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Slow Cooker Appetizers

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Slow Cooker Appetizer Recipes

Planning a party and need some make ahead ideas for the appetizers? Try slow cooker appetizer recipes for great appetizers you can prepare ahead. Hosting a party takes time and planning and you don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen while the guests are enjoying the party.

The slow cooker is a godsend in the kitchen because there are so many things you can make in there, and not just the soups and stews you might have read in the cookbook which came with your crockpot. The following recipe combines salsa, bean-free chili con carne, garlic, onion, and cream cheese, for a tasty, Mexican inspired dip, which makes a lovely appetizer served with chips.

A smaller crockpot is great for not only preparing dips but also to keep them warm, and if you are feeding a larger crowd you can use a medium or large crockpot instead. If you are making a smaller quantity, it is better to use a smaller one, so the dip does not start to dry out, stick to the bottom of the slow cooker or burn. A crockpot usually does best if it is about two-thirds full. Continue reading

Bacon and Cheese Loaded Potato Skins

This easy recipe shows you how to make stuffed potato skins in the crockpot. Feel free to add some chopped green onions or sour cream to the finished potatoes as an extra garnish. They are also nice if you make them following the recipe exactly. If you are in a rush, you can bake the potatoes at 375 degrees F for half an hour to melt the cheese, rather than returning them to the crockpot.

Cooking potatoes in a crockpot might not be something you have considered before, but it does mean you can free the oven up to cook other dishes or, if you are going out in the morning, you can pop the potatoes in there and return home to perfectly cooked potatoes. It is also possible to add other flavors. A pinch of chili powder or paprika could liven up the cheesy filling, or you can add minced onion to the cream cheese, or use ham instead of bacon.

So what can you do with the potato you scoop out? You might as well save this for a future recipe, such as potato soup or beef stew. It is a shame to waste it so if you do not require it immediately you can simply freeze it and then add it to a future soup or stew. This bacon and cheese potato skins recipe is so easy to make and cooking the potatoes in the crockpot means you can leave them all day and do not have to watch them. When you can push a fork through the biggest potato without any resistance, the potatoes are done. Continue reading

Crockpot Eggplant Dip with Lemon and Garlic

This delicious baba ghanoush recipe features eggplant, garlic, lemon, tahini, and parsley. If you enjoy the flavor of eggplant you will like this recipe. Although you can cook eggplant on the stove or in the oven, using a crockpot means you will be using less power to cook it. Also, if you are making this dip for a party, you will probably already be using the stove and oven for other dishes, so being able to make this in the crockpot frees up your stove and oven for other uses.

This eggplant dip, which is known as baba ghanoush in Arabic, can also be made with eggplant which is grilled or baked over an open flame, since this gives the eggplant a smokier flavor, but not everyone has time for this, and it is true that using the crockpot means you can dump the eggplant in there and let it cook while you forget about it.

This dish is usually served as a salad or side dish in Egypt, or an appetizer in Lebanon. Some people like to add chili powder and cumin for a spicier result, or you could use mint instead of parsley. There is a version made with mayonnaise in Israel and a tomato and onion version in Pakistan and India. This recipe is popular in areas with a lot of Middle Eastern people, such as Southeast Brazil, and as a result eggplant is popular all over Brazil, although it was first introduced by either West African slaves or the Spanish, depending on which tale you believe. Continue reading

Succulent Crockpot Recipes for Ham

Ham is great for appetizers because once you have cooked a whole ham the way you want it, you can do anything you like with it. Perhaps you want to slice the ham and serve it with crackers or bread or maybe you want to use it in a salad recipe or as part of another appetizer. The following recipe combines ham with brown sugar and the sugar gives the ham a wonderful caramel crust. It also penetrates deep into the meat to give it a mouthwatering flavor. If you thought two ingredient recipes would be too simple to yield a good result, try the following crockpot ham recipe. You will not be disappointed. For a bit of extra flavor, add a few tablespoons of orange juice or pineapple juice to the crockpot and let your ham soak it up.

You will need a cured picnic ham for this recipe. It can be bone-in but boneless ham often gives a good result also. Do not use smoked ham because it will come out brown and mushy and you will not be able to use it. A dry-cured ham is a pig leg which is rubbed with salt and then left to cure. This is why you do not need to add salt to a lot of ham recipes. Serrano ham, prosciutto and country ham are all dry-cured varieties.

The curing “cooks” the meat so technically cured ham is uncooked. The salt wards off bacteria and acts as a natural preservative. Dry-cured hams have a stronger flavor and a saltier finish than wet-cured hams. Their texture is more coarse as well. Wet-cured hams are soaked in brine so they are similar to dry-cured hams in some ways. Use picnic ham for this recipe. This cut comes from the front leg, or shoulder, of the pig. If you are using spiral-cut ham you will probably need to reduce the cooking time. Continue reading

Kid Friendly Enchilada Recipes with Hot Chicken

Enchiladas are a popular Mexican food and they are usually baked in the oven. If you are using the oven for another dish you can make an enchilada filling in the crockpot. The enchiladas will not be as crispy as the oven-baked ones but they are still very nice and if you cut them in half they make good appetizer-sided portions. If you prefer, you can fry the tortillas in oil which makes them crispier. This recipe is not good if you are looking for finger food ideas, since it is quite messy to eat, but if you are having a sit-down meal this one is very good.

The filling is made with chicken, chilies, sour cream, cheese, and chicken soup and the slow cooking really brings out the flavors of the ingredients and blends them to perfection. You will need to serve these enchiladas as soon as they are done since they are nicest when you serve them piping hot. Mexican food is popular at parties and if you want to serve an appetizer at a sit-down dinner, why not pick this one? The crockpot makes the flavors blend perfectly and your guests will be very impressed with these. Serve half an enchilada or a whole one as an appetizer portion but no more. You do not want your dinner guests to be too full to enjoy their entree!

There are plenty of Mexican dishes you can make in the crockpot actually. You can make Mexican beef or chicken stews or even a spicy soup recipe. There are also hot dip recipes for the crockpot that you can make and, served with tortilla chips or corn chips, these are always a great crowd pleaser. Continue reading

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