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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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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Chipotle And Coca-Cola Crock-Pot Pulled Pork

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The slow cooker is one of the greatest inventions EVER!. Set it and forget it. Every busy person has to just love a Crock-Pot. My Chipotle And Cola Crock-Pot Pulled Pork has to be my absolute favorite recipe for pulled pork. It’s so easy and delicious.

If you’d like to get my recipes for Slow Cooked Pulled Pork and/or my Fennel Slaw recipes, click on the links at the bottom of the page.

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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 hours on high
Total Time: 10 hours 5 minutes
Yields: 8 to 10 sandwiches or servings
Equipment: 7-quart Crockpot, paring knife, chef’s knife

Ingredients:
3-pound bone-in (substitute boneless) pork butt, fat cap scored (pork shoulder)
3 large onions, peeled and quartered
3 garlic cloves, peeled and whole
1 7-ounce can of Chipotle peppers in Adobo
1/4 cup of Coka-Cola
2 dashes of liquid smoke
1/4 cup chicken broth, unsalted
1/4 cup of dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1/2 cup of barbecue sauce (favorite brand)

Directions:
I’m using a bone-in pork shoulder (pork butt) here because any meat containing a bone will give you more flavor. Using a paring knife score the fat cap of the pork butt (as seen in the picture). Add Kosher salt and dark brown sugar, all over the top. With your hands rub the spices all over the top of the pork allowing the spices to seep down into the crevices of the scored fat.

Arrange the quartered onions and whole garlic cloves in the bottom of the Crockpot. Place the pork butt (fat side up) on top. To the top of the pork, add 1 whole can of Chipotle peppers along with the Adobo sauce. Leave the Chipotle peppers whole and just spread them out with the sauce all over the top of the pork butt.

Next, add the Coca-Cola chicken broth, and liquid smoke allowing the liquids to just drizzle all over the top of the pork until the liquids settle at the bottom.

Set the Crock-Pot to cook for 10 hours on high. Eight hours into the cooking process, carefully flip the pork over and continue cooking for another 2 hours. Be careful, the bottom part of the pork butt is really tender from sitting in the juices.

Note: Use two pairs of tongs for extra support.

Carefully transfer the pork onto a cutting board, using two forks to shred the meat. Add the shredded pork back into the cooking liquid. Finish by adding the barbecue sauce. Toss the sauce through so that all the meat gets nicely coated. Pulled pork is ready to serve.

This is when SWEET meets HEAT! This Chipotle And Cola Crock-Pot Pulled Pork is a roller coaster for your taste buds for sure.

Serve hot alongside your favorite side dishes or make sandwiches.

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork

Fast Homemade Garlic Dill Pickles

Fennel Slaw With Fresh Dill

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Slow Cooker Citrus Spiced Chicken And Mushroom Stew

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After coming back from the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, and visiting with Pam Smith of Spice Blends, I knew I needed to incorporate her wonderful new spice blend, Citrus Spice, into this dish. I thought what better way than with a delicious French-style stew with chicken and mushrooms. Usually, I do this dish in a Dutch oven, I thought I could test this dish with my new 7-quart Crock-pot.

Really the only major prep to this dish is just the browning of the chicken. This is my Slow Cooker Citrus Spiced Chicken And Mushroom Stew.

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Flat Leaf Italian Parsley

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Prep Time: 40 minutes (includes 30 minutes for browning chicken)
Cook Time: 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes (4 hours 20 minutes)
Yields: 4 to 6 servings
Equipment: 12-inch cast-iron skillet, 7-quart Crock-Pot, chef’s knife, 2 rimmed baking sheet pans, 2 large mixing bowls, 3 medium-size bowls

Ingredients:
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts, cut in half
1 1/2 cups of Canola oil (amount of oil may vary)
4 medium-size Yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean, dried, and halved
3 pints of whole cremini mushrooms, cleaned
2 large onions, quartered
3 ribs of celery, cut into 3-inch pieces, include leafy tops
6 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon of Citrus Spice Blend
2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup of good white wine
1 cup of chicken broth, unsalted
1 cup of cooking liquid
1 heaping tablespoon of all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Seasoned Flour:
3 cups of all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of Citrus Spice Blend
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

Directions:
Start by cutting all four chicken breasts in half as seen in the pictures. Using paper towels, pat each piece of chicken dry really well. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Next, prep all the vegetables and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Set aside. Clean the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to remove any dirt and/or grit. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Last, in a medium-size bowl, prepare the seasoned flour. To a bowl add the flour, 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, 3 tablespoons of Citrus Spice Blend, whisk to combine. Set aside.

To start, using 1 tablespoon of the Citrus Spice Blend, add a pinch of the spice blend underneath of the skin of each of the chicken pieces. Using 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper, distribute evenly, season the tops of all the chicken pieces. Transfer the pieces to a rimmed baking sheet pan, set aside. Dredge each piece of chicken into the seasoned flour, shake off any excess, and set onto a separate rimmed baking sheet pan. Repeat the process until all the chicken pieces are coated in the seasoned flour.

In a cast-iron skillet heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet, about 1/2-inch deep. Heat the oil until it starts to shimmer. Place the chicken into the skillet, skin side down, in batches of three. Cook for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, continue cooking skin side down, occasionally rearranging the chicken pieces until the fat renders and the skin is golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Using a pair of tongs flip each piece and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the finished golden brown chicken pieces back onto the rimmed baking sheet pan. Repeat the process until all the pieces are golden brown. The chicken will finish cooking in the slow cooker.

Into the Crock-pot place all of the potatoes, onion, celery, and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt and 1/2 a teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper to the vegetables. Next, add the chicken broth and wine. Arrange all the chicken pieces on top, but make sure they are nestled in there really well.

Note: You want to set the temperature on high if cooking for 4 hours and low for 8 hours. Keep in mind that all the vegetables are going to release water as they cook, and this will cause the liquid to rise slowly as everything progresses. I cooked this version of high for 4 hours because I just happen to be home and I needed to watch the progression of the dish so I could post everything correctly.

Once everything has been cooking for 3 1/2 hours remove the chicken and transfer to a plate. Add the mushrooms and fresh thyme. If you left this to cook for 8 hours on low you’d pull the chicken out at 7 1/2 hours and do the same thing.

For a slightly thicker gravy, remove a ladle full of the cooking liquid and whisk in 1 heaping tablespoon of flour. Whisk until it becomes paste-like with a somewhat smooth consistency. Add it right back into the Crock-pot, stir to combine.

Carefully add all the chicken pieces back into the Crock-pot. Cover and continue to cook for another 30 minutes. The heat from the hot liquid and the chicken on the top will cook the mushrooms.

To go along with this dish I made my Semi-homemade Cheddar And Chive Drop Biscuits for dipping. The link for this recipe is at the bottom of this post.

To serve, ladle a good helping of the stew into a large porcelain bowl, making sure to get a little of everything. Garnish with Italian flat-leaf parsley. This is my Slow Cooker Citrus Chicken And Mushroom Stew.

Semi-Homemade Cheddar And Chive Drop Biscuits

Mocha Chili Spiced Roasted Asparagus

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