Fam­ily Din­ners

Family Circle - - ON DUTY -

Be­cause you’ve gotta get food on the ta­ble.

Chicken Put­tanesca

Heat 2 tbsp veg oil in a stain­less skil­let over med-high. Sea­son 13/4 lbs bone­less, skin­less chicken thighs, cut into large pieces, with 1/4 tsp each salt and pep­per. Add to pan and brown, turn­ing, 4 min. Trans­fer to slow cooker along with one 20 oz can fire-roasted crushed toma­toes, 1/2 cup gar­lic-stuffed green olives, halved, 1 tbsp an­chovy paste, 1 tsp packed fresh oregano, minced, and 1/4 tsp each salt and pep­per. Cover and cook on HIGH for 51/2 hr. Dur­ing last 1/2 hr, cook 11/2 cups orzo on stove­top per pkg di­rec­tions. Serve chicken over orzo. Serves 6.

Red Wine–braised Beef

Toss 3 lbs beef stew meat with 1/4 cup AP flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pep­per. Brown in 3 tbsp veg oil in 2 batches over high for 3 min per batch. Trans­fer to slow cooker along with 10 oz mush­rooms, cleaned, quar­tered and tossed with 2 tsp AP flour. Stir in 3 large car­rots, peeled and cut into coins, and 1 medium onion, diced. Pour 11/2 cups red wine into same skil­let and bring to a sim­mer, scrap­ing browned bits from bot­tom of pan. Add to slow cooker along with a few sprigs fresh thyme. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hr. Re­move thyme stems and dis­card. Ad­just sea­son­ing and serve over mashed po­ta­toes or po­lenta. Serves 6.

MAKE AHEAD Cook, drain and re­frig­er­ate spaghetti. Mix pep­pers with mari­nara, Parm, salt and pep­per and pop in the fridge.

Spaghetti Pie

Cook 1 lb spaghetti for half the time di­rected on pkg. Drain. Mean­while, coat a large slow cooker with cook­ing spray and dust bot­tom and half­way up sides with 3 tbsp sea­soned bread crumbs. Whisk 4 large eggs. Drain one 12 oz jar roasted red pep­pers and chop. Com­bine spaghetti, 3 cups mari­nara sauce, red pep­pers, 1/2 cup grated Parme­san and 1/2 tsp each salt and pep­per. Fold in eggs and add to pre­pared slow cooker. Sprin­kle with 1 tbsp each grated Parme­san and bread crumbs. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 hr. Serve with ad­di­tional mari­nara sauce on the side. Serves 6.

SMART AND SAFE

• As much as we all want to pile a bunch of in­gre­di­ents into the crock and leave for work, many foods—like beef or pork—ben­e­fit from brown­ing first. • Never add still­frozen foods to the crock. They may not reach the proper tem­per­a­ture to cook through and kill harm­ful bac­te­ria. • Use the right size slow cooker for your dish, fill­ing it no more than two-thirds full (we used a 6 qt crock). • Older slow cook­ers can be in­ef­fi­cient. Newer mod­els have fea­tures like auto shut-off and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity.

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