}]; Noreen's Kitchen: 03/01/2017 - 04/01/2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Homemade Corned Beef Hash! St. Patrick's Day Leftover Makeover!! Noreen's Kitchen

Since St. Patrick's Day is a couple of days away, I knew I had to make some homemade corned beef hash to share with you all!  This was made from my home canned corned beef.  You can see how I did that here:  http://bit.ly/2mOtaVr  I will also be using some of the potatoes that I baked in my slow cooker in my recent video which you can check out here:  http://bit.ly/2mERlpl.  If you are a fan of corned beef, corned beef hash is the perfect way to use up leftovers from your St. Paddy's day meal!  

I have used my home canned corned beef.  Three pints of it to be exact, so this came to about six cups of meat once drained.  When meat is canned it can be easily flaked.  I broke this corned beef up with my fingers so it looks like shredded beef.  If you prefer, you can take the time to chop it up into a very small dice, but I see no point, when it will shred super easy.  I also used three large potatoes that I baked in my slow cooker.  I removed the skins and cut them up into dices.  I also chopped a medium onion which ended up being about two cups.  Enough to fill a pint jar.  I also added a bit of butter for flavor as well as to get everything going.  You can use oil if you prefer.

Corned beef hash is super quick and easy to make it is budget friendly and tasty too boot!  The work comes from the chopping or the preparation.  In French, the word "Hasche"  pronounced Hash-shay, means to cut into small pieces.  So the word for hash as used in corned beef hash or roast beef hash or vegetable hash is indicative of the true French meaning of the root word.  I love word etymology, don't you?  Well now you know.  

I like to melt some butter in a large skillet and add the onion to cook for a while over a medium low heat.  This will allow it to caramelize just a bit before tossing in the meat and the potatoes.  Once the onion is ready, I added the meat and allow this to saute for at least five minutes, stirring occasionally to be sure that all the meat is heated through and has rendered a bit of the fat, if any into the pan for flavoring the dish.  

Once the meat is heated, I added in the diced, cooked, potatoes and stirred those in.  This is the hardest part of making corned beef hash.  The waiting.  I like to mix well then flatten with a spatula.  I like to allow a bit of a crust to form on the bottom of the pan, this will help created nice browned bits that will mix in with the hash and pop with flavor.  Sometimes I like to add about a half cup of water to the pan then pop a lid on to steam everything through and get it nice and hot.  This will also moisten the mixture making it easier for all the flavors to combine.

I must be honest, as a family, we love old fashioned corned beef hash from a can and we have it from time to time for dinner or breakfast with fried eggs and toast.  It is just something that hearkens back to my childhood.  A happy memory of days gone by.  Scrapple is the same way for me.  Just don't look at the ingredients or if you do, be very brave cause there is no turning back!  This homemade version is very delicious and does not compare to the canned version.  In fact, they are not even in the same category, other than in name.

When the crust has developed to your liking and everything is heated through, you are ready to serve.  We like ours with over easy eggs, with good runny yolks along with some toasted homemade bread.  Biscuits are great too if you prefer.  No matter how you make this, just make it.  You will love it!  

I hope you give homemade my version of homemade corned beef hash a try!  Even if you don't have home canned corned beef you can use leftover or even the corned beef from a can sold near the luncheon meat.  I won't tell!  You use what you like!  

I hope you try it and I hope you love it!

Happy Eating!

You can see how I made this in my YouTube video here:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes! Time Saving, Money Saving Kitchen Tips ~ Noreen's Kitchen

This week's time saving, money saving tip is all about potatoes!  If you are like me, you purchase potatoes in large bags with every intention of using them faster than they can sprout eyes.  Truth be told, I never can do this and invariably end up scrubbing my potatoes free of their eyes when using up the bottom of the bag.  When this happens, I like to bake them all off and use them in other recipes.  Because this will encourage me to use them and not waste them, and while they will end up in the compost bin, I would much rather have my groceries end up in our bellies, fueling our bodies instead of making good soil!  

Baking potatoes in a slow cooker or crockpot, may not be something you have considered, however a quick search on YouTube will reveal that a lot of people have been doing this for a long time so maybe it's time for you to start!  This is a great way to bake potatoes in bulk without heating up your kitchen.  This saves both time and money because you don't have to babysit your spuds while they are in the oven and you get to use up the groceries you have spent your hard earned money on to nourish your growing family!

There are lots of different ideas about how to bake your potatoes in the slow cooker.  My preparation is really no different than how I prep my potatoes to go in the oven.  I scrub them up really well using either a green pad or a stainless steel scrubbie or even a brush will work.  I remove any eyes or bad spots from the potatoes and then dry them off with paper towel and let them sit for about an hour before proceeding.  I like to make sure the residual moisture from the scrubbing is pretty much gone.

I like to place the potatoes in a really large bowl then drizzle over a couple tablespoons of olive oil and give everything a good rub down, making sure the potatoes are completely coated with the oil.  At this point you can say you are done prepping your spuds.  You don't have to add anything else.  However I do like to add some Kosher salt and some steak seasoning to my potatoes.  You add as much or as little as you prefer.  You are the master of your tubers!   I will most likely be peeling these potatoes before I use them, however I may not.  The steak seasoning will permeate the potatoes during the long baking process and as a bonus they will perfume your kitchen so how can that be a bad thing?

Once everything is all oiled up and seasoned, place the potatoes in your slow cooker.  No need to add any water.  The potatoes will produce enough of their own moisture to cook and prevent drying.  Then pop the lid on, set the cooker to low and allow the potatoes to bake for 6 to 8 hours or until a knife will easily pierce the potato with just a little resistance.  You don't want these mushy, just nicely cooked.

The one major difference between potatoes baked in the oven and potatoes baked in the slow cooker is the skin.  Baked this way your skin is going to be soggy and not crispy like when you bake them in the oven.  I can over look this, especially in the middle of a hellish summer where I don't really want to be firing up my oven to 450 degrees just to make a baked potato to eat next to a delicious grilled steak.  You can always plug your slow cooker in on your covered deck, carport or garage (make sure it's out of the weather) and that will not heat up your house at all!  

Saving time by baking off potatoes in bulk is a great way to have them on hand for quick dinner, potato salad, casseroles, and home fries or any dish calling for potatoes.  Saving money is using what you have already purchased as well as saving energy.  A slow cooker will use about 8 cents of electricity over an 8 hour span of time as compared to an electric oven that will use 24 cents an hour.  I would say that is a great savings overall!

I hope you give baking potatoes in the slow cooker a try sometime soon and I hope you love it!

Happy Eating!

You can see how I did this in my YouTube video: