Archive for the 'Crockpot and Slow Cooker' Category

Recipe: where oh where is the McRib????

|November 21, 2013|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Well it's been a day!

And to make matters worse – McDonald's has announced that they are discontinuing the McRib!


Isn't it bad enough that the McRib is only available for a short period of time and not on the menu as a permanent item?

I was watching FOX News when I got the shocker.  Hell – this makes Michelle Obama happy – Miss (cough) Perfect who thinks she can control what everyone is supposed to eat.  Who the hell is that bitch!  I bet you anything that old witch is a junk food closet eater and doesn't want anyone to know!  How else did her ass get so big?


Anyway – so what's a McRib anyway?

McDonald's McRib sandwich, pressed formed boneless pork patty submerged in barbecue sauce, with onion and pickles on a sandwhich bun is a specialty item that has made more appearances on their menu than I can recall.

Just what exactly is a pressed formed pork patty?


Rather than make your own pressed pork product you can use JTM® Brand pressed formed pork patties, which McDonald's used. Wal-Mart had them in the frozen meat section, not sure if they still carry them. If you're looking for a vegeterian version, check out Gardenburgers® Meatless Riblets.


The McRib

1 JTM® Brand "Grillin' Ribs" pork patty
1 6 inch long sandwich bun
2 tablespoons Bullseye® Barbecue sauce
1 tablespoon chopped white onion
3 sour dill pickle slices

Preheat griddle to 400°. Cook the pork patty according to the package

Toast both halves of the bun. On the toasted top bun, apply the barbecue
sauce and the dill pickle slices, placed evenly across the bun.

Put the cooked rib patty on top of the picle slices and follow with the
onions. Place the bottom bun on the onions.

Wrap sandwich in a 12”x16” sheet of waxed paper, let sit 5 minutes, then
microwave on high about 15 seconds, still wrapped. This will help create
that "McDonald's Flavor".


Okay cooks – let's do this – why not "know" exactly what you are eating and/or feeding your family like I do –


I started with thin sliced pork – no fat – a nice good cut of meat is best for what I make.  Place in a hot skillet (you know the routine – heat the skillet, add your olive oil, heat your oil, add your meat) and I season mine with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic, onion powder and parsley.  Fried nice and a little on the slow side for that juicy tenderness we all love.  If you want to do them in the oven – same routine – olive oil, seasonings, a bit of water, cover, 350* until fork tender.


BBQ sauce – well – if  Bullseye is too spicy for you (or any other brand), cut it with some ketchup and if you want a bit of sweetness – give a drizzle of honey.  You can make your own as well – who said you couldn't?


A good hoagie-style roll, which we prefer to have very lightly toasted, fresh sliced onions and several dill pickle chips and you've got one heluva good McRib from your own kitchen.


No microwave needed (I wouldn't use one for anything anyway!)


Make them for a party, even use the crockpot to cook them in – so tender and juicy.  and you will also know what the hell you're eating!


C'mon – don't worry about the shape of the patty itself or the shape of the roll – it doesn't matter – it's a damn good sammie whether you make it in the oven, on the stove top or in the crockpot.


And – get this – make a ton of these patties – once cooked, cool completely in the fridge.  Next day, wrap them individually – easy to warm up at any time with BBQ sauce.  Well worth the effort!


Long live the McRib!


Food police – BITE ME!



Recipe: Wishing for BBQ………..

|February 27, 2012|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I know that February is almost over, and that is has been a very ABNORMAL winter here – but I am wishing for BBQ!

Do you know that since November my rose bushes at the side of the house have been green and growing chutes?  I also have green mutant somethings coming up as well – whatever they are.

With this weather the way it is I don't know if it's fall, winter or spring!  No wonder everyone is getting sick.  Not cold enough to kill the germs.

They said that the ants and the bugs are making their appearance already.  Last week I had a mosquito at my door.

Talk about Twilight Zone!


But I want BBQ!

So the closest I can get right now is crockpot BBQ.  I had a boneless beef bottom round steak in the freezer – a tad more than an inch thick. 

