Monday, March 28

Italian Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a traditional meat stew, this Italy inspired recipe features the subtle tang of sausage and a herb broth. Allowing it to cook for a few hours will create melt in your mouth tender morsels. If desired you can cook this faster over a higher heat.

Full time 2 1/2 hours (45 minutes if at high heat he whole time)
Serves 4-6

The needs-

1 lb. boneless pork ribs or loin, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 lb. Italian sausage, cut into 1/2" pieces
2 cups cannellini beans (or 15oz can)
2 cups diced tomatoes (or 15oz can)
2-3 cups chicken stock (or water)
2 tbsp dried minced onion 
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp nutmeg 

The know-

Over medium-high heat-melt butter and minced garlic in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom soup pot, just until garlic begins to soften.

Add diced pork and brown lightly on all sides for 2-3 minutes.

Add in sausage and brown lightly for 2-3 minutes.

Add in minced onion, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.

Stir lightly to coat meat.

Add in just enough stock (or water) to come up right to the top, not covering, the meat. Bring to a boil.

Reduce to low-simmer, add in cannellini beans and tomatoes, giving a quick stir.

Cover and cook for 2 hours.


Friday, March 25

CAMPOUT: Italian Baked Chicken

Perfect for diner after a great day of hiking and enjoying the woods. This baked chicken will leave your tummy full and your taste buds happy.

Full time camp fire 2-4 hours depending on fire temp
(Can be cooked in a slow cooker for 4 hours)
Serves 4

The needs-

4 chicken breast, boneless skinless, cut in half width wise
1 package onion soup mix
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika*
1 tsp dried oregano*
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

*optional ingredients

The know-

Pour chicken stock and soup mix into the bottom of a cast iron camp stove.

Add in chicken breast, try keeping a single layer.

Any chicken that is not covered by stock may become dry, to prevent this, drizzle olive oil over any chicken you can see.

Season with salt. And optional ingredients if using them.

Cover with lid.

Cook on edge of fire, rotating dutch oven half way through cooking. If fire is burning hot (roughly 350-400) this will cook in approximately 1 hour. Test by gently piercing with a knife, if liquid runs clear you are safe to eat.

In a low fire or of you want to use adjacent heat so it does not burn, this will cook in about 3 hours (similar to cooking in a slow cooker).

Remove from liquid and if desired you can add 1 tbsp flour to liquid and whisk to create a pan gravy. Cheers!

Wednesday, March 23

Slowcooker Baked Penne

Easy, tasty, and hearty-baked penne is a perfect set it and forget it weeknight meal.

Serves 4-6
Full time 4 hrs high, 6 hours low

The needs-

1 lb. penne, dry boxed not cooked
2 eggs
3 cups marinara sauce (or 1 jar)
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper

The know-

I am using a 4 quart slow cooker, but this can be done in a 6 quart as well. The layers will just be thinner.

In the bottom of the slow cooker pour enough sauce to coat the bottom by about 1/4".

Add in half of the pasta.

Combine eggs, ricotta, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Spread half the mixture across the surface of pasta.

Spread 3/4 cup mozzarella across top of ricotta mixture.

Pour over 1 cup sauce.

Repeat process by adding remaining pasta.

Top with remaining ricotta mixture, 3/4 cup mozzarella, and remaining sauce.

Add remaining mozzarella to top off and cook 4 hours on high or 6 hours on low.


Wednesday, March 16

Black Bean and Chicken Verde Soup

Bring a fiesta to diner with this easy set in and forget it slow cooker meal.

Full time 4 hours high, 8 hours low
Serves 4-6

The needs-

1 1/2 chicken breasts, diced into 1/2" chunks 
1 large onion, diced fine
1 lb canned tomatillos, drained 
15 oz can black beans, drained
4 oz can diced chilis
2 cups chicken stock 
1/4 cup cilantro, diced fine
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste 

The know-

In the bottom of the slow cooker place cumin, pepper, salt, and onions.

Add in black beans and diced chilis.

Gently squish tomatillos in your hand and add into slow cooker.

Add in chicken.

Add in stock and give a stir.

Cover and cook 4 hrs high or 8 hrs low.

Add in cilantro and cook an additional 30 minutes.

Serve with sour cream, cheers!

Monday, March 14

Smothered Pierogis Skillet

Smothered with a velvety cream sauce, this skillet is hearty and filling. An easy weeknight meal which can be made in just 40 minutes.

Full time 40 minutes
Serves 4

The needs-

2 dozen frozen pierogis, any style
1 link kielbasa, sliced thin
1 large onion, sliced thin
4 oz. cream cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The know-

Heat olive oil in a deep sided skillet over medium high heat.

Add in onions and cook 5 minutes to soften.

Add in kielbasa and cook 5 minutes to lightly brown.

Add in stock and bring to a boil.

Add in cream cheese and stir to melt.

Add in pierogis and give a gently stir to coat with sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, cover with lid and cook 10-15 minutes or until pierogis are cooked through.

Remove lid and top with shredded cheddar, cook 5 minutes to melt cheese.

Serve immediately, cheers!

Thursday, March 10

Slow cooker Tropical Chicken with Peaches

Looking for a great way to bring a little life to diner, look no further. This slow cooker set it and forget it has great island flavors and turns diner into a vacation.

Full time 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low
Serves 4-6

The needs-

1 (15oz) can sliced peaches in syrup
6 chicken leg quarters
1/2 cup soy sauce 
3 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp dried chives
2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp all spice

The know-

Place chicken in slow cooker.

Drain peaches, reserving liquid for later, and add peaches into slow cooker.

Season with salt and pepper.

Add in dried chives.

Combine remaining ingredients with reserved peach liquid, whisking to fully blend. 

Add into slow cooker.

Cook for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Gently remove excess liquid with ladle and cook 10-15 minutes with lid off.