Much fun with the crockpot! I have a Rival 6 Quart Smart Pot – in white, and I hadn’t used it in a while. I took it down last week, and my husband is now saying that I can’t cook anything new for a while… It is true that the 6 quart does make a lot of food! That’s what the freezer is for!
I had originally wanted to make some sort of Indian curry with lamb. I have all sorts of spice packets that I have collected at foreign markets (here in Atlanta!) and haven’t used them lately – except for my Indonesian gizzard adventure (not my best effort!
I made a stew with vegetables and chickpeas with spice packets from Parampara. The only mistake I made was not to have everything start at the same level of cookedness. I took red bell peppers, onions, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, peas, and broccoli. I added a can of chick peas. What I’m talking about as far as cookedness is concerned, is that the bell peppers, onions, and potatoes were not cooked. The other ingredients were. I also mixed two spice packets – something I am sure that the Indian makers of the spice mixes would raise their eyebrows at! – Pav Bhaji and I think, Veg Jaipuri. After all, I had a lot of veggies, and I didn’t think one packet would do it. After starting out on the stove, I ran out of patience and moved the mess to the slow cooker. I think it cooked in about 3-4 hours, but the frozen veggies were a bit soft! I also thickened the sauce with a couple of Tbsp. of corn starch.
Then, I had a hankering for – you guessed it – BEEF TONGUE! I got a nice 3 pound tongue, and cooked it for my new recipe:
Burritos de Lengua in Salsa Verde
Stage One – Preparing the beef tongue.
3 1/2 pounds beef tongue
2 quarts water
20 whole coriander
5 crushed garlic cloves
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
20 whole black peppercorns
1 tsp. cumin
a pinch of salt
4 bay leaves
Combine all ingredients in slow-cooking pot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or until tender. Remove from pot; drain. Cool slightly; remove skin with sharp knife.
Stage Two – Stewing the beef in Salsa Verde
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium-sized sweet white onions, chopped
1 – 15 oz. jar of Dona Maria Nopalitos
1 cooked beef tongue, chopped in 1/2 inch cubes (approximately)
1 – 7 oz. can of Herdez Salsa Verde
1 – 10 oz. can of Green Enchilada Sauce
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 cloves garlic, chopped or 2 tsp. dried garlic
Sautee onions in olive oil on high until soft, then add the nopalitos. Then, add the chopped beef tongue. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat to medium-high. Add the salsa verde and the enchilada sauce and stir to evenly coat tongue and onions. Add cilantro and garlic and stir again. Cook until heated through, then simmer on low heat for 5 minutes.
That’s all I’ve done so far. I stored the tongue in the fridge, for consumption tomorrow. I patterned this recipe after my favorite tongue burritos at El Taco Veloz. They usually prepare them with chopped cilantro, raw white onions and a spicy green sauce. I thought that I would tame it a bit. Tomorrow, I will probably serve it in a burrito wrapper, with some chihuahua cheese. After heating, I will put some sour cream and chopped cilantro on top. Lime might be a good addition. Should be good.
I also made a bread pudding in my slow cooker. It’s a recipe from another Lora Brody cookbook I have called Plugged In. To save typing, I was able to find the recipe on the internet:
RUM-CROISSANT BREAD PUDDING
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup dark or light rum
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecan halves
5 large stale croissants cut into thirds — horizontally
Grease the cookery insert of a slow cooker generously with the butter. Combine the milk, cream, eggs, sugar, rum, vanilla and pecans in a large bowl and stir well to combine. Divide the croissant slices evenly into four piles. Place one pile in an overlapping fashion in the bottom of the slow cooker. Pour in one third of the milk mixture. Add another layer of croissants, then another third of the liquid. Repeat one more time, finishing with a layer of croissants. Cover, set on high, and cook for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to low and cook until the custard is set and an instant read thermometer inserted in the center registers 190 degrees F. Serve hot or at room temperature.
I used almonds instead of pecans, 4 cups of half and half instead of 2 cups whole milk and 2 cups heavy cream, and kirsch instead of rum. I made a sauce of canned cherries, frozen peaches, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup kirsch, and 1 Tbsp. corn starch, heated on the stove. It was pretty good – we’ll see if it has more flavor the second day.