Pressure Cooker “Game Day” Chili

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OK, I’ll admit it right off the bat. I never understood the attraction of “The Game”. I don’t watch “The Game”, and just stand there with a blank expression on my face when someone asks me what I thought of “The Game”. And now I am led to believe that this coming weekend is not only “The Game”, but “The BIG Game”. Which means a week of people at work asking me who I “like” in “The BIG Game”, and once again I will offer my patented blank expression.

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Although I may not understand the attraction of “The BIG Game”, I most definitely understand the attraction of drinking beer and eating tasty snacks. I have noticed over the past few days an increase in the number of views for my “Pressure Cooker Pulled Pork“, which leads me to believe that due to the Great Chicken Wing Drought of ’13, people are looking for alternatives to serve during “TBG”.

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I have long delayed posting a chilli recipe, mainly because I am constantly tweaking my recipe, trying to come up with the perfect bowl of chili. Secondly, because many people have a very specific definition of what constitutes chili, and anything that I post is not going to fit into some people’s definition of proper chili.

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But, “What the hey?”, I thought. If people are looking for chicken wing alternatives, at least I can broaden their choices a little bit, so I decided to call this particular version of my chili recipe “Game Day” Chili. Why did I call it “Game Day” chili? Why, just to jump on the bandwagon, of course!

I made this with no beans, for no other reason than that is how I like it. If you prefer beans, stir in a can or two of your favorite beans after pressure cooking and let it simmer for a few minutes. It won’t send me on a wild rampage up the nearest clock tower screaming “CHILI DOESN’T HAVE BEANS, DAMMIT!!!” To each his own, I say. I’m sure some will already give me flack for using ground meat instead of cubes, not to mention the inclusion of tomatoes. This recipe is a bit of an amalgamation of various styles, for instance, I borrowed the allspice from Cincinnati chili, but now it is something I put in all my chili, helping to create what I consider my perfect chili.

For the beef, I bought some bottom round and ground it myself, which is something I’ve been doing lately, and if you already own a stand mixer, I highly recommend that you spring for the meat grinder attachment. I got one for my Bosch, and if you have a Kitchen Aid, they make one also. I think it makes a big difference compared to just buying a package of pre-ground “hamburger”, but if you don’t have a grinder, don’t worry, it will taste fine. I went many years without one.

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This recipe makes 4-6 servings. If you have a big gang coming over, you can easily double (as long as your pressure cooker is large enough).

So, give this a try for “The BIG Game”, and as always your comments are welcomed and encouraged. Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker "Game Day" Chili
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Just a little spicy, this chili should satisfy many tastes
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage, casings removed
  • 1-1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1 onion, diced (plus more diced onion for topping)
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 12 oz. can beer
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 package chopped tomatoes (26 oz.) (I use Pomi in the box, but an equivalent size can will work fine)
  • 1-2 tablespoon chili powder (to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoon hot sauce (I like Tabasco or Frank's)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder mixed with 4 tablespoons water (you can substitute flour or masa for thickening)
Instructions
  1. In a skillet, lightly brown the sausage and beef together in 1 tablespoon oil
  2. While meat is browning, melt the other tablespoon of oil in the pressure cooker and sauté the onion and bell pepper until they start to soften
  3. add in garlic and saute for another minute or so
  4. Add the beer, broth and tomatoes
  5. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, coriander, allspice, oregano, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, hot sauce and lime juice
  6. bring to a simmer
  7. add the brown sugar and bay leaf
  8. add the browned meat to the pressure cooker
  9. sprinkle with salt and pepper
  10. turn heat to high, put cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  11. when high pressure it reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 15 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  13. Remove lid and put pressure cooker on low heat to simmer and stir in the arrowroot mixture and simmer for a few minutes, stirring until mixture thickens a bit
  14. When cool enough, taste and adjust salt and pepper
  15. Serve in bowls with toppings such as shredded cheese, sour cream, diced onions and oyster crackers

 

Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew

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With the weather we have been having lately, you never know how the heck you are supposed to shop. You buy your groceries when it is 45 degrees, then two days later when it is pushing 80, you don’t know what to make with the stuff you bought to prepare lots of heavy, wintry dishes. Such was my dilemma recently with some lamb that I had earmarked for a hearty winter meal.

