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Pat’s Pantry: Slow Cooker Dishes

By Pat Mills

Pull out that crockpot or slow cooker and let it do your work for you. After a day away from home, it’s nice to back to a cooked meal. From main coarse to dessert anything goes in a slow cooker. – Pat

Slow-cooked meatloaf

6 tablespoons ketchup, divided
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
12 saltines, crushed
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)

Cut three 20-in x 3-in strips of heavy-duty foil; crisscross so they resemble spokes of a wheel. Place strips on the bottom and up the sides of a 3-qt. slow cooker. Coat strips with cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, saltines, onion, garlic, paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne. Crumble beef over mixture and mix well. Shape into a round loaf. Place in the center of the strips. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until no pink remains and a meat thermometer reads 160 degrees.  Using foil strips as handles remove the meat loaf to a platter. Carefully spread remaining ketchup over top. Yield 8 servings.

Pineapple baked beans

1 pound ground beef
1 can (28-oz) baked beans
¾ cup pineapple tidbits, drained
1 jar (4-1/2-oz) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green onion, chopped
½ cup barbecue sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 5-qt slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover and cook on low for 4-8 hours or until bubbly.

Chocolate pudding cake

1 package (18-1/4-oz) chocolate cake mix
1 package (3.9-oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
2 cups (16-oz) sour cream
4 eggs
1 cup water
¾ cup canola oil
1 cup (6-oz) semisweet chocolate chips
whipped cream or ice cream, optional

In a large bowl, combine the first six ingredients; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 5-qt slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs. Serve in bowls with whipped cream or ice cream if desired.

FOOD FACTS

• Plain yogurt can be substituted in equal amounts for sour cream in baking recipes as well as in casseroles, dips and sauces.
• Always rinse and drain canned beans to remove the extra salt that is used in the canning process. If you choose to use the bean liquid, both the amount of salt and water in the recipe should be reduced for the best flavor possible.

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