Crockpot Pot Roast With Garlic-Thyme Gravy Over Oven Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

16 05 2012

This beauty is brought to us by Cuisine’s Slow Cooker Menus and is perfect for a hectic weekday! This can be set up the night before, or in the morning before you head out. And when you get home dinner is done with just a few finishing touches, such as serving with a side of This Girl’s simple roasted potatoes and green beans.

Crockpot Pot Roast With Garlic-Thyme Gravy Over Oven Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans

The following makes 6 servings of the pot roast:

  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 boneless chuck roast, trimmed, seasoned with salt and pepper (3-4 lbs)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 and 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 6 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 2-to-3-inch pieces
  • 3 large celery ribs, cut into 2-to-3-inch pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • Green onions or chives for garnish

Heat oil in a saute pan over medium-high. Brown roast on all sides, 10 minutes total. Transfer roast to a 4-to-6-qt slow cooker.

Stir flour into the pan; cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute more. Deglaze saute pan with wine, cooking until liquid evaporates. Stir in broth and worcestershire; bring mixture to a simmer, scrapping up any browned bits.

Transfer broth mixture to the slow cooker; add onions, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaves. Cover and cook until meat is fork-tender, on high heat setting for 4-5 hours or on low-heat setting for 8-9 hours. Discard thyme sprigs and bay leaves before serving.

This Girl’s Extras:

  • For the potatoes and green beans: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cube 4 medium-large potatoes (I used red skinned) for every 2 people. Put potatoes in a zip lock bag and drizzle with olive oil, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary and salt and pepper. Seal bag and toss around until well coated. Place on a non-stick baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes. Next, add a handful of fresh green beans (per person) and toss with potatoes. Roast for another 15 minutes, check to make sure the potatoes and green beans are done – if not – roast a few minutes longer.
  • For the gravy: Remove the meat from the slow cooker and set aside. If the sauce seems to thin, heat 1 Tbsp unsalted butter in a medium saucepan, and when melted stir in 1 Tbsp flour and cook for a few seconds, next strain sauce into the rue (flour and melted butter mixture). If the sauce is thick enough, just strain it right into a saucepan without making a rue. Cook the sauce until thick like gravy, taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Keep the onions and carrots set aside from what you strained to serve along with the meat if desired.
  • Serve pot roast alongside potatoes, green beans and cooked onions and carrots if so desired. Top with gravy and garnish with green onions or chives.
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Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Quesadilla With Avocado-Yogurt Crema

7 05 2012

In my last post for Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Casserole I mentioned this casserole would also make a great filling for quesadillas. So in true resourceful fashion, I turned leftovers into tonight’s dinner….quesadillas. The addition of the avocado-yogurt crema totally made the dish!

Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Quesadilla With Avocado-Yogurt Crema

The following serves 2:

  • 4 flour tortillas, fajita style
  • Leftover potato and chorizo casserole
  • Extra mexican shredded cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 or 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 1 avocado, pitted and peeled
  • 1 lime, zest and half the juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Reheat the potato and chorizo casserole in a large saute pan with a little olive oil over medium heat. As it warms through, mash it with a potato masher. Divide the potato and chorizo mixture equally between two tortillas (I like to build and cook these on a pizza stone). Top with some shredded cheese and place another tortilla on top and firmly press down. Bake on the pizza stone in the oven until the tops start to crisp, then flip and continue baking until the bottoms start to crisp.

For the avocado-yogurt crema: Puree yogurt, cilantro or parsley, oil, garlic, avocado and zest and lime juice until smooth. Season with a little cayenne, salt and black pepper. Mix well and adjust seasoning to your liking. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Remove tortillas from oven and let cool for a few minutes before cutting. Serve along with the avocado-yogurt crema and a salad if desired. The salad I made shown above was with romaine lettuce, parsley, lime juice, olive oil, garlic powder and a little salt.





Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Casserole

5 05 2012

I found a sauteed potato and chorizo recipe from Food Network’s Marcela Valladolid, made some of This Girl’s tweaks to turn it into a casserole, and brought it as a side dish for a Cino de Mayo party. This potato casserole would be a great addition to a brunch menu or a good stuffing for tacos or quesadillas too!

Potato, Chorizo and Cheese Casserole

The following serves 6-8:

  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces Mexican pork chorizo, casings removed (I used 5 sausage-sized links, about 1.25 lbs total)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 pound red skinned new potatoes, cut into small (1/4-inch) dice, and boiled (I used 14 Idaho potatoes instead)
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 anaheim or banana pepper, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese or Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo and cook, breaking up the clumps, until dry and crisp, about 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chorizo to a paper lined plate to absorb any additional oil. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan and heat the pan over medium-high heat.

Add the onions, peppers, garlic and boiled potatoes and saute until brown, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer half the potatoes to a casserole or baking dish, top with half the chorizo and 1 cup of cheese. Next add the rest of the potatoes, the rest of the chorizo and the final 1 cup of cheese. Bake covered in the oven 10-15 minutes or so, then uncover and continue baking until cheese is fully melted and crisp.

Additional This Girl tip: When making this dish again, I wouldn’t boil the potatoes first. They started to fall apart once sauteed. Next time, I would saute them raw to get the nice crunch I was looking for.





Pesto Chicken With Shallot Smashed Potatoes

1 05 2012

I love getting inspired by ingredients I have around the house, and this meal is a great example. Inspired by leftover basil and roasted red pepper pesto I made the other day and a few potatoes in the pantry, tonight’s dinner was fast and delicious!

