dinner ideas http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7093/all en-US 9 Restaurant Dishes You Can Make at Home http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-dishes-you-can-make-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-restaurant-dishes-you-can-make-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-3956248-small.jpg" alt="cooking" title="cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don&rsquo;t you love dining out? The combination of delicious food, fun atmosphere, and no dishes to clean is great. The cost, however, can stretch or ruin your food budget. (See also: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-twinkies-and-other-secret-recipes-by-the-food-cloner-dude">Make Your Own Twinkies and Other Secret Recipes by the Food Cloner Dude</a>)</p> <p>I know what sorts of things I want to eat when I go out, but I wondered what answer I would get most often from coworkers and friends. If they wanted to save money by making their restaurant favorites at home, what would they choose? I decided to conduct an informal poll. The response I received most often? (Drum roll&hellip;) Steak!</p> <h2>1. Home Steakhouse Steak</h2> <p>As my friend Nancy put it, &quot;When I go out to dinner, I want a steak, a baked potato with all the goodies, and a tossed green salad.&quot;</p> <p>But, you may wonder &mdash; how do you save money, if your tastes run to steak? Fortunately, Linsey Knerl of Wise Bread <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-of-personal-finance-roundup-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steak-into-gucci-prime-steak">found a fantastic how-to,</a> using cheaper cuts of steak, over at <a target="_blank" href="http://www.steamykitchen.com/163-how-to-turn-cheap-choice-steaks-into-gucci-prime-steaks.html">Steamy Kitchen</a>.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: Baked potatoes with sour cream, bacon bits, and green onion; and tossed green salad.</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap:</strong> Resist the impulse to buy a bag of salad and cut up your own salad greens.</p> <h2>2. Su Casa Mexicana</h2> <p>According to my very scientific poll, another favorite for dining out is Mexican food. Now, as much as I love the food at a particular Mexican chain restaurant, I could go without hearing their overly peppy &quot;Happy Birthday&quot; song for the rest of my life. My husband, though, misses the fajitas. The good news is that <a target="_blank" href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/steak_fajitas/">fajitas are really easy to make</a> and you don&rsquo;t have to wear a huge sombrero at home.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: Tortillas, beans, and rice.</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap:</strong> Try it with a <a target="_blank" href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-lagasse/watermelon-margaritas-recipe/index.html">homemade margarita</a>!</p> <h2>3. At-Home Pad Thai</h2> <p>Tonight for dinner <a target="_blank" href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pad-thai-2/">we are having Pad Thai</a>, one of my restaurant favorites. Fish sauce, an important ingredient, sounds strange &mdash; but don&rsquo;t leave it out! If you do not have rice noodles, you can substitute vermicelli. I am making ours with shrimp. Pork and tofu work equally well.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: <a target="_blank" href="http://thaifood.about.com/od/thaisnacks/r/cucumbersalad.htm">Cucumber salad</a> is a must.</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap</strong>: Frozen shrimp can be a bargain. If you cook and clean it yourself, you will get further savings.</p> <h2>4. Chinese Stay-In</h2> <p>Another crowd favorite is Chinese food. Although Chinese food will rarely break the bank, you will still save money it you make it at home. I love <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/restaurant-style-beef-and-broccoli/">Beef with Broccoli,</a> which goes together quickly. My friend MZ loves <a target="_blank" href="http://deep-fried.food.com/recipe/general-tsos-chicken-164706">General Tso's Chicken</a>. It is pretty spicy, so be careful with those peppers!</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: Rice, orange sections, and of course, fortune cookies!</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap</strong>: If beef is not on sale, try thinly-sliced pork or chicken breast. Both are delicious in this recipe.</p> <h2>5. Your Italian Kitchen</h2> <p>My husband loves Italian food, but that&rsquo;s not exactly a hot commodity here in the tropics. I can handle basic spaghetti and lasagna, but when I learned how to make <a target="_blank" href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-marsala/">Chicken Marsala</a>, he was pretty happy.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: Buttered egg noodles and steamed zucchini go well with this.</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap</strong>: Watch for Marsala wine to go on sale. I over-paid the other day ($13).</p> <h2>6. Sushi Rolls</h2> <p>Many of my coworkers love sushi, but they thought it would be too much trouble to make at home. <a target="_blank" href="http://makemysushi.com/index.php/How-to-make-sushi/maki-roll.html">It really isn't</a>.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: Edamame (boiled soybeans) go nicely, and they are very easy to make, if you can boil water. Look for them in the freezer section of your grocery store.</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap</strong>: Try a tuna (canned, with spicy mayo) or vegetarian roll.</p> <h2>7. Comforting Katsu</h2> <p>A favorite &quot;fusion&quot; (Japanese /Hawaiian) food we like to order when we're out is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.food.com/recipe/hawaiian-chicken-katsu-232042">Chicken Katsu</a>.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: This is a very popular item where I live and usually served with rice, macaroni-potato salad, and a tossed green salad. Talk about a stick-to-your-ribs meal!</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap</strong>: I buy frozen <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-to-do-with-chicken-leg-quarters">chicken thighs</a>, which are less expensive. There is no noticeable difference between fresh and frozen here, as far as I can tell.</p> <h2>8. Summer-at-Home Rolls</h2> <p>If you have not tried Vietnamese food, I predict you will love its crispness and use of fresh herbs. I never feel bad after I eat it &mdash; it is more like I have done something good for my health.</p> <p>I will admit it takes practice to <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chow.com/recipes/10641-vietnamese-style-summer-rolls-with-peanut-sauce">roll a summer roll</a>. M mine are never pretty, but they taste great.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: Peanut sauce (recipe included in the link above). Of course, I could eat an old shoe if you put peanut sauce on it.</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap</strong>: I like shrimp in my summer rolls, but again, I use frozen shrimp, which I clean and cook.</p> <h2>9. Faux Pho Ga</h2> <p>Another favorite Vietnamese recipe of my friends is <a target="_blank" href="http://www.cruelironing.com/1/post/2012/01/feed-a-cold.html">Pho Ga</a>, which is a Southeast Asian take on chicken soup.</p> <p>Pho is not only delicious, but it has an added benefit &mdash; it makes you feel much better if you have a cold! I thought I was original in this discovery until I went to our local Vietnamese restaurant and ordered a bowl. The person at the counter said, &quot;Are you getting a cold?&quot; As it turns out, people flock there at the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-and-natural-ways-to-fight-the-cold-and-flu">first sign of a sore throat</a>. I try to keep the ingredients on hand so that I can whip up a batch.</p> <p><strong>Accompaniments</strong>: Fresh mint, basil, and green onions; Sriracha sauce. Don&rsquo;t be afraid of the Sriracha sauce. You only need a few drops.</p> <p><strong>Keep it cheap</strong>: Learn how to make your own chicken broth at home and freeze it in quart bags.</p> <p>So there you have it, restaurant meals, at home. Light some candles, set the table, and enjoy your dinner in &mdash; and the savings that go with.</p> <p><em>What favorite restaurant dishes do you prepare at home?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-restaurant-dishes-you-can-make-at-home" class="sharethis-link" title="9 Restaurant Dishes You Can Make at Home" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink affordable DIY recipes dining in dinner ideas restaurant recipes Thu, 09 May 2013 10:36:31 +0000 Marla Walters 973891 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Tasty 5-Ingredient Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-5-ingredient-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-tasty-5-ingredient-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/cooking-4073433-small.jpg" alt="cooking" title="cooking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I love to cook. But it can become a chore &mdash; and one that takes all the joy out of making a delicious meal &mdash; when I have million ingredients on the counter and a major mess to clean up afterward.</p> <p>To keep cooking fun, I often search for recipe ideas (or come up with my own) that have five ingredients or less. Not only does that cut down my grocery bill, but it allows me to have a yum-in-my-tum dinner without taking up my entire evening and stressing me out along the way. Here are 20 of my fave five-ingredient recipes &mdash; with a free pass given to ubiquitous and necessary water, butter, oil, salt, and pepper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-tips-for-making-cheaper-faster-better-meals" target="_blank">Six Tips for Making Cheaper, Faster, Better Meals</a>)</p> <h2>1. Honey-Glazed Stuffed Chicken</h2> <p>Immediately this recipe for <a href="http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Honey-Glazed-Stuffed-Chicken/Detail.aspx" target="_blank">Honey-Glazed Stuffed Chicken</a> sounds labor intensive. But it&rsquo;s nothing like that bird you stuff at Thanksgiving. Instead, it calls for Boursin cheese with herbs, which is already prepared with multiple ingredients to cut down your kitchen time. Once the breasts are stuffed with the cheese, simply wrap in bacon and bake. As a finishing touch drizzle with honey. Yes, please.</p> <h2>2. Bacon and Egg Salad</h2> <p>This recipe for <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/bacon-and-egg-salad-recipe/index.html" target="_blank">Bacon and Egg Salad</a> calls for a half-pound of frisee, but you can use whatever lettuce you have on hand. I prefer a spring mix. After you cook the bacon, you&rsquo;ll soften the shallots in the bacon grease, and then you&rsquo;ll add two tablespoons of champagne vinegar, although apple cider vinegar would probably work nicely, too. To finish it off, toss the greens with the dressing and top with poached eggs.</p> <h2>3. Coconut Curry Chicken</h2> <p>When you want a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-save-a-bundle-on-your-groceries-consider-you-local-asian-market" target="_blank">taste of Southeast Asia</a> on a budget, try this <a href="http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/five-ingredient-recipes/coconut-curry-chicken" target="_blank">Coconut Curry Chicken</a> recipe from Rachael Ray, which calls for white rice, curry powder, coconut milk, chicken breast, and five-spice powder, the latter of which you may be able to make from scratch with individual spices you have on hand.</p> <h2>4. Jerk Chicken Wings With Orange Glaze</h2> <p>Switch up your buffalo wing routine and replace it with this super easy recipe for Jerk Chicken Wings With Orange Glaze. In a plastic freezer bag, toss a pound of wings with jerk seasoning. I&rsquo;ve found the McCormick brand jerk seasoning to be best, but you can use whatever you prefer. In an oven preheated to 425, bake the wings for 35 minutes. Remove the wings, brush them with a mixture of two parts orange marmalade and one part water that you&rsquo;ve heated in the microwave for 15 seconds. Pop them back into the oven for 10 minutes more. When you take them out, brush them with the remaining glaze and serve with mixed greens dressed with an <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/orange-vinaigrette/" target="_blank">orange vinaigrette</a>.</p> <h2>5. Crockpot Easy Beef Stew</h2> <p>Even though it&rsquo;s spring, there are a few cold days lingering here and there. To hold you over until the warmth and sunshine stick around for good, feed your soul with this <a href="http://busycooks.about.com/od/hotsouprecipes/r/cpeasybeefstew.htm" target="_blank">Crockpot Easy Beef Stew</a>. Ingredients are super frugal &mdash; red potatoes, beef stew meat, canned diced tomatoes, and frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions &mdash; but the meal will be restaurant quality.</p> <h2>6. Black Bean Quesadillas</h2> <p>Head south of the border for dinner without leaving your home with these <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/black_bean_quesadillas.html" target="_blank">Black Bean Quesadillas</a> that pack a lot of protein. You&rsquo;ll fill whole wheat tortillas with black beans, Monterey Jack cheese, salsa, and avocado before placing them on a heated griddled to get all warm and melty.</p> <h2>7. Cornmeal-Crusted Chicken Nuggets With Blackberry Mustard</h2> <p>The kid in me is still a fan of chicken nuggets, and it&rsquo;s nice to find <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_nuggets_blackberry_mustard.html" target="_blank">a grown-up version</a> that&rsquo;s fast and easy. Before frying your nugget pieces, just sprinkle them with salt and pepper and toss them with cornmeal. The berry mustard calls for fresh blackberries or raspberries, whole-grain mustard, and honey. Even though this take on a classic is a bit more adult, the kids will still love it. Serve with steamed broccoli and carrots.</p> <h2>8. Grilled Steak Balsamico</h2> <p>Dinner at a high-end steakhouse will set you back, but this recipe for <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/grilled-steaks-balsamico-10000001041980/" target="_blank">Grilled Steaks Balsamico</a> is a bit easier on your wallet. The steaks are first marinated in a mixture of balsamic vinaigrette and fig preserves for two hours and then grilled. Before serving, top the steaks with premade <a href="http://www.alouettecheese.com/" target="_blank">buttery garlic-and-herb cheese spread</a>.</p> <h2>9. BBQ Chicken Thighs</h2> <p>This recipe for <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/bbq-chickenthighs-499325" target="_blank">BBQ Chicken Thighs</a> couldn&rsquo;t be easier. Brine the chicken in a mixture of salt and water for at least three hours, then pop &rsquo;em in an oven for 35 minutes with the BBQ sauce spooned over top. Serve with a side of fresh corn on the cob. I like to sprinkle my cobs with grated Parmesan cheese after buttering them.</p> <h2>10. Posole</h2> <p><a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/posole-10000001895915/" target="_blank">Posole</a> is a thick and saucy Mexican soup that&rsquo;ll stick to your ribs. The base of this recipe consists of stewed tomatoes with jalapeno peppers and spices, which you can find premade (probably from Del Monte) in your supermarket. To amp it up, season the base with a Southwest chipotle seasoning, add white hominy and bite-sized pieces of pork tenderloin. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro before serving. If you want to be naughty, add a dollop of sour cream.