Crockpot French Dip Sandwiches

Oh the happiness of a French Dip!  Let’s get a fact out there: A French Dip is not from France.  The name is derived from the actual bread that is used to create this delectable sandwich.  During my research, I discovered that Philippe Mathieu, inventor of the French Dip Sandwich, was French and living in Los Angeles. In 1914, according to the story at Mathieu’s  restaurant, Philippe was preparing a sandwich for a policeman and accidentally dropped the sliced French roll into the drippings of a roasting pan. The policeman liked the sandwich and came back the next day with some friends to order the sandwich “dipped” in the meat pan. From that day on, a new sandwich was born. See accidents in the kitchen can turn out to be a wonderful thing! There’s your history for the day.  So put on a little French music and fire up your crockpot.  It’s that easy.  Can’t trust a name of a sandwich! -Amanda

Crockpot French Dips Sandwiches

3 lbs beef chuck roast
16 oz. beef broth (1 1/2 cans)
1 can condensed French onion soup
1 white onion, thinly sliced
1 t garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
4-6 French rolls
sliced provolone cheese

Trim excess fat off of beef roast and season meat all over with salt and pepper.  Pour beef broth, French onion soup, onion slices, and garlic powder into slow cooker and place beef roast into liquid.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  Since this is cooking in liquid, you don’t have to worry about the meat drying out in the same way you might if you were roasting the meat in the oven. I cooked our roast for 7 hours and it was so tender.
Take beef out and rest it, covered with aluminum foil, for about 15 minutes. Slice beef and return to slow cooker on low for 30 minutes.
Lightly toast the bread and evenly distribute cheese between rolls.  Divide beef onto rolls and spoon the remaining beef juice into ramekins. Serve each sandwich with its own dip.

Seves 4-6

Crazy Good Roast

Okay, Roast!   Last Sunday I wanted to be all 1950’s and whip up a roast.  Now June Cleaver did not have a crockpot but if she did, it would have totally changed her life and the way she prepared a roast.  Honestly, just throw it all in the crockpot and curl up with a good book.  To make it a little exciting, I shredded some roast and served on small rolls.  It was a HUGE family hit.  Here’s to a restful Sunday! -Amanda

Crazy Good Roast

4 -5 lb. chuck pot roast

1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch mix

1 pkg. McCormick Au jus mix

8 T butter (1 stick)

6 whole pepperoncini peppers

If you want: Potatoes (cubed) and/or Carrots (chopped)

Place the pot roast in the crock pot on low.  Sprinkle ranch and au jus mix over the roast.  Place a stick of butter on top of the roast.
Put 6 peperoncini peppers on top of the roast.  Add potatoes and carrots now if you want them with your roast.  Let the roast cook at least 7 hours.  Trust me don’t add water.  Pull your roast out of the crockpot and prepare to serve.  If you want sandwiches, shred your roast and serve with rolls.

Shredded BBQ Chicken

Memorial Day weekend marks the official beginning of summer!  My mind begins to think about all the yummy summer foods our family enjoys.  Throughout the coming weeks I will be sharing favorites from our table.  These recipes allow you soak up the sun and spend little time in the kitchen.  You will begin to learn that Chris has a little “Bobby Flay” attitude around the grill.  While he is the master of the grill, I play with fun side items to make our meals come alive.  There are times that we can’t make it to the grill and still want some yummy barbecue.  This Shredded BBQ Chicken will change your life.  There is no thinking involved and the outcome is delicious.  Serve as mouthwatering small sandwiches or individually with your favorite BBQ sides.  You will enjoy your leftovers the next day.  Here’s to summer!- Amanda

Shredded BBQ Chicken

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 large)
1 T onion powder
1 T smoked paprika
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
8 oz of beer* (I used Stella Artois)
32 oz barbecue sauce (I used Mark’s “Red” Sauce- Louisville, KY local- Our new favorite)

Season chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Add to crockpot, then add beer and 24 ounces of barbecue sauce. Cook on low for 8 hours, tossing once or twice if desired. After 8 hours, shred and add remaining barbecue sauce. Toss chicken to coat and let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving to absorb everything. This chicken is delicious on your favorite rolls.  We used sweet Hawaiian rolls.  I tossed up some coleslaw and dill pickle spears.  Great leftovers the next day!
*You can substitute beer with water.  I have found beer to tenderize the meat.  And we all know that alcohol cooks out, just in case you were worried.

Jambalaya

It’s getting crazy in our kitchen.  In celebration of Mardi Gras, we dished up Jambalaya.  This crockpot Jambalaya, packed a punch straight from The Big Easy. Cook it all day for a perfect dinner on Fat Tuesday or anytime you want a little taste of New Orleans.  Is there such a thing as too many beads?- AF 

Jambalaya 

1 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes

1 lb andouille sausage, sliced

1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice

1 large onion, chopped

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chicken broth

2 t dried oregano

2 t Cajun seasoning, I used Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning

1 t cayenne pepper

2 t dried parsley

1/2 t dried thyme

1 lb frozen cooked shrimp without tails

In a crockpot, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, green bell pepper, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme.

Cover, and cook 8 hours on Low or 4 hours on High. Stir in the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time.

Serve with your favorite rice.  We used white rice this time.

Crockpot Jambalaya