Let's Dish With Linda Lou

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Slow Cooker Pot Roast Over White Cheddar Polenta

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It’s “TV binge” time!  I really need to get caught up on some of my programs. I’m thinking, the answer to accomplishing dinner today is the Crock-Pot. Dinner can be cooking all the while I’m finishing up this season of The Walking Dead. I’m starting my Slow Cooker Pot Roast Over White Cheddar Polenta at 8:00 am, so I’ll have the whole day free! I

I’m starting out with a sirloin tip roast that’s about 4 1/2 pounds. The marbling is great, which means a lot of flavors, and the butcher has tied it up so it holds its shape for even cooking.

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Mini Sweet Bell Peppers

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Diced Red Onion (2)

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Chives (2)

Chives (2)

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 hours (high setting)
Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: 7-quart Crockpot, 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 6-quart saucepot

Ingredients:
4 1/2 pound sirloin tip roast, tied and room temperature
2 tablespoons of Canola oil
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes (reduced sodium/sodium-free)
1 cup of red onions, 2-inch dice
1/2 cup celery, 2-inch dice
1/2 cup of organic leafy-top carrots, peeled, 2-inch dice
1/2 cup of mini red bell peppers, seeded dice, 2-inch dice (substitute red bell pepper)
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
1 (15-ounce) can of beef consommé, use only half
1/4 cup beef broth, unsalted
Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Ingredients For Polenta:
1 1/2 cups of quick-cooking polenta
2 cups of half and half
3 cups of water
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) of butter, unsalted
1 1/2 cups of white cheddar, freshly grated
2 tablespoons of fresh chives, minced

Directions:
The first step is to season the roast with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper on both sides. Take a sheet of paper towel, add 2 tablespoons of Canola oil. Using the oil-dampened paper towel and wipe down the bottom and sides of the cast iron skillet.

Preheat the skillet over medium-high heat. Let the skillet get super hot, almost smoking. Place the seasoned roast into the pan, leave it alone, to do its thing. Sear the roast for 4 to 5 minutes, using your tongs, if the roast releases itself easily, then turn the meat over and sear the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes. If the roast gives you some resistance, then let it sear for another minute. Next, do the same to the other side. The searing time may vary slightly, maybe, anywhere from 7 to 10 minutes, total, for both sides.

Transfer the roast to the Crockpot. Next, is to retrieve the bits from the bottom of the skillet. This is where all the flavor is and you don’t want to waste any of it. With the pan still over medium-high heat, add in a 1/4 cup of low sodium beef broth. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up the bits with the back of the spoon. Once all the bits have come loose, turn the heat off. Pour this flavorful liquid over the roast.

To the slow cooker, with the roast, add the diced vegetables, garlic cloves, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes with their juice, beef consommé, and fresh sprigs of rosemary. Season with Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Place the lid on and cook on high for 7 hours.

After the 7 hours, remove the roast carefully. Cut the cooking twine, and using two forks, shred the meat. Place the shredded pot roast back into the crockpot and stir everything together. Set the crockpot to warm and place the lid back on.

Next, the white cheddar polenta with chives. Polenta cooks really quickly. This is why it should be made right before you’re ready to serve. It’s super simple and fast. Once the liquid is boiling, it’s finished in 5 minutes. Make sure to have the cheese shredded and ready to go.

In a large saucepot over medium-high heat add half-and-half, water, Kosher salt fresh ground black pepper. Bring the liquid up to a hard boil and slowly whisk in the Polenta. Continue whisking vigorously until the polenta thickens. Immediately, remove the pot from the heat. Change to a wooden spoon, add the butter. Mix until completely combined. Add the shredded white cheddar and fresh chives, stir to combine.

Spoon a good helping of the white cheddar polenta into the bottom of a porcelain serving bowl. Top with my delicious, flavorful, and tender, pot roast. Don’t forget, ladle some of the juices from the slow cooker over the top of the meat and polenta. YUM!!!

This is my Slow Cooker Pot Roast Over White Cheddar Polenta.

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Rotisserie Chicken

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Ciabatta

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Homemade Croutons (3)

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Homemade Croutons

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Rotisserie Chicken is a staple in my house. The meals you can pull together, in a pinch, are endless. I’m thinking of a cool crisp salad with warm tender chicken on top, YUM! I find it’s a great way to clean out your frig.

In my refrigerator, I’m seeing some seedless green grapes, strawberries, half a red onion, and one of those bags of mixed greens. This is going to work out just perfectly. Whenever I’m at the grocery store, I always make sure to bring home a pint of those sweet grape tomatoes. I think I’m obsessed with those babies.

Well, I need a huge bowl so everyone can join the party. First, the greens, next to the fruit and tomatoes. Wait!, I need something crunchy. I walk to the pantry and what do you know, walnuts, perfect!  A quick chop and right into the bowl with those. Now I’m thinking about cheese, back to the frig to grab some goat cheese. That soft, creamy, tangy, goodness crumbled all over the top will make this extra special. Now, for the Rotisserie chicken.  I’m adding some warm shredded chicken to the top of the salad. I believe I have a zip-lock baggie of my Homemade Croutons, somewhere,..found them!

A quick and simple lemon vinaigrette dressing to drizzle over the top, a glass of sweet tea and the TV remote. I’d say, this is the perfect ending to a busy day.

Homemade Ciabatta Croutons

Homemade Vinaigrette Recipes- Lemon, Balsamic, And Cilantro Lime

 

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Homemade Plum Crumble

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I guess it must be the English and Italian in me that makes it impossible to resist a fruit crumble. I never really understood the difference between a fruit crisp and a fruit crumble, but I do now. The difference is the oats that go into the topping. It makes the topping extra special. There’s the English. Now I’m guessing the Italian part are the plums. My grandmother always had plums in her house.

My Homemade Plum Crumble is perfect when you’re hosting a dinner party.  Stored in the refrigerator, the topping can be made a day in advance. Hot, room temperature, or with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream, it’s the perfect ending to a meal.

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All-Purpose Flour

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Equipment: a ceramic pie dish or a 9 x 13 baking dish, rimmed baking sheet pan

Ingredients:
2 pounds of large dark red plums, pits removed, cut into 8 slices per plum (6 cups of sliced plums)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of organic apple juice

Topping:
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of packed light brown sugar
Pinch of Kosher salt
1 cup of whole oats
2 sticks of cold cubed unsalted butter, reserve half for the top of the crumble.

Directions:
Butter a baking dish really well. In a large bowl throw in your sliced plums. To the plums add granulated sugar, flour, apple juice,  orange zest, and a pinch of Kosher salt. Mix all this together so all the plums are coated nicely. Transfer the plums to a buttered baking dish. I like my fruit crumbles to be piled high. It gives it an old fashion look.

In another large bowl, add the ingredients for the crumble topping. Flour, granulated sugar, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, whole oats, a pinch of Kosher salt. Whisk all those ingredients together before adding in the cold cubes of unsalted butter. Reserve back 1/2 a stick of the butter to dot the top. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it looks coarse meal, shown above.

Sprinkle the crumbled topping evenly over the plums. If a little of the crumble topping slips down between the fruit, that’s fine. If some of the plums are showing through that’s also fine. Using the reserved butter cubes to dot the top. Using a baking sheet to place under the pie dish, bake for 50 to 60 minutes, at 350-degrees F., until the plums are tender and bubbling, and the top is golden brown.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serve my Homemade Plum Crumble, hot or room temperature. Don’t forget the ice cream!

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