Amazingly Easy French Dip Sandwiches

French dip sandwiches

 

 

This is one of my super keeper recipes!  Why?  Because it’s nearly effortless.  If you have FIVE minutes you can throw this together before you zip out the door, a few hours before dinner!  It’s THAT easy.  It’s from a Betty Crocker book.  I’ve been making it years!  I’ve experimented and added dried fennel seeds and played around with it.  It never fails!

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 lb. boneless chuck roast (or whatever else you like.  I’ve used bottom round roasts as well)
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped (I’ve used garlic powder in the past)
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 2 loaves (1 lb. each) French bread (just estimate here)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. If beef roast comes in netting or is tied, do not remove.  In 3.5-4 quart slow cooker, place beef.
  2. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients except bread, pour mixture over beef.
  3. Cover and cook on low setting 7-8 hours (this depends on your slow cooker, mine only took 4 hours on low!)
  4. Skim any fat from surface of juices in slow cooker, discard bay leaf and peppercorns.
  5. Remove beef and place on cutting board.  Remove netting, if applicable.
  6. Cut beef into thin slices and place on cut bread.  Serve with broth for dipping!

Balsamic Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker

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My sister-in-law, Ann, gave me this fantastic recipe for slow cooker pork tenderloin marinated in balsamic vinegar plus other marinades and spices.  Thanks, Ann!  It’s from Add a Pinch website, link below.  It’s fantastic!  I loved the flavor and sauce!  I really liked that it didn’t smell too “porky”, I’m sensitive to smells and they turn me off.  I used garlic powder just fine.  It took 5 minutes to prepare and was just a waiting game.  On low it took about 4-4.5 hours.  It was even easy to shred!  YUM!

Author: Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 1 2-3 pound boneless pork tenderloin
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Instructions
  1. Place pork tenderloin into the insert of your slow cooker. In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix together all remaining ingredients. Pour over pork and set the timer for your slow cooker. (4 hours on High or 6-8 hours on Low)
  2. Once pork tenderloin has cooked, remove from slow cooker with tongs into a serving dish. Break apart lightly with two forks and then ladle about ¼ – ½ cup of gravy over pork tenderloin.
  3. Store remaining gravy in an airtight container in the refrigerator for another use.

http://addapinch.com/cooking/2013/07/12/balsamic-pork-tenderloin-recipe/

Italian Tortellini Garden (Slow Cooker) Soup

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We absolutely loved this slow cooker soup – Dave said it was my best slow cooker soup ever!  It’s chock full of healthy veggies, like awesome zucchini, and has the creamy tortellini for a unique flavor.  Don’t skimp on the diced tomato can – make sure you get the one that has basil, garlic, and oregano in it for FULL flavor!  Instead of the onion, I added more bell pepper and celery.  I couldn’t find navy beans in a can so I subbed red kidney beans.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 T. extra-virigin olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, undrained
  • 1 can (15 oz) navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans, thawed
  • 2 cans (14 oz each) chicken broth
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 package (9 oz) refrigerated sausage or cheese tortellini pasta (I used frozen cheese tortellini and let it come to room temp).
  • 3 T. chopped fresh basil
  • Grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add bell pepper, onion, and celery.  Cook and stir 4 minutes or until onions are translucent.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, zucchini, green beans, broth, and garlic powder.
  3. Cover, cook on low 7 hours, or high 3.5 hours. (Your slow cooker will vary).
  4. Turn slow cooker to high, add tortellini and cook 20 -25 minutes longer or until pasta is tender.
  5. Stir in basil.  Garnish each serving with cheese.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

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This is such a simple pulled pork recipe!  It only works with regular root beer, not diet.  So it’s the only time you’ll see regular pop in my house.  It turns out beautifully!  The recipe says you can make it with a pork loin roast, but I had tried that previously and noticed the tenderloin shreds MUCH easier!  Leftovers are just as good as the main meal!  We used Sweet Baby Ray’s “Original” sauce, my favorite BBQ sauce, even though it’s not the healthiest one, it’s one sacrifice we make because we love it.  You could use any BBQ though.  ENJOY! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • One 2-lb. pork tenderloin
  • One 12 fl. oz. can or bottle root beer (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • One 18 oz. bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 8 Hamburger buns, split (lightly toasted, optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker, pour the root beer over the meat. 
  2. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and shreds easily, about 6-7 hours.  (Pork should get to a minimum temperature of 160 degrees to be safe, though the USDA said it can be 145, I go with 160 minimum).  The length of slow cooker time varies by your slow cooker.
  3. Drain well.  Stir in BBQ sauce. 
  4. Serve over buns.

