Friday, December 30, 2011

Chicken Parmesan in the Slow Cooker

Since I've been in a cooking rut I've had little incentive to try new dishes and have been sticking to the same old, same old. Last Saturday (Or one may refer to the day as Christmas Eve) I had some chicken that I thawed in the freezer and needed something to make with it. I was not going to attempt to go to the grocery store on Christmas Eve and battle all the last minute shoppers so had to use whatever was in the kitchen. I decided I wanted something quick and easy with little fuss so went on the search of slow cooker recipes for chicken and came across chicken cacciatore. It was super simple, unlike my version from scratch.

With such success with the chicken cacciatore (I can't post because I neglected to take a photo. Sorry. Too bad, it was good stuff too) I decided to seek out slow cooker recipes for dishes to make this week and I came across chicken Parmesan. In the slow cooker, interesting. People raved of the dish in the review so I figured, why not?

Well, the results were a success! The chicken was tender and falling apart. (Which we like, if you don't like your chicken like this, not a good idea to make this recipe in the slow cooker) I also cooked the dish on the low setting which is a change for me since I usually cook dishes on high. But I had cooked the chicken cacciatore on low and it came out so good that I decided to try the low setting again, and it came out much better this way!

I served it with Ziti (Or long tube pasta as Hubby refers to it as) and some sauteed broccoli. Of course, when consumed by Hubby and Bambino it was all mashed together, but regardless, good stuff!

Click here for the original recipe.

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts thinned
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 beaten egg
sliced mozzarella cheese
1 jar marinara sauce (Gasp, I did not use marinara sauce from scratch, I did used my favorite H-E-B jarred version.)

1. Marinade the chicken with oregano, garlic powder, salt, pepper and olive oil. Refrigerate over night.

2. Spray bottom of slow cooker with vegetable cooking spray.

3. Beat egg in one dish. Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in another dish.

4. Dip chicken in egg and then into breadcrumb mixture, then place in crockpot. Repeat for all pieces of chicken. Layer each piece of chicken with a slice of mozzarella cheese. (I had more chicken pieces then allotted space so I just layered a few pieces on top of another piece and had no problems.)

5. Pour marinara sauce over the chicken and spread so it covers all of the chicken.

6. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-7 hours. (Mine cooked on low for 4 1/2 hours and then started to burn a bit on the side. The chicken was cooked so I took it out. Keep an eye on the chicken!)

7. Cool and serve with pasta and veggies. Yumm!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 3
I'm in love with my slow cooker again. The tender chicken works out really well for Bambino so she's not chewing and chewing and chewing. It's much more easier for her to take down. When I eat chicken I prefer for it to be shredded as well, so this was perfect. Good stuff, I'll definitely make it again.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Not a paid endorsement #1: Langer's Mango Nectar

So I thought I'd mix things up a little by posting some of the kitchen products that I enjoy! And no, nobody is paying me for this and I do not have any free giveaways. Look to more established blogs for that stuff.

I was telling my dad last week how Bambino was going to ring in the New Years and he asked if she was going to have any type of sparkling juice. Considering she does not drink carbonated beverages that was a no. In general, I do not keep juice in the house and the only time she gets juice is at birthday parties and boy does she love it! So I thought I'd buy her some juice for the holiday season. I mean, think about it, as adults we indulge in rich foods and alcohol, yet Bambino is still eating her usual, healthy foods.

When I went to the grocery store the other day I decided to peruse the juice aisle for something that was somewhat healthy. I love mango juice, always have since I was a child. Whenever I'd go to the Indian store with my family (This was before the age at which my brother and I would wait in the car because we did not want to be covered in the odorific scent of an accumulation of every South Asian spice and when our parents came into the car we would hold our noses shut as if we had just driven by a landfill. And now I have all of these spices in my pantry, go figure.) my parents would always buy me a small bottle of Maaza mango juice. Now that's some good stuff. You can taste the pureed mango, it's not all watered down like other so-called mango juices.

So I chose to buy Bambino mango juice and in the past I've had the delight of trying Kern's mango nectar, which is pretty good, but as soon as I walked down the aisle I saw Langer's. Apparently it has no high fructose corn syrup! It does have sugar and also real mango puree, thus the rich flavor of mangoes!

