Mediterranean Inspired Shrimp & Sausage Slow Cooker Jambalaya

Slow Cooker Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya

I live a stone’s throw away from two of the biggest cities on the east coast, and it took me three stores, several tweets, and two weeks to find Lindsay Olives to use in this post, which will hopefully earn me a sponsorship to Eat, Write, Retreat. And then, I realized after my recipe AND photos had been finished, I’d made the completely wrong thing. Really?

Let me back up a bit; here’s the scoop:

I’ve been wanting to attend Eat, Write, Retreat, for two years now. But I can’t – it’s too expensive for our budget, even living in the Washington DC suburbs and being only an hour’s drive away (read: no airplane tickets needed for this blogger).

Don’t mistake what I’m saying, however. Those foodies that are able to scrape together an extra $749? It’s completely worth every penny for the expert speakers, the hands-on culinary workshops, the photography lessons, the food styling tips, the amazing hotel stay… I could go on and on. Reading through the reviews from bloggers that attended last year are all the proof you need.

Lindsay Olives is giving one lucky blogger the chance to win a sponsorship to Eat, Write, Retreat 2012 and the rules to play are simple. Simple, that is, as long as you read through them completely.

Let us back up even further….

My quest for Lindsay Olives began two Saturdays ago, with a simple stop at my neighborhood grocery store. While Food Lion isn’t my favorite grocery store in the world, it’s close to home, decent and always well-stocked with a nice variety of brands. Except for Lindsay Olives. None. No Lindsay Olives.

Well, okay then. Time to try another avenue.

My neighbors have a weekly grocery store regimen which includes stops at Costco, The Common Market and Wegmans. Wegmans! “Surely Wegmans would carry Lindsay Olives,” I thought.

So I slipped my neighbors a $10 bill, and begged them to look for me. Turns out my beloved Wegmans doesn’t carry Lindsay Olives. Imagine that.

Baffled, I tweeted both Eat, Write, Retreat and Linsday Olives – how is it that an olive that’s been around since the early 1900’s, for heaven’s sake, could be so difficult to find?? Lindsay Olives came to the rescue:

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Walgreen’s? CVS? Who would’ve thought! Lucky for me, however, my neighbors were heading back to Costco, so I held off on visiting the drug stores, crossed my fingers and took a chance that Costco would, in fact, have Lindsay Olives.

Success! And several different varieties of Lindsay Olives! Plus, because it’s Costco, I not only have one can of olives, I have six! I’ll never be without Lindsay Olives ever again!

Olives in hand and the deadline for sponsorship entries a mere 14 hours away, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work on an appetizer recipe I’ve had in my head ever since I saw the opportunity: Cream Cheese, Parmesan and Bacon Stuffed Olives. Simple, savory and addicting – these little bites were perfection!

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Except, after re-reading the rules….

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….they clearly state that the entry “must be considered a main course.” D’oh!

I’m not easily thwarted, and some might even say I’m super determined and headstrong and obstinate. A little bump in the road like re-creating a recipe with awesome photos in time for a deadline that’s now a mere 10 hours away is no problem for this foodie!

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Dinner would need to be re-thunk. And pronto.

Mediterranean Inspired Shrimp & Sausage Slow Cooker Jambalaya
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
If you're not into olives, leave them out!
Author:
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 smoked sausage link, sliced
  • 1 bag jumbo frozen raw shrimp, thawed and peeled
  • 1-1/2 cups white rice
  • 5 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 can tomato puree (29-ounce)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14.5-ounce)
  • 1 can pitted black Lindsay Olives (6-ounce), chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Combine the sausage, bacon, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, olives, onion, garlic, bay leaf, oregano, basil, garlic salt, sea salt, pepper, Old Bay and Worcestershire in a slow cooker. Cover and cook over low heat for 5-1/2 hours.
  2. Stir in the rice and the shrimp, turn the slow cooker’s heat to high, cover and then continue cooking for 30 more minutes.
  3. Serve hot with additional chopped olives and a sprinkle of oregano for garnish!

*Not everyone loves olives. In this recipe, you can simply omit them if they’re not your thing – it will still be delicious!

