Foil and the Slow Cooker, Volume I

We all assume that using a slow cooker means dumping in a bunch of ingredients, mixing it all up and lettin’ it cook all day!  I recently decided to try something a little different … to look at the slow cooker in a different light.  I was so excited about this idea that I ranted and carried on to the family.  (My kids did not necessarily share my over-the-top enthusiasm as they do not necessarily see how this has the potential to open a lot of new doors in the kitchen for us moms!). I haven’t really researched if this has been done before, so I don’t claim to have like, invented it or anything.  But, it’s a new concept to me … quite a revelation, actually!   Everything in this recipe does go in the slow cooker and yes, it will result in a finished all-in-one meal.  However … there’s a small, little twist!  (And, I’m so excited to share this!)

Last week I made Green Chili and Lime Pulled Pork for Tacos and had a bunch leftover, so in the freezer it went for later use.  Well, I thawed it in the fridge overnight and decided to try something new to put together a whole new meal in a really cool way!

Wait for it …

A FOIL PACKET SLOW COOKER MEAL!  Tada!!!!!  Different components to a meal wrapped up individually and cooked at one time in one slow cooker!!! It worked beautifully and has opened my eyes to a whole new way of utilizing the slow cooker.  Don’t get me wrong … I still love it for the traditional uses.  But, if ya think about it, the slow cooker is, basically, an oven-type appliance.  We put more than one thing in our oven at the same time, so why not the slow cooker???

I’m so thrilled at the possibilities of meals made this way … I see packets of fish,  marinated chicken, veggies, sweet potatoes, etc. in my future.  I often make individual all-in-one meals in parchment paper in the oven, so I will be trying some of those in foil in the slow cooker, as well.  I will be sure to share the results as I venture into this unchartered territory (or, at least, for me it is!).  But, for now … here’s how the maiden voyage into foil packet slow cooker cooking went.

We called these Taco Potatoes.

I started with the thawed, leftover Green Chili and Lime Pulled Pork.  I sprinkled in a little water over the meat before wrapping it tightly in foil so it wouldn’t dry out.

Next, I combined 1 can of drained and rinsed black beans, about a cup of frozen corn, salt, pepper and a good pour of bottled salsa in the next packet.

I scrubbed, pricked with a fork and wrapped 5 medium potatoes and placed them in the bottom of the slow cooker.

I, then, placed the other two packets I had made on top. 

With the lid on, cook on high for 4 hours and everything is ready all at once for Taco Potatoes.

Just slice open your potato and top with the bean/corn mixture and the pork … along with the usual taco fixings like, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes, salsa and sour cream.  It was delicious! 

This could be simply made into regular tacos by eliminating the potatoes, making a little rice on the stove-top before dinnertime and heating up some tortilla shells.  Also, if you didn’t have leftover meat to use up like I did, I’m sure shredded or diced chicken (raw or cooked) could be used … just sprinkle on some taco seasoning or cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and a good squeeze of lime before wrapping.  Not sure of the cooking time for raw meat yet … but I will be trying that, as well, and sharing as I go.

The real genius thing about this style of cooking is that you don’t have to heat up the oven (a big “plus” during the warm, summer months!!!)… and you don’t have to dirty a bunch of pots and pans!  Clean up is a breeze … just toss the foil and give your slow cooker a gentle washing!

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