</p> <h2>11. Easy White Pizza</h2> <p>Claire Robinson is the queen of five-ingredient recipes &mdash; she has her own Food Network show based on the premise &mdash; and it&rsquo;s easy to see why with this recipe for <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/easy-white-pizza-recipe/index.html" target="_blank">Easy White Pizza</a>. It honestly doesn&rsquo;t get any better than fresh dough topped with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses that&rsquo;s baked to perfection and finished off with fresh oregano. Put the Papa John&rsquo;s guy on hold for tonight.</p> <h2>12. Spinach Ricotta Pie</h2> <p>This recipe for <a href="http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/five-ingredient-recipes/spinach-ricotta-pie" target="_blank">Spinach Ricotta Pie</a> is a glorified quiche, in essence, and it&rsquo;s filled with good-for you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-ways-to-use-frozen-spinach" target="_blank">ingredients like spinach</a>, artichokes, cheese, and eggs. Prep time is 15 minutes, followed by 45 minutes in the oven. Dinner is done in less than hour, and it&rsquo;ll feed six.</p> <h2>13. Berry Chicken Salad</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ve probably seen those commercials for Wendy&rsquo;s chicken salad with fresh berries, but you can make you own without the temptation of a side of fries and a Frosty. This recipe for <a href="http://busycooks.about.com/od/maindishchickensalads/r/berrychickensal.htm" target="_blank">Berry Chicken Salad</a> places grilled chicken on top of mixed greens that are garnished with raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, and drizzled with Catalina or French dressing.</p> <h2>14. Five-Spice Tilapia</h2> <p>I&rsquo;m not a fan of fish, but if I were this recipe for <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/five_spice_tilapia.html" target="_blank">Five-Spice Tilapia</a> would be on my menu. Tender tilapia is sprinkled with a five-spice powder, cooked to perfection then drizzled with a soy sauce and brown sugar glaze. Sautéed snap peas would pair nicely with this healthy, protein-packed dish.</p> <h2>15. Florentine Ravioli</h2> <p>Giada de Laurentis may have time to make ravioli from scratch &mdash; she should; she gets paid big bucks for it &mdash; but the rest of us do not. To <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/florentine_ravioli.html" target="_blank">serve a princely Italian dinner</a> on pauper&rsquo;s budget, start with frozen cheese ravioli that you&rsquo;ll boil until tender then toss with chopped spinach, crushed red pepper, garlic, and grated Parmesan cheese.</p> <h2>16. Barbecue Shrimp</h2> <p>This recipe for <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/barbecue-shrimp-50400000113413/" target="_blank">Barbecue Shrimp</a> is a staple in the Big Easy, which is quite fitting since you won&rsquo;t break a sweat making it. In a preheated 425-degree oven, you&rsquo;ll place shrimp and lemon in a baking dish and pour a mixture of butter and Italian dressing mix over top. Bake it covered for 25 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley as a finishing touch. Pair it with crispy garlic bread and a cold beer.</p> <h2>17. Refried Bean Poblanos With Cheese</h2> <p>I couldn&rsquo;t create a whole list of five-ingredient recipes without including at least <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-items-for-your-organic-vegan-grocery-list" target="_blank">one vegetarian option.</a> And <a href="http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/refried-bean-poblanos-with-cheese-10000001895991/" target="_blank">you&rsquo;re in luck with this one</a>, because it&rsquo;s totally fast &mdash; two minutes prep time; six minutes cook time. Fill poblano chiles with vegetarian refried beans, rice, picante sauce, and shredded cheese, and microwave (that&rsquo;s right). Sprinkle the hot-and-bubbly peppers with cilantro for a little more Mexi-deliciousness.</p> <h2>18. Crispy Calamari With Pickled Jalapeno Dipping Sauce</h2> <p>Sometimes my husband and I like to have &ldquo;appetizer night&rdquo; at our house where we indulge in restaurant-type foods before settling in for a Saturday-evening movie on the couch. It goes without saying that this recipe for <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/claire-robinson/crispy-calamari-with-pickled-jalapeno-dipping-sauce-recipe/index.html" target="_blank">Crispy Calamari With Pickled Jalapeno Dipping Sauce</a> will be served sometime soon. Fresh calamari is coated with salt, pepper, and panko breadcrumbs, fried, then dripped in a mayo-based jalapeno sauce. Can you say yum?</p> <h2>19. French Onion Soup</h2> <p>Total classic for a night when you need a little comfort from the inside out. Beef broth, sweet onions, red wine &mdash; that&rsquo;s all that&rsquo;s in this recipe for <a href="http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/five-ingredient-recipes/french-onion-soup" target="_blank">French Onion Soup</a>. What more do you need? Oh, wait. It wouldn&rsquo;t be complete if there weren&rsquo;t croutons and cheese involved. Holla!</p> <h2>20. Grilled Pizza With Pesto, Tomatoes, and Feta</h2> <p>I love pizza so much that I couldn&rsquo;t end this post without another delicious recipe. This time it&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/grilled_pizza_with_pesto_tomatoes_feta.html" target="_blank">Grilled Pizza With Pesto, Tomatoes, and Feta</a>, which, let&rsquo;s face it, were sent from the heavens to adorn a crispy dough together. Spread the premade pesto on the dough, top with slices of plum tomato and feta, and grill. Sprinkle with fresh, aromatic basil, and dig in. You know this isn&rsquo;t complete without a glass of wine, right?</p> <p><em>What are your favorite quick and easy five ingredient recipes?</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-tasty-5-ingredient-recipes" class="sharethis-link" title="20 Tasty 5-Ingredient Recipes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink 5 ingredient recipes cheap recipes dinner ideas easy recipes Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:48:35 +0000 Mikey Rox 973666 at http://www.wisebread.com Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3941629457_1c428b9fbf_z.jpg" alt="trying to cook lobster" title="trying to cook lobster" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="204" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I enjoy cooking &mdash; and I&rsquo;m not bad at it &mdash; but those skills didn&rsquo;t necessarily come naturally.</p> <p>There was a lot of trial and error (I nearly burnt down my house by putting a frozen chicken breast in a searing-hot pan of oil once), a lot of wasted ingredients (you can&rsquo;t eat chicken that&rsquo;s burnt on the outside but frozen solid in the middle), and a lot of hours spent watching cooking shows to pick up invaluable tips and tricks.</p> <p>Over the years, this self-imposed practice has turned me into a competent, capable cook. I understand, however, that you may not have the time or interest to cook like I do. That&rsquo;s OK. It&rsquo;s not for everyone. But you should know how to make yourself at least a few meals that don&rsquo;t come out of the microwave or magically appear on your doorstep. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/teach-yourself-to-cook">Teach Yourself to Cook</a>)</p> <h3>1. Pot Roast With Root Vegetables</h3> <p>There are many ways you can <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/maries-easy-slow-cooker-pot-roast/">make a hearty, delicious, rib-sticking pot roast</a>, but one of the easiest is to put a 4 lb. chuck roast in a slow cooker (also called a Crock Pot) and let it cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.</p> <p>Before you set it and forget it, however, you&rsquo;ll need to season the roast with salt and pepper and sear (just a fancy word for make brown) each side of the roast in a skillet over high heat. Once the roast is seared, put it in the slow cooker with chopped carrots, potatoes, celery, and onion, a cup of water, and a packet of dry onion soup mix; for the soup mix, Lipton&rsquo;s is probably the easiest to find.