July 29, 2011

Non-creative dinner nights

Ever have one of those days where you just don't want to have to deal with dinner? I do, lots of times. Especially when all your creative energy is going to something you are working on like painting, or crafting or gardening - I hate to have to stop and make dinner. Those are the days when I love my crockpot. It's like having your own personal chef. Dinner is Served!

This recipe is one of my "Go To" ones, because it is sooooo easy, the whole family loves it, and you can do other stuff with the left-overs.

Chili Verde Pork with Carrots

I buy the pork rounds at Costco for this recipe. They come in a four-pack that you can separate and I can get multiple meals out of it.

1 Pork Round
4 - 5 Large Carrots
1 Onion
1 large can of Green Enchilada Sauce
Salt / Pepper / Garlic  or
(Special seasoning blend** see end of this post)

Put it all in a crockpot - low 6-8 hrs or on high for several hours, until the meat flakes with a fork.
Serve over white rice and ladle lots of sauce over your rice.

That's it!

I cut the carrots in large chunks on the diagonal and they go in first. Then chop the onion in the size pieces your family likes - or you can totally omit this if they don't like onions.
Then place the pork round on top of the carrots.
Pour the whole can of the enchilada sauce over everything and season the meat with seasoning blend or just salt and pepper.
I always look for the MILD enchilada sauce but they don't seem to sell it in the the large cans, which is the cheapest. You can get little cans of the mild, but we don't seem to mind the Medium.  My husband is not into spicy foods and he can take it, so its not really that hot.

This last time I cooked it I didn't even defrost the meat!
I cooked it from 12:30 to 6:30 on high and it came out perfect.

Recently I started adding frozen corn to the pot about 20  minutes before we eat, or just when I start to cook the rice in the rice cooker and Julia loves it. Since it's summer we've been cooking lots of fresh corn and I had a couple of cooked ears in the fridge. So I cut the kernels off and threw them in the pot! Delish.


Here it is over rice. The carrots cooking in the sauce all day get a real nice flavor, like Mexican Restaurant hot carrots- YUM. The rice sucks up all that green yummy enchilada flavored sauce with onion and the whole thing is just so good and easy. In this shot Julia and I actually spiced it up a bit with some hot sauce - but that is totally up to your taste buds. You could probably add a lot of things to customize it, but it really is great with just these few ingredients.

You can remove the meat and it makes great tacos or burritos for another meal. I even keep some of the carrots and corn in it for burritos and it's wonderful.

Special Seasoning Blend
I keep a small cute little white porcelain pot next to the stove that I fill with I call my 'House Blend' of seasoning. I used to buy something called Natures Seasonings which I loved, but I guess it wasn't that popular, because it became harder to find. So I started making my own. I bought some larger bulk sizes of some of the ingredients so I always them on hand in the pantry when I need to make a new batch.

Here are the ingredients, I make a small batch at a time and keep it in a bowl so I can just grab a pinch.
I use it on EVERYTHING!  - Well not dessert - but everything else.

1T onion powder
1T garlic powder
1T ground pepper
1T celery salt (look for the big container in the discount bulk spices) 
I think this is the key flavor enhancer so don't omit it
1/2 T celery seed
1/2 T dried dill or less 
You can adjust to your liking, and most of the time I don't really measure I just eyeball it right into my little pot. You'll get to know what you like after you try it !

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