I was totally going to post yesterday, and then we lost power from 4:20 to about 7:15, which threw off my entire evening in a BIG way. Do you know what happens to mixed white and brown rice when it stops mid-rice-cooker-cycle, sits for a bit (because so often our power comes right back on in a few minutes), and then gets finished on your awesome neighbor’s gas stove? It isn’t pretty, friends. It isn’t pretty. Luckily, the Slow Cooker Orange Chicken didn’t seem to be terribly hurt by getting thrown in a pot and finished on that same gas stove, but there was supposed to be roasted asparagus, and that just wasn’t going to happen. It was pretty sad, too…it would have gone so nicely with the orange chicken and rice, and cut-up apples were really not at all an adequate substitute. Ah, well. The chicken went over well with a majority of the family–the girl majority–even if the mushy mess that was the rice made it a little harder to get through. It’s got orange juice concentrate in it, so it’s a strong orange saucy flavor, not an Asian glazed orange chicken, but it’s tasty. Browning it before putting it in the crockpot is essential for flavor, though. I sympathize with the camp that says ‘if I have to brown it on the stove, it defeats the purpose of the crockpot,’ but for me the taste is worth it. In this case, that is. (Not necessarily in all cases.) Look at it this way–it might not be a ‘one easy step’ crockpot meal, but you can still do the work ahead of time (in this case, during my 19-month-old’s nap).
Did I mention, by the way, how grateful I am that our neighbors have a gas stove? The thought of trying to deal with half-done rice on the grill or digging out the camping stove for the first time made me want to cry. I had a headache and really, really wanted it to be bedtime. It was one of those days.
The asparagus happened today, by the way. Sort of. I got started too late to roast it, so I made it my oldest daughter’s favorite way instead. You bring a wide pot of water to a boil, stick in the asparagus for 3 minutes (4 if it’s the really fat kind, but NO MORE! Pull it out!), and then serve it with this Balsamic drizzle:
1 T melted butter
2 T Balsamic vinegar
1 t minced garlic
1/4 t salt
I could drink that drizzle. Try it, folks! Enjoy!