Recipe Ideas

It’s just the Wife and I. I like to make stuff that lasts for a few days. Leftovers are no problem. So stews and crock pot stuff are a regular feature at our house. But we also like the quick steak or a chicken breast with rice and salad.

I’m looking for crock pot or casserole ideas.

I’ll trot out my old favourite…

Ham Hocks & Black-eyed Peas.
Soak a pound of black-eyed peas overnight, drain and rinse. Put two ham hocks into the pot with the beans. Cover with water, and put on the lid. Cook on high for about six hours. Remove the ham hocks. Remove the bone and skin from the ham hocks (the meat should be falling off the bones) and return the meat to the pot.

BBQ Beef
Put a two-pound beef roast, seasoned how you like, in the crock pot. Cover, and cook on high until the meat shreds with a fork. Drain off liquid, and shred the meat with a fork. Stir in the BBQ sauce of your choice. Eat on rolls.

I used to go to a great specialty record store and the owner was Palestinian/Syrian… He sometimes had a crockpot of Lamb stew sitting on the back counter. Man, that place smelled so good- exotic, sweet, and meaty. Brings back some interesting memories.

Here’s my untested attempt at that mystery stew, going with what I know about Syrian stew.

Record Store Stew

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 1/2 lbs. Lamb Stew Meat cubed (cheapest cuts available/shoulder or neck)
1 large Onion, chopped
3 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon fresh black Peppper
1 regular sized can Italian style stewed tomatoes
2 Japanese Eggplants, cubed

Brown the Lamb stew cubes with the olive oil in a pan over a med high stove. Remove the browned meat to the crockpot, and sautee the onions and garlic in the remaining olive oil with the butter until sweet and lightly brown and translucent. Add the spices to the sauteeing onions and garlic and bloom them in the oil. Scrape the onions, garlic, fat and spices into the crockpot. Add the salt and pepper, the eggplant, and the stewed tomatoes (juice included) to the crockpot and place on low setting for about 8-hours. Maybe add a 1/2 cup of water, beer, or red wine (optional). Serve over rice or couscous.

Similar to Johnny L.A.'s recipe, but for pulled pork instead. I eat this stuff for a few days in a row and am still sad when it runs out.

Easy Beef Stew

2lbs stew meat, cut up
2 cans cream of onion soup
2 cups of milk
whatever veggies you want (green beans, peas, corn, onions)

mix everything together, either in crock pot or oven proof pot. If cooking in oven, heat to 350 degrees and bake for 3-3.5 hours. Crock pot on low all day. Gravy will brown during cooking

Stove-top cassoulet:

2 hot Italian sausage links, skinned
1 chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
olive oil
1 can white beans
1 can chopped tomatoes
fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Break up the sausage and brown in a bit of oil. Remove from the pan and add the chicken to the pan. Saute until browned. Return the sausage to the pan, add the tomatoes, beans and rosemary. Stir until combined, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Serve with fresh ground pepper.

OK, I wanted to try this after I saw a first edition of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but I blew it and didn’t buy it. Now with all the Julie and Julia hoopla, I figured I’d give it a go. I took Alton Brown’s recipe and some random crockpot recipe and this is my bastardized bachelorized version. I’m not sure it’s any good, but it tasted the way I thought it should (even though I’ve never had Coq au Vin before). I used 2 buck chuck cabernet rather than the pinot noir.

Coq au Vin


* 2 medium onions, cut into big chunks
* 4 chicken thighs and legs, or 1 (5 to 7-pound) stewing chicken, cut into serving pieces
* Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 2 tablespoons water
* 6 ounces bacon sliced into 1/2" pieces.
* 16 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 (750-ml) bottles red wine, preferably pinot noir
* 2 tablespoons tomato paste
* 2 medium carrots, quartered
* 5 cloves garlic, crushed
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 cups chicken stock or broth


Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the chicken pieces, a few at a time, into a large (1 or 2-gallon) sealable plastic bag along with the flour. Shake to coat all of the pieces of the chicken. Remove the chicken from the bag to a metal rack.

Cook bacon in large frying pan until brown and crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, using the remaining fat, add the onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and saute until lightly brown, approximately 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside. Next, brown the chicken pieces on each side until golden brown, working in batches if necessary to not overcrowd the pan. Transfer the chicken into crockpot.

Add the mushrooms to the same 12-inch saute pan, adding the 1 tablespoon of butter if needed, and saute until they give up their liquid, approximately 5 minutes.

Pour off any remaining fat and deglaze the pan with approximately 1 cup of the wine. Pour this into the crockpot along with the chicken stock, tomato paste, carrots, onions, celery, garlic, and bay leaf. Add all of the remaining wine. Turn crockpot to high until it comes to a boil and then turn to low and simmer all day long. Remove lid and simmer to reduce liquid by 1/3.

Serve over egg noodles, if desired.

Cook’s Note: If the sauce is not thick enough at the end of reducing, you may add a mixture of equal parts butter and flour kneaded together. Start with 1 tablespoon of each. Whisk this into the sauce for 4 to 5 minutes and repeat, if necessary.

A nice, flexible brunch type thing that heats up very well in the microwave is a baked fritatta. I have no measurements, but the ingredients are par-boiled cubed potatoes (till just tender), sauteed green or red bell peppers and mushrooms, crumbled cooked sausage - whatever you think of. Mix and put in a baking dish, pour several beaten eggs (or a carton of that egg white product in the dairy section of the grocery, if you are watching cholesterol) over, season with salt, pepper, oregano, or whatever. Bake at 350 degrees for half an hour, keep checking every five minutes, it may take longer - when the eggs are set like a puffy casserole, it’s done. We sometimes put on shredded cheese the last few minutes. It’s good with hot sauce and/or ketchup.