After receiving over 50 entries in the Calphalon Slow Cooker Contest, I handed them over to my team of ‘judges’, who in turn chose what they thought sounded the most delicious based on recipe alone.
Then I cooked, and not just three dishes like I had originally planned. Instead the top seven vote-getting recipes were tested. And now the time has come.
The winner is……
This is what Mary Clare had to say about her submission: ”This Thai-Style Pork Stew from Cooking Light is a favorite of ours, especially since it’s different than most soups and roasts. I’ve added fresh green beans mid-way through, and they’re good in it as well. A squeeze of lime at the end is a must!“
My husband took only two bites of this dish before turning to me and saying “this is the winner”. That’s how good it is. It’s completely different than any other dish we’ve ever made in a crock pot. The vibrant flavors and colors make it the perfect meal to eat year round. It’s not too heavy for spring and summer, and would liven up the fall or winter!
Slow Cooker Thai-Style Peanut Pork
8 servings. Adapted from Cooking Light
2 lbs boneless pork loin, cut into 4 pieces
2 julienne-cut red bell peppers
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
4 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2-3 Tbsp chopped dry-roasted peanuts
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
8 lime wedges
4 cups hot, cooked basmati rice
1/2 head of stir-fried cabbage*
Trim excess fat from pork. Place pork and next 5 ingredients (pork through garlic) in an electric slow cooker. Cover with lid, and cook on low-heat setting for 8 hours. Remove pork from slow cooker, and coarsely chop or shred. Add peanut butter to liquid in slow cooker; stir well. Stir in pork.
Place a scoop of rice or cabbage on each plate and ladle pork mixture on top. Top each serving with the juice from 1 lime wedge, green onions, peanuts, and chopped cilantro.
*the 1st few times I made this recipe, I used rice. However, since then, I've discovered that I love it on a bed of cabbage. I simply chop up about a half a head of cabbage and saute it in a wok pan with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil for about 4-5 minutes. Once it's starting to soften up a little, I add salt, pepper, and a dash or two of sesame oil and saute for another 3-4 minutes.
Some things to note:
- Based on remarks from the Cooking Light website, I doubled the sauce ingredients and am so happy I did. This sauce is too yummy to skimp on!
- As Mary Clare mentioned, the squeeze of lime is essential to bringing it all together, so please don’t leave that out.
- And finally, I took it upon myself to rename the dish because I just didn’t feel the term “stew” appropriately described it. My title is more appealing, don’t ya think?