Some are not.
We loved the idea of a slow-cooker, but I have had an irrational fear of the "set it and forget it" mentality that comes along with using it. Tell me I'm not alone. I'm begging you. Please. Because there is a part of me that feels if I leave something to cook on its own for 3-4 hours, disaster will strike.
It's taken me a little while to woman up and finally meet this strange worry head on, but this weekend I did it. The stainless slow-cooker was placed on the counter, I flipped through several magazines, and ultimately decided on a classic southern dish: grillades & grits.
Could you think of a better meal to initiate yourself into the slow-cooker club with? I couldn't, and since the recipe was met with unanimous "YUMMY"'s, it was going to happen.
Long story short, the entire process was incredibly easy and our home didn't burn down. There was no terrible disaster, and we barely had enough remaining to call leftovers. It was that good~and you know what that means...I just have to share this easy recipe from Southern Living with you all!
Southern Living's Grillades & Asiago Cheese Grits
For the grillades:
1 1/2 lb. top round steak, trimmed, 1/2 in thick
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 tsp. Creole seasoning
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 14 oz. can of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes
1 10 oz. package of frozen & diced onion, red & green bell pepper, and celery thawed*
3 garlic cloves, pressed
1.) Place the steak between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and flatten to 1/4 thickness, using a rolling pin or the flat side of a meat mallet. Cut into 2 inch squares.
2.) Combine flour and seasoning in a large freezer bag. Add the steak, seal bag, and shake to coat.
3.) Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half of the steak, cooking 2-3 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer steak to a lightly-greased slow-cooker. Repeat with the rest of your oil and steak. 4.) Add tomatoes and next 2 ingredients to the slow cooker and stir.
5.) Cover and cook on HIGH 3 hours or until tender. Serve over Asiago cheese grits.
*A note: I wasn't able to find a bag with the frozen onions, bell peppers, and celery so I used fresh ones instead, and used a little bit of guess work as to how much would be inside a 10 oz. bag.
For the Asiago Cheese Grits:
If you have a second slow-cooker, it's suggested you use the following recipe. That said, as most of us don't own two, follow the stove-top directions on your grits carton using the same ingredients. It will yield the same results.
1 cup uncooked stone-ground grits
1/2 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1.) Stir together grits and 3 cups of water in a slow-cooker. Let stand 1-2 minutes, allowing grits to settle to the bottom. Skim any solids off the top. Cover and cook on HIGH 2 1/2-3 hours or until grits are creamy and tender, stirring every 45 minutes.
2.) Stir in cheese and next 3 ingredients until blended.
A few more notes: As I used the stove-top for our grits, and we like our grits to be more firm than runny, I used one cup less of water. It cooked beautifully, but was a little too thick so I thinned it out with a 1/4 cup of milk. It reached the perfect consistency and helped make our grillades & grits heaven on a plate!
Now if any of you are looking to give your slow-cooker's a whirl~start with this recipe! I know you'll love it as much as our family did.