Yesterday I decided to treat Bambino with her mango juice even though it wasn't New Years Eve yet, just 'cause. I took a sip and was highly impressed! Bambino sure was impressed as well, she down her half glass before I finished my sip! (Ok, maybe a tad bit of an exaggeration.)

So for a treat that's a tad more on the healthier side, it gets a thumbs up from me!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

My father informed me that I hadn't posted anything new on the blog in awhile. Oh, I hadn't, so that didn't sneak past anyone, hmm? I just haven't been in the mood for cooking new things, and as I was telling him this I also was explaining to my mom (yes, I speak to them on speaker phone) how I was going to use the entire egg instead of egg whites in the chicken parmesean recipe I was making since it was the first time making it and I wanted to stick to the exact recipe. Oops, so I am making new recipes. Ok, so I haven't been in the mood to blog? Yes, that's it, I've just been too lazy. I've had to explain myself to all five of my readers this past week on why I haven't blogged, so I figured let me just post something simple I made last week which turned out scrumptious.

When Bambino woke up one morning last week I was in the mood for mixing it up and making something different. Chocolate chip banana pancakes, why not?! (Because I had all the ingredients on hand, that's why.)  I wasn't sure if it actually existed, so I searched the Internet and found many a recipes for chocolate chip banana pancakes.

Luckily, it was quick and easy to make because as soon as Bambino is dressed in the morning she is ready for breakfast and the Cutie I sliced for her kept her satiated for only so long. The results were a hit, Bambino loved it! Hubby even ate some before work and he usually never strays from his habitual Yoplait yogurt cup in the morning! He even noshed on the cold pancakes the next day until there were none left.

Go make this. Good. Easy. Yummy.

Click here for the original recipe. (I halved the recipe to make less pancakes.)

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons butter (I used vegetable oil instead)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large banana (I suggest mashing it so that the banana flavor goes throughout the pancake)
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Throw in some nuts too, yummy stuff!

1. Spray skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium heat. (Or heat a griddle to 375 degrees and spray with vegetable oil.)

2. Beat eggs with a whisk. Add in rest of ingredients except bananas and chocolate chips and beat until smooth.

3. Add in chocolate chips and banana and then nuts also if you dare!

4. For each pancake, pour about 1/4 cup of batter into the pan and heat until it starts to puff and dry on the edges (you will see small holes in the pancakes) then flip and cook until browned on each side.

5. Serve and consume! Hubby said it didn't need any syrup, tasted good the way it was. Bambino also ate it as was. I suppose you could add some whip cream to it if you'd like.

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 2
Seriously, this is easy. Between the thought of making this and having it served on the table was only a 15 minute time lapse. It was easy and oh so good. I'll probably be making this again this weekend while Hubby is home for the New Years holiday. Yum....

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Herb Roasted Turkey Breast

I've cooked an entire turkey just once in my life and I didn't eat it, of course. It came out decent, nothing to write home about, but decent. Hubby doesn't care for dark meat or eating meat off the bone, so I never cook meats with bone and I've never again made a turkey, until this past week.

On Sunday Hubby, Bambino and I were in the local grocery store and as we perused the meat section I asked Hubby if I should cook a turkey breast. I'm always looking for something new to cook and I've seen on numerous shows on the cooking channel how to cook just the turkey breast. Hubby was all for trying something new, so we went for it.

As soon as we got home I looked up recipes for brining turkey. I had first heard of brining a turkey on Sunny Anderson's show, Cooking for Real, on the Cooking Channel. Brining seemed right up my ally since I marinade all my meat. They say that if you brine the turkey it keeps the turkey moist. (Oh, so brining is basically submerging the turkey in water and other additives to assist in flavor.) I used the Brining for Dummies verson and only soaked it in water, salt and sugar.

Then I looked up recipes for roast turkey breast. I had seen Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa, people!) make an herb roasted turkey breast so I went for it. It's pretty simple to do. Just use a food processor to mix together some herbs, olive oil and garlic then rub it over the turkey and cook it in the oven.

