Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Crock-Pot Conversation

Like just about everyone else I know, I registered before my wedding for the biggest slow cooker I could find. I use it most often for making stuff to take to parties...dips and chili and wings and barbecue. For a while, I was using it also to make meals for my husband and me at home. I work night shift, so it was very convenient to stop at the grocery store on the way home in the morning, pick up some ingredients, throw them in the slow cooker, and wake up to a home cooked meal. However, that biggest slow cooker I could find was pretty hot, and I found myself sometimes using the "keep warm" setting to do the actual cooking because I wanted it to have to cook for seven or so hours while I was asleep. On some days that my husband worked from home, he actually had to turn it off after four hours because the food was done. And when he didn't work from home and I slept past the point when it should have been turned off, we ended up with dry tough meat and a slow cooker that was a pain in the butt to clean.

Several months ago, I was wandering around my local Wal-Mart, and I came across a smaller (2 quart) Crock-Pot for $9.94. I was sold. It has been sitting in my garage since then, but I pulled it out today to use it to make the pork for the Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches, and I have to say that it has been cooking for about four hours now on the low setting and there is still plenty of liquid in the pot, and it is looking like it will be nice and moist. I am thrilled!

One thing I used to hate about the smaller slow cookers is that they didn't have removable stoneware insert that the big ones did. However, this one does have a removable crock, which means it can go right into the dishwasher! And the lid is plastic, so I don't have to worry about it ending up shattered all over my kitchen floor!

My Crock-Pot dreams have come true!

OMG, is she actually going to COOK????

To be fair (to me), I also cooked last week...once. Well, that may not exactly be true. I bought filets and corn and marinated the filets. My husband did the actual cooking on the grill. Well, I cooked the corn...so I guess I did half the work?

Tonight, I was going to make eggplant parmesan because a friend gave me a home-grown eggplant from her garden the other day. However, it is hot here, just like it is everywhere else in the country, and the thought of Italian food was NOT doing it for me.

I was flipping through some foodie blogs today (which I also had not done in a long time), and in a few different places, I found a recipe from allrecipes.com for Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches. The recipe is as follows:

1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 (12 oz) can or bottle root beer
1 (18 oz) bottle your favorite barbecue sauce
8 hamburger buns, split and lightly toasted


1. Place the pork tenderloin in a slow cooker; pour the root beer over the meat. Cover and cook on low until well cooked and the pork shreds easily, 6 to 7 hours.

2. Drain liquids and stir in barbecue sauce to taste. Serve on hamburger buns.

I used a can of birch beer because that is what I was able to lay my hands on. And I bought lite hamburger buns because of that whole Weight Watchers thing. Oh, and I also bought some coleslaw to put on the sandwich because I love my pulled pork with coleslaw on top. The pork is still cooking as I type this...and it is looking nice a shredded without me even having to put a fork to it!

I plan to serve this with more corn on the cob (the season will wind down soon, and I will miss it terribly), along with some roasted red potatoes with Adobo on them. I bought my corn and the potatoes at a local produce stand, and they are great!

Oh, and there will be no pictures because my husband left my camera somewhere in Cleveland over the weekend...which is sad. But I am going to get a new camera...which is happy! But it won't be until Christmas...which is sad. As soon as I can get to my mom's, I am going to borrow her little point-and-shoot because, of course, my dog has been freakin' adorable all week, and I have no way to take pictures of him! Silly husband!

UPDATE: The pork was yummy! Still no camera!