Tuesday, March 16, 2010

crock pot bbq and brunswick stew

My crock pot and I are like this.

She's a 1970's Rival Crock Pot-brand crock pot--maybe a wedding gift to my parents or even an artifact from one of their prior marriages--resplendent in faded avocado green and replete with jaunty line drawings of snapping crawdads and sliced onions.

She is a genius. I can just dump food into her and she inevitably turns it into something palatable. She's a little bit of a pain in the ass to clean, but I forgive her her trespasses.

I was so pleased with last week's mushroom and chicken pairing thatI decided to try my hand this weekend at another pair of complementary dishes.

Feeling exceedingly clever on Saturday morning, I pulled a Tupperware container of leftover pork BBQ out of the freezer to thaw. Only it wasn't pork BBQ--it was spaghetti sauce. WHOOPS. So I had to improvise. I am forever ending up with one stray chicken breast or pork chop and throwing the orphan in the freezer for another time. Soooo in a move that is sure to horrify a substantial portion of my readership, I just gathered up all the stray chicken breasts and pork chops (and yes, maybe about a half pound of ground turkey too) and fixed some impromptu Mixed Grill BBQ.

is it chicken? pork? I plead the fif

I just used a packet of McCormick's BBQ pork seasoning and some vinegar, brown sugar, and ketchup. Oooooh so fancy!

In just a few hours, it looks like this!

In the spirit of this absurdly easy dinner, I threw some flour and stuff into my bread maker with some rosemary (STILL trying to get rid of the leftovers from New Orleans-style BBQ shrimp) so we could have a loaf of fresh rosemary bread for sandwiches. It turned out perfect:

and it made wonderful sandwiches!

doesn't it look like it's drooling??

As soon as we were finished with our BBQ sandwiches, I began the back-breaking labor of preparing the Brunswick stew. (If you are not familiar with Brunswick stew, it is a low-country stew popular in Georgia and South Carolina. I had never had it or even heard of it before I moved here.) Like many Southern dishes, it doesn't so much have a recipe so much as an ethos. I cracked open a can of creamed corn and a big can of tomatoes and dumped them in the crock pot on top of the leftover barbeque. I threw 2 cups of homemade chicken stock in on top of that, made sure it was still set to low, and then proceeded to wander off. If I had had it handy, I would have added a can of lima beans. And PRESTO, our dinner for the next night was ready.

I didn't want the rosemary bread to go to waste, so I fixed some Shake N Bake croutons with the leftovers.

Quidquid Quidquid's Shake N Bake Croutons

Heat oven to 275. Chop bread into cubes and put in plastic bag. Pour in a little olive oil, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese. Shake. Bake until tasty-looking.


I was craving something green so I tried my hand at fixing the broccolini I picked up at Kroger on manager's special. The internet said to saute it with some olive oil and lemon juice...so I did.

...and it was good! Just a little sweeter and softer than regular broccoli.


Soooo that concludes the Southern edition of The Leftover Fairy!

And since both of these dishes freeze beautifully, I leave you with words of wisdom from Annelle, the patron saint of everything that Freezes Beautifully.

Discussion Question:
Sammy Wayne DeSoto what is this in my Frigidaire?


  1. Iss prolly possum, Annelle.

    Your heart shaped measuring cup just made me squee a lot.

  2. love that thing! it is so perfect for rice--I love the little hearts :)

  3. Hey lady, can I have your bread-maker bread recipe? Not necessarily your rosemary one, just your go-to one. I have a hard time finding one that does not taste like caked, instant, mashed potatoes.

  4. I just use the one out of the Cuisinart cookbook but it's not very fluffy. I'll send it to you if you want but I can't say I really recommend it. I haven't had the gizmo long enough to know the subtleties yet

  5. Alright, lady, I've been stalking your blog via fb and this post leaves me feeling compelled to (1) tell you that I was doing so, (2) watch Steel Magnolias by myself, no doubt ending in tears (I'M FINE I'M FINE I'M FINE I'M FIIIIINE!!!), and (3) ask you about couponing for fresh veggies. Being the treehuggin' vegetarian I am, I buy mostly fresh veggies and fruits. What's the deal with couponing for that? It's not like there's tons of manufacturer's coupons for veggies (although for salad mixes, I always use 'em). I mean, I can buy whichever variety is on sale, but I still seem to drop way too much cash on produce.

  6. Hey Brooke! I'm glad to know you've been reading. Did you see that they added HEB to Southern Savers? It's an exciting day for couponing Texans.

    You're right that there are not a lot of coupons for produce. Some stores (like Food Lion and other stores neither of us have) seem to put out stuff like periodic $2/$5 produce coupons, but that doesn't do us a lot of good. So here's what I do.

    1) Look for the coupons that ARE out there. I've found Qs for tangerines, tomatoes, blueberries, etc in my Sunday inserts. Individual distributors' websites sometimes have them too.

    2) Look for combo deals that include produce. HEB has all those great 'buy this, get that' promotions and a lot include produce.

    3) Like you said, buy what's on sale. Jenny at Southern Savers suggests making a 'lowest price list' of all the items you buy frequently and what is the lowest price you've seen all of them at (as well as the regular price). Then you can be like 'Ooh! Bananas are finally under .40/lb, time to buy a bushel' even if they aren't on advertised special that day.

    4) Farmers markets. Better, local produce and you're supporting your local farmer. I wish I got over to them more often.

    Also have you tried Fiesta? I never shopped there when I lived in ATX but I've wondered since if it was cheaper on things like produce and meat, since HEB and Randall's are so ungodly expensive

  7. Wha-haa! You know I don't cook, but I do have an inspired suggestion for your next recipe, which I'll call "Two Pigs...Fightin' Under a Blanket." Boudin sausage, onion marmalade, white bread dough....forget it. Too easy. You're ready to figure out how to make gray icing.

  8. omggggggg Julia I smell a guest blog!!!

    I'm so glad you saw your shoutout.

    That's the one!!!

    I think we should pray.

  9. I know what you mean about crock-pot cleanup. Have you ever tried the crock pot liners Reynolds makes? Check them out at www.slowcookerliners.com. I know you will appreciate the high-quality animation Reynolds provides on its website. In all seriousness, they ROCK. Last Monday I brought some snacks to work to celebrate my birthday, including a crock pot full of lil' smokies wrapped in bacon and baked in brown sugar (SOOO GOOOD), which of course spells major sticky mess...but thanks to the crock pot liner, all I did at the end of the day was pull it out of the crock pot and toss it. Doesn't make cleanup easier...it ELIMINATES cleanup. The stores want to charge like $1 or more per liner but look for coupons, or check this out at Ace Hardware Outlet (surprisingly enough) for about 63 cents apiece. TOTALLY worth it, compared to the time/water/soap you spend cleaning it yourself.