I washed it – like I wash everything – even though it was frozen and I drizzled olive oil over it, turning it to coat and placed in my crockpot.  I seasoned both sides with sea salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, onion powder and parsley and turned it HIGH.


I bought a tray of eggs at the market – you know the ones that come 2 1/2 dozen to a flat.  Supposedly LARGE EGGS.  And written on the plastic wrap around it – NO GROWTH HORMONES and all  that yada yada.

They should have given the chickens growth hormones – dang eggs ain't much bigger than pigeon eggs! 

I was in the mood for potato and macaroni salad but I decided to combine the both –

I either made macaroni salad with potatoes in it or I made potato salad with macaroni in it.  Either way – worked for me.

While I steamed by taters, I boiled my "pigeon eggs", chopped some celery, grated a bit of onion,  added sweet pickle relish and mayo, chopped my eggs – and "sprinkled" the top with stuffed olives.

I also made stuffed eggs – combining sweet pickle relish, a bit of grated onion, and mayo – topping with stuffed olives.

Smothered my steak with BBQ sauce during the last 45 minutes of cooking.

And I satisfied by craving for BBQ as well as my craving for potato and macaroni salad!  At least for now that is – but I would still love a huge plate of pork ribs!  Soon!!!!

Recipe: A nice slice of top round and a crockpot! And bean salad!

|October 9, 2011|read comments (4)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

A couple weeks ago there was a beef sale at the market – buy one, get one (of equal or lesser amount) free. Usually I don’t bother much with those “sales” because the price per pound has been increased immensely and they pump them with so much water.

But I stopped to take “peek” at their thick-sliced top round steaks. They had 2 beautiful ones there – each averaging $9.00 so I bought them, brought them home and froze them. Paying $9.00 for both – okay.

Yesterday I took one out of the freezer to thaw it for today. By 4:30 this morning (remember – I have to be at the babies house so mom can catch her ride to the terminal – she’s a school bus aide) I had the steak rinsed, patted dry, in the crockpot with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic, parsley, and a bit of onion powder. I sliced up a beautiful onion – one of those that would be perfect for a large bloomin’ onion – turned the crockpot on HIGH and ran out the door.

When I got home after 9:00 I turned the steak over – it was about half cooked. Fine by me.

So I made a basic 3-Bean Salad:

1 can (15 oz.) yellow wax beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) green beans, drained
1 can (15 oz.) light red kidney beans, rinsed and drained


1/3 cup sugar, in
1/3 cup vinegar (I used white today – cider is okay to use as well)

Stirring in:
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley

¼ cup olive oil – mix well.

Pour over beans; mix well, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.

By 11:30 I was peeling my potatoes to make mashed potatoes and starting my gravy. I tried to turn the steak and it just fell apart! Excellent!

One bowl of really good gravy!! Mmmmmm…..!

Really a no-fuss meal – filling – and the steak was fork-tender and just melted in our mouths.

Add a slice of French bread – I’m a happy camper!

We had our big meal at noon-time – and the left over meat and gravy will make nice “pulled beef’ and gravy open-faced sammies with steak fries for dinner! (with a much easier clean-up!)

Recipe: Boneless round steak

|October 9, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Me and my frozen meat!

It seems that I am always in a hurry these days. No time for this, putting off that, scurrying around because of this and that. And not remembering to take something out of the freezer when I have to.

I had a boneless round steak in the freezer so I just rinsed it under cold water and placed it in the crockpot. I drizzled a bit of olive oil over it, seasoned with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, garlic, fresh minced parsley and diced onions. Placed on HIGH and let it cook. After 3 hours, I topped with 1 can of cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 can water and let it cook for another hour or so until it was fork tender.

Whipped up some mashed potatoes, steamed some fresh carrots and made a simple side salad of lettuce, tomatoes, cukes and homemade dressing.

Recipe: July 4th – crockpot BBQ Western Pork Ribs

|July 3, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Well – it's the July 4th weekend and what is better than a nice BBQ?

