So with both of us working and having hefty commutes, we have tried to use our crockpot as often as possible. With this crazy experience has come a few lessons.
1) Generally, 11-12 hours cook time is too long. You are bound to come home to burnt something.
2) When a recipe says 2 hours on high, 4 hours on low, that doesn’t mean that you can do 11-12 hours on low and hope for the best. Exhibit A: thoroughly blackened, nearly unrecognizable Honey Sesame Chicken. (once I made it properly, this dish came out great!)
3) Chicken generally doesn’t do well in the crockpot after 3 hours. It gets dry. It gets gross.
4) When you find a good recipe, you better put it on your blog so you never lose that bad boy.
So, here’s my favorite crockpot recipe from our repertoire: Black Bean Taco
Soup Chili (the recipe I found was called “taco soup” – the way I make it is more like a hearty chili. Also, my apologies to the blogger who originally posted the recipe. In poor form, I didn’t save your information on the recipe. So props to you, unknown blogger!)
1 lb ground beef (I imagine ground turkey would work too)
1 medium onion
1 can of black beans (or kidney or pinto), drained and rinsed
2 cans of stewed tomatoes (I don’t like tomatoes that much so 1 can works for us)
1-8oz can of tomato sauce
1-16oz bag of corn (I think this is an excessive amount of corn so I use less)
1 can diced green chilis
1 packet of taco seasoning (or use your own)
Cook beef and onion in a skillet. Once cooked, combine well with other ingredients in the crockpot. Cook on high for 1-2 hours or low for 3-4 hours. Serve with sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and guacamole. I like mine with Tufutti Sour Supreme and crunched up tortilla chips mixed in. Evan mixes in some Hidden Valley Ranch and The Spice and Tea Exchange’s Pirate’s Bite. I served this on a family Sunday dinner and almost everyone had seconds – not because they were hungry (because it’s really hearty) but because they wanted the flavor.
When we’re having it during the week, I make it the night before and we heat up individual servings the next day. It’s worked well. If you make it like I do, it really does come out like a chili. I suppose you could make it with more liquid if having a soup was meaningful to you.