Speaking of cooking for myself...I tried out a new recipe in my crock pot yesterday. Originally, I had been searching for a crock-pot recipe so I could try out my nifty new Slow Cooker Liners. I made chili last week, and still have 2 servings in the freezer for future use, so I didn't want a chili recipe. I usually throw together whatever is on hand for a quick chicken or beef stew, but I didn't feel like either of those. I also ruled out any recipes that require you to sear the meat first in a skillet, because I didn't want to do any prep work (also, I had planned to prepare everything the night before and toss it in the fridge, then set the slow cooker to cook it while I was away at work all day).
I settled on Cuban Style Pork and Sweet Potato Slow Cooker Stew from the Weight Watcher's website. It was something a little bit different from my usual crockpot fare and I am a sucker for sweet potatoes. I put together my shopping list and took a trip to the store on the way home from work. Pork loin at buy one get one free? Score! (I do like free. One package went right into the freezer and is destined for pasta sauce.) Amazingly, I didn't forget anything from my list...
After combining all of the ingredients in my crock and nestling it all in my fridge, I signed on to my computer and read through some blogs before bedtime. I saw this post and immediately realized that I forgot to use the liner!! Naturally...
Wednesday morning I threw the crock into the base and turned it on before work. There is nothing quite like coming home to my apartment and finding it smelling delicious (not a common occurrence, what with the cat and all), with a nice hot home cooked meal waiting for me.
How it looked in the crock when I got home, after adding the lime juice and cilantro, but before stirring.
The recipe has very little liquid in it - Only 1/4 Cup of orange juice and whatever liquid is in the can of diced tomatoes. I worried that the meat was going to be dry and tough, but I had to add the fresh cilantro and lime juice and cook another 5 minutes before finding out.
What happened after I stirred...
I was afraid that the sweet potatoes would fall apart, based on some of the comments made in the recipe reviews. They did, as you can see. I don't know if they were cut too small or if I overcooked them by not setting the crockpot to revert to "warm" after the 7 hours of cooking time. I was gone at least 8 hours, so they got at least another full hour on the low setting. Next time, I will try to cut bigger chunks and actually use the "warm" setting (I don't know why I am always reluctant to do that).
|Ready to be devoured. I am thinking of new plates...I'm getting tired of these.|
It wasn't the prettiest meal, but it was certainly tasty. The pork was not dry at all, but was fork tender and quite delicious. I ate this with a tortilla on the side to sop up the sauce. I can see myself making this again. I was definitely not expecting this much flavor from a WW recipe, so it was a pleasant surprise.
Now, what to do with the rest of that orange juice...? (I don't care for orange juice, so I know I won't drink it.)