Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Crockpot Green Beans Ham and Potatoes









I’ve made this dish nearly all my life but never in a Crockpot.  I mean who would have thought using a slow cooker could make them even better!  Smoky broth from the ham hocks is so good and the meat is so moist and tender. Again, I’ve made this recipe for years but never in a Crockpot.  Try it and you’ll see the difference.


Crockpot Green Beans Ham and Potatoes

2-3 lbs. smoked ham hocks (or use smoked turkey wings or legs)

3 pounds fresh green beans washed and trimmed

1 large onion, chopped

2 pounds new potatoes, quartered (4-5 med)

32-ounces chicken broth or stock

1-2 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper


Place the ham hocks (or turkey wings, legs or necks) in Crockpot with just enough water and chicken broth to cover. Add the onion and salt.

Add the trimmed green beans and cover for 4-5 hours until meat begins falling off the bone. 











Add potatoes and cook for another 45 minutes to an hour.

Remove the ham hocks to a plate and allow to cool slightly.  Shred the meat discarding any hones, fat or skin. The meat should fall off pretty easily (or at least be close to it). 
















Return meat in slow cooker and continue cooking for another hour or until potatoes and beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.  I like lots of pepper!

Transfer to a bowl and serve! 













An equal amount of bacon, smoked turkey wings, or smoked turkey legs may be substituted for the ham hocks.

If using bacon: Fry your bacon in a skillet. Pour the rendered fat into crockpot before adding your other ingredients.  
















The most important thing about making this recipe is to have    really good ham hocks. You want nice meaty ones. Some of the ones I see in the store these days are all skin and bones. Leave those in the case and look for the meaty ones.

Green beans may be cleaned, trimmed, and cut up to 24 hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator until ready to cook.





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Saturday, October 15, 2022

Fried Cheese Rounds

I’m always looking for a good appetizer for when company’s coming. I like to make something simple that my guests can snack on while waiting for dinner or while watching the football game. One day I saw these little BabyBel cheese rounds in the grocery store and thought to myself, “Self….. you could fry those.”   And so I did. I came home, and dipped them in egg and then rolled them in flour and Panko and fried them.  OMG.  What a great snack…I mean appetizer.  I mean …..okay…okay… I like to snack on them too!  How good can it get?  Warm, creamy, cheesy and crispy…. Oh My Goodness.

Fried Cheese Rounds

12-14 Babybel cheese rounds
1/2 cup flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup Panko
1 cup cooking oil
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons of dried parsley

Remove outer coating and inner wax covering off each cheese round.

Set up 3 shallow bowls.  One bowl for the flour, one for the beaten egg and the Panko and parsley in the third bowl.

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet.  You know your oil is hot enough when you drop a grain of rice in the oil and it sizzles.

Dredge the cheese rounds in the flour first, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Place them on a plate as you work.

Once oil is hot enough, use a slotted spoon to carefully place 3 or 4 breaded cheese rounds into skillet. I like to fry mine in small batches because they are easier to handle.  

Continue to fry, turning often, until golden and crispy. Carefully remove cheese from hot oil with slotted spoon. Place rounds on a paper towel lined plate.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley while hot. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cheese will be very hot. Eat as is or serve with marinara sauce. You can also spread the hot melted cheese on toasted bread rounds. YUM.

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