Tiff’s Salsa Chicken In the Slow Cooker

 

 

 

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When I’m done with school, I will definitely be creating more of my own recipes and recipes that are more advanced than this.  This was a simple creation of using what I had left in the fridge: salsa, chicken, left-over rice.  With my not-so-slow cooker, it took about 2.5-3 hours on low.  Your results may vary. 

You can easily scale this recipe up.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 14 oz. frozen boneless skinless chicken
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • Few turns of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups mild chunky salsa (or whatever it takes to cover chicken in slow cooker). 
  • Monterrey Jack, Mexican, or any other suitable type of shredded cheese
  • Rice
  • Optional green onions, sour cream, etc.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place frozen chicken in slow cooker.
  2. Sprinkle cumin and black pepper evenly across chicken.  Pour salsa over chicken.
  3. Cook on low until pretty cooked.  Scrape off salsa and remove chicken to a cutting board.  Chop into bite size pieces.  (I wanted to shred the chicken but it was not willing at this point).  Return chopped chicken to slow cooker. 
  4. Prepare your rice before chicken is complete.
  5. Continue cooking in your slow cooker until the chicken registers 165-170°, or as you prefer. 
  6. Place rice on place, scoop chicken and sauce mixture and pour over rice.  Top with cheese, sour cream, or other toppings.

Mouthwatering Beer-Marinated Beef Roast

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I love this recipe.  First I thought it was wonderful in the oven, but the second time I made it, I had the idea of putting it in the slow cooker and the result was even better!  The slow cooker method is highly suggested!  Marinate as long as possible for best flavor, preferably 24 hours in fridge!  I used a Boston roast but choose whatever you like!

 

INGREDIENTS:

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Use a metal skewer to poke some holes throughout the beef roast so marinade can penetrate.  (Poke every single side!)
  2. Whisk together beer, honey, soy sauce, Montreal steak seasoning, and garlic in bowl. 
  3. Pour into a large resealable plastic bag. (You may want to put the bag inside of a bowl, like I did, just in case the bag leaks).
  4. Add the roast, squeeze out excess air, and seal the bag.  Marinate in fridge at least 24 hours.
  5. Put into slow cooker on low.  Use a thermometer to measure doneness.  My “SLOW” cooker took 3 hours on low. 
  6. Alternatively, heat oven to 350° F and cook until desired doneness.  (When I did the oven method, I lowered it to 300° or it cooked too quickly)
  7. Remove from oven and cover with foil, and let rest for approximately 20 minutes before slicing. 

 

 

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

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My friend, Cris, gave me this recipe.  I am glad I have it; I have always wanted to make a minestrone soup and never got the chance.  I also never made it because most recipes had literally 20 ingredients.  This one stays simple and is very fresh and nice.  I’d suggest reducing the pasta to 1 cup of raw pasta.  Ditalini would work best but at the time I couldn’t find it.  So I don’t know if the elbows puffed up more than ditalini would have, but I’d guess, even using ditalini, it’d be better using 1 cup of raw pasta.  We had just come from the apple orchard farm and bought fresh green beans, they were great.  If you don’t like a certain veggie or prefer another one (like zucchini or spinach), add it on in!  Enjoy!! 

 

It says it makes about 6 servings, but it depends.  You could easily halve this recipe to test it out or make for a smaller amount of people! 

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 28oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 4 carrots chopped
  • 1 onion chopped (I used onion powder)
  • 1.5 cups fresh green beans chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced (we used garlic powder, no problem)
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano (dried is fine)
  • 2 cups pasta, like ditalini or shells, (I suggest using 1 cup raw, estimate how much you think you’ll like).
  • 1/2 can red kidney beans (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Chop the carrots, onion, and celery fine.
  2. Place the carrots, onion, and celery, plus all the other ingredients (except pasta) in the slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high for the first hour, then turn to low and cook for a few more hours. 
  4. Add the pasta in for the last 20 minutes of cooking and test a piece before turning the slow cooker off.

