Food

Slow Cooker Andouille Corn Chowder

Chilly October days call for hearty soups that can simmer all day. Corn chowder with Andouille sausage is one of my favorites. The Andouille adds a bit of spice, but the creamy base tones it down. My three-year-old said “It’s a little spicy, but not too spicy.”

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I slice the Andouille into about one-inch cubes because I like the chowder to be chunky, yet want the pieces bit-sized. Slow cooker meals are a great way for kids to help because they can throw in ingredients without risk of a hot stove or splatters.

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Everything gets combined in the slow cooker for this tasty soup. Then the only thing left to do is cut up some bread, sprinkle the soup with a bit of shredded cheese, and serve. This is so hearty and satisfying. The leftovers are great, too!

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Recipe:

  • Heat a diced medium-size onion in a little butter until tender.
  • Combine 3 cups chicken broth, 1 1/2 cups of half-and-half, a bag of frozen corn, 2-3 cups of diced potatoes (I peeled mine because I used russets), and a diced Andouille sausage in a slow cooker.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. I also threw in a bay leaf.
  • Cook on high for 3 hours or low for at least 6 hours until potatoes are tender.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, dissolve 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in 1/2 cup of half-and-half and add it to the soup.
  • Allow to cook for another 20-30 minutes.
  • Garnish with cheese and serve!
Food

Seared Slow Cooker Short Ribs

Short ribs are a delicious and usually fairly inexpensive cut of meat. When cooked for several hours, they are tender and decadent. These short ribs came from my dad’s cattle ranch, but this cut of meat is available at most grocery stores.

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This recipe starts by dredging the ribs in a bit of flour, salt, and pepper.

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Meanwhile, melt 1/4 cup of butter in a skillet.

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Sear the ribs for about 45 seconds on each side over medium heat. This is going to lock in the flavor, but not cook the ribs all the way through. You want them to spend all day in the slow cooker for maximum tenderness. I like my heavy cast iron skillet for searing meat.

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Place the seared ribs in the slow cooker.

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Time for the sauce. In the same skillet, cook some onions and minced garlic for a couple of minutes over medium heat. Don’t drain the skillet first. You want all that buttery goodness in your sauce.

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Then add 3/4 cup red wine. Continue stirring.

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This was a gamble but it turned out great: Add /4 cup of brown sugar. This will thicken the sauce beautifully and the sweetness is just barely detectable.

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Then 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce goes is added.

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Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce heat and stir for about five minutes, until it is slightly thickened.

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Pour the sauce over the short ribs in the slow cooker.

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Put the slow cooker on the low setting and let cook at least eight hours. I cooked mine nine and they were fall-off-the-bone delicious. Serve with a side salad and mashed potatoes for a hearty meal.

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Recipe:

  • 3 pounds short ribs
  • 1/3 cup of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • Lightly dredge the ribs in the flour, salt, and pepper.
  • Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat.
  • Sear the ribs over medium heat, about 45 seconds on each side.
  • Place ribs in the slow cooker.
  • Without draining the skillet, add one chopped onion and the garlic. Cook for a minute or two over medium heat.
  • Add the red wine, continuing to stir. Cook for another minute or two.
  • Add the Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar.
  • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for a few more minutes, stirring.
  • Pour the sauce over the short ribs in the slow cooker.
  • Place the slow cooker on the low setting and cook for at least 8 hours.
  • Enjoy!