</p> <p>You can put all of these ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, and your meal will be ready by dinnertime. Easy as that. You can make a nice gravy to go along with your pot roast, too &mdash; either homemade using the drippings (you&rsquo;ll need cornstarch or flour) or using a packet (which will only require water).</p> <h3>2. Spaghetti and Garlic Bread</h3> <p>Spaghetti is a quick and simple dish for kitchen newbies to throw together, but cooking the pasta perfectly requires a little TLC.</p> <p>To start this dish, bring a large pot of water, with a tablespoon of salt added, to a boil. Add in your spaghetti noodles based on how many people you&rsquo;re feeding. A standard 1 lb. box feeds eight people, so divide the noodles accordingly. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the box; you want the noodles to be &ldquo;al dente&rdquo; &mdash; tender but with a little bite.</p> <p>As the noodles cook, heat up a prepared pasta sauce on the stove. From the jar will never be as good as homemade, but perhaps you&rsquo;ll be comfortable enough to accept that challenge in time.</p> <p>To make the garlic bread, mix a couple dashes of garlic powder, dried Italian herbs, and half a stick of room-temperature butter together and spread it on both sides a loaf of fresh French or Italian bread that&rsquo;s been cut in half. Put the two halves back together, wrap in foil, and toss it into a 350-degree oven for 12 minutes.</p> <p>When the pasta has cooked to al dente, drain it, return it to the pot, and add in the sauce and toss. Plate the pasta and serve with piping hot pieces of the crusty garlic bread.</p> <h3>3. Chicken Noodle Soup</h3> <p>Like a soul-soothing pot roast, there are a million and one recipes for chicken noodle soup, most of which are just variations on a very simple starter method.</p> <p>This <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/quick-and-easy-chicken-noodle-soup/">recipe for chicken noodle soup</a> is ready in 30 minutes, so you can whip it up in no time on a brisk fall night. The ingredients you&rsquo;ll need are all ordinary items you have in your fridge or pantry or that can pick up during a quick trip to the supermarket after work.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a rapid rundown of what to do:</p> <ul> <li>Melt butter in a large pot and cook onion and celery in it for about five minutes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Add chicken and vegetable broths, cooked chicken breast, noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and let it simmer for 20 minutes.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Eat.</li> </ul> <h3>4. Pita Pizzas With Side Salad</h3> <p>I started making pita pizzas a few years ago because I got tired of ordering pizzas that were too large for me to eat by myself. My solution was to make personal-sized pies that, believe it or not, are every bit as good as my favorite delivery joint but much healthier.</p> <p>I use whole-wheat pitas topped with pizza sauce (Ragu has decent small jars, or you can save the pizza sauce dippers that come with your delivery pizza and use that; spaghetti sauce will work too in a pinch), cheese, a sprinkle of garlic powder, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Place the pizza directly on the middle rack of a 400-degree oven with a baking sheet on a lower rack to catch any drippings. Bake for about five or six minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.</p> <p>Serve the pizzas with a simple side salad. The bagged kind is just fine; don&rsquo;t forget the dressing.</p> <h3>5. Pulled Pork Sandwiches With Coleslaw</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re put off by the thought of making pulled pork because it requires a lot of work, you shouldn&rsquo;t be &mdash; it hardly requires any work at all.</p> <p>There are less than five ingredients in this slow-cooker pulled-pork recipe &mdash; pork tenderloin, root beer (do I have your attention now?), barbecue sauce, and hamburger buns. Place the pork loin in the slow cooker follow by the root beer. Cover and cook on low for six to seven hours. When the time is up, drain the slow cooker to get rid of all the liquid fat. The pork will fall apart and shred with ease, at which time you can stir in the barbecue sauce. Serve on hamburger buns alongside coleslaw you picked up at the store or that you can make with a prepackaged shredded cabbage mix, a few other ingredients, and this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/homemade-coleslaw/">recipe for homemade coleslaw</a>.</p> <h3>6. Steamed Shrimp and Corn on the Cob</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/70-cheap-succulent-shrimp-recipes">Shrimp is a great ingredient</a> for new cooks because it cooks up very fast, no matter the method.</p> <p>You&rsquo;ll need to start with the corn on the cob since it takes a while to cook. You can either wrap it in foil and toss it in the 400-degree oven for 30 minutes or let the ears boil on the stove for 30 minutes.</p> <p>To make steamed shrimp the way I do (the best way!), pour a can of beer in the bottom of a steam pot, bring it to a boil.</p> <p>Put the shrimp in a freezer bag with a tablespoon or two of Old Bay seasoning and shake to coat all the shrimp. Add the shrimp to the steamer tray, place it on the pot with the beer, and cover. Stir the shrimp every minute or so until they&rsquo;re pink on both sides.</p> <p>Butter the corn and squirt the shrimp with lemon before digging in.</p> <h3>7. Chicken Soft Tacos</h3> <p>Save some money and skip your favorite Mexican eatery in favor of making your own chicken soft tacos at home.</p> <p>I like to grill my chicken in a broiler for this recipe by seasoning the breasts with salt, pepper, and lime, and cooking on each side for about five minutes. When the chicken is cooked through, I let it sit for at least five minutes while I prepare the other ingredients.</p> <p>Chop a couple of tomatoes, some lettuce, and cilantro; grate your favorite cheese; and grab the salsa, sour cream, and guacamole. &nbsp;</p> <p>Next, wrap your flour tortillas in a paper towel that you&rsquo;ve soaked and rung out, and place them in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Be careful removing them; they&rsquo;ll be hot.</p> <p>Build your chicken soft tacos by adding the chicken first, followed by the vegetables then adding the wet toppings like salsa, sour cream, and guacamole.</p> <h3>8. Autumn Chopped Salad</h3> <p>A salad is very easy to make, especially when you buy it in a bag &mdash; but you don&rsquo;t have to limit yourself to only what&rsquo;s in that bag. You can spruce up the salad by adding additional ingredients that you enjoy like dried fruits, fresh veggies, and nuts.</p> <p>This <a href="http://iowagirleats.com/2012/09/24/autumn-chopped-salad/">autumn chopped salad recipe</a> is great any time of the year, but especially in fall because of the seasonal apples and pears. On a bed of romaine lettuce (bought in a bag) add chopped apples, pears, roasted peanuts, dried cranberries, and bacon. Chop the salad with a knife to incorporate all the ingredients evenly, and toss with sweet(ish) dressing like poppy-seed or raspberry-walnut.</p> <p>Crumble a tangy cheese, like Gorgonzola or feta, on top to finish.</p> <h3>9. Steak and Baked Potatoes</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re a meat-and-potatoes person, there&rsquo;s nothing purer or simpler than a juicy steak.</p> <p>You have to start with the baked potato first, because it requires a generous amount of cooking time if you&rsquo;d like to have the <a href="http://www.food.com/recipe/best-baked-potato-71933">best baked potato</a> you&rsquo;ve ever eaten.</p> <p>First, poke holes all around the potato &mdash; about eight pokes &mdash; with a fork. Rub a small amount of olive oil on the potato then sprinkle salt (kosher salt works best) and pepper all around the spud. Place it directly on the rack in a 350-degree oven (with a baking sheet underneath to catch the drippings) for about an hour.