Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

French dip sandwiches are usually something I order every once in a blue moon from a diner menu.  If you haven’t yet had the scrumptious experience of a french dip, it’s basically a sandwich piled high with thin sliced roast beef, and it comes with a little bowl of beef juices that, yup, you are supposed to dip the sandwich into bite by bite.  Heaven, heaven, heaven.  And a plate of heaven that I decided to figure out a slow cooker version of that I could make at home, because around these parts it has turned into The Winter That Wouldn’t End.  Which is as good a reason as any to make french dip sandwiches, especially ones that simmer all day long in the slow cooker.

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Weeknight Coq au Vin

The best coq au vin I have ever had in my life was at my friend David’s house.  It was made the traditional way over a gloriously long weekend afternoon, and it was perfection.  The next time I need perfect, traditional coq au vin I am planning to show up on his doorstep with my puppy dog eyes, and I am positive he will make it for me.  But sometimes I get a hankering for coq au vin on a Tuesday night when I have more like 30 minutes to make it, and that’s when this recipe for what I call Weekend Coq Au Vin comes in handy.  It ain’t David’s, but for something that can go from fridge to table in a half hour, it is pretty deletable, red-wine-infused, comfort food deliciousness.

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Shrimp Marinara Soup

My favorite place to buy shrimp is not a specialty seafood store, or even the fabulous seafood counter at our local supermarket.  Nope, the only place I will buy shrimp is…Costco.  Because the shrimp from Costco is simply and reliably the most delicious I have ever tasted.  However, Costco being Costco, you can only buy it in giant bags, which is no problem for me.  It comes frozen, so I break it up into smaller portions, pop them in freezer bags and keep it in the freezer for the next time I get a hankering to make shrimp for dinner.  And not wanting EVER to be without shrimp in the freezer, I guess I bought one too many bags, because recently the Southern husband mentioned that there was no room in the freezer for anything else because it was Full Of Shrimp.  So I kicked my shrimp-recipe-making into high gear, and that is how this shrimp marinara soup came to be.

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Flaked Salmon with Sesame Noodles

The Southern husband and I have a crush on salmon lately.  I’ve made it with buttered wine sauce, and I’ve roasted it with honey mustard.  Last week I soaked it in bourbon, and before that I made a smoked salmon and cream cheese pizza.  But I think my favorite of all of these is this super easy flaked salmon with sesame noodles.  The salmon is in little tender chunks, the noodles are in a zippy little sesame oil and soy sauce bath, and there’s some chopped romaine for crunch.  And some black sesame seeds because I have them in my spice drawer and sometimes I just NEED to sprinkle black sesame seeds on things.

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Whipped Cauliflower

Once upon a time, the Southern husband and I went on the Atkins diet, which banishes all the fun carbs from your life.  No bread. No pasta.  All the bacon you can eat (which is what lured me in, because UNLIMITED BACON) but after being on it for about a half hour, I developed an overwhelming nostalgic yearning for anything the included the word carbohydrate.  But my mama didn’t raise any quitters, so I hung on for the month or so it took to lose what I wanted to lose, and part of what got me through was this whipped cauliflower.  Which I am here to tell you…brace yourself…is just as good as mashed potatoes.  I promise.

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Honey Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts Pasta

It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to be the only, and I mean only person in your house who loves Brussels sprouts.  The Southern husband, the guy who has bravely and enthusiastically embraced everything from grilled macaroni and cheese sandwiches to chocolate-dipped bacon draws the line at Brussels sprouts.  The Southern daughter and her posse?  Hahahahaha.  Not even the dog will eat them with me, and she once ate a piece of the driveway.  (Not kidding.)  But I know, I just know there are other Brussels sprouts lovers out there, and so this one is for you guys.  My Brussels sprouts soul-mates.

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