Tuesday, January 22, 2013
On Wednesdays, I usually use my crock pot for lunch--regardless of whether it is a true crock pot recipe or not. If it's not a genuine crock pot dish, I simply assemble all of the ingredients on Tuesday in the crock (with all precooking done ahead of time) and turn the crock on high for an hour then on low until, oh, say 9:00, when my thirty-year-old son who co-teaches with me all day starts to dig into it during class breaks. (I really have "crock pot Wednesday" for him as he adores soups and stews. As a matter of fact, when he was in college and that whole "Got milk?" thing was so popular, I had a t-shirt especially made for him with a steaming bowl of soup in the middle and the words "Got soup?" embroidered on it.)
Today's crock pot recipe isn't really a crock pot recipe. It came from a cookbook that a dear friend got me for Christmas: Homestyle in a Hurry (by Gooseberry Patch). But I precooked everything yesterday and threw it in the crock, stuck in the fridge, and got it out and "cooked" as described above. I guess in that way, everything becomes a crock pot meal on Wednesdays! (I teach forty students in four different classes in our cottage class service in our home on Wednesdays, and I can't watch a boiling pot, so the crock pot is my answer!)
So...here it goes...my revised, um, non-crock pot, slightly changed (always!) Kielbasa Chowder:
1/2 cup butter
1 huge onion, diced finely
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp allspice (I used "Mural of Flavor")
4 huge potatoes, diced and cooked
6 cups chicken broth
2 quarts half and half
1 (14 oz) packages of frozen yellow corn
1 (14 oz) can shoepeg corn, undrained
2 (14 oz) packages Kielbasa sausage, cut into rounds then in halves (bite sized pieces)
1. Melt butter in small pan over medium high heat.
2. Stir in onions, sprinkle with seasonings, and cook until dark and carmelized, about eight minutes, stirring frequently.
3. Toss everything above into the crock pot except for the broth and half and half. Put crock in fridge overnight.
4. The next morning, get it out and add the broth and half and half. (Sometimes I will heat the ingredients I'm adding to make it heat up faster. Occasionally, I will even stick the whole crock in the micro and speed up the heat through process, then transfer to the crock base.)
5. Heat in crock on high for one hour then turn down on low until heated through/flavors are mixed, about five or six hours.
Serves 12 to 16 people--or four teen/young adult guys!
Note: The real recipe says to just combine the onions, potatoes, corn, and half and half. Divide that in two and process half of it in the food processor. I just used my old fashioned hand-held potato masher to thicken/mash up some of the ingredients.Because I skipped this step and because I put my mixture into the crock pot instead of cooking down on the stove top, I had to further thicken this soup by stirring in mashed potato flakes (my thickener of choice near the end of cooking for many soups and stews!) and microwaving the crock insert (love those removable crocks!) for several minutes uncovered.