Category Archives: Slow cooker

Creme Brulee

On the weekend, I went to go see a play at the UFV theatre, Paper Wheat.  It was a great play!  I would recommend it.  It’s a musical about the Wheat Pool in Saskatchewan.  It sounds… well, kinda boring… but they did a good job!

We went to see the play with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law and his girlfriend.  I invited them all over for dessert.  It’s always a tough decision to decide what to make.  I paged through a few cookbooks, and in Make it Fast, Cook it Slow, there is recipe for slow-cooker creme brulee.  I decided to try it (it’s one of my mother-in-law’s favourite desserts).

It was a lot easier than I thought it would be!  I was going to use my slow cooker to cook the custard the first time, but, I wanted to make the creme brulee in individual ramekins, rather than in one dish like the recipe called for.  BUT, 5 ramekins would not fit into the slow cooker!  Grr!!  So, I ended up adapting the recipe for the oven.  I do not have a kitchen blow torch, so I had to broil them to caramelize the sugar on top. 

The creme brulee tasted delicious, but, it was a bit runny for some reason.  I’m wondering if it is because I broiled them, rather than torching them.  I think that may have overheated the dessert, causing the custard to seperate.  And, we ate it right away, after it was broiled, rather than chilling it again.  But, regardless, the dessert turned out wonderfully… even better than I thought!

Creme Brulee
adapted from http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2008/02/crockpot-crme-brulee-recipe.html

2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 cup raw sugar (for topping, later!)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

Get 4-6 ramekins and make sure that they fit into a baking dish (I used a 9×13 pan).  Place them in the dish.  Beat the egg yolks, then slowly whip in the cream, sugar and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.  Pour the mixture into the ramekins.  Now, put the 9×13 pan on the oven rack and add tap water around the ramekins, until the water is halfway up the ramekins outer side.   Put this in the oven, and cook for around an hour.  Mine took closer to one hour and 20 minutes.  When the edges are set, but the center is still jiggly, remove from the oven. 

If you would like to try it in the slow cooker, pour the custard into a dish that will fit inside your cooker.  Try a 1-1/2 quart dish.  Then, add water to the outside of the dish until it is halfway up the outside of the dish.  Cook on high for 2-4 hours.  Chill for 3 hours. 

Place the ramekins in the refrigerator and chill for at least three hours.   Turn on the broiler (or your kitchen blow torch).  Sprinkle raw sugar on the top of each custard .  Broil until the sugar is caramelized.  Now, you can chill them again for a few hours until they are cool.  Eat and enjoy!

Go ahead!  Try it!
The Hungry Teacher

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Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon

I’m quite certain that almost everyone has seen Julie & Julia.  I have.  It was a great movie.  It was well done, and made me pine for France.  I was there for a total of  5 days this summer and I fell in love.  If there’s one country I want to revisit and spend a lot of time in, it’s France.  I loved the rest of our European trip too, but France is so special.  The movie made me want to go back and live there.  Maybe one day, you never know!

It’s fitting that I am cooking a French meal on Tuesday, the day I teach 1 hour of French.  I teach half an hour to the grade ones and twos, and then half an hour to my grade threes and fours.  “Bonjour mes amies, bonjour….” is what we sang today!

I didn’t really know a lot about Julia Child before watching the movie.  Currently, I am listening to her autobiography My Life in France on my iPod.  It’s completely fascinating!  Her zest for life and love for cooking is inspiring!  I love to cook, but trying mayonnaise many times, just to get it right, sounds a bit crazy to me (ok, well, I was obsessed with making homemade mayo for a few weeks last year, but that’s beside the point!).   I have Mastering the Art of French Cooking on order from the used bookstore (I don’t really want to pay full price for it), and maybe once I get it, I will learn a lot more about her, and begin telling you what I learn.  But for now, Julie & Julia was the reason I made Beef Bourguignon tonight.