</p> <p>As for the steak, I start with a good cut of beef (a rib eye most of the time) that I season with a brush of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper on both sides. I plop it onto my broiler pan and let it cook for a few minutes on each side, depending on the size of the steak and my desired doneness. I like my steak medium so about four minutes on each side for a 1-inch-thick steak should do.</p> <p>When the steak is cooked to your liking, it&rsquo;s important that you let it sit for a few minutes so the juices can redistribute throughout the steak to keep it tender and juicy.</p> <p>After five minutes, plate the steak, push open the baked potato with your fingers, and top it with your favorite toppings, like butter and sour cream.</p> <h3>10. Breakfast for Dinner</h3> <p>Even if you don&rsquo;t know much about cooking, at the very least you should know how to make breakfast. This one is simple: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fantastic-facts-about-eggs">eggs</a>, bacon, toast, and fruit.</p> <p>In a skillet on medium heat, add a few strips of bacon. Let the bacon cook for five minutes, then turn it over to cook for another three minutes. If the bacon is too loose for your taste, cook it a bit longer to make it crispier. When the bacon is cooked, transfer it to a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the grease.</p> <p>You can either dump the bacon grease down the sink with the hot water running (if you&rsquo;re watching your weight) or cook the eggs in the bacon grease (like my grandmother used to do). The latter tastes better, but I usually choose to rinse out the skillet and add butter instead of the bacon grease to cook my eggs. On medium heat again, crack two eggs into the skillet, being careful not to break the yolks. When the whites have barely set, gently flip the eggs over to the other side until the whites are just cooked. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper and slide onto a plate.</p> <p>Meanwhile, make a couple slices of toast to sop up the yolky goodness and garnish the dish with a side of fruit for good measure.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-tasty-and-cost-effective-breakfast-for-dinner-ideas">breakfast of champions at dinnertime</a> is always a winner.</p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cooking-for-beginners-10-recipes-for-kitchen-newbies" class="sharethis-link" title="Cooking for Beginners: 10 Recipes for Kitchen Newbies" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink Home Lifestyle Cooking crock pot crock pot recipes dinner ideas easy recipes learning a new skill simple dinner ideas slow cooker recipes Wed, 17 Oct 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Mikey Rox 955016 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/crock-pot-iStock_000024930492Small.jpg" alt="crock pot" title="crock pot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As a busy mom, I love using my crock pot. There's nothing better than tossing a few ingredients in a cooker in the morning and having dinner ready in the evening.</p> <p>Here are some of my favorite recipes, plus recommendations from foodies, elegant-living experts, and busy parents. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-slow-cookers">The 5 Best Slow Cookers</a>)</p> <p> <script async src="//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js"></script> <!-- 468x60 Upper Article --> <ins class="adsbygoogle" style="display:inline-block;width:468px;height:60px" data-ad-client="ca-pub-6789250261177596" data-ad-slot="3714035540"></ins> <script> (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); </script> </p> <h3>1. Shredded Buffalo Chicken</h3> <p>My sons love buffalo anything (chicken wings, wing-flavored potato chips, etc.), so they loved sandwiches made from this <a href="http://youngmarriedchic.com/2012/02/super-easy-buffalo-chicken-sandwiches/">Buffalo Chicken</a> dish. What I loved about this recipe from <a href="http://youngmarriedchic.com/">Kris Schoels of Young Married Chic</a> is that it satisfies the teens who love hot stuff and the grown-ups who love gourmet. There are just four main ingredients, plus whatever you need to make the sandwich.</p> <h3>2. Chicken Chili</h3> <p>Kris also recommended this recipe for <a href="http://youngmarriedchic.com/2011/10/slow-chicken-chili-new-fave-dinner/">chili made with chicken</a>. It calls for 4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts, plus traditional chili ingredients and some extra items, like chopped red onion, frozen corn, and taco seasoning. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-do-with-rotisserie-chicken">25 Things to Do With Rotisserie Chicken</a>)</p> <h3>3. Coq Au Vin</h3> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-coq-au-vin-4934357-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>French cooking in a crock pot was a surprise to me, but a good one. When I was looking for a dish to prepare for a Christmas dinner with my <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/book-clubs-as-therapy">book club</a> friends (just after we finished reading <em>A Year in Provence</em>), I found this&nbsp;<a href="http://wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/1855">Coq Au Vin</a> recipe on the Whole Foods website. To make this dish easy (or easier), prepare the bacon, chicken (I used breasts rather than thighs), and vegetables the night before; refrigerate overnight, and then toss all the ingredients in a crock pot the next morning.</p> <h3>4. Indian Spiced Chickpea Quinoa Stew</h3> <p>Kathy Hester, author of <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592334644/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1592334644&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>The Vegan Slow Cooker</em></a> cookbook, pointed me to this <a href="http://healthyslowcooking.com/2012/01/31/slow-cooker-indian-spiced-chickpea-quinoa-stew/">gluten-free vegetable-laden stew</a>. Chop up the vegetables the night before, then toss in the crock pot in the morning and cook during the day for an evening meal.</p> <h3>5. Pork Roast</h3> <p>Put a pork roast in the crock pot and sprinkle with lemon pepper (typically I use a center cut pork loin roast, but you can ask your butcher for a recommendation). Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Pork should be tender and easy to slice thin for an excellent entree.</p> <p>(Wise Bread Pick: <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000R8A1OK/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000R8A1OK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=seealso-20">Hamilton Beach 3-in-1 Slow Cooker at Amazon</a>)</p> <h3>6. Pork Barbecue</h3> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-pork-barbecue-3799373-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>I have tasted (and loved!) versions of this recipe, which was passed along to me from <a href="http://marketingrevival.com/">Jimmy Slagle</a>. It's simple &mdash; take a 5-6 pound pork loin, cut in half, and place in a crock pot. Pour the contents of two bottles of barbecue sauce over the pork. Cook on low for at least 6 hours (approximately 1 hour per pound). You can tell it's ready when the meat is tender, falling apart, and saturated by the sauce. Jimmy recommends making BBQ sandwiches using the cooked pork.</p> <h3>7. Chili and Lime Pork With Red Onion Escabeche</h3> <p>Kathy Casey passed this recipe to me from her blog &mdash; <a href="http://kathycasey.com/blog/?p=2603">Chili &amp; Lime Pork with Red Onion Escabeche</a>. You slow-cook the pork, then make the escabeche (fresh veggies and cilantro blended), and add tortilla accompaniments.