You Can Make THAT in a Slow Cooker?  

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

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If I were to name my best friend in the kitchen it would undoubtedly be my slow cooker. And I will admit to being quite handy with turning out slow cooked stew, pot roast and a variety of chicken dishes. But lasagna, enchiladas or an awesome dessert? That was my reaction, too, until I did a little research and experimenting.

The results are in and the news is all good!

Slow Cooker Lasagna

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 15-ounce cans Italian-style tomato sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 cups)
1 15-ounce container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
15 uncooked lasagna noodles

Cook sausage and onion in a skillet over medium heat stirring occasionally, until sausage is no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce, basil and salt.

Mix 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese and the ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. Set remaining mozzarella cheese aside in refrigerator.

Spoon one-fourth of the sausage mixture into 6-quart slow cooker; top with five noodles, broken into pieces to fit. Spread with half of the cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with five noodles, remaining cheese mixture and one-fourth of the sausage mixture. Top with remaining five noodles and remaining sausage mixture.

Cover and cook on Low 4 to 6 hours or until noodles are tender. Sprinkle top of lasagna with remaining one cup mozzarella cheese. Cover and let stand about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into pieces.

Slow Cooker Enchiladas

1 19-ounce can enchilada sauce
6 boneless chicken breast halves
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small can sliced black olives
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 4-ounce can chopped mild chilies
16 to 20 corn tortillas
16 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

Cook chicken in simmering water or in the oven until no longer pink. Cool and shred. Place soup, olives, chilies and onions in a medium bowl. Mix until incorporated. Cut tortillas in wedges. Layer slow cooker with enchilada sauce, tortillas, soup mix, chicken and cheese all the way to top, ending with cheese on top. Cover and cook on Low for 5 to 7 hours.

Servings: 8 to 10.

Slow Cooker Bananas Foster

4 bananas, peeled and sliced
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup rum
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut

Layer sliced bananas in the bottom of a slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine butter, brown sugar, rum, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over bananas. Cover and cook on Low for 2 hours. Top bananas with walnuts and coconut during the last 30 minutes of cooking. Servings: 4.

Note: All slow cookers cook a little differently, so check part way through to see that these dishes are not getting overdone. Enjoy!

Looking for more of Mary’s slow cooker recipes? Check these out:
The Many Faces of Barbecue
The Return of the Slow Cooker” (DPL Members)
Haul Out the Crock Pot” (DPL Members)

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