My daughter tells me that a lot more people would use my recipes if I could shake the weird factor of cooking in my coffeepot. Her point is the food tastes good, the recipes are easy to follow but cooking in a coffeepot is weird. Many people need the advice on how to prepare traditional hearty or cultural meals for one, but would never think or even dream about doing it in a coffeepot.
So I knew I would have time on my hands in Florida with nothing to do for days on end so I went shopping for a more universally acceptable cooking device and ended up with a crock pot which was exactly the same size as my coffeepot and it even had three settings, warm low and high. After all, I like everyone at La Quinta so, I can justify $10 for a Crockpot of my own instead of using their coffeepot.
My very first use was to heat water and find out about the temperatures. Warm was 160, Low was 185 and high was well above 200 and I think you could boil water so that setting for a slow cooker was not of interest except to sauté onions and garlic and to brown meat just like I could do in my coffee pot.
Since I had already made one version of La Quinta Casserole in the very small pot that automatically turns off after 1 hour, I figured my new perfectly sized crock pot would make life easier.
When it comes to casseroles, it’s easy to guess my favorite ingredients. I love onions, garlic, tomatoes, summer squash, peppers, chicken and cant live without basil and wine.
Well I went to the grocery store and found some stuff called fajita vegetable mix which was red and white onions and red, green and yellow peppers all cleaned and rough cut.
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 cloves garlic minced
½ pound fajita mix
1 very small summer squash
1 14.5 oz can of stewed Italian tomatoes
½ tsp basil
½ pound chicken breast
1-2 oz wine.
I put the oil and the garlic in the Crockpot and turned it on high and nothing happened. Seems this Crockpot had all the heating elements in the side so there was no heat getting to the low level of oil. I added the fajita mix and wine and cooked it on high and nothing happened except the vegetables against the wall started to brown.
I blanched the chicken breast in the coffeepot because I was fearful of it cooking so slow in the Crockpot that it would cause me food poising issues. In quick succession, I added the sliced summer squash and sliced blanched chicken breast.
Immediately thereafter, I added the rest of the ingredients, stirred the pot and let it cook for 2.5 hours on low heat.
Everything came out fine and it was delicious. Seems that this particular Crockpot is tougher to use than my coffeepot and not as safe. It is the right size but the wrong heating configuration and unless there is enough liquid to cover all the solids, it is not likely to cook anything very well. Oh well, the coffeepot is weird but works. Just don’t let anyone see you cook in it.