The slow cooker is one of our favorite cold-weather appliances. It’s great for making hearty chili and melt-in-your-mouth pot roast – two of our favorite fall meals. But if you’re looking for new recipes and want take a break from the slow cooker classics, add slow cooker ropa vieja to your must-try list.
We love experimenting with international recipes and lately, we’ve seen in influx of Cuban recipes online – whether it’s piled-high mojo pork on Instagram or traditional cuban sandwiches on Pinterest. Feeling inspired by Cuban flavors, the Test Kitchen developed a version of flank steak ropa vieja for the slow cooker.
Ropa vieja is a classic Cuban shredded beef dish. It’s packed full of flavor and will satisfy those with a love of all things tangy (there are plenty of delicious Spanish olives and vinegar to go around).
In the slow cooker crock, stir together diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, cilantro, basil, cumin, salt and pepper. Add flank steak to the crock and top with onions, red and green bell pepper, and garlic. Cook on HIGH for 5 ½ to 6 hours or on LOW for 10 ½ to 11 hours.
When the flank steak is finished cooking, remove it and shred using two forks (the meat should shred easily after cooking low and slow). Returned the shredded meat to the crock and stir in olives, capers and cilantro before serving. The bright olives, red and green bell peppers, and fresh cilantro make the dish truly a feast for the eyes.
Use your Hamilton Beach® rice cooker to make white rice or spanish rice to serve alongside your ropa vieja or plug in the deep fryer and make fried plantains for the ultimate Cuban feast. End the meal with a slice of tres leches cake and a piping hot cup of silky Cuban coffee to turn your dinner table into a day-trip to Havana.
One of my favourite things to do in the summer is eat. While of course family vacation and beach days are nice, summer’s bounty is unmatched. With plenty of seasonal fruits, veggies, and garden-fresh herbs in the kitchen, it’s a great time of year to experiment with new recipes. The Test Kitchen decided to take the one-pot pasta recipe trend and make a low-carb version using zoodles. Whether you are cutting carbs or are a super fan of summer squash, you’ll definitely want to add this summer one-pot pasta with zucchini noodles and tomatoes to your rotation.
There’s plenty of fresh summer produce in this one-pot pasta recipe. The Test Kitchen used plump red tomatoes, super seasonal zucchini, and garden-grown basil for this vegetarian-friendly dish.
While we love using zucchini to make scrumptious zucchini bread or zucchini boats (a summer staple in my house), we can’t seem to stop making zoodles. Using the Hamilton Beach® electric spiralizer, spiralizer 4 medium zucchini. In only a matter of seconds you’ll have long, low-carb zoodles to use in your one-pot “pasta.”
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Then add fresh minced garlic and cook until the garlic is fragrant – . Then add the zucchini noodles to the skillet. You will want to barely cook your zoodles. Because they are so thin, it only takes one or two minutes to cook. If cooked for too long, they will release a lot of liquid and you’ll be left with a soggy dish.
Reduce the heat to low then add fresh tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese, salt, and black pepper. Stir and cook until the tomatoes are just heated through and the parmesan is melted.
We topped our one-pot pasta with a little extra parmesan cheese and fresh cracked pepper.
Not only does this dish cook in a matter of minutes, it’s full of fresh summer flavors. Keep the recipe on hand for a quick weeknight dinner for the family or wow your summer party guests with this garden-fresh go-to.
Tomatoes, mozzarella, and fresh basil is one of those perfect combinations for any time of year. Usually, I lightly dress my caprese with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and call it a day. The Test Kitchen wanted to put a (literal) twist on this classic dish using the 3-in-1 Electric Spiralizer.
Using your spiralizer, spiralize 2 seedless cucumbers using the ribbon disc. Arrange the cucumber ribbons, red and yellow cherry tomatoes (or any garden-fresh, seasonal tomatoes you have on hand), and mozzarella balls on salad plates or in a serving dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then prepare your vinaigrette.
We used our single-serve blender to make our dressing – remember, blenders aren’t only meant for smoothies. In the blender, combine olive oil, white vinegar, garlic, sugar, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth then drizzle over your colourful caprese. We added yet another pop of colour and summer flavor by sprinkling fresh basil to finish the dish.
The red and yellow tomatoes pop next to the soft green cucumber ribbons. The addition of mozzarella cheese takes care of the salt and creaminess you crave and the basil ties it all together into a perfect summer side dish. Serve as a side at a backyard barbecue or alongside grilled fish for a light, seasonal dinner on the patio.