I've always been interested in this particular appliance. We never had one in our house growing up, and I didn't know many people who actually used one.
Yet in the past few years I've been hearing increasingly more about the joys of owning a crockpot. At first I was skeptical--wait, you just put your food in there and press a button and it cooks by itself? You don't have to stir? You can leave the house all day without fearing a fire?! And it's ready when you get home?
Dude, between that and the roomba, it's like having sister wives.
I was so intrigued, in fact, that when, in a moment of weakness, I found myself in front of a crockpot on sale (40% off at Bed, Bath & Beyond), I ended up bringing it home with me. Plus, I had a coupon for another 20% off, so it was super cheap.
PapaPhat laughed at me and insisted I'd use it twice and it would collect dust.
Au contraire, mon frere.
It's become a semi-permanent fixture in our household. I've made quite a few meals in the crockpot, simplifying my life in the process. I feel so Mormon.
Recently someone mentioned one could make lasagna in there. (I know, right?!)
So I collected a few different recipes I found for crockpot lasagna and added my own tweaks.
This is the first time I'm attempting this...we'll see how it works out.
Lazy Man's Crockpot Lasagna
First I browned about a pound of ground beef, sprinkled with salt and pepper. Drain.
Grab a jar of pasta sauce.
Dump it into the browned meat.
Mix it all up and heat. I also like to throw in some herbs like fresh oregano and basil.
Spread a bit of sauce onto the bottom of your crock pot.
Grab some lasagna noodles and ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
Put 2 layers of noodles in your crockpot. You'll have to break the noodles to get them to fit.
Top those with a layer of the meat sauce.
Now plop some ricotta cheese on top of that. Plop plop plop. And smear.
Sprinkle a layer of parmesan and mozzarella cheeses.
Add another layer or two of noodles.
Repeat until you a) reach the thickness you want, or b) run out of something.
Once all the layers are down, pour about 1/4 cup water over the whole thing. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. When done, sprinkle top with some more mozzarelle cheese.
Throw it in a 350 degree oven for about half an hour.
Let it sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it. You can also transfer it to a serving dish.
I think I may have done something wrong here because it came out dryer than lasagna should be. I cooked it on high, so maybe it would have turned out better on low. I was able to revive it by adding some stock while reheatin the next day.