Cooking is not rocket surgery.
I know many people are intimidated by the idea of cooking for themselves, and in my opinion this is why many people rely on pre-packaged, take out or out-to-dinner meals. I am all for the idea of making your life easier and more time efficient, and I think that some just don’t realize that cooking can be really easy.
You don’t have to use a complicated recipe with a list of ingredients longer than your arm. Heck no. That IS intimidating! I love cookbooks, and I have a bunch, and I love to look thru them. And that’s how I get ideas. But I don’t use them to cook. How is that, you ask? Well….
You don’t always need a recipe
With the exception of baking, it’s rare that I use a recipe per se. (And admittedly, since I mostly cook quick breads/protein bars and brownies I don’t always use recipes for those either. It’s more of a “hmmm…this batter is a bit runny…add some more protein powder/oat flour/cocoa! approach) I read a recipe, or see something prepared on TV, and then use/modify that recipe to make something that works for me.
I use and teach more of a “method” approach to cooking-learn a way to do something, then you can make modifications and make that method work a bunch of ways for a bunch of applications.
If you cook chicken a particular way, chances are good you can do a similar thing with turkey, or pork. See where I’m going with this? If you make a sauce (as I mentioned in my eating flavorfully gluten free post) you can change it up by changing just a few flavors, but use the same ideas.
OK. Here’s the deal.
Shirley over at Gluten Free Easily had posted her Special Turkey Breast recipe around Thanksgiving. I can never have too much turkey, and turkey breast is easily a staple in our house. It’s generally a big piece of protein that can be cooked once and eaten for days. (Very important as I referenced in the planning ahead for eating success post.)
Since we had a big crowd at Thanksgiving and not enough leftovers, I made Shirley’s recipe the weekend after Thanksgiving. And boy was it yummy!
Turkey breast has a very mild flavor, and using the vinegar gave it a great “pop” of flavor. I had never used vinegar in the crock pot before, for reasons of which I haven’t a clue. I use vinegars all the time for pretty much everything. It was such a great method, that I used it again this week-with a riff. So thanks to Shirley for the original idea!
Before getting to the good stuff-just think about the possibilities! You can use this method/idea with chicken, turkey, pork, really anything you would stick in the crock pot. You can mix it up with any seasonings/vinegars that sound good. The possibilities are endless! (OK-maybe not endless. But pretty close.)
Balsamic Pepper Turkey Breast
- Take a big honking turkey breast. Stick said turkey breast into crock pot.
- Throw in some peeled cracked garlic cloves
- Mix in a measuring cup about a cup of balsamic vinegar, about 1/4 cup of olive oil, about 2 tsp of mustard powder, about 1 TBSP of lemon pepper seasoning, and some sea salt. (Yes, I am this precise-I’m not gonna lie.) Pour over the turkey about as evenly as you can.
- Cook on high about 4 hrs or low about 8.
- Try not to burn yourself getting it out, and don’t let the dog tackle you as you carry the crock over to the sink to wash it. (OK-that may not apply to you.)
Please let me know how it goes! Check out more gluten free recipes here.
Are you a method cook, a recipe cook, or a “I’m too scared to try” cook? Would more method ideas like this be helpful? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, or shoot me a message on the contact page!