What a crock…

Crockery CookeryIt doesn’t get much more throwback than this…according to Wikipedia, the crock pot, or electric slow cooker, was introduced in 1970. Probably created as a way to help the working woman maximize her time and still provide a hot meal for her family at the end of the day. A lot of the recipes in this little gem of a cookbook, courtesy of my mother, utilize the convenience of canned vegetables and condensed soups. I actually own a few more modern slow cooker recipes, but for some reason I always come back to this one. I’m not sure if I’m drawn in by the allure of the beautiful orange crock on the cover or by the promise of recipes like Fruited Flank Steak (I kid, I kid)…in any event, this evening’s dinner comes to you courtesy of Mable Hoffman and my Rival crock pot.

There’s something a little upscale about stuffed green peppers. At their root, they’re really just peppers filled with what amounts to meatloaf, but the presentation just seems somewhat elevated…a little fancier. I took advantage of a deal on peppers at my grocery store this week and subbed ground turkey for ground beef, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I prepped the entire thing in the removable crock the night before, stuck it in the fridge and pulled it out in the morning to start cooking in the crockpot.

Something tells me that peppers were a little smaller when this recipe was initially published b/c I used 4 peppers and 1.5 lbs of ground turkey. All four peppers, crammed rather tightly into the crock as you can see below, are amply filled with the mixture of meat, corn, onion and pimiento.

The peppers are then topped with a mixture of tomato soup, Worcestershire sauce and dry mustard and cooked on low for 8-10 hours (or, as is usually the case for me, closer to 11 hours). Tomorrow I’ll give my verdict on how this rather classic recipe stood up…seeing as it’s 20ish degrees outside with windchills in the single digits, I can bet that this warm hearty meal will be hitting the spot.

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Stuffed Green Peppers – based on the recipe from Crockery Cookery by Mable Hoffman

  • 4 green peppers (this is what I used and what should fit into a 4.5-5 quart crock)
  • 1.5 lbs ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jar (4oz) sliced pimientos, chopped
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 can (14oz) corn, no salt added (I used frozen steam-in-bag corn b/c it’s what I had)
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp dry mustard

Slice the tops off of the peppers and remove seeds and most of the white membrane. Place into crock (you may have to do a little squishing to get them in). Combine the turkey, onion, pimientos, garlic powder and corn in a bowl, mixing to evenly combine. Stuff the peppers  evenly with the mixture. In a small bowl, combine the soup, Worcestershire sauce and mustard. Pour over the peppers, cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

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2 thoughts on “What a crock…

  1. I think it was as much about the pretty heavy migration toward electric convenience appliances in the kitchen at that time, as about helping working women. There’ve pretty much always been dutch ovens, literally going back centuries with covered cast iron pots sitting in or over a fireplace, so an electric version of the slow-cooker concept was inevitable.

    That said, it certainly made it safer to leave food cooking on low heat all day. I’m sure people left the house with the stove on low, or with hot coals going, but a well-insulated electric appliance that’s almost guaranteed not to set its surroundings on fire is a much better idea.

    If you haven’t already, see the What-a-Crock LiveJournal community for loads of additional ideas.

    And, this may never be a problem for you, but slow-cooker manufacturers strongly recommend not refrigerating the food in the crock and putting it straight in the cooker, or putting frozen food in to cook. Both practices are common, but both practices also run the risk of keeping your food in the “danger zone” between refrigerator temperature and cooking temperature for too long, long enough to potentially allow dangerous bacteria to grow. Even if the cooking temps later kill the bacteria, their toxins could already be in play. Safer to keep the crock at room temperature, and refrigerate just the ingredients in a plastic bag or jar.

    • You have a good point about the whole refrigerating the crock thing. Totally didn’t think about that. I had done some reading about that earlier today when I was researching the history of the crock pot.
      Note to self, don’t be so lazy on my prep that I put my diners in danger:)

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