I have two slow cookers. One is a 1 1/2 quart, and the other a 3 quart. As you might imagine, I use the 1 1/2 quart more than I do the 3 quart.
In fact, I use the hell out of that 1 1/2 quart slow cooker. When my first one quit working (after eight years faithful service) I bought a new one and now I have two inserts, meaning I can use it twice as often.
Sometimes, I don't even know what I'm going to make when I first fire it up. And sometimes I end up with something I wouldn't even feed to the dog. But I'm never sorry I tried something.
At the moment, I have onion, garlic, and celery heating in a little olive oil in my slow cooker. Up until ten minutes ago, I didn't know what I was going to make. Then I decided I needed cheap protein. There is one can of black beans left in my cupboard. I have some frozen V-8 juice (more on that later.) I have some dehydrated green peppers that are taking up useful space on my spice rack. I have vinegar and rice.
Here's what I'm doing so far:
Heat up onions, garlic, and celery in slow cooker on high until it's all very fragrant. Add a cube of frozen V-8 juice (approx 3 tablespoons) and the dehydrated peppers (about 1/4 tablespoon.) Leave that to rehydrate and combine well. That should take about 7 or 8 minutes.
Turn it down to low. Add the can of black beans after rinsing really well. Then add 1/2 or so cup of broth or stock or (okay, I have powdered broth. I confess. Not good for me but convenient and the one I have isn't too, too salty.) Add a dash or so of unseasoned rice or white vinegar.
In about an hour, add cumin, oregano, a bay leaf, maybe a little chili powder. Five minutes or so after that, add 3 cups of water or broth, and a cup and a half of rice (I'm mixing brown and white.) Leave for at least an hour and a half, or put it on high and after a half hour turn it to low for a half hour. I'd rather have the time.
Now, traditionally, you'd make the rice separately and just mix in the beans after it's all done for more authentic Moros y Cristianos. But I'm lazy and don't want to have to hand wash my rice cooker. And I've found lots of recipe writers seem to feel the same way. So what if the rice takes on a slightly colorful hue? It's all good.
I'll let you know how it turns out.
(Important note: This is NOT a picture of my experiment. I'll post a picture when it's done, though.)