Pesto Chicken With Shallot Smashed Potatoes

The following serves 2 with leftover potatoes:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Pesto – either homemade or store-bought (I used leftover basil and roasted red pepper pesto from my antipasto post the other day)
  • 6 medium red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 shallot, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • Ricotta cheese, a few Tbsp
  • Fresh basil, sliced in ribbons

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat a little olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute for a few minutes until both sides start to brown. Spread pesto over the chicken until well coated and bake in the oven covered for 10 minutes. Top chicken with some cheese and continue to cook uncovered in the oven until cheese melts, another 5 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water and potatoes to a boil and cook until tender, about 12 minutes. In a separate pan, melt butter and saute shallots and garlic until golden brown. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook for about a minute. Add the chicken stock and cook for another minute, just to warm through.

When the potatoes are done, drain and return to pot. Add the shallot sauce and salt and pepper  to taste and smash with a potato masher until desired consistency. Next add a few Tbsp of ricotta cheese and mix well.

To serve, spoon some of the pesto sauce from the chicken onto the plate and top with a piece of chicken and potatoes. Garnish potatoes with basil ribbons.





Indian Chicken Wrap With Crispy Coriander Potatoes

9 02 2012

Made a great Indian meal tonight from two recipes I wanted to try. They each sounded good on their own, and putting them together was a wise choice…the heat from the chile pepper in the wrap was offset nicely by the potatoes.

Indian Chicken Wrap With Crispy Coriander Potatoes

For the Indian Chicken Wrap (serves 4, courtesy of Food Network Magazine):

  • 1-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 1 serrrano chile pepper, halved, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, skim removed
  • 2 medium carrots, shredded
  • 4 pieces naan bread or pocket-less pita, warmed

Combine the ginger, chile, onion, cumin and 1/4 tsp salt in a mini food processor and pulse to make a thick paste (or finely chop and mash with the flat side of a knife). In another bowl, mix the yogurt, lime juice, cilantro and a pinch of salt. Cover and chill until ready to use.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ginger-chile paste and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, carrots, 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 cup water and continue to cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is heated through, about 2 more minutes. Season with salt.

Spoon one-quarter of the chicken filling down the middle of each piece of bread. Drizzle with some of the yogurt sauce and roll up. Serve with the crispy coriander potatoes.

Crispy Coriander Potatoes (serves 4, courtesy of Aarti Sequeira):

  • 1 and 1/2 pounds small red potatoes
  • Salt
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • Squeeze fresh lime or lemon, optional

Throw the potatoes in a large pot, cover with room temperature water, and season with salt. Set on a high flame and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until a fork inserted into the potatoes draws out without resistance, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Once they’re cool enough to handle, cut each potato into bite-size pieces.

In a large skillet or wok, warm the oil until it’s shimmering but not smoking. Add the fennel seeds; they should sizzle upon contact with the oil. Immediately add the potatoes, coriander, turmeric, thyme, salt, and pepper (I left out the fennel and turmeric and these were delicious). Stir-fry until the potatoes get crispy and golden brown on the outside. Finish with the fresh cilantro and lime juice and serve along with the chicken wrap.

This Girl’s Tip: I would recommend under cooking the potatoes a little. Even though I followed the recipe, I think the potatoes were a little overcooked, ultimately making it more challenging to get crispy while stir frying.





Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

1 12 2011

There are those of us who enjoy leftovers, and there are those of us who don’t. Personally, I love leftovers and coming up with creative ways to re-invent them the next day! Doesn’t matter what side of the table you sit on regarding this topic, check out how This Girl uses up day-old mashed potatoes!

Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes

The following makes about 15 medium-large sized cakes:

  • 4 cups leftover mashed potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup flour (using more flour will make it less likely for the cakes to fall apart when you’re cooking them)
  • Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
  • A little fresh lemon juice and chopped parsley

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Heat skillet over medium-high heat with a few tablespoons of butter and a tablespoon or two of olive oil (just eyeball it). Use a small measuring cup or large spoon to scoop out mixture and drop into hot pan. Cook until brown and then flip – about 5-6 minutes per side depending how crispy you like them. Cook in batches, you may need to add more butter and oil and you go.

Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the cakes and garnish with chopped parsley. You can also serve these with sour cream or applesauce on the side.





Turkey Pie Casserole

12 09 2011

My latest issue of Cuisine at Home had this beauty, and I was pleasantly surprised that I had nearly all of the ingredients it called for at my fingertips (with a few of This Girl’s substitutes of course)! This is a great fall or winter Sunday supper, especially during football season – GO BROWNS! It’s easy to whip up in between time-outs or commercials, will satisfy your hunger and you’ll have plenty of leftovers to enjoy at the beginning of the week – if you’re not feeding a football team that is 🙂

Turkey Pie Casserole

Serves 8 (even if you’re only making this for 2-4 people, make the whole recipe and enjoy the leftovers!):

  • 1 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 4 Tbsp.oil, divided
  • 1 cup each diced onion, carrot and celery
  • 1 Tbsp each minced garlic and fresh thyme (I used about 1/2 Tbsp of dried thyme)
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained 14.5 oz (I didn’t drain the tomatoes though and it came out great)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 cups frozen hash brown potatoes (I used a little over 6 cups of cubed hash brown potatoes instead)
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup shredded white cheddar (I used sharp yellow cheddar)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 2-quart or larger baking dish with nonstick spray.

For the filling: brown turkey in 2 Tbsp oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat, 8-10 minutes. Transfer turkey to dish and discard any liquid. Heat remaining 2 Tbsp oil in same pan over medium. Add onion, carrot and celery and sweat about 5 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant about 1 minute. Stir in flour and tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Next whisk in diced tomatoes, broth, wine, worcestershire and dijon – bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in reserved turkey and peas. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer filling to baking dish.

For the topping: arrange potatoes on top of filling and then drizzel with the melted butter.

Bake pie for 30 minutes. Sprinkle top with cheddar and bake until potatoes are cooked through, about 20 minutes more. Let pie cool 10-15 minutes before serving.