Once again, TV to the rescue! I was watching an episode of My Little Paris Kitchen, and Rachel Khoo, who hosts the show (and manages to cook some good stuff in a kitchen even smaller than mine) made a Spring Lamb Stew, which seemed to be just right for the warmer weather. I used her basic recipe as a jumping off point and made a few of my own changes. I would have used a cheaper cut of lamb if my store had it, but I ended up using some bone-in lamb steaks. I threw the bones in with everything else and removed them before serving.

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This is a much lighter stew than the heavy, gravy-rich stews that you would serve to warm your chilled bones in the cold winter weather. It is somewhere between a soup and a stew. Served in bowls, it is substantial enough to serve as a meal, but not so much as to induce hibernation. In fact, I think this would be appropriate for all but the hottest summer days, which is why I called it Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew.

It was a Friday evening so I just wanted to make something quick and easy. I used packaged pre-peeled carrots and probably would have used pre-cleaned beans as well if the store would have had them. It needs to cook at pressure for only twelve minutes, but the time it takes to bring to a simmer and the natural pressure release brings the cooking time to about 30 minutes. It is very tasty topped with Dijon mustard.

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For the pearl onions, I used this method on StartCooking.com to peel them so as not to drive myself crazy peeling many tiny onions.

You could serve this with a salad on warmer days or some good bread on the cooler days, and you’re all set.

I’d love to hear your feedback!

Pressure Cooker Three-Season Lamb Stew
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American/French
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A French-inspired rustic lamb stew
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds lamb, cut into one inch chunks. If your lamb has bones, save for the pot and remove later
  • 2 tablesppons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can beer (12 oz.), lager works well for this recipe
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 generous tablespoon Herbes de Provence (I use Penzey's, but it is a pretty standard blend, so use your favorite)
  • 1 package (around 20-25) pearl onions
  • 4 stalks celery, cut in chunks
  • ½ pound baby carrots
  • ½ pound green beans, trimmed
  • ½ pound tiny potatoes, halved
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. In the pressure cooker, Brown the lamb in the oil on all sides
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté until it starts to soften
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute or so
  4. Add beer, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, Herbes de Provence and thyme
  5. Bring to a simmer
  6. Add the celery, pearl onions, carrots, green beans and pototatoes
  7. Season with a little salt and pepper
  8. Put the top on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  9. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 12 minutes
  10. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  11. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  12. Remove any bones and thyme stems
  13. Serve in bowls and top with Dijon mustard

 

 

Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato & Leek Soup

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With the temperatures dipping lower than they have in some time, all thoughts turn to soup. (I know what you’re thinking, “Wimpy Californians, can’t handle 40-degree weather”, and I’ll be the first to admit that you’re right. But in our defense, most of us don’t own trousers that go all the way to our ankles, much less shoes that don’t flip and/or flop. Let’s not even get into jackets.)

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Anyway, I planned on making potato-leek soup, which soon morphed into sweet potato-leek soup. So I went to the store and bought all the necessary ingredients in the morning, so I wouldn’t need to go to the store later, after my Friday afternoon visit to the local pub (Friday is my day off of work, so a pub visit has become my Friday ritual).

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After getting home from shopping, I sat down to relax and peruse the blogs I usually read. Fortuitously, Mike Vrobel, author of Dad Cooks Dinner had a post on Pressure Cooker Roasted Sweet Potato Puree, based on methods described in Modernist Cuisine at Home (a book I still haven’t been able to convince anyone to give to me as a gift, but it wouldn’t be unusual for you to find me sitting cross-legged on the floor of my local Barnes and Noble leafing through the display copy), so I decided to incorporate that method into my soup.

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I think that caramelizing the yams first resulted in a very deep, roasted flavor. The soup really hit the spot in this chilly weather.

Soup-Before-Puree-Final-SmallI topped the soup with parmesan crisps (a recipe I got while watching The Barefoot Contessa, but there are a lot of recipes for it, and since it only has one ingredient there is not a lot of variation) and crumbled bacon, with a swirl of cream. Along with some pickled vegetables, this soup was substantial enough to be the main course.

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So, if you are looking for something to warm yourself up on a chilly night, give it a try!

Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato & Leek Soup
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2-4
A twist on the classic potato leek soup with sweet potatoes and cooked in the pressure cooker
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 pounds (about 3 medium) yams, sliced ½ inch thick
  • ½ cup plus 3-1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more to taste
  • 5 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and chopped (roots and all but a couple inches of the green part removed)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves (or ½ teaspoon ground)
  • 2 bay leaves (I put the whole cloves and bay leaves in cheesecloth or spice bag)
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 sprigs each fresh rosemary and thyme, tied in a bundle
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. melt butter in pressure cooker
  2. Add sliced yams
  3. Add baking soda and ½ teaspoon salt
  4. Mix up to coat yams
  5. Add ½ cup of chicken broth
  6. Give it a stir and put top on pressure cooker
  7. Bring to high pressure
  8. Lower heat to maintain pressure and set timer for twenty minutes
  9. When time is up, lower pressure using cold water method
  10. Transfer yams and liquid to a bowl
  11. Put pressure cooker pan back over medium-high heat
  12. Cook bacon until crisp, then remove to plate
  13. Discard (or save for something else) all but 4 tablespoons or so of bacon fat
  14. Add onions, shallot and celery and sautee in bacon fat until they start to soften
  15. Add in garlic and leeks and saute for another minute or so
  16. Add white wine and stir, being sure to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom
  17. Add yams back in
  18. Add the remaining 3-1/2 cups of chicken broth
  19. Add the cinnamon, cumin, cloves,cayenne, bay leaf, rosemary and thyme
  20. Grate in approximately 1 teaspoon ginger and ½ teaspoon teaspoon nutmeg
  21. Stir in brown sugar
  22. Turn heat to high, put cover on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  23. Reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 15 minutes
  24. While soup is cooking, crumble or finely chop bacon
  25. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down naturally
  26. When pressure is neutralized, puree the soup (I used my immersion blender)
  27. Stir in cream and half the bacon
  28. Serve topped with parmesan crisps and garnished with additional bacon and cream

 

Pressure Cooker Salt-Crusted Potatoes

Papas Arrugadas In the Pressure Cooker

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Just when I think I have finally reached the “end of the internet”, thinking that I have wasted so much time online that I have seen everything that can possibly be seen on the web, I stumble upon someting new.

Who knows what I was searching for when I happened on this article about Canary Island style salted potatoes.

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Also known as Papas Arrugadas (Spanish for wrinkled potatoes), these can be a tasty alternative to both boiled potatoes and french fries, and slightly healthier to boot (healthier than french fries, anyway).

In the traditional recipe, the potatoes were boiled in sea water until the water evaporated, leaving the potatoes coated with salt. Since I didn’t think I could boil potatoes in our local seawater here in SoCal and live to tell about it (and I don’t think anyone really uses that method anymore), I used plain water and kosher salt.

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Utilizing the pressure cooker these can be made quite a bit quicker than without, and the results leave potatoes flavored throughout with salt, but not overly salty.

The traditional accompaniment to these is red or green mojo sauce (pronounced mo-ho), but I made some chipotle ketchup for dipping (I was lazy so just mixed a couple teaspoons of chipotle chili powder with some ketchup).

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This recipe works best with really small potatoes. I used Russian banana potatoes and they worked perfectly. If you use smaller or larger potatoes, you will need to adjust the cooking time in either direction.

Ten minutes might sound like a slightly long cooking time for such small potatoes, but you also want them to get a slightly wrinkled appearance.

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I served these with bunless burgers with parmesan crisps (hey, it’s a new year, I am trying to cut down on my bread consumption. We’ll see how long I can pull that off.)
Even though the salt gives the illusion of decadence, since these are not fried, they are almost guilt-free. Give them a try and let me know how you like them!

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Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Ingredients
  • 1 pound small potatoes, washed
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • water
Instructions
  1. Put potatoes in pressure cooker pot
  2. Cover with water (I used 4 cups in my Fissler)
  3. Add the salt
  4. Stir around a little and place the top on the pressure cooker
  5. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  6. When high pressure is reached, turn burner down to maintain high pressure and set timer for 10 minutes
  7. When timer sounds, remove from heat and do a quick release
  8. Drain water from potatoes
  9. Put pot over medium heat with potatoes
  10. Stir around for a couple minutes until water evaporates from potato surface
  11. Remove to a bowl and serve with a dipping sauce