Since I am spending the holiday alone this year, I've decided to have a little BBQ for myself.

I had wanted to BBQ some beef short ribs, but of course, the meat manager was all out and said they won't be in till Tuesday.  So much for that – I'll have to make them after Tuesday.  So I "settled" for Western Style Pork Ribs.

And with this heat and humidity that came in all at once – the crockpot was my friend today.  And I didn't have to stand over it as it cooked.  Gave me some "personal time" that I appreciated.

After washing and patting my pork dry (I wash everything), I lightly coated with oil, and coated with a bit of a dry rub (both sides):

Kosher salt

cracked black pepper



onion powder


chili powder


As I get older, I don't want a lot of heat and spice so I went light on the chili powder and paprika.  Covered and let sit in the refrigerator for about an hour.

I was in the mood for a baked tater – but no way with this heat was I turning on the oven!  So I settled for a potato fan.

After scrubbing my tater, I sliced 1/4-inch slices about 3/4 of the way through the potato – being careful not to go all the way through and ending up with  slices.  Normally, I like these done in the oven.  I melt butter and swirl the tater in it, and I drizzle melted butter between the slices and season.  Bake in the oven until done.

For today, I buttered the tater, slathering it on top and seasoning with Kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic, and parsley.  The butter will melt into the slices.

I made a foil/parchment "boat" to use in the crockpot along side the pork.  This way the butter stayed around the tater.

Making the sauce was easy today – I used a bottled sauce that I cut with ketchup.  Like I said – sometimes you need to tone down the spices.

I set the crockpot on HIGH, and it was done in 4 hours.  During the last hour of cooking, I basted the pork with the BBQ sauce.

Add some corn on the cob – and I had a nice meal.


Recipe: Italian Steak Parmesan

|June 4, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Depending on the size of the steaks, this can make an excellent steak sammie! A nice large crusty roll or even a nice toasted hoagie/sub roll.

Excellent with a side of pasta, ravioli, lasagna or gnocchi.

1 pound round steak, cut into individual serving pieces
1/2 cup flour roughly – just enough to coat the steaks
1 cup or so freshly shredded mozzarella cheese**
Spaghetti sauce (I use homemade canned – sometimes with meat in it)
Olive oil
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Fresh minced parsley
Minced garlic

Season the flour with salt, pepper and parsley. Dredge the steak pieces in the flour, then brown*** in a little oil with garlic. Place in a casserole dish in single layer. Cover with the mozzarella cheese, then spread on spaghetti sauce. Bake at 350* F. about 1 hour or until steak is cooked through.

**I like to use a mix of mozzarella, provolone, Asiago, Pecorino Romano – all fresh grated.

I've also used eye round cut into 1/2 – 3/4-inch slices as well as other types of steaks – just adjust your cooking time.  And for that "special touch" I sometimes like to criss-cross a couple anchovies on top!  (luv anchovies!)

If using a thin sandwich-style steak – use leftovers and make a panini!

***This can be made in the crockpot as well.

Also – I have added thin sliced onions – mmmmmm and/or mushrooms – especially sliced portobellas.

Recipe: Nice and easy meal for a cold day! from 09/2009

|June 1, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Well I was hoping for Indian summer to hit – but for some reason it seems that this year we are not going to have any. And I am a fall baby – the fall is my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love the colors of the leaves and the beauty of the season. Once again – this year the leaves look crappy! I am hoping that within a week they will change and look better.

This is a very odd fall – and I know that winter is going to hit soon. And it all happened so fast!

But it's perfect weather for some of those comfort foods and tummy warmers.

I've got a pot of Beef Stew going for today –

I cut up a thick slice of chuck meat and browned in my pot using a bit of olive oil and seasoning with salt, pepper, fresh chopped parsley and fresh garlic. Add to the pot 1 large can of crushed tomatoes, cut potatoes, onions, carrot, celery, adjust seasonings, cover and place in the oven with 1 cup of beef bouillon. Place in 300* F. oven for a couple hours – during the last 20 minutes of cooking I'll add frozen peas. Serve with a good hearty bread.

