Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Two for Tuesday: Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes; Pioneer Woman Dinner Rolls

I have two delicious recipes to share. I didn't come up with either of them, but I did modify both of them.

The first is from Rachel Ray, but the original involved mushrooms (which Sweetling and the Jedi hate) and fresh thyme (which I never have). I don't even have any dried thyme. So, I have no more thyme. Yeah, I kept myself amused with thyme puns while I was tearing through my spice drawer. You should all count yourselves lucky I only included one of them here.

Here's the recipe, with my thyme-less modifications. *Grin*

Slow Cooker Ham and Potatoes

  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 sliced yellow onion 
  • 1 bag sweet chili peppers (someone at co-op said, oh, those genetically modified things? I guess so...I like sci fi. I don't mind mutant peppers when they taste this good.)
  • 4-6 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and submerged in a bowl of water
  • Mrs. Dash (yeah, I didn't measure)
  • several slices leftover ham (I had a bunch of ham leftover and needed a way to use it up)
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or homemade chicken stock)
  • 1 cup heavy cream (next time, I'm going to try a cream substitute, but this time I just used real cream and took a lactaide pill when I ate dinner)

Directions: (don't be intimidated by how long it looks. I promise it's super-easy or I wouldn't have made it!)

  1. Wash, peel, and slice the potatoes. Submerge the slices in a bowl of cold water as you make them. Let them sit there. The water keeps them from discoloring and also does something magical to the starch in the potatoes, or so I'm told.
  2.  Wash and slice the onion and peppers. Melt butter in a large skillet and toss the vegetable slices in. Cook for a few minutes (3-5), till the onion turns just slightly translucent. You don't want to cook them down, just 'sweat' them a bit. (By the way, I leave the onion and pepper slices large so that certain people can pick them out of their food. I warned Sweetling and the Jedi that vegetables were involved, but that the vegetables were large and easy to remove. The Jedi said to Sweetling, "Mommy used to love us." And the two veggie-phobes leaned their heads together in sorrow.)
  3. Slice the ham. This could have been done as step 2, but I forgot. 
  4. Thoroughly spray a crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray.
  5. Grab a few potato slices, shake the water off them, and layer them in the bottom of the crockpot. When you have covered the bottom with a single layer of potatoes, season them with Mrs. Dash. I didn't use salt, so I was very generous with the Mrs. Dash. Sprinkle in some shredded cheese Repeat with a second layer of potatoes and Mrs. Dash. These two layers should use up about half of your potatoes. If your crock pot is deep but not wide, you might have to do three layers of potato slices before you go to step 6.
  6. Spread half of the onion pepper mixture on top of the potatoes. 
  7. Add a layer of sliced yummy ham.
  8. Add a big, big handful of shredded cheese. (When I made this on Sunday, I didn't put enough cheese in and wound up have to try to insert handfuls of cheese after the cream was hot and bubbly. Much easier to just increase the amount of initial cheese.)
  9. Go back to adding seasoned potato layers (with some shredded cheese between the potato layers). 
  10. When you've used up all your potatoes, spread the rest of the onion/pepper mixture on top.
  11.  Add a final layer of ham.
  12. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours.
  13. After 4 hours, pour a cup of heavy cream over the top of everything. Cover and continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
  14. Now, the original recipe said to turn the crock pot off and let the meal sit for an hour before eating. You know that didn't happen in my house. We were hungry. I did let it sit for 15-20 minutes, but that's all the rest time it got before we dug in.
And once again, let me stress how easy this recipe was. The part that took the longest was peeling and slicing the potatoes. It was so easy, I threw it together on Sunday afternoon in between church and driving 45 minutes to an afternoon swim meet I had Mamma at home to add the cream if we weren't back in time for that, but as it was, we were. I had Mamma add the cream anyway, and I took Jupiter for a walk before dinner.

And it was super rich and delicious.

The second recipe I want to share is No-Knead Dinner Rolls from the Pioneer Woman. Another super easy, super delicious find.

 I made these almost exactly as directed. I did halve the recipe, and it still made 24 rolls. I also used almond milk instead of milk, because we had a dinner guest that couldn't tolerate any dairy whatsoever. And I topped them with margarine instead of butter for the same reason.

Photo is from the Pioneer Woman herself, because you know she takes way better photos than I do:

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