October 4, 2011

I love my crockpot!

To be successful at the "making dinner 3 times a week" goal, I have been leaning pretty heavily on my crock pot, what with my crazy schedules at work. I actually use a Hamilton Beach slow cooker with 3 interchangeable bowls. It's pretty sweet! The bitty 2 quart bowl is good for small dishes and dinner for 1. The 4 quart sees the most action around here, and is tall enough to accommodate stuffed peppers. The mighty 6 quart only comes out for the occasional vast amount of soup or roast, but I'm glad I have the choices.

Recently, I stumbled upon the delightful Stephanie O'Dea and her bevy of slow cooking delight. I'll be making one of hers tonight: Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms!

--4 large portabella mushrooms
--1 1/2 cups baby tomatoes
--1/4 cup olive oil
--1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
--1/2 t kosher salt
--1/2 t black pepper
--1 T dried basil
--1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
--1/4 cup bread crumbs

The Directions:

--with a paring knife, carefully cut off the stems of each mushroom. Chop the stems up, and put them in a mixing bowl.

--use a spoon to scoop out the brown hairy looking stuff from the mushrooms. Put that in your mixing bowl, too.

--chop up the tomatoes, and add them to the mix along with the bread crumbs, olive oil, vingegar, cheese, and spices.
--mix it up.

--smear a bit of olive oil on the bottom of your crockpot stoneware insert
--put the mushroom caps on top of the oil. I have a large 6qt, and my mushroom caps did not fit "nicely"---they were kind of on top of each other at the edges and were leaning a bit up the sides of the stoneware.
It's okay. They will still cook for you.

--spoon your filling mixture on top of the mushrooms. Remind yourself that you aren't making food to appear in Gordon Ramsay's kitchen---this is for your family. It needn't look "perfect!"

Cover and cook on low for 4-7 hours. I left our mushrooms on for 6 hours and served them over rice.

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