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

It’s Super Bowl Sunday and good, organized home chefs across the country have been preparing their “Big Game” meal all week, carefully planning out the menu and making sure to include some sort of football theme. (Snicker.)
But then there are others, like me, who have done nothing. No planning. No predetermined thoughts for dinner, and oh-by-the-way, no time to run to the grocery store.
That’s okay though, because it’s times like these where my slow cooker, some onions and potatoes, along with a frozen beef roast, make an impromptu dinner agenda work.

Slow Cooker Beef Pot Roast

[Print this recipe]
Prep: 10 minutes; Cook: 8 hours; Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
1 beef shoulder roast, 2 to 3 pounds, frozen*
1 cup beef broth
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium onion, sliced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (optional)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon Penzeys BBQ 3000 (or something similar)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 dried bay leaf

Directions
Place the potatoes, carrots and onions in the bottom of a slow cooker. Lay the frozen roast on top, and pour the beef broth over top. Spread the mustard over the roast, followed by the Worcestershire sauce. Sprinkle the roast and surrounding potatoes, carrots and onions with parsley, garlic salt, Penzeys BBQ 3000 and pepper. Add the bay leaf. If you have any leftover onion slices, set them on top of the roast.

Cook on low for 8 hours. Use a fork to pull apart the roast, and serve with the onions, carrots and potatoes.

PS: While I love carrots, no one else does – so, I omit them and instead served mine with peas.

*In this recipe, the size doesn’t matter a ton. Get a roast sized to fit in your slow cooker when it’s frozen – it can be a tight fit, but when it’s frozen you won’t have the ability to cut it down to fit in large pieces.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Chicken Chili

Crisp mornings, busy afternoons and chilly evenings – perfect for the slow cooker. We’re big fans of chili in this house, but sometimes it’s nice to very from traditional ground beef. One of my favorite recipes uses chicken and black beans (although pinto or white beans would work great too).

In this recipe, I love how you can take two chicken breasts and stretch them to feed four to six people, and the flavors that soak into the meat are so rich and satisfying from slowly simmering all day while you’re at work – your tummy will be grumbling hungrily just thinking about it.

[Print this recipe]

Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 8-10 hours; Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
2 large chicken breasts
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5-oz can chicken broth
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 14.5-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon cumin

Directions
Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the chicken breasts on both sides with the poultry seasoning, salt and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Add the olive oil to the skillet, then add the chicken. Cook for 5 minutes, flip and continue cooking for 5 more minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and let cool to room temperature.

Add the remaining ingredients to a slow cooker. Chop up or use two forks to pull the chicken into chunky pieces, then add the chicken and its juices to the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir, then set to cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Serve with sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese and a good loaf of crusty bread.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

I’ve been inspired by other food bloggers lately, and when I decided that I was going to make corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day, the first one I turned to was @TheIrishMother.

Betcha can’t guess why.

Heh.

ANYWAY, the recipe I ended up using is very close to hers, which you can check out here. And it’s wonderful. Especially the glaze, which hubs would have guzzled by the cupful had I let him.


Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

{Print this recipe}
Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 10-12 hours; Serves: 4

Slow Cooker Ingredients
1 3-4 pound corned beef brisket
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon salt
6 medium white potatoes, quartered
1 cup baby carrots
1 large onion, chopped
3 cups water
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 packet pickling spices (typically come with the corned beef)
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 head cabbage, sliced

Glaze Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

Directions
Place the potatoes, carrots, onion, bay leaves, peppercorns, pickling spices, brown sugar, and garlic cloves into the slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt.


Lay the beef, fat side up, on top and sprinkle with pepper. Add the water – just enough to leave the top of the beef exposed. Cook on low heat for 10-12 hours.

Remove the beef to a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Add the cabbage to the slow cooker – make sure it’s submerged in the remaining broth, turn to high, cover and let cook for 30-45 minutes while you prepare the glaze, stirring occasionally.

Slow Cooker Corned Beef and Cabbage

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan combine the glaze ingredients and whisk over medium-heat until it just starts to bubble. Remove from heat and pour over the beef, taking care to baste into all the nooks. Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with  potatoes, carrots, onions, and cabbage from the slow cooker.
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