When you plan to make a big meal for the holidays, you suddenly realize there is only so much room in your oven or on the stove top to make all the things you want to eat. Here is where a crockpot slow cooker can really come to the rescue!
Not only does the handy dandy crockpot free up room elsewhere in the kitchen, it also helps spread out the work on the day of your holiday event. Most crockpot sides need to get started 4 to 8 hours before you serve them. Once you get them started, you'll have time to rest before the stove-top and oven made dishes on your menu need your attention.
Plus once they are cooked, just turn your slow cooker to warm and serve them buffet style right out of the crock.
Green Beans with Bacon...Yum!
This indulgent way to prepare green beans reminds me a whole lot of how my Grandma made them on the stove top for holiday meals when I was a child. I discovered this year that the wonderful Musica Spanish Pole Beans I grow in my garden are absolutely delicious prepared this way.
If you remember my post on these pole beans, you'll recall that I save bummer crops by washing them, drying them, cutting them into slivers and then freezing them in Ziploc vacuum freezer bags. Which means, I did all the prep work on these green beans way back in August--a real holiday time saver!
This recipe is so simple, you'll want to include it at your next get-together:
Southern-Style Green Beansserves 6 to 8
6 strips of nitrate-free bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 pounds of green beans, ends snipped and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 peeled cloves of garlic
6 whole black peppercorns
Simply place all the ingredient into a 5 to 7 quart slow cooker, cover and cook on LOW for six hours. When ready to serve, discard the garlic cloves and whole peppercorns and dish up using tongs or a slotted spoon.
Recipe adapted from Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever (With More Than 400 Easy-to-Make Recipes) by Diane Phillips.
Want to get a crockpot/slow cooker of your own? Click here to browse the selection and compare prices at Amazon.com. A slow cooker also makes a great holiday gift for the time-strapped cook in your life.