It's a very easy stew to make, and it freezes well. To freeze properly, transfer stew to large bowl and place in fridge to cool completely – overnight is best. Then portion and freeze in freezer containers. Label and date.


This can also be done in the crokpot – brown your meat in a skillet first, then transfer to your crockpot adding frozen peas/veggies during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.

Recipe: Crockpot Steak and Onions

|March 13, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Today I just had so much to do – the kids are back in school – not my kids – my babies. There is a difference.

You see – I spent my life working my tail off – never had time to marry or have children of my own. Then one day I woke up and it hit me – OOPS! I removed my head from my corporate butt and realized there is a life other than working 2 full time and 1 part time job and still trying to keep up with catering for friends.

But – 32 years ago I met a lady with 2 children – and her baby became my baby. She was with me all the time – lived with us for years – I put her through school – her wedding cost me a small fortune, blah, blah, blah.

And I love her to death. She is like my own. We are probably closer than many mothers and daughters. Of course – after she married she had 2 babies – so I call her the "surrogate mother" and her babies are mine. I want to keep them but she won't let me steal them for too long – DRAT!
So I am the proudest "adopted" gram to two of the most beautiful babies in the world! And I am happier than ever when I am with them. My little doll baby just turned 10 (I can't believe she is that old already!) and my little bruiser is 7 going on 8 this December.

No one loves them more than I do – and I even fight with their mom – I love them more – and that fight will go until I am dead – but I do love them more than anyone else does. (they are spoiled with love – but their mom would still say she loves them more)

Each day (their mom is a school bus aide) I arrive by 5:30 AM to watch them sleep, listen to them snore, feed them, wash them, dress them, check the homework and drive them to the bus stop or – sometimes right to school. Mom can go to work and she knows all is well.

It even gives us time to run to the park and look for deer, collect leaves in the fall, watch the ducks (like the time my battery went dead in the middle of a rain storm while we were watching the ducks! I panicked – had to get a boost and drive them to school and everyone laughed at me for taking them to watch the ducks! But what are gramma's supposed to do???)
Well the first week or so of school none of the bus drivers know what they are doing so I make my meals according to the babies schedule. After all – I have to drive all the way into the city every morning and afternoon. One of these the schedules will work themselves out. Right now they are getting home a half hour later than they are supposed to and it's an hour later than last year's schedule!

So for today – I made steak and onions in the crockpot. It was very easy to prepare – I always rinse my meats off and pat dry with paper towels. You just never know if there is a bit of bone or something stuck to the meat. Place in crockpot and season with Kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper, fresh minced garlic, fresh chopped parsley. I dropped in chopped onions seasoned the same way and put it on HIGH. It was done in 3 hours and we were able to have our "big" meal by noon; served with a large salad of greens, celery, beets, green beans and cukes – olive oil and lemon juice with a sprinkle of my Dipping Sauce Mix (dry). Fresh rye bread for sopping up the juices and dressing – made it complete.
Gave me time to digest, try to get these dang updates done in my computer (which they keep knocking me off line – grrrr) and then get ready to drive all the way back and wait for the bus. They hop in and we drive to their mom's last stop to get her. Everyone is home safe and sound – so I head home.


As far as cleaning the crockpot – I've had many ask the easiest way to do it – I find that while I am eating I fill it with hot water and let sit. Immediately after eating, all dishes are done in my house – no waiting. Everything is clean except the crockpot. So I empty the water, place Kosher salt on my dish cloth, and start scrubbing. It just takes a bit of elbow grease – cleans really easy.

Some have found it easy to let the crockpot soak with water and a dryer sheet in the water. I've never tried that – my salt works fine or me.

Do you have any tips for cleaning your crockpot?

Recipe: Swiss Steak – My Own Version

|March 12, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

Everyone has their own way of making Swiss Steak.

This recipe is very good and very easy – and I hope you enjoy it.

I cut my round steak into serving size portions; rinse and pat dry.

Coat both sides with fresh minced garlic, Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.

