When I was a kid I thought a crock-pot had only one purpose…pot roast. Every time I saw mom pull it out in the morning I knew we were having pot roast, potatoes and carrots. I also knew the house would smell like heaven for at least 8-10 hours. Maybe I was naive but I seriously believed this appliance served only that one special purpose that ended in Roast Beef sandwiches (note to self: make roast beef sandwiches).

                Now that I have my own family to feed and a full time job, I realize a crock pot is a miracle appliance for those busy days when dinner needs to be ready when I get home. Let’s face it, I love to cook but there are only so many hours in a day, sometimes I need some good crock pot recipes and this is one of my favorites.

                There are two HUGE perks to cooking in a crock pot, one is simplicity. Just add all the ingredients to the pot, turn on, walk away. The second is when given enough time to allow flavors to merry something magical happens, depth of flavor is drawn to a whole new level. Each ingredient still has an identity of their own, but the chorus that start to sing together works in a harmony you don’t typically get with quickly cooked dishes.

Enchilada Soup

Serves: 6         Prep time: 15-20 minutes         Cook time: 6-8

20 oz Enchilada Sauce (I prefer red, but green works as well, it will just be brighter)

1 Beer

16oz Black Beans, drained and rinsed

160z Corn, drained and rinsed

2 Bell Peppers (Red, Yellow or Orange) coarsely chopped.

1 White onion coarsely chopped

1-2 Jalapeños

2 chicken breasts

1 packet Taco seasoning*

Salt and Pepper to Taste

                Add all ingredients to a crock pot, turn on low, and walk away for 6-8 hours. Go to work, go watch a movie, take a nap, whatever you need to do to pass the time. After 8 hours remove the chicken breasts, shred with a fork and return to the crock pot. Garnish with shredded cheddar, sour cream (or Greek yogurt) and guacamole. Serve with tortilla chips for a crunchy textural difference.

 

 Here are a couple of notes about the ingredients that might help you discern what to use. Enchilada sauce is not difficult to make by hand, but let’s face it, crock pot cooking needs to be quick and easy. If you have time to make scratch made enchilada sauce, chances are you don’t need the crock pot today. (The beer is totally up to you, cheap is certainly fine.)  With the bell peppers, the color really makes no difference flavor wise, but I like to add color to my dishes when possible. The Jalapenos are up to your heat tolerance. Remember, seeds and ribs have most of the heat in spicy peppers, so use at your own preference. *And I know, I know…taco seasoning packet? I’m going to blame it on nostalgia and ease this time. But frankly…I kind of like it. It’s a culinary sin, sure, but that’s what’s great about my Kentucky Kitchen. I cook what I love, not what’s popular, trendy or “right”. I’m sure there are tons of recipes online if you want to make your own taco seasoning.