 

 

Chicken Cordon Bleu In The Slow Cooker

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I have always wanted to make chicken cordon bleu myself and finally did it, this time in the slow cooker!  It is definitely not healthy for you, but I figured I’d make it about 1-2x a year and if I made it, I will have known the exact ingredients in it (no preservatives and fake chemicals) versus buying it frozen or in most restaurants.  This came out of my Crock Pot Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes Book (c) 2010.  It is really tasty.  Once I seasoned it in the bag, I added additional pepper to them.  It IS on the heavy side so just eat less of it! Makes 4 servings.  ENJOY!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, lightly pounded
  • 4 slices ham (We used deli ham)
  • 4 slices Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white cooking wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine flour, paprika, salt and pepper in a resealable plastic bag and shake well, set aside.
  2. Place flattened chicken on cutting board, skin side down.  Please 1 slice ham and 1 slice cheese on each piece.  Fold chicken up to enclose filling and secure with toothpick.  Place in bag with seasoned flour and shake gently to coat.
  3. This is where I took the chicken out of the bag and added a little more pepper.
  4. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat until hot.  Add chicken, skin side down.  Brown on all sides.  Transfer to slow cooker.
  5. Remove skillet from heat and add wine.  Cook and stir to loosen browned bits (A.K.A. Deglazing).  Pour into slow cooker.  Add broth.  Cover and cook on LOW 2 hours. 
  6. Remove chicken with slotted spoon.  Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  7. Mix together half-and-half and cornstarch.  Add to cooking liquid.
  8. Cover, cook on LOW for 15 minutes longer or until sauce has thickened. 
  9. To serve, remove toothpicks, place chicken on plates and spoon sauce around chicken, with extra sauce if desired. 

Orange Cranberry-Nut Bread

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This is my first attempt at anything other than dinner in the slow cooker.  This isn’t a true yeast bread, it’s more of a quick bread, like dessert.  I liked that it wasn’t too sugary.  At first I thought it would be a flop when the sides were cooking faster than the top/middle.  I’m glad I gave it longer to cook, because it tastes great.  I substituted the pecans for the peanuts and it tasted wonderful and the peanuts got soft and warm.  I didn’t have dried orange peel so I grated fresh orange peel and it was fine.  This is definitely a winner for taste and looks!  It’s from my small slow cooker book named “Crock Pot Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes” (2010).  My son helped make it and he loves it!

The recipe says to use a round slow cooker approximately 3 quart.  I have two slow cookers.  One is oval and the other is round and has inserts for 2, 4, and 6 quarts.  I used the 4 quart round insert.  Since every slow cooker I’ve ever owned runs hot, I decided to cook this on the low setting.  

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Makes 8-10 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans (or peanuts)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 teaspoons dried orange peel
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Coat 3 quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. 
  2. Blend flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.  Mix in pecans or nuts, set aside.
  3. Combine cranberries and orange peel in separate medium bowl, pour boiling water over fruit mixture and stir.
  4. Add sugar, shortening, egg, and vanilla, stir just until blended.
  5. Add flour mixture, stir just until blended.
  6. Pour batter into slow cooker.  Cover, cook on high 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until edges begin to brown and cake tester inserted into center comes out clean. 
  7. Remove stoneware carefully from slow cooker, with oven mitts.
  8. Cool on wire rack about 10 minutes, remove bread from stoneware and cool completely on rack.

Asian Beef With Broccoli

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To say I love this recipe is an understatement.  Sometimes slow cooker recipes look great on paper and the execution is lacking.  This one really is awesome!  I used fresh broccoli and I reluctantly used the oyster sauce.  I thought it would ruin the recipe and smell fishy, but it was a great enhancement (and did not smell fishy!).  I used beef stock from bouillon.  The sauce that is created is SOOO good and the rice soaks it up.  I recommend LOW HEAT as my cooker cooks fast for a “slow” cooker.  It’s from my new cookbook “Crock Pot: Favorite Slow Cooker Recipes (c) 2010”.  Before I drool, I’ll tell you the recipe:

Makes 4-6 servings.  Takes approximately 3 1/4 hours on high.  (It took me probably that same time on low).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless chuck steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick, sliced into thin strips. 
  • 1 can (10.5 ounces) condensed beef consomme, undiluted.
  • 1/2 cup oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 bag (16 oz) fresh broccoli florets
  • Hot cooked rice
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place beef in slow cooker and pour consomme and oyster sauce over beef.  Cover and cook on high 3 hours.  (I did low heat and it turned out fine).
  2. Combine cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cooking liquid in small bowl.  Stir well to combine.  Stir into slow cooker.
  3. Cover, cook on high 15 minutes longer or until thickened (I still did low heat).
  4. Prepare broccoli as directed on bag, or steam your fresh broccoli.  Put broccoli in slow cooker and gently toss beef and broccoli together.
  5. Serve over rice, garnish with sesame seeds if desired.