Hubby says the results were a success and that the turkey was moist. (I insisted that he tell me the truth and not just say it was good to not hurt my feelings since he knows how hard I get on myself when dishes don't turn out right. What can I say, it's the Type A personality in me that always has to succeed. According to Freud I should blame my parents for always encouraging me to succeed, but I digress...)  Bambino had a good helping herself, so this one is definitely one to check out. If anything, at least try to brine your turkey if you have yet to do so and see how it comes out!

Click here for the brine recipe.

Click here for the herb roasted turkey breast recipe.

9 cups water
3/4 cup salt
1/2 cup sugar
3lb boneless turkey breast, thawed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Juice of one lemon, approximately)
1 cup chicken broth

1. In large crockpot (or brining bag if you have one) mix water, salt and sugar. Submerge turkey and place cover on. Place in fridge for no more than 24 hours.

2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

3. In a food processor, mix garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.

4. Place turkey in a roasting pan and rub half of the herb mixture under the skin and rub the rest all over the turkey. Pour chicken broth in the bottom of the roasting pan.

5. Roast the turkey in the oven about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature reads to be 165 degrees with an instant read thermometer. (Place thermometer into the thickest part of the meat).

6. Cool and serve!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 3
I was always intimidated with roasting a whole turkey, but after this experience and the response from Hubby and Bambino, it's a no brainer. Taking the herbs off the stem is what takes the most amount of time! So if you're looking for a turkey recipe, this is the way to go.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Getting Creative with Leftovers: Chicken Chili Quesadillas

Because I usually cook dishes that only Hubby and Bambino eat, I always have a lot of leftovers. I hate making the two of them eat the same dish over and over again so usually I will freeze half of what I make and take it out and cook it on the stove/oven so it tastes fresh on another day. (I love those days, fresh food and I didn't cook anything new!) The chicken chili made a lot of servings and rather than freezing it (I have plenty of food in the freezer right now that I keep forgetting to take out.) I decided to mix it up a bit. I felt that the chicken and veggies would taste good in quesadillas and it has been awhile since I made them, so chicken chili quesadillas it was!

All I did was drain the chili, place it between two tortillas, add some cheese, bake it in the oven and voila! It came out pretty good. A bit soggy compared to how I usually make it, but over all it was like I made a brand new dish! We all three ate this dish! I also took an avocado, mashed it and added some lemon juice and salt. (Or as I call it, The Poor Man's Guacamole.) Hubby did not consume my pseudo guacamole but Bambino and I sure enjoyed it!

No link to this one, but I did get the idea for Quesadillas in the oven from the Williams-Sonoma Cooking for Baby Cookbook.

Leftover chicken chili (about 2 cups) drained
8 tortillas
1 teaspoon of olive oil per tortilla
1 cup shredded cheese of your taste

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Spray two rectangular cookie sheets with cooking spray.

3. Brush each tortilla with olive oil on each side.

4. Place about 1/4 cup of chicken chili on a tortilla and spread out. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese and place a tortilla on top. Repeat for three more quesadillas.

5. Cook in oven for about 15 minutes per side. Remove from oven when tortillas appear crispy. Cut with a pizza cutter.

6. Cool and serve on its own or with sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo or whatever you prefer!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 2
This is super easy. And I love that it's a way of spicing up boring over leftovers. The family will think that you made something new when really you just threw together something that was already in the fridge!

This was genius, I must say.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chicken Chili

Chicken Chili, huh? Yes, that was my exact thought at the name of the recipe. Ok, so lets go back for a second. On Sunday night Bambino had a Holiday party with all her buddies and the parents all brought a dish. One of the dishes was a southwestern chili. It looked pretty good, it had beans, tomatoes and chicken. So on Monday when I was desperate for something to cook for dinner, but tired of all the usuals I started thinking of the chili from the night before! It was too last minute to ask my friend for the actual recipe, so I went online and searched chicken chili recipes.

Apparently, white chicken chili is a popular dish with chicken and white (or northern) beans. I didn't have any northern beans, so I decided to replace it with kidney beans. Who knew? (A lot of peeps, apparently.) The ingredients in the dish were very inviting to make, tomatillos (oh how I love you but rarely use you!), cumin, coriander, tomatoes, yum yum yum!