</p> <h3>8. Italian Chicken</h3> <p>I love two-ingredient recipes and was thrilled to find this idea for a <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/2010/02/crockpot-italian-chicken-recipe.html">main dish</a> (with options for adding vegetables to make a one-pot meal) on <a href="http://moneysavingmom.com/">Money Saving Mom</a>.</p> <p>For many years, I have grilled chicken using Italian dressing as a marinade but never thought to toss these together for dinner in the crock pot.</p> <h3>9. Beef Goulash</h3> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-goulash-3235194-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>An advantage of a crock pot is that the slow-cooking method can tenderize less tender (and generally less expensive) cuts of beef. So, I was glad to discover a recipe using flank steak, which is usually an economical cut of beef. There is some prep work that involves cutting up and browning the meat before placing in the crock pot, but blogging chef Barb Freda says that the steps are worth the effort. This <a href="http://www.laurasleanbeef.com/blog/slow-cooker-beef-goulash/">beef goulash recipe</a> is finished by stirring in sour cream and parsley.</p> <h3>10. Gourmet Brisket</h3> <p>Rachel Blaufeld of <a href="http://backngroovemom.com/">Back'nGrooveMom</a> shared her brisket recipe with me. You'll need brisket (use whatever size fits in your crock pot), along with some sliced onions, potatoes cut into wedges, and carrots, plus her special sauce. Make the sauce using 1 cup of BBQ sauce, 1 cup of ginger ale, and 2 tablespoons of brown sugar.</p> <p>To prepare, line the bottom of the crock pot with sliced onions, place brisket on top of the onions, surround the brisket with potato wedges and carrots, and pour the sauce over all. Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 6-7 hours.</p> <h3>11. Pot Roast</h3> <p>On the recommendation of a cooking instructor, I buy eye-of-round roasts when they are on sale for this dish. Toss the beef roast, cream of mushroom soup, and dried soup mix (onion or mushroom-onion flavor) in the crock pot. Set on low and cook for 6-7 hours or until done. You'll have a great roast plus gravy. Serve with brown rice.</p> <h3>12. Pot Roast With Vegetables</h3> <p>For a one-dish meal, add vegetables to recipe #11 before turning on the crock pot. Carrots and potatoes work especially well and can be positioned around the roast. Mushrooms placed on top of the roast make an elegant dish, as shared by <a href="http://www.linkedin.com/in/triciaaanderud">Tricia Aanderud</a>.</p> <h3>13. Lasagna</h3> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-lasagna-5168678-small.jpg" width="605" height="404" alt="" /></p> <p>The first time I had a pasta dish made in a crock pot, I was surprised at how good it tasted. Try this <a href="http://allrecipes.com/recipe/slow-cooker-lasagna/">lasagna</a> as the recipe specifies, or trim the ingredient list by using prepared spaghetti sauce (instead of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and herbs) and omitting the Parmesan cheese. If you can snag the sauces during a BOGO sale or a buy-three-get-two-free event, you can keep the cost low.</p> <h3>14. Slow-Roasted Red Potatoes</h3> <p>A friend made these for me and then kindly gave me the recipe. You'd never know that these potatoes were cooked in a crock pot, given their roasted texture when done. She uses 16 small red potatoes, but you may want to make a bigger batch for yourself.</p> <p>Take those red potatoes and toss them in the crock pot with 3 tablespoons of butter (cut into 1/8-inch pieces), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon of paprika. After stirring the ingredients, cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 4 hours.</p> <p>Remove potatoes to a serving dish with a slotted spoon; cover to keep warm while making the sauce. Add 1-2 tablespoons water to drippings and stir until well-blended. Add black pepper to taste. Pour mixture over potatoes right before serving.</p> <h3>15. Apples</h3> <p>Another friend prepared these apples for a 200-person gathering at my church. They were a big hit as a combination comfort food and good-for-you dish.</p> <p>The ingredients are 2 bags of Gala apples (18-20), 1.5 sticks of unsalted butter, 1/2 cup of dried cranberries (or use fresh cranberries), 1/3 cup each of brown sugar and regular sugar (though my friend tells me that you can use Splenda instead), 1/4 cup of honey, 2 tablespoons of apple pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Core and chop the apples (peel if desired) and toss them and the rest of the ingredients in the crock pot. Cook for several hours on low, stirring occasionally.</p> <h3>16. Baked Beans</h3> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-beans-178842-small.jpg" width="605" height="403" alt="" /></p> <p>Meg featured this family recipe for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/little-old-lady-recipes-classic-frugal-cooking">baked beans</a> as a great comfort food in her cookbook, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1594745188/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1594745188&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>Little Old Lady Recipes</em></a>.</p> <h3>17. Spicy Green Beans</h3> <p>I have adapted this recipe from a cookbook by <a href="http://www.hanescookies.com/hanes_cs/default.asp">Evva Hanes</a> entitled <a target="_blank" href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003W8C6D6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003W8C6D6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20"><em>Supper's at Six and We're Not Waiting</em></a>. Evva offers some easy-to-make, down-to-earth dishes that are healthy. I would never had thought to add hot sauce to green beans without her inspiration.</p> <p>You'll need frozen green beans, olive oil (or your favorite oil), soy sauce, Texas Pete's Chipotle Hot Sauce (or your favorite hot sauce), and cheddar cheese. Place the beans in the crock pot with 1/4 cup of oil and several shakes of both sauces. Stir, cover, and cook on high for 4-5 hours. Just before serving, stir in about a 1/2 cup of cheese. Top with toasted almonds if desired.</p> <h3>18. Wild Rice With Cranberries</h3> <p>This <a href="http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Crock-Pot-Wild-Rice-With-Cranberries-Recipezaar">wild rice recipe</a> makes a hearty side. The finishing touch involves sauteeing cranberries and almonds (or pecans) and mixing with the rice for an elegant dish.</p> <h3>19. Potato Soup</h3> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-potato-5194209-small.jpg" width="605" height="402" alt="" /></p> <p>Katie Lipovsky of <a href="http://peasinablog.com/">Peas {In A Blog}</a> shared this <a href="http://peasinablog.com/recipes/perfect-potato-soup/">potato soup recipe</a>. If don't happen to have cream on hand, substitute milk and add at the end of the cooking cycle.</p> <h3>20. French Lentil and Brown Rice Soup</h3> <p>This recipe comes from Roxanne King, aka The Holistic Mama. It has one unusual (to me) ingredient &mdash; seaweed; substitute extra spices for the seaweed if you'd like. The prep involves cutting up some vegetables and then tossing everything in the crock pot for a great <a href="http://theholisticmama.com/?p=1836">lentil soup</a>.</p> <h3>21. Nacho Cheese Dip</h3> <p>Typically, I don't use Velveeta Cheese, but this dip is an exception. A former roommate passed this recipe to me many years ago. It's great for a party.</p> <p>Cut two blocks of Velveeta Cheese into small pieces (about 1-inch squares). Put into crock pot with a pound of cooked, drained hamburger or sausage and your favorite salsa. Cook on low for 3-5 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugal-gluten-free-living-flour-tortillas-that-taste-great">tortilla</a> chips.