Friday, September 30, 2011

Crockpot Oriental Beef & Broccoli

Since we moved to Arizona, I've kept my eye out for slow cooker recipes to reduce the amount of heat coming from my kitchen. I scored this one out of the Better Homes and Gardens Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes. I'm always a sucker for Chinese recipes, and this dish did not disappoint. It was really easy and we enjoyed it very much. I couldn't find a "beef gravy" mix at the store, so I used a brown gravy mix packet and it worked fine. The meat turned out tender the flavors were really good. If you wanted, you could throw in a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes if you want a slight "kick" to the dish.

Oriental Beef & Broccoli

6 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, cut into wedges (I used about 2 Tbl dehydrated onion flakes)
1-1/2 lbs beef round steak, bias-sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger (I used about 1 tsp ground ginger powder)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used my garlic press)
1/2 c. water
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1, 3/4 oz. envelope of beef gravy mix
4 cups broccoli florets
3 cups hot cooked rice

1. In a 3-1/2 to 4 quart slow cooker, place carrots, onions, beef strips, ginger and garlic. Stir together water, soy sauce, and beef gravy mix. Pour over meat and vegetables in cooker.

2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours.

3. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in broccoli florets. Cover and cook 15 minutes more oruntil broccoli is crisp-tender. Serve over hot rice.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Shrimp Orzo Skillet

This dish comes from the Pampered Chef cookbook, 29 minutes to dinner. It was fast and easy, and my husband loved it- unfortunately, my boys refused to try it. Otherwise, a delicious, healthy, quick dinner!

Shrimp Orzo Skillet


8 oz. large uncooked shrimp (21-25 count per pound)

1 Tbsp. fegetable oil

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. sugar (it brings out the sweetnes in the shrimp)


8 oz. orzo pasta

1 garlic clove, pressed

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup clam juice (I used chicken broth)

1 lemon

1 Tbsp thinkly sliced fresh mint (I left out and sprinkled in dry parsley with the orzo)

1 cup frozen peas

1 Tbsp butter

1. For shirmp, peel and devein shrimp. Add oil to large skillet. Heat over medium-high heat 1-3 minutes or until simmering. As skillet heats, comine salt, pepper and sugar in small batter bowl; add shrimp and toss to coat (I threw everything in a ziploc baggie and tossed it that way).

2. Arrange shrimp in a single layer over bottom of skillet and cook about 1 minute or until one side is browned and edges are pink. Remove skillet from heat and turn shrimp over; let stand an additional 30 seconds or until centers are opaque and shrimp is cooked through. Remove shrimp from skillet and set aside.

3. For orzo, in same skillet, combine orzo, pressed garlic, broth and clam juice. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 10-12 minutes or until orzo is cooked through (there will still be sauce in the pan).

4. As orzo cooks, zest lemon to measure 1 Tbsp. and juice lemon to measure 1 Tbsp juice. Thinkly slice mint.

5. Remove skillet from heat and stir in peas, butter and lemon juice. Arrange shrimp over orzo; cover and let stand 3-5 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with lemon zest and mint before serving.
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