In shallow dish I combine flour with fresh minced parsley; press steaks into flour and place in large heated heavy skillet with hot olive oil (make sure the pan is hot, add the oil and heat the oil) and brown both sides.

In a bowl, combine:
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes (sometimes stewed tomatoes)
About 1 cup of red and green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 medium onion, diced
Fresh minced garlic, fresh minced parsley, Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
One can water (using tomato can)

Mix well and pour over steak; reduce heat to low, partially cover, allow to simmer until meat is tender (about an hour or so). More water may be added to keep the meat partially covered.


NOTE: I tenderize my meat by pounding with a meat mallet for this recipe.
Also – I've transferred the meat to the crockpot after browning and cooked for several hours.

Adjust salt and pepper if desired.

VARIATION: I've cut the meat in small pieces (or you can use stew meat) and I've added two cans of tomatoes (instead of one), left out the water, added chunks of carrots and potatoes and cooked in the crockpot until the meat was tender and the veggies were tender.

About a half hour before serving, add frozen peas and corn; heat through.

If you don't want to add potatoes, leave them out and serve this over cooked rice or couscous.

Recipe: Foodies Paradise

|March 12, 2011|read comments (0)
Author: Mama's Kitchen

I’ve lived in this area all my life and I must say that it is a foodie’s paradise! We have a wonderful selection of restaurants and many different ethnic restaurants as well.


It almost seems as if there are restaurants on every corner! We have everything from fine dining to tiny deli owners serving some of the best tasting goodies ever! The selection of family-owned restaurants with their authentic dishes I absolutely fabulous!


One thing this area is well known for (besides the ORIGINAL BUFFALO WINGS) is our Beef on Weck Sandwiches a/k/a Beef on Kimmelweck Rolls.

If you’ve never had a kimmelweck roll you just don’t know what you are missing.

Kimmelweck rolls are of Polish origin. A large, crusty Kaiser-style roll topped with kosher (coarse) salt and caraway seed!

Roast beef, sliced so nice and thin and layered up to 6-inches high makes these sandwiches really stand out in a crowd!

Served with au jus or horseradish. And don’t forget the Polish dill spears served on the side!

The memories of the corner tavern and their steam tables filled with roast beef all day and night. Regardless of the time of day – you could get a hot beef on weck. And being centrally located with all the steel plants in the area – they went through tons of beef and dozens and dozens of weck rolls! With three shifts going at the plant I don’t know how they kept up with all those great sammies!


This can easily be duplicated at home. Begin by making your own kimmelweck rolls.
This recipe will make 8 rolls:

Sprinkle 2 ½ t. active dry yeast over ¼ c. lukewarm water (95* – 100*F) in small bowl and let proof until bubbly – about 5 minutes.

In separate bowl combine:
3/4 cup lukewarm water (95*F to 110*F)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. barley malt syrup or honey
1 large egg white
Stir to dissolve the sugar.

Add to this bowl:
1 ½ c. flour (preferably bread flour – high-gluten) – mix until smooth. Add yeast and slowly stir in an additional 1 ½ c. flour.
Turn onto lightly floured surface; knead 5 to 7 minutes, until smooth and elastic but still tacky to the touch. Add additional flour (up to ¼ c.) to keep the dough from sticking.

Transfer to large greased bowl, turning to coat; cover with plastic wrap and let rise in warm area until doubled in size – about 1 hour.

Punch dough down; cover again; and let rise a second time for about 30 minutes.

Return dough to work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces; shape into a smooth round; flatten the round slightly. Place on parchment-lined or greased baking sheet, well spaced to allow for spreading. Cover loosely with a towel and set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Preheat 425* F.

Combine 1 large egg white with 1 T. water; blend well. Brush rolls lightly. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut 4 crescent-shaped slits into each roll, radiating out from the center. Sprinkle rolls with a mixture of coarse salt crystals and caraway seed; then spritz with water.

Bake for 5 minutes. Quickly open the oven door and spritz again with water; close the oven door and bake 20 minutes more, until browned and crisp. Cool on wire racks.