</p> <h3>22. Oatmeal From Steel Cut Oats</h3> <p><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/u784/crockpot-oatmeal-4843249-small.jpg" width="605" height="419" alt="" /></p> <p>If you've ever cooked steel cut oats, then you know that this process takes a while &mdash; about 30-40 minutes in the morning. I consider this amount of time in the morning excessive, and apparently so do a lot of other people. The recommendation, then, is to prepare the oats at night and cook in the crock pot so that 1) you'll have oatmeal ready in the morning and 2) you'll have such a large batch that you'll have enough oatmeal for an entire week.</p> <p>This <a href="http://www.notrachaelray.com/2011/09/01/slow-cooker-steel-cut-oatmeal-with-ground-flax-seed/">steel cut oatmeal recipe</a> from Rachel is quick and easy, using dried fruit and flax seed (both optional).</p> <h3>23. Apple Cinnamon Congee</h3> <p>For a hearty breakfast or dinner side dish, Jennifer Fugo recommends this gluten-free <a href="http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/2011/11/07/easy-apple-porridge/">apple congee</a> made of short-grain rice.</p> <h3>24. Strawberry Scoop Cake</h3> <p>A friend makes strawberry cakes and cupcakes, but I had never tried to make such a dessert myself until recently. This <a href="http://www.luckyleaf.com/Recipes/DisplayRecipe.aspx?RecipeID=497&amp;SearchTerm=slow%20cooker">strawberry scoop cake</a> is great but sweet enough without the white chocolate.</p> <h3>25. Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pudding Cake</h3> <p>This recipe from Kate at <a href="http://stolenmomentscooking.com/">Stolen Moments Cooking</a> had me at &quot;<a href="http://stolenmomentscooking.com/hot-fudge-peanut-butter-pudding-cake/">hot fudge</a>.&quot; The fudge is liquid when hot but becomes pudding-like when cooled.</p> <p><em>Do you have a favorite recipe that you make in your crock pot? Share in the comments or link to your dish.</em></p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-great-cheap-and-easy-crock-pot-recipes" class="sharethis-link" title="25 Great, Cheap, and Easy Crock Pot Recipes" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/"> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink crock pot recipes dinner ideas easy recipes lunch ideas slow cooker slow cooker recipes Wed, 07 Mar 2012 11:24:11 +0000 Julie Rains 908166 at http://www.wisebread.com Eat Like a King: Menus and Recipes for Royalty http://www.wisebread.com/eat-like-a-king-menus-and-recipes-for-royalty <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/eat-like-a-king-menus-and-recipes-for-royalty" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://www.wisebread.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4105519211_a8f87ce2a.jpg" alt="Prince William and the Duchess of Cornwall" title="Prince William and the Duchess of Cornwall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The Royal Wedding is just days away, and blue-blood mania has reached fever pitch.</p> <p>But unless you&rsquo;re socializing in the same circles as Elton and the Beckhams, you&rsquo;ll have to watch the pomp and ceremony within the confines of your humble abode (or streaming live on your computer in your cubicle) like the rest of us.</p> <p>Even though we&rsquo;re not important enough to witness history happen in person, however, doesn&rsquo;t mean we can&rsquo;t still swank it up &mdash; while also minding our budgets. That's why I&rsquo;ve asked five celebrated chefs to put together menus fit for a future (and, in a perfect world, frugal) king. Here are the dishes they'd serve to the world's most important dinner guests if the task was up to them, along with some of their more cost-conscious recipes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/live-like-royalty-on-20-000-a-year">Live Like Royalty on $20,000 a Year</a>)</p> <h2>Chef Alan Coxon</h2> <p><em>British TV&nbsp;personality, author, and &quot;Food Archeologist&quot;</em></p> <p>&ldquo;Factoid: Diamonds set in gold or silver became popular as betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the end of the 15th century,&rdquo; imparts <a href="http://www.alancoxon.com/">Chef Coxon</a>.</p> <h3>Menu</h3> <ul> <li>Classic Kir Royal</li> <li>Lobster Vodka Cocktail</li> <li>Pot-Roast Venison with Prunes and Blushing Pears</li> <li>Summer Raspberry Meringue Tier</li> </ul> <p><strong>Classic Kir Royal</strong></p> <ul> <li>1-2 tbsp cassis</li> <li>6 oz. champagne</li> </ul> <p>Pour the cassis into the wine glass. Add the champagne. Serve.</p> <p>If the cassis is added first, it is evenly mixed with the champagne. If the champagne is added first, the cassis is not evenly mixed (due to the smaller volume of cassis relative to the champagne). The former approach gives a more even taste and is preferable from that perspective, whereas the latter approach gives a more pleasing appearance with the uneven mixing of the cassis resulting in a fine pink at the bottom of the glass shading up to a bright red at the top. The ratio of cassis to champagne depends on personal preference.</p> <h2>Chef Gurpareet Bains</h2> <p><em>Author of the cookbook &quot;Indian Superfood&quot;</em></p> <p><a href="http://www.gurpareetbains.co.uk/#/welcome/">Chef Bains</a> says, &ldquo;Like the average man, the future King of England also has to keep fit, even when he&rsquo;s enjoying Britain&rsquo;s favorite food,&nbsp;Indian curry. Here we load him up with antioxidants, with a menu apt for Royalty, yet frugal enough for the British government to give its nod of approval during this time of a recession.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Menu</h3> <ul> <li>Oyster Pakoras with Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa</li> <li>Salmon and Potato Biryani with Cherry Tomatoes, Lime, and Cilantro</li> <li>Black Rice Pudding</li> </ul> <p><strong>Oyster Pakoras with Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa</strong></p> <p>Oysters are loaded with zinc, a key nutrient for testosterone production, to help keep Prince William in tiptop shape.</p> <ul> <li>1 onion, cut into quarters</li> <li>4 garlic cloves, peeled</li> <li>1 green chili</li> <li>7 tbsp gram (chickpea) flour</li> <li>3/4 tsp salt</li> <li>1 tsp garam masala</li> <li>12 oysters, &quot;shucked&quot; and on the half shell</li> <li>Olive oil or vegetable oil, for shallow frying</li> <li>6 tsp Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa (see below)</li> <li>A few lemon wedges and chopped fresh dill, to serve</li> </ul> <p><em>Frugal tip: Swap oysters for mussels!</em></p> <p>First, you will need to prepare the pakora batter. To do this, place the onion, garlic, chili, gram flour, salt, garam masala, and 3 tbsp cold water into a food processor and blend until you have a batter that resembles a &quot;runny&quot; porridge mixture &mdash; to get the right consistency you may need to add a little more cold water or gram flour.</p> <p>Pour the batter into a bowl. Mix the oysters into the batter, making sure they are thoroughly coated.</p> <p>Pour enough oil into a deep saucepan so that the oil is at least 3 cm. deep. Heat on high until the oil is almost smoking.</p> <p>Take the oysters out of the batter individually, shaking off any excess batter mix (discard any leftover batter). Fry in the hot oil for 15&ndash;20 seconds or until the oysters are golden brown all over &mdash; you may need to turn them over in the oil. Remove with a spatula and drain on a paper towel.</p> <p>Serve the oyster pakoras immediately on their shells, each with a 1/2 teaspoon dollop of the cilantro salsa, a squeeze of lemon, and a pinch of chopped dill.</p> <p><strong>Punch and Gusto Fresh Cilantro Salsa</strong></p> <ul> <li>2 large tomatoes</li> <li>1 large Granny Smith apple (or any sour-tasting apple)</li> <li>1 small onion, cut into quarters</li> <li>2&frac34; oz. chopped fresh cilantro</li> <li>1 garlic clove, peeled</li> <li>1&ndash;2 green chilies</li> <li>1 tsp lemon juice</li> <li>Salt, to taste</li> </ul> <p>Start by making a few small and not very deep surface cuts in the tomatoes, and place them in a deep bowl. Pour in enough boiling water to cover the tomatoes and allow them to sit in the water for 2&ndash;3 minutes.