Overall, I thought the dish came out very well. The flavor blend was really good. The first night of eating it I served it with some fresh ciabatta bread, bad idea. This family definitely needs a heavy starch (more than bread) to eat at meal time. 1 hour later Bambino was hungry and perusing the pantry and Hubby woke up the next morning and was famished by the time he got to work! (This was after eating his usual breakfast.) On leftovers night I made some rice and it was much more filling for Bambino. So much so that when I was eating some carrots, she wasn't even interested. (Yes, my child even loves raw vegetables. All food is good.)

So if you plan to make this recipe, you may want to serve it with some rice to make it heartier, if you're anything like our family. But we probably eat a lot more rice than most families do.

Click here for the original recipe. (I pretty much stuck to the recipe except that I used fresh vegetables instead of the canned.)

2-3 breasts of chicken cubed (I used 3 breasts and it was A LOT of chicken, which could be a good thing.)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 oz of chicken broth
4 tomatillos, chopped (Or 1 -14oz can)
2 roma tomatoes, chopped (Or 1- 16 oz can)
1- 7 oz can of diced green chilies (I used canned to ensure that it was a mild chili)
2 ears corn, kernels chopped off
1 teaspoon ground oregano
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 cup cooked kidney beans (or northern beans as the recipe calls for)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Clean, cut and marinade chicken with 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon chili pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder. Refrigerate over night.

2. In a pot, heat oil on medium high heat. Saute chicken until cooked through. Take out of pot and place on cutting board, Once cooled, chop into small pieces.

3. Heat another tablespoon of olive oil on medium high heat and cook onion and garlic until soft.

4. Add tomatoes, tomatillos, corn, diced chilies, oregano, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper. Saute until vegetables are a bit softened.

5. Add in chicken broth and chicken. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 45 minutes until tomatoes and tomatillos are completely softened.

6. Cool and serve with rice and/or bread.

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 4
The only reason this got a 4 rating is because it takes time to clean and marinade the chicken and chop everything up. Once you get to the pot and are just adding things in it's pretty easy.

I personally liked the flavors of this dish, not sure how much Hubby liked it, didn't here a squeak out of him except for how good the bread was and that he was hungry the next day. Bambino enjoyed a heaping plate full over rice with some melted cheese on top. The bites I had out of Bambinos were good as well.

I'd like to make it again, we'll see what Hubby says.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Goodbye, ExerciseTV

I know this is a cooking blog, but I must use this space to lament my pain and anguish over the end of ExerciseTV. If you have no idea what ExerciseTV is, then you cannot understand my grief at this time.

You see, I woke up this morning in the mood for Steve Maresca's workout Rock Hard Body by Jake
Extreme. I was ready to get out my 3 lb weight (as substituted for a medicine ball) and partake in some jump squats, reverse lunges with a twist and I was even ready for the push ups! But as I clicked on the bookmark of the free video on ExerciseTV's website I was told that there was an error in the server. So then I went to the main site only to read this,

WHAT?!!! How can you?! I just don't understand! At first I thought maybe it was some kind of ploy to get people to contact their cable company in order for them to renew their deal because the cable companies were requesting too much money from the channel. But then why would they shut down their website as well?

Then I did a little research on the Internet and came across this article. So while last month the owner of Exercise TV, Jake Steinfeld (yes, old school Body by Jake guy, you know who) was announcing new programs at the station, now the station is kaput?! They've even sold some of their stock?! What?! So this is real? For real for real?

What I loved so much about ExerciseTV is that while I do have quite a library of workout DVDs, I can regularly mix it up. For instance, today I did the 40 minute Kickbox Extreme workout and then was in the mood for some arm work so I did Cindy Whitmarsh's 10 minute armblast. I don't have enough dvd's to be able to mix it up like this!

So for now, I guess I have to accept the reality of an end to an era. I'll use this forum to say my goodbyes to all my favorite trainers, they've become like family, despite the fact they've never met me.

Steve Maresca... Oh Stevie, I'll miss the fact that your whimsical nature could make any kick butt workout fun. Even when I was mad at you for doing jump squats and another version of jump squats which you conveniently named something else back to back.

