Pressure Cooker Black Eyed Peas

Ring In The New Year The Pressure Cooker Way!

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Every New Year while growing up, my mother would open a couple cans of black eyed peas, heat them in a saucepan and plop some on the plate, clearing a small space among the ham, sweet potatoes and green bean casserole to fit in the unwelcome legume. It brings good luck for the coming year to eat black eyed peas on New Years!”, my mom would say, as my siblings and I (and probably my dad as well) were thinking “This better bring good luck if I have to suffer through this.” And it’s true, canned black eyed peas with no further treatment are indeed quite bland, and the metallic flavor from the can didn’t help. In fact, my mother was even understanding in this matter, and only insisted that we take just one bite, not wanting any of her brood to hit on hard luck during the year. And I don’t think any of us took more than the one bite necessary to stave off bad luck for another 365 days.

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So unpleasant was the experience, that once on my own, it was many years before I braved a bite of black eyed peas again, and it was then that I made the discovery that “Hey, these things can be pretty darn good!”

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These days, I not only make black eyed peas for New Year’s (and even other times throughout the year!), but I make them as an entree, not just something relegated to a tiny section of the plate. Served with rice and collard greens, you have yourself an entire meal. And even if the whole luck thing doesn’t pan out, at least you got the year off to a tasty start.

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I’m sure that in some parts of this country, and in some other countries as well, some mothers make entirely awesome black eyed peas, but in the northern midwest, they were hard to come by.

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So, just in time for the New Year, I bring you Not My Mother’s Black Eyed Peas, a zesty treat, and using the pressure cooker, pretty quick too. Traditionally, these would be made with some type of pork such as bacon, salt pork or ham hocks (which I have absolutely nothing against), but I have really been liking smoked turkey drumsticks lately, so I have used them in this recipe.
I soaked the peas for just a few hours since I just bought them earlier in the day, so cooked them a little longer than if they had been soaked overnight.

Not My Mother's Black Eyed Peas
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Serves: 6-8
Zesty Black Eyed Peas with smoked turkey drumsticks, celebrate the New Year, or any other time of the year!
Ingredients
  • 1 pound black eyed peas, soaked overnight (or at least a few hours)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 7 or 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño, chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 3 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes with green chilis
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
  • 2 smoked turkey drumsticks
Instructions
  1. Heat the butter and olive oil in pressure cooker
  2. Add onions and sauté for a couple minutes
  3. Add garlic and peppers, continue sautéing for another minute
  4. Add in white wine, apple cider vinegar and Worcestershire sauce
  5. Pour in chicken stock, Ro-Tel and water
  6. Add the black eyed peas and bring to a simmer
  7. Add cumin, chili powder, celery seed, oregano and cayenne pepper
  8. Add in drumsticks (you can cut the meat off the bone first if you like, I like to put them in whole and remove the meat from the bone later)
  9. Turn heat to high
  10. Lock cover in place and bring to high pressure
  11. When pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain and set timer for 30 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure neutralize naturally
  13. If you put the turkey legs in whole, remove them to a plate
  14. Put back on heat, bring to a simmer and stir for a couple minutes
  15. While beans are simmering, cut meat from drumsticks, keeping an eye on the pot
  16. Add turkey meat back in with beans
  17. Add salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat
  18. Serve with rice and greens

 

Obligatory Lame Gift Ideas List

Wherein I bend to peer pressure and offer this handy holiday gift guide

Are you wondering what holiday gifts to give the pressure cooker fanatic in your life? Well, look no further. Here is my holiday gift guide that should satisfy any pressure cooker fan you may know.

1. A spare gasket (varies per pressure cooker)
Granted, it may not be the most romantic of gifts, but it beats seeing your loved one go through pressure cooker withdrawal while waiting for a new gasket to arrive. Many brands are available through Amazon, or you can try the manufacturer.

2. Thermapen

Not pressure cooker specific, but every cook needs a good reliable thermometer, and as far as I’m concerned there is none better than Super-fast Thermapen. Quick, accurate and durable. A bit spendy, but well worth it in my opinion. Sure, there are twenty-dollar thermometers, but in the long run, I would say Thermapen is a better deal. And besides all that it comes in a variety of colors, sometimes offering special editions such as a camo version. And it looks cool!

