Posted at 3:00 pm , on March 4, 2019
Unstuffed Cabbage Soup has been my family’s St. Patrick’s Day dinner for as long as I can remember. I could not tell you whether or not it is actually traditional Irish fare, although my Irish-American mother has always insisted that it is “more Irish” than corned beef and cabbage. I do know that cabbage is heavily featured in Irish food, and this is delicious. It goes well with potatoes; my personal favorite pairing is potato cakes, but mashed or even roasted potatoes would do the trick quite nicely.
I adapted my mother’s recipe so I could make it in the slow cooker because, if you hadn’t noticed, I prefer to use my slow cooker when given the choice. The recipe just about fills my 6-quart slow cooker. If that’s too much for you, don’t worry, the leftovers freeze beautifully.
The honey and raisins put this soup is on the sweet side – it is definitely the sweetest of any soup I make. If you prefer something less sweet, you could reduce the amount of honey. I suppose you could also reduce how many raisins you include, but then you would miss out on the joy that is plump little re-hydrated raisins.
For the soup base:
- 1 large onion
- 2 lb head of cabbage, preferably Savoy
- 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ⅓ cup raisins (or currants)
For the meatballs:
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- ½ cup uncooked rice
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Dice the onion. Core and dice the cabbage. Place both the onion and the cabbage into the crock of a 6 quart slow cooker.
- Add the other ingredients for the soup base into the slow cooker. Stir to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add all of the ingredients for the meatballs. Gently mix with your hands.
- Roll the meat mixture into small, bite-sized meatballs, adding them to the slow cooker as you go.
- Fold the meatballs into the soup, taking care not to break them apart.
- Put on the lid and cook for 8 hours on low. Serve with potato cakes, mashed potatoes, or whichever starchy carb you prefer!
Posted at 1:50 am , on March 8, 2018
A few years ago, I used my slow cooker to make the majority of our dinners. That time period gave birth to this recipe, which might be the easiest slow cooker recipe ever. I wanted the rosemary chicken my mom made when I was a kid, but I wanted to use the slow cooker instead of the oven. At the time, we were living in Korea and had a tiny oven that could only fit one quarter sheet pan at a time. So using the slow cooker to cook chicken meant the oven was available for roasting vegetables, baking biscuits, etc. We are now back in the US with a giant oven, but I still like to cook these in the slow cooker. Not only does it keep the kitchen cooler in warm weather, but it also means I am not tethered to the oven for an hour before dinner, aka the time of day when small children are most fidgety. The slow cooker makes dinner and we can go to the playground.
I have made this with bone-in and boneless chicken thighs, and both turn out deliciously moist with a nicely browned exterior. The trick to getting that nice color is to arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer. I can get about 5-6 bone-in thighs (or 8ish boneless pieces) across the bottom of my slow cooker.
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs of chicken thighs
- salt and pepper
- dried rosemary
- Spray the interior of the slow cooker with nonstick spray.
- Arrange the chicken thighs in a single layer along of the bottom of the slow cooker. If you are using skin-on thighs, the skin side should face up.
- Generously sprinkle salt, pepper, and rosemary on the chicken thighs.
- For boneless skinless thighs, cover and cook for 6 hours on low. For bone-in skin-on thighs, cover and cook for 8 hours on low.
That’s it! Occasionally I change up the seasoning and use herbes de Provence instead of rosemary, depending on what I have on hand. For a simple but delicious meal, serve these alongside quinoa and your favorite veggies (quinoa is especially yummy when you make it with a 50-50 mix of water and the juices that accumulate on the bottom of the slow cooker). If you have more time, this is also a great main dish to serve when you want to make a more involved side because it is so easy!