Cindy Whitmarsh...You and your rock hard abs at 40 years of age was so encouraging. Who else will have that pep in her step that you do?

Teri Ann Kefting... Your dorm room workout made me laugh, telling me to pretend I was kicking my English teacher when doing jump kicks. And your Big Day Bootcamp was one of my favorites! Despite your extreme sweating problems, you were great!  (And I saw you in the back of Cindy's arm workout today!)

Jillian Michaels... I first discovered you on ExerciseTV. (No, I don't watch Biggest Loser) I claim  your workouts were how I lost the pregnancy weight after having Bambino. I own four of your DVDs so it's no goodbye, but I don't get to preview your workouts for free before buying them anymore!

And so many more that I don't know where to start...

Until I find another free workout program I'll be using my Jillian Michaels workouts and will scour Amazon for low cost DVDs, but I know they won't be anything like Steve, Cindy and Teri Ann's workouts!

If you have any insider information on the situation, let me know!! Or just post your memories of ExerciseTV below.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Easy French Toast

So I was looking for something new to make for Bambino's breakfast. She often eats oatmeal with fresh bananas, brown sugar and cinnamon, but recently it seems that she's over her usual breakfast. I had recalled her recently enjoying french toast for a breakfast when we had gone out of town and she seemed to enjoy it. (This was after eating her usual bowl of oatmeal.) So I thought I'd make french toast.

I had made Bambino french toast a couple of times in the past and she was very fickle about it, sometimes she liked it other times she did not. Since most recently she enjoyed it at a restaurant, I thought I would try again (Then again don't we always like restaurant food better then home food?). I looked up recipes and it's truly simple to make! Just whisk together some egg, milk and cinnamon, dip in the bread, cook it on the pan and voila! French toast at your service!

I didn't have any syrup, and didn't really want to douse the bread in syrup, so just sprinkled some powdered sugar on it. I also cut up some banana on the side and with each bite would give Bambino bread with some banana and she loved it! She kept pointing to the bread for more before she even finished her bite!

I'll definitely be keeping this recipe around since it was simple to make and had a great response from Bambino! This recipe also makes enough for two pieces of bread so I saved the second piece in the fridge and the next day I melted a tad bit of margarine on the pan and heated the toast on both sides and it came out just like fresh french toast!

Click here for the original recipe.

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/8 ground cinnamon
2 slices bread (I used 12 grain bread)
cooking spray

1. Whisk together egg, milk and cinnamon.

2. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place on medium heat.

3. Dip bread in egg mixture for 20 seconds on each side until completely coated. Place on non-stick skillet and cook on both sides until browned.

4. Serve with powdered sugar, honey, syrup or whatever you prefer!

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 1
No need to venture to the frozen food aisle to buy french toast, this is truly simple to do. Doesn't take much work at all, but you may have a few dishes to wash, but just stick them in the dishwasher and call it a day!

Make this for breakfast tomorrow!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Arroz Con Pollo

Last week a friend had mentioned how she made a rice and chicken dish for dinner.That reminded me of a Salsa Chicken and Rice dish I used to make before having Bambino. It was a spice packet where you mix it with water and then add it to chicken and rice and then put it in the oven. I wanted to make the dish again, but with fresh ingredients. I went looking online for a recipe for salsa chicken and rice and everything basically said to just throw in a jar of salsa. No no no! I wanted to try a dish with fresh ingredients and spices! I suppose I could have made the traditional biryani, but that would take making chicken curry and then making the biryani the next day and I didn't want to do that much work. So then I thought of arroz con pollo! The direct translation of the dish and is rice with chicken so I figured that should be somewhat easy to make, maybe?

So I looked up recipes for arroz con pollo and found that it wasn't too difficult. Now, the dish probably wasn't too authentic, but it did taste very similar to the salsa chicken and rice dish I used to make, which was what I was aiming for! I really enjoyed the dish as did Hubby and Bambino. What a rarity, all three of us thoroughly enjoyed the same dish! I ate more rice and left the chicken pieces for Hubby and Bambino, but from what of the chicken I tried, it was great!