3. Pressure cooker cookbooks

I must admit that I don’t own any pressure cooker cookbooks, save for the small ones that came with my pressure cookers, but I am sure that most pressure cooker owners would appreciate a good cookbook. Not owning any myself, I can’t recommend any specific ones myself. Laura at hippressurecooking.com has some good book reviews to help with your decision.

And if you know someone who has been really, really good this year, there is always Modernist Cuisine at Home, not pressure cooker specific, but it contains many pressure cooker recipes and is beautiful to boot. The book that geeky cooks (such as myself) drool over. Mike at Dad Cooks Dinner has a thorough review (and yes, I am jealous that he has both this book and a Vitamix blender, both on my dream list).

4. Gift Box or Gift Card from Penzey’s Spices

As I always say, you can never have too many spices. I am fortunate enough to have a brick and mortar Penzey’s in my neighborhood, but if you don’t, they have an excellent mail-order service. I think that any pressure-cooker fan, or cook of any stripe would welcome a gift box or card from Penzey’s. I get a lot of my herbs and spices from them and feel their quality is top-notch.

5. A Second Pressure Cooker

Alright, this gift could be a bit pricey, but for anyone who loves their pressure cooker, what could be better than two pressure cookers? Besides my 7 liter Kuhn Rikon, I have since purchased a Fissler Vitaquick 4.2 quart pressure pan set. I wouldn’t want the Fissler as my only pressure cooker, but it does certain things better than the Kuhn Rikon, and is also probably my most versatile pan I own, period. It comes with not only the pressure lid, but a glass lid as well, making it also very useful as a large saute pan.

Disclaimer: I have no connection and get no compensation from any of the companies mentioned. I just think they are good quality products and would recommend them all (the ones that I own, at least. The ones that I don’t own are on my wish list, hint hint.)

Happy Holidays from Pressure Cooker Convert!

Pressure Cooker Fake-joada (Feijoada)

A Brazilian-Inspired Black Bean and Meat Stew

In usual fashion, my internet search on what to do with some black beans led me to a dish that not only had I never eaten, but hadn’t previously heard of.

Feijoada (Fay-Zhwada) (Wikipedia Definition) is a dish that seems to have as many variations as there are Brazilians. Many of the versions contain such items as pig tails, feet, ears and snouts. I decided to make a “lighter” version (and I have to admit, not just for the health aspect). I know it might sound odd that I call this a lighter version, when it still contains five types of meat, but I replaced a lot of the pork with chicken and turkey. Also, I decided to make this recipe snout-free.

There’s a good chance that someone from Brazil might not even recognize this dish, but it came out quite flavorful. I came across recipes that contained tomatoes and some that do not. I opted to include the tomatoes.

Most of the recipes didn’t really contain any herbs or spices besides bay leaf (and the spices in the meats), but I added a little cumin and ancho chile (again, not traditional). Depending on what meats you are using, you may not need to add much salt at all.

I wrote this recipe based on the meats that I used, but you can easily use your own combination if you like, though I think it works out best using a combination of smoked and fresh meats along with sausages (I used only the fully-cooked type of sausages).

I served this with collard greens, which is traditional, though the version I made was probably influenced by an area a bit less south than Brazil. It is often served with rice, but since I am trying to at least make a little effort to mostly avoid refined grains (we’ll see how long that lasts), I opted to not make any.

It is also usually served with hot sauce, though I am guessing probably not the Texas Pete’s that I put on the table.

As always, your input is appreciated. Let me know which combination of meats you tried it with!

