Crock pot dinners for January
Published 3:01 pm Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Some things to do in January: Read a good book; Buy a coin jar and save those quarters and nickels, then donate to a charity; get a library card; dig out your old slow cooker Crock Pot and create a delicious meal.
Linda: I know the trendy gift appliances this Christmas were air fryers and Insta Pots. But I still love my old slow cooker. It cooks all day and when you come home from a busy day, the house smells like a delicious dinner waiting to be enjoyed.
Lucy: I hear great things about the new appliances, but I’m not ready to give my Crock Pot to the thrift store. If you plan ahead the night before, everything can be ready to go in the pot in the morning to start cooking.
Linda: January can be a dull month. We’re weary from Christmas baking and cooking holiday dinners. I know we have some tasty, easy to fix recipes that will whisk away the January Blues. We featured Swiss steak one time last year. I usually make it in a cast iron skillet. But there’s another way to make it in the slow cooker.
Lucy: One of my favorite recipes is a slow cooker recipe called Smothered Pork Chops. It’s the pork chop recipe I choose when I want something cozy and warm on a chilly winter’s day. I also like to use pork tenderloin for this recipe. I’ve served it for company and always received compliments. Sometimes pork chops can be dry and not tender. This recipe cures that problem.
Linda: I’ve been reading a recipe that I’ve been curious to try called Slow Cooker Chicken and Stuffing. Since this is a slow cooker column, I think it’s perfect to include for a January family supper. I think children will like this recipe.
Lucy: I know everyone is busy trying out their new appliances. But sometimes the old way is just as good. Let’s dig out our Crock Pots and recipes and get cooking.
Slow Cooker Swiss Steak
Slow Cooker – 4 quart or larger
2.5 lbs. round steak
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
4 Tbsp. cooking oil
10.5 oz. Campbell’s beef broth
29 oz. petite diced tomatoes (two 14.5 oz. cans) do not drain
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup diced onion
1 green bell pepper chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
- On a large plate add the flour and salt and pepper. Mix this together.
- Dredge steak in this mixture on both sides, transfer to another plate. Save any excess flour mixture, you will add this to the slow cooker with the meat later.
- Set a large skillet to medium high heat. Add enough oil to coat the pan. Brown the steak on both sides, no need to cook through. (You may have to cook the meat in two batches if your pan is too small, add more oil between batches.)
- Add the browned steaks to the slow cooker. Sprinkle over any excess flour from the plate.
- Deglaze the pan that you browned the meat in by adding the beef broth and scrapping up any brown bits. Add to the slow cooker on top of the beef.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Include any other vegetables that you prefer. Stir.
- Place the lid on the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 7 hours or HIGH for 4 hours without opening the lid during the cooking time.
- Serve with mashed potatoes.
Smothered Pork Chops
Makes 4 servings:
4 (1/4 lb) boneless center cut pork loin chops or one pork tenderloin cut into four slices
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 can (10.5 oz) reduced sodium, reduced fat, cream of mushroom soup
¼ cup water
4 carrots, chopped
¼ lb fresh, white mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp dried marjoram
½ tsp dried thyme
- Sprinkle the porkchops with salt and pepper. Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned, about 2 minutes each side.
- Place the soup, water, carrots, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, marjoram, thyme in a 5-6 quart slow cooker; mix well. Place the pork on top of the vegetable mixture. Cover and cook until the pork and vegetables are fork tender. 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Stuffing
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (10.75 oz) can of Cream of Chicken Soup
½ cup sour cream
1 (6 oz) box of dry stuffing mix , such as Stove-Top, or you can use 6 ounces by weight of a bagged type like Pepperidge Farm
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- Place the chicken breasts in a single layer at the bottom of your slow cooker. In a mixing bowl, stir together the Cream of Chicken soup and sour cream until combined and then spread the mixture over the top of the chicken breasts in an even layer.
- Rinse out your mixing bowl and then add in the dry stuffing mix and chicken broth. Stir together to combine and then spread the stuffing evenly over the top of the cream of chicken soup layer in your slow cooker. Place the cover on the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours. Stir together (chicken will fall apart into shreds/chunks) before serving.