Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Halloween lore has it that witches stirred potions in their cauldrons constantly, breaking rhythm only to wipe dripping saliva from the corners of their mouths with wart-covered hands, or to swat flies—killing a few and sprinkling them into their concoctions as a condiment.
But today, lots of fly-swatting witches, including yours truly, have divorced the big cauldron. Our days of continually stirring, standing for hours on bunioned feet are over. We aren't going to take it anymore.
But we cannot give up concocting. It is in our veins. So, we have found a little plug-in version of the big dirty black cauldron. Commonly called a crock pot or slow cooker, it has definitely changed "witching." Here are a few crock-pot recipes that have emancipated many witches. May they thrill and bring shivers to your spine.
Red Meat for Witches and Their Kin
Salt, pepper and Tony Cachere's Seasoning to taste
2-4 pounds of beef chuck or shoulder roast
3 tablespoons olive oil
Whole raw carrots, enough to line bottom of crock pot
1 large onion
1 can of cream-of-chicken or cream-of-mushroom soup
1/4 cup wine, any color or grade
Wash beef and season with salt, pepper and Tony Cachere's Seasoning. Quickly brown it on all sides in olive oil. Save oil. Set the seared roast over the whole raw carrots lining the bottom of the crock pot. Slice a large onion into medium-sized slices and lay on top of the roast.
Pop the top off a can of cream-of-chicken or cream-of-mushroom soup, and pour it undiluted into the skillet drippings where the roast was seared. Stir and pour soup and drippings over the meat and vegetables in the crock pot. Pour wine over it all.
Put the lid on the crockpot. Turn it on high. After a couple of hours, turn down to low. Cook it for seven to eight hours, or overnight.
Take the roast out and set it on a cutting board. Let it rest for at least 20 minutes, then slice it. Serve with the gravy and the carrots on the side, with rice or mashed potatoes.
I'm Goin' Bananas Over Halloween
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 fresh bananas, cut into 1 inch slices
1/4 cup rum
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup walnuts and/or coconut, optional
Vanilla ice cream
Melt margarine or butter in crock pot by turning on low for about 10 minutes. Mix in brown sugar. Gently stir in banana slices. Add rum and vanilla extract. Add walnuts and/or coconut if desired. Cook on low for one hour. Serve over vanilla ice cream.
Black Bean Heaven for Vegan Witches
16-ounce package of dried black beans
1 green pepper, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon of ground cumin
1 tablespoon of wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of salt
Louisiana hot sauce
Chopped jalapeno peppers
Chopped green onions.
Wash black beans several times. Cover with cold water and soak overnight. Drain. Put the beans in a crock pot and cover with fresh warm water. Add green pepper, onion, garlic and olive oil. Stir. Turn crock pot on high and bring to a boil with the lid on. Then turn on low and simmer five or six hours or until beans are tender. Add cumin, wine vinegar and salt. Cook another 45 minutes to an hour.
Serve over rice, preferably yellow saffron rice, with your choice of condiments.