Pressure Cooker Fake-joada (Feijoada)
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Brazilian
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Serves: 6-8
A lighter version of the classic Brazilian bean and meat stew.
Ingredients
  • 1 pound black turtle beans soaked
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips
  • 1 large pork chop, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic chopped
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 12 ounce package hot Italian chicken sausage cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 12 ounce package portuguese sausage cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 smoked turkey drumstick meat removed from bone
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 3 bay leafs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Soak the beans overnight, if possible. I bought the beans the same day I was planning on making them, so I just soaked them for about five hours and it worked fine.
  2. Brown chicken and pork chop in olive oil in pressure cooker over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove meat to plate.
  4. If there is a lot of fat left in the pressure cooker, drain all except a couple of tablespoons.
  5. Sauté onions for around two minutes, then add garlic and sauté for another minute.
  6. Pour in white wine, being sure to scrape up any bits of meat on the bottom of the pot.
  7. Add the tomatoes
  8. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  9. Add the chicken, pork chop, sausage and smoked turkey.
  10. Add black beans.
  11. Add water to pot.
  12. Add the bay leaf, cumin and ancho chili powder.
  13. Add pepper, wait to end to add salt
  14. Put top on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
  15. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 30 minutes.
  16. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally.
  17. When pressure is neutralized, remove lid from pressure cooker and stir for a minute or so.
  18. Add salt to taste. Depending on what meats were used you may not need to add much.
  19. Serve with collard greens and rice.

 

Pressure Cooker Moroccan-ish Chicken

A Fragrant Pressure Cooker Treat

It started out one morning when one of my facebook friends posted a picture of an Egyptian Chicken dish that he had received from one of those food delivery services. Thinking it looked kind of tasty, I did a search for Egyptian chicken and didn’t find anything that looked like the photo. During my search, recipes for Moroccan chicken started coming up as well, presumably because both countries are in North Africa (well, Egypt is at least partially). Some of these looked quite delicous as well, so I started searching for recipes for Moroccan chicken.

One thing I discovered is that Moroccan chicken is more of a concept than a concrete thing. There are many recipes around calling themselves Moroccan chicken, and they all have certain things in common such as similar spices, and ummm, chicken (duh). Some of the recipes are stew-like and some of them are grilled, some are cooked in the oven and some are cooked on the stove, some even using the traditional tajine (Wikipedia Definition) method of cooking. I mostly used this recipe from Simply Recipes as my jumping off point, but I took some ideas from a bunch of recipes, adapting it of course, to the pressure cooker. I also noticed later that Laura at Hip Pressure Cooking has a recipe for Moroccan Lamb which uses similar spices. I will have to try that one sometime as well.

For this recipe, I used the Phased Cooking Method as explained on Miss Vickie’s Website.

 While I was preparing this, the S.O. said several times “mmmm… something smells reeaally good!” And it is really the spice combination that earns this the “Moroccan” moniker. I’m pretty sure you couldn’t order something like this in the dining car of the Marrakesh Express, which is why I named it “Moroccan-ish” Chicken.

I served this with couscous with toasted almonds and saffron (I just happened to have some saffron. It’s probably not worth paying the high price of saffron just for this purpose).

When I took some leftovers for lunch at work the next day, after the juices had soaked into the couscous, it was even tastier than the first night.

I bought some pitted green olives from the olive bar at the local Whole Foods Market, which were very good, but if you can’t find pitted olives just make sure that everyone is aware of the pits when serving.

Also, I probably would have used raisins, but I had some dried cranberries left from my Thanksgiving dinner, so I used those, but feel free to substitute raisins.
So, after the roundabout internet journey that led me to this dish, this is what I came up with:

Pressure cooker Moroccan-ish chicken

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 chicken thighs
2 bay leaves
10 cardamom pods
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1 teaspoon paprika
2 onions chopped
5 cloves garlic chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup green olives
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped italian parsley
Juice of 1 lemon

Directions
Put bay leaf, cardamom and cloves in spice bag to make it easy to remove them later (slightly break cardamom pods to release flavor)

Add next six spices to a small bowl to make it easier to add

Brown the chicken breasts in the olive oil (you will probably have to do this in a couple batches)

Remove chicken to a plate

If there is a lot of fat in the pan, drain all but a couple tablespoons

Sautee onions until translucent

Add garlic and continue to saute

Pour in the white wine, being sure to scrape up any bits of chicken on the bottom

Stir in tomato paste

Drop in spice bag

Add spices from bowl and stir

Pour in chicken broth

Add the chicken back to the pot

Cover the pot and bring to high pressure

When pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 15 minutes

When time is up remove from heat and do a quick release

Remove top of pressure cooker and add in the olives and cranberries

Put pressure cooker back on heat, put top on and return to high preasure for five minutes

When five minutes is up, again do a quick release

Remove top and stir in parsley and lemon juice

Serve with couccous or rice, being sure to put some of the sauce on top

Enjoy.