By the way, I got three new cookbooks in the mail today!  So exciting!  A slow cooker cookbook, and two bread making cookbooks.  Yum!  Plus, the tip had broken on my Pampered Chef Santoku knife, so I had sent it back to be replaced.  I got it back today!  It is even more beautiful than the knife I had.  I cannot wait to try it again!  I got an 8″ Chef’s Knife (double Henkels, 4 star) for Christmas from my mother-in-law and it is amazing! 

Because of a short time in between getting home and running out for a meeting tonight, I decided to make dinner in the slow cooker.  The meeting got cancelled, but that’s beside the point!  So, I got everything together last night and throw it into my slow cooker and refrigerated it overnight.  This recipe was great!  The husband loved it!  So much rich flavour, yum!  I served it with a baguette (bought form Safeway), but tonight I learned that beef bourguignon is served with buttered noodles (according to Julia Child).  The noodles may have been nice, but a crusty baguette with butter is definitely pretty incredible as well.  I certainly did not feel like I was missing anything.

One note: if you open a can of tomato paste, and don’t know what to do with the rest, freeze it!  I threw mine into a ziploc bag (took it out of the can, first!) and put it in the freezer.  It’ll stay good for a while and you can toss it into your pasta sauce, chili or anything else that’s tomato based! 

Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon
recipe adapted from goodbite.com

6 slices bacon, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
3 lbs rump roast, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes (I used an inside round roast, worked out great!)
salt and pepper
3 Tbsp. flour
1/3 cup brandy
1-1/4 cups beef broth
1 cup red wine
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp thyme
1 whole bay leaf
1/2 lb small white onions (after reading more, we realized this meant pearl onions, but we used 2 regular onions, cut into chunks.  It was fine.  Maybe not quite Julia Child authentic, but good nonetheless!)
1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crisp.

Season beef with salt and pepper.  Put it in the pan and sprinkle with flour.  Brown on all sides in the bacon drippings.  I would brown the beef in batches.  Mine was overcrowded, causing it to release a lot of moisture.  If you brown in batches, throw all meat back into pan.  Turn off heat and add brandy.  Mix, turn heat back on and add beef broth, stirring to get up all of the meaty goodness from the bottom of the pan.  Continue cooking until thickened.

Transfer to slow cooker.  If you are refrigerating overnight, I would let it cool a bit, then add the remaining ingredients.    Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. 

Au Revoir!
The Hungry Teacher

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Filed under Dinner, Slow cooker

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

Yum.  Is there anything better coming home to a house smelling of a delicious dinner already cooked?  Well, it depends on who you are, but I don’t really think so. 

Last night, while my dinner was in the oven, I made Slow Cooker Taco Soup and put it in the removable crock from my crockpot and put it in the fridge over night.  A lot of cookbooks I read say to quickly throw the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning before work.  What time do these people start work?  Probably not 7:45am (plus a half hour drive away).  I value my sleep too much for sacrificing 15 minutes for dinner.  I make the majority of my slow cooker meals the night before, and they always turn out just fine.  I’m not sure if it matters, but I usually take it out of the fridge when I’m making my coffee, so it can warm up a bit before I turn the slow cooker on.

This recipe made a FULL crock of soup.  We had 9 containers portioned out to go in the freezer for lunches.   Yes, it freezes and reheats in the microwave very well!

So, here’s the recipe.

Slow Cooker Taco Soup
(Adapted from www.allrecipes.com)

Serves 8-10

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can black beans, with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
  • 1 (12 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes (I used tomatoes with onions, celery and spices in them)
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • Sour cream, optional
  • Cheddar cheese, optional
  • 1.  Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet.  Drain and set aside.

    2.  Combine all remaining ingredients in slow cooker.  Mix to blend.  Cook on high for 4 hours, or on low for 8 hours.

    3.  Ladle into bowls and garnish with sour cream and cheese, if desired.  Enjoy!

    XOXO,

    The Hungry Teacher

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    Filed under Dinner, Slow cooker