This recipe will also make a Vienna Loaf
Follow the recipe except divide the dough in half, shaping each half into an oval with tapered ends. After the final rise, apply the egg wash and cut a ½-inch deep slit down the top of each loaf; omit salt and caraway sprinkle, if desired. Bake at 400* F. about 30 minutes more after the second spritz with water (total 35 minutes).


And it will make a nice snack – Salt and Pepper Sticks

Follow the recipe directions except omit the second rise and divide dough into 13 equal pieces. Roll each into a 12-inch rope; place ropes 1 ½-inches apart on prepared baking sheet. After final rise, apply egg wash (do not make any cuts in the dough) and sprinkle with coarse sea salt and coarsely ground or cracked pepper. Do not spritz with water. Bake about 18 minutes. These are great served with mustard – plain old yellow mustard makes a great dipper! And for the brave – add some cayenne to your mustard!!


And these are great sandwiches to have during football season! I haven’t met a tailgater or an armchair quarterback that hasn’t enjoyed these! You don’t need a steam table either – you can always use your crockpot! Gotta love having crockpots – they keep foods warm, and for gatherings everyone can help themselves – just keep adding to it as the goodies disappear.

Oven roast your roast beef the day before; cool completely in the refrigerator. Thin slicing it is very easy then. And no one said you can’t do this “pulled-beef” style either. Just as you would pulled pork.


There are so many recipes for making beef for kimmelwecks and each claims to be the best or the original.

This is a very easy recipe and it makes a very tasty roast as well:

Place roast in baking pan with a bit of olive oil; roll to coat lightly; season with fresh garlic, kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh parsley – that‘s it. You want that marvelous flavor of the meat to come through. Roast at 350* F. to desired doneness. For rare – roast at 450* F to desired doneness.

For best results for these sandwiches – the roasts are cooked a day or two ahead; refrigerated and then sliced thin on a meat slicer; re-heated in au jus (which is nothing more than stock/broth**) and layered onto a fresh kimmelweck roll. Horseradish or horseradish sauce is served on the side along with Polish dill spears. I know that at the deli we had a lot of requests for the tops of the buns to be gently dipped into the au jus because it was so good.

As stated above, au jus is nothing more than beef stock stirred into the degreased roasting pan and brought to a boil. It is not thick like a typical sauce or gravy. The important thing to remember about au jus is – THE AU JUS WILL ONLY BE AS GOOD AS YOUR STOCK! So it is best to use a homemade beef stock. You can squeak by with a canned beef stock only if it is very top quality and bouillon will not cut it – that will ruin it.

When you beef is cooked and removed from the roasting pan, start making your au jus. Remove the fat from the pan (either discard or reserve for Yorkshire puddings). Place your roaster over medium heat, add your beef stock, stirring to release the browned bits from the bottom of the roaster. Bring to a boil and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to gravy vessel.

Making a good-sized batch of au jus allows you to portion and freeze for future use.

Easy to freeze – cool completely in the fridge, portion into freezer containers, cover, label and date, and freeze.


Here is another “local” restaurant recipe for roast beef:

Flour your roast and brown it in olive oil over medium high heat. Transfer to roaster; add enough beef broth and enough water to come half way up the roast. Chunk an onion and add; season to taste with salt, pepper and garlic powder – being careful of the amount of salt used. Add a spoon of beef bouillon and a bit of browning sauce. Cover and roast at 375* F. turning occasionally. Remove and let cool for easier slicing. Strain cooking liquid and discard solids, return to pan, add sliced beef and heat through.

Serve your beef sandwiches with a nice dollop or horseradish or if you’re not that brave – try a nice sour cream horseradish sauce.


Sour Cream Horseradish Sauce for Beef Sandwiches

1 pint sour cream
½ cup prepared horseradish (well-drained)
¼ cup chopped chives (optional)
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Combine and mix well. Make a couple hours ahead to allow the flavors to meld. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.


How brave are you? Add more prepared horseradish.
Allow sauce to stand at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.