</p> <p>In the meantime, peel, core, and quarter the apple and place in a food processor.</p> <p>Drain the tomatoes, then peel off and discard the skins. Place the tomatoes in the food processor, together with the onion, chopped cilantro, garlic, chilies, and lemon juice, and blitz until you have a pesto-like consistency (you may need to add a few drops of cold water to achieve the right consistency). Season to taste with salt.</p> <p>Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.</p> <h2>Chef Jose De Mereilles</h2> <p><em>Chef and owner of NYC's famed Brasserie Le Marais</em></p> <p>About his royal-inspired menu, <a href="http://lemarais.net/home.php">Chef De Mereilles</a> remarks, &quot;It has the basic elegance of fine ingredients chosen for their rare use, yet none are hard to find, and turns the austerity of the basics like chicken soup, cod fish, and beef into something seemingly more glamorous. Each dish takes care to prepare, as if a kitchen filled with a king's staff is working, yet one person can do it alone. The cost is down to earth while the taste is out of this world.&quot;</p> <h3>Menu</h3> <ul> <li>Roasted Jerusalem Artichoke Soup</li> <li>Salad of Roasted Pears, Watercress, and Toasted Pecans</li> <li>Poached Cod Provencal</li> <li>Cabernet Braised Short Ribs of Beef</li> <li>Caramelized Pineapple with Coconut Bavarian Cream and Pineapple Chip</li> </ul> <p><strong>Cabernet Braised Short Ribs of Beef</strong></p> <ul> <li>2 tbsp peanut oil</li> <li>1 onion, medium dice</li> <li>1 stalk celery, medium dice</li> <li>1 small carrot, medium dice</li> <li>4 cloves of garlic</li> <li>6 pieces of beef short ribs</li> <li>2 tbsp of tomato paste</li> <li>1 cup of all-purpose flour</li> <li>1 bottle of cabernet sauvignon</li> <li>1 bunch of fresh thyme</li> <li>2 fresh bay leaves</li> <li>Salt and black pepper</li> </ul> <p>Heat a large braising dish to medium heat and add the oil. Season the short ribs with salt and black pepper and brown them in the hot oil on all sides. Remove the ribs.</p> <p>Add the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic to the oil and sauté until softened and then browned.</p> <p>Add the tomato paste to the vegetables, and then cook the tomato paste for about another 4 minutes.</p> <p>Add the flour and mix thoroughly with the vegetables. The mixture will become dry in clumpy in appearance. Add the wine and mix in well.</p> <p>Let this cook until it become very thick.</p> <p>Add the short ribs to the mix and then add enough water just to cover the meat.</p> <p>Bring the meat up to a boil and then lower the heat to a slow simmer. Let cook on the low heat for roughly 3 hours or until the meat is fork tender. If you wish, you could also place in a 350&deg;F oven for 2&frac12; to 3 hours.</p> <p>Remove the meat from the dish and then, if necessary, put the dish back on the stove to reduce the liquid to the desired thickness. Strain the sauce and then either serve or cook until later use.</p> <h2>Chef Tory McPhail</h2> <p><em>Executive Chef of Commander's Palace in New Orleans</em></p> <p>&ldquo;I love cooking for a great party. If I was cooking for a royal wedding I&rsquo;d want a menu that was a taste of home with elegant presentation and surprises that create memories for the guests,&rdquo; <a href="http://www.commanderspalace.com/">Chef McPhail</a> says.</p> <h3>Menu</h3> <ul> <li>Soft Shell Crab Bisque</li> <li>Creole Cream Cheese Gnocchi and Crawfish</li> <li>Oyster and Absinthe &quot;Dome&quot;</li> <li>Pecan-Crusted Gulf Fish</li> <li>Tequila Mockingbird 2</li> <li>Foie Gras &quot;Du Monde&quot;</li> <li>Veal Chop Tchoupitoulas</li> <li>Creole Bread Pudding Souffle</li> </ul> <p><strong>Tequila Mockingbird 2</strong></p> <ul> <li>2 oz. Reposado tequila</li> <li>1 oz. limoncello</li> <li>1 oz. fresh lemon juice</li> <li>2 drops Angostura bitters</li> <li>1 oz. simple syrup , or more to taste</li> <li>1 lemon twist, for garnish</li> </ul> <p>Fill a margarita glass with ice to chill and set aside. Combine the tequila, limoncello, lemon juice, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake vigorously. Add the simple syrup, adding more if necessary. Strain the drink into the chilled glass, garnish with the lemon twist, and serve immediately.</p> <h2>Chef Angela McKeller</h2> <p><em>Chef, author, and host of the podcast &quot;Kick Back and Kook!&quot;</em><a href="http://www.kickbackkook.com"><br /> </a></p> <p><a href="http://www.kickbackkook.com/">Chef McKeller</a> says, &ldquo;With Prince William's upcoming nuptials, perhaps you're wondering how you, too, can make your special someone feel like royalty. Eating like royalty doesn't have to cost a fortune, only the short time it takes to put passion on a plate for that special king or queen of your household. With unique ingredients combined with using those already commonly found in your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stock-a-natural-food-pantry-for-less">pantry</a>, you'll see how easy it is to dine like royalty while protecting your paycheck.&rdquo;</p> <h3>Menu</h3> <ul> <li>Goat Cheese Stuffed Figs Wrapped in Prosciutto</li> <li>Simple Leek Salad with a Quick and Easy Vinaigrette</li> <li>Baked Pheasant with Rich Cherry Chutney</li> <li>Honey-Glazed Carrots with Fennel</li> <li>Cherry Meringue Mousse&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><strong>Honey Glazed Carrots with Fennel</strong></p> <ul> <li>1 cup sliced carrots</li> <li>3 tbsp honey</li> <li>2 tbsp light brown sugar</li> <li>1 tbsp lemon juice</li> <li>Chopped chives or fennel for garnish, if desired</li> </ul> <p>Place 1 in. of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and add carrots.</p> <p>Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until tender.</p> <p>Drain liquid from carrots.</p> <p>In a small skillet, combine the honey, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Cook and stir until bubbly.</p> <p>Add carrots and stir until well coated.</p> <p>Serve topped with chopped chives if you want a contrast in flavor to the sweet or with fennel for a nice, liquorice flavor to compliment the honey and sugar glaze.</p> <p><strong>Cherry Meringue Mousse</strong></p> <ul> <li>1&frac14; cup whipping cream</li> <li>1 tbsp granulated sugar</li> <li>3.5 oz. ready-made meringue</li> <li>1 lb. fresh, pitted sweet cherries, chopped and reserving any juice</li> <li>1 tbsp powdered sugar</li> </ul> <p>Place the whipping cream in a large mixing bowl, add the sugar, and whip with an electric mixer until the cream is light and fluffy. Do not over whip; the success of the dish requires softly whipped cream, not stiff peaks.</p> <p>Break the meringue into large bite-size chucks and gently stir into the cream. Don't worry if some of the meringue crumbles; add this too.</p> <p>Place half of the cherries into another large mixing bowl and press gently with the back of fork to break up the cherries slightly and release some of the juice. Stir gently into the whipped cream.</p> <p>Halve, then quarter the remaining cherries.</p> <p>Place the cream mixture into individual parfait glasses until nearly overflowing (like a peak).</p> <p>Top with a cherry with stem attached, chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator, and sprinkle with the confectioners/icing sugar before serving.</p> <p><em>To obtain the remaining recipes for the listed dishes, contact the author of this post, Mikey Rox, at mikey@paperroxscissors.com.</em></p> <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eat-like-a-king-menus-and-recipes-for-royalty" class="sharethis-link" title="Eat Like a King: Menus and Recipes for Royalty" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> and published on <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/frugal-living/food-and-drink">Food and Drink articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink cocktail recipes dinner ideas royalty special occasions Wed, 27 Apr 2011 09:48:09 +0000 Mikey Rox 531555 at http://www.wisebread.com