Comforting Crock

Crock Pot Asian Style Ribs

I have been regrettably neglectful of my blog…

This is a post that was set up for February, when we had much cooler temps.

It’s here now…  Thank you for sticking around!

The Crock Pot entered my life years ago as a food warmer; never thought of it as a cooker even after interviewing a food writer on her Crock Pot cook book!  My wonderful supportive friends online turned me onto its genius!  Yes, it cooks for hours however it creates the most flavorful dishes as it seals in the spices, herbs, flavors and juices of the dish you have in it!

I made these ribs as an initial experiment.  Did some investigating on the use of a Crock Pot and found many recommendations to add liquids to dishes no matter what the desired result.  Hmmm, additional liquid would turn dishes into stews, wouldn’t it? That was not my intention here.

I just followed my instincts and made an Asian-styled marinade for the ribs then added them to the pot after sufficient marinating.  I cooked them for about 6 hours while I worked from home.  And man, oh man…  What a flavorful result!  Meat was super moist and tender!

Since this trial I have made the following in my Crock Pot:  fresh brussel sprouts with balsamic, duck breast soup, and chicken stew with lots of fresh veggies!

The simplicity is what won me over in addition to the great results!  One pot to clean!

Good deal on good pork from Whole Foods. I pounced!

It begins with the freshest!

Here’s the recipe and the process.

Crock Pot Asian Style Ribs

Ingredients for Asian Marinade
*Note:  these measurements are approximate as you can tailor the marinade to your personal tastes.
1 T Chinese Five Spice
6 garlic cloves – minced
¼ C Hoisin sauce
1 T minced ginger
1 orange – juiced
¼ C citrus seasoned soy sauce
2 T Zhenjiang vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T canola oil
dash of red pepper flakes

Process:  add all ingredients to a bowl and combine; add the marinade to washed and dried ribs and allow to permeate the meat for at least 2 hours; add the ribs to the Crock Pot set on high, cover and allow it to cook for 5-6 hours checking on them and turning them from bottom to top on occasion.  Remove, allow to cool, and enjoy the flavors!!!

Ribs are melding with the flavors.

Asian flavors abound!

No dried out ribs here.


Repost — Bean Pie, Yes, I Said Bean

Muslim Bean Pie

Bean Pie

I’ve been eating bean pies since discovering them as a teen. I’ve never made one and I’ve never actually found one in a bakery that may have been fresh-baked. The bean pies I craved and ate were from the “Muslim” vendors in Harlem. A few years ago I noticed that the neighborhood Pathmark sold bean pies which was an exciting discovery since they were notoriously hard to find. Even now people I talk to about this dish have either never heard of or tasted it or they find it an unusual element to be in a baked good.
I never thought I’d ever make a bean pie however since playing around with beans in soups, spicy sides with rice, in chili’s, and pureed as humus, sweetening them up for a dessert was a natural progression.
I’ve also been perfecting my pie crust and am envious of those bakers who can make and handle delicate pie dough with confidence and vigor and never, ever tear it (how’d they do that?).
The flavor of this pie was spicy and robust, just the way I like my flavors and it is deceivingly simple to make. If you believe that a bean pie cannot be a delicious treat, think again. I’m here to promote the protein infused bean in this sweet and satisfying dessert!

Bean Pie  Bean Pie Bean Pie

Muslim Bean Pie Recipe   Yield = 2, 9″ shallow pies
Crust
2 C all-purpose flour
1 ½ t salt
6 T butter, cold
4 T vegetable shortening
¼ C ice water
Process
Combine the flour and salt and use a cheese grater to grate the butter and shortening into the flour mixture; mix together to form pea-size grains; add ice water in small amounts while continuing to mix; flour mixture should not be too wet to make it sticky; turn out onto a floured surface, mix until no longer sticking; separate in half and form two small disks; wrap in plastic and refrigerate until filling is prepared.
Roll out chilled dough and place into pie plates; place parchment paper and weights into each to prevent shrinking and blind-bake for 12-15 minutes at 350 F degrees; let cool.
Filling
1 19 oz can Cannellini beans, rinsed (or 1 ½ cans of 15 oz size beans)
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
½ C butter
1 t fresh minced ginger
1 t cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
½ t allspice
2 T flour
2 C sugar
2 T vanilla
3 eggs
Process
Place all pie filling ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, may need to do in batches to prevent overflow; pour mixture into cooled, blind-baked pie shells and bake at 350 F degrees for about 55 minutes until filling is firm.

Bean Pie Bean Pie

Some of the comments I’ve received about this bean pie:
From David: It was delicious but a little thick and less creamy than the first one with more of a rich taste. I enjoy eating both just as much as you enjoyed making them for me to eat (ha ha) thank you for that experience of enjoyment.
From Richard and Hope: the pie was very good—I don’t think it was too sweet. But I like sweet so you may not be able to go by me. Hope says there’s a little after taste, but she still likes it. It reminded me of sweet-potato pie but with a slightly different taste.

Bean Pie

A Note About Progresso Beans
I do like to educate myself about the food I put into my body and I have to admit that I’m a bit unsure of the company Progresso and the processes they use to grow their beans. I mention this because their beans are super creamy and tender and I look for them especially when making my vegetarian and turkey chili since no other bean I’ve tried has come close to having a similar texture or flavor. Every successful business has entered the lives of and created a relationship with their customer, I suppose this has occurred between Progresso and myself. I’ve decided to trust their product for now.