mix well. Add the frozen peas.
  • Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Uncover and taste rice to make sure that it is tender. If not, mix and cover.
  • Once rice is cooked, garnish with chopped cilantro and roasted red peppers.

TIP: At this point, remove the chicken from the bone and cut it up to make it easier to eat (or leave on the bone if you prefer).


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