I decided to make this dish in the pressure cooker. I recently tried making Masala Bhat (Indian Vegetable Rice) in the pressure cooker and it came out so good, so I decided to do the same with this dish. Making rice in general can be tricky, but when you add in vegetables (which release it's own water) things can go awry and you can end up with mushy rice or undercooked rice. Luckily, the pressure cooker worked well for me. Now, I realize that most people don't own a pressure cooker (which I highly recommend you get!) so you can also just bring the rice to a boil and simmer, as stated in the original recipe.

Oh! And I did use 4 tomatoes in this dish, but Hubby didn't even notice because they cooked down so much that you could barely see the shriveled pieces of skin and the rice absorbed the tomatoes. I didn't even tell him it was in there, and he didn't notice. Heheh.

Click here or the original recipe.

3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cubed.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
3 cups water
4 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
juice of one lime

1. Marinade chicken with 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Place in fridge overnight.

2. Heat vegetable oil in pressure cooker or dutch oven over medium-high heat and saute chicken until browned on all sides. Squeeze with with lime juice and take out of pot and place to side.

3. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper to pot and saute until softened. Add in oregano, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper.

4. Add in rice, tomatoes, peas, chicken and water. If using pressure cooker place cover, bring to steam and then simmer for twenty minutes. If using dutch oven, Bring to a boil and then place top and simmer until rice is cooked through. (I can't give you an exact time, so after about 10 minutes take a peak and see if water is absorbed.)

5. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes and serve.

Amateur Cooking Difficulty Scale: 5
The actual work of this dish is probably only a 3, but since rice can be so tricky to work with I upped the score. You really have to play around with the dish. If you find that the rice is a little raw then add in about 1/8 a cup of water, bring it to a boil and then cover and simmer. If  your rice came out too mushy, sorry but there's no salvaging it. Don't feel bad though, it's happened to me time and time again.

Overall, we all really loved this dish and definitely plan to put it into heavy rotation!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Peanut Butter Pork Tenderloin

So the title may sound a little odd and the photo of the shredded pork may not look so enticing, but based on the comments made by Hubby, this is actually a great dish. (I do not eat pork. Chicken. That's chicken I occasionally eat.) I found this recipe last year on my favorite slow cooking blog. (I liked her blog so much that I gave a girlfriend of mine a slow cooker and the cookbook published by the author of the blog!) It looked easy to make and had Asian ingredients, so I knew I had to make it for Hubby.

The first time I made this dish was only the second time I had ever cooked a pork tenderloin. (Did that make sense?) The first time I made it was in a basic marinade and in the slow cooker. This time I was trying some different flavors but still in the slow cooker and it came out better than my first attempt at pork tenderloin. I think the flavors really mesh well together.

Now, I'm no David Chang (Momofuku? Heheh, I never get a chance to say the name of that restaurant.) when it comes to cooking Asian cuisine, but this dish definitely has some good Asian flavors and Hubby is always excited when I make it. I doubt it's authenticity for Asian food, but it tastes good for what it is. And I can personally say that it smells good too! I recall him once heating the leftovers in the microwave during his lunch break and someone commented on how good it smelled. (Yes, I revel in any praise I get!) 

Since the pork does cook in a slow cooker for four hours it does shred apart into pieces, as seen in the photo above. You could always cook it in the oven until it reaches an internal temp of 165 in order to keep the pork intact,  your choice. Oh! No, I didn't not feed this to Bambino, so no comments from Peanut's gallery. 

1.5 - 2 lbs pork tenderloin
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I was out of white wine vinegar so I used rice wine vinegar)
3 tablespoons water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter

1. Rinse pork with water and cut off all white parts. Cut slits into the top of the pork.

2. Whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, white wine vinegar, water, garlic and peanut butter. Pore over pork and marinade over night. 

3. Place in slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. (Midway through cooking flip the pork over and let the other side soak up the juices.)

4. Cool and serve! I served over vegetable fried rice. You can also serve over plain white rice. 

Amateur Difficulty Cooking Scale: 3
This one is a pretty simple one that Hubby loves. It really doesn't take too much work to put together and apparently the results are well received. Go make it.