Friday, July 5, 2013

Cajun Dirty Rice in a slow cooker

Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner.
   Years ago, Betty Crocker came out with the brilliant idea of Hamburger Helper. It's a noodle or pasta and some seasonings that you add to cooked meat. I've been doing this for years but using what pasta I have on hand and any seasonings that strike my fancy. 
   One of my favorite Cajun dishes is Dirty Rice. I think these southern folks were the original creators of "burger helper". That's exactly what dirty rice is - burger, rice and Cajun seasonings. It's very easy and filling. I decided to try it in the slow cooker one day. I had other plans for the stove and wanted to free up some space. Everything is cooked separately and thrown in the slow cooker just to get warm, that can be as long or as quick as you need it. 

Cajun Dirty Rice in a slow cooker
1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup bell pepper any color, diced

2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 tsp. celery seed
sprinkle red pepper flakes (about 1/8 tsp.)
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 ( 5 oz.) can green chilies,  not drained
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 tsp. paprika
1 cup cooked white rice
salt and pepper to taste
dash of hot sauce, optional

    In medium saucepan with lid, combine 1 cup rice, 2 cups water and 2 tsp. chicken base. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir and let set until needed.

    In a skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onion and garlic. Drain excess liquid.

    Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker. Turn heat to low and let cook for 2-3 hours until warmed through. Serves 8.

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