If there is one kitchen appliance I truly have a love/hate relationship with would be the crockpot.
I like the idea of a crock pot – slow cooking, dinner ready when you get home and all that except, I am gone ten hours a day and every recipe only needs between six and eight hours. This means I either burn whatever it is I am making or it is so moist that it falls apart and not in a good way.
When I do crockpot cooking is when I want to make two (or more) meals at once. For instance, making beef stew is a two day deal for me. I start it in the morning and let it simmer for a good day and a half. The result is a tender, full flavored, hearty beef stew but that also means I still need to make something for dinner that night.
That is when I love my crockpot - making a no fuss dinner for tonight while making dinner for the rest of the week.
When I feel productive, I will start after breakfast on Sunday to make a few meals to have ready to eat during the week. While the meat is browning, the veggies are roasting or whatever else I'm making is getting started, I add my ingredients to the crockpot for dinner. By the time dinner for the week is simmering, what's in the crockpot is well on its way to being dinner for tonight.
While searching for inspiration for dinner I found it from my friend Amie at My Retro Kitchen and her recipe for Creamy Salsa Chicken in the Slow Cooker.
Chicken, salsa, corn, black beans and cream cheese - what’s not to love! Mine is pretty much the same as her recipe but I used a southwest seasoning (hence the name) to season the chicken and added a can of Ro-Tel (tomatoes and peppers) to the pot. I also served it over cilantro and lime rice.
Creamy Southwest Chicken
- Chicken breasts
- Southwest seasoning
- Black beans
- Cream cheese
Everything but the cream cheese goes in the crockpot for a few hours. When the chicken is done add the brick of cream cheese and turn the crockpot to warm until it is melted. For exact measurements check out Amie's recipe here.
Cilantro & Lime Rice
- 2 cups rice (white or brown)
- sea salt (to your liking)
- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 4 tablespoons lime juice
- Make rice as directed.
- Combine cilantro, lime juice and sea salt in a bowl (this also can be blended in a blender with a few tablespoons of olive oil for a creamier texture) and stir into the cooked rice. Fluff with a fork when ready to serve.
Thanks, Amie! Not only did you help get me out of a cooking rut but your pictures are fantastic! Just promise not to tell the husband, he thinks I am a culinary genius now. shhh….