Those brisk morning temps almost always make me think of pulling out some fall recipes-especially my favorite crock pot recipes. Love, love, love crock pot meals. Filling my home with the fragrance and warmth of a home cooked meal is always validating. We are dedicating our week to pay homage to the once lowly – now indispensable CROCK POT.

The original slow cooker was the outcome of pleasant memories. A young man was fond of his grandmother’s cooking and was especially fond of those meals that had cooked at a low temperature for hours in the oven. I was a young wife/mother when the Crock Pot brand was introduced in 1971 and it became an immediate success. This efficient way of getting a meal on the table was readily embraced by those women who were joining the work force in droves in the early 70’s. Put the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, and return home to a great meal. Maybe, this is when women started thinking, “I CAN do it all.”

My first attempts at crock pot cooking (it didn’t take long for the trademarked name Crock Pot to become the name used to refer to all slow cookers) was a pot roast. Home run. Through the years, I’ve become more creative and discovered that cream of mushroom soup is not an absolute essential to a successful recipe!!  Here’s a family fave:

Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Pork

thai pork

image: allrecipes.com

Prep: 10 m  Cook: 8 h 10 m  Ready in: 8 h 20 m

Ingredients:  
2 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
4 (8 ounce) boneless pork loin chops
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced

Add 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter WHEN roast is tender

Before serving top with:
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
2 limes, cut into wedges

Directions:  

  1. Coat a slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the bell pepper strips and pork chops into the slow cooker.
  2. Mix together teriyaki sauce, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and garlic and pour over pork chops.
  3. Cover and cook on LOW until pork is very tender, 8 to 9 hours.
  4. Once tender, remove the pork from the slow cooker, and whisk in peanut butter until smooth. Return pork to the slow cooker and cook 10 minutes more.
  5. Pour into a serving dish and sprinkle with green onions and peanuts to garnish. Decorate with lime wedges to serve.

Complete the meal with some rice and a salad. Get ready for the lull in conversation – everyone will be busily chowing down!

Have you discovered the wonder of the Crock pot?   Share your favorite recipe or a link to your favorite Crock Pot Recipe in comments.