Sneak Peek – Pressure Cooker Steak & Stout Pie

Coming This Weekend – A St. Patrick’s Day Treat!

Beef_Stout_Pie

Because I am always getting my special holiday recipes posted at the very last minute, I thought I needed to try to get ahead of the game this time, so this weekend I will  post my St. Patrick’s Day recipe in plenty of time!

It was originally going to have a different name (that starts with a “G”), but since my local store did not have single cans of “G”, I had to use “M”, which worked out fine but necessitated a name change.

So check back this weekend for the recipe!

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chili

A Super Fast And Zesty Chicken and White Bean Chili

Chicken_Chili1

Yes, I know, another chili recipe. But even here in SoCal the weather has been cooler, or as I call it, Chili Weather, although I’m sure many of your who reside in other places would make sport of me for calling 69 degrees “cool”.

I came really close to not posting this. I made this chili a few times and thought it would be a good one to post, but in looking around on the interwebs, I noticed that pretty much everybody, and I mean everybody, has a recipe for White Bean and Chicken Chile. Rachel – Check. Emeril – Check. Pioneer ladies, ladies and their sons, shoeless contessas, paleo people, everybody. What can I do with these ingredients that hasn’t already been done, I thought to myself (which is my favorite way)? Well, after making this recipe several times and doing some tweaking, it has become one of my quickest recipes to prepare, yet is still quite tasty. In fact, if you use boneless skinless chicken tenders as I did, you don’t even have to cut up the chicken.

Chicken_Chili_Ingredients

Put the pressure cooker pot over medium heat, or put your electric PC on “brown” or “saute” set to medium.

In a couple tablespoons of oil of your choice, brown the chicken a bit. I bought skinless boneless chicken tenders (sure, I grabbed them by accident, but they worked perfectly for this recipe). You can use 1-1/2 pounds of boneless skinless breasts and just cut them into couple-inch strips.

Chicken_Browning

Remove the chicken to a plate and put the chopped onions in the pot. Sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Add 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 tablespoon cumin and 1 tablespoon chili powder and stir into the onion mixture. Cook for another minute.

Now pour in just a splash of the chicken stock to deglaze, scraping any stuck chicken bits off the bottom.

Onions_In_Pan

Pour in the Salsa Verde. Make sure to use 16 ounces. I tried it with a 12-ounce jar and it just didn’t have enough flavor. If you can only find 12 ounce jars, buy 2. With the extra 8 ounces you can serve on the side with tortilla chips. And while you’re selecting your salsa, make sure it is made with tomatillos, not just green tomatoes. I think the tomatillos are what gives it a unique flavor, and I wouldn’t want to deprive you of that now, would I? No, I would not.

Add in 2 cans of drained and rinsed white beans. I have tried it with both Great Northern beans and with Cannelini Beans, and I prefer the Great Northern, but I will leave it to your discretion.

Beans_Drained

Now is the time to pour in the rest of the chicken stock.

Add a little salt and pepper and toss in the bay leaves.

Cover the pressure cooker and set to high pressure.

When pressure is reached, set timer for 8 minutes.

When time is up, do a quick release then remove the lid.

Put the pressure cooker pot over medium heat.

Chicken_Chili_Cooked

Make a slurry with 2 tablespoons of the Masa and about 1/4 cup water, and stir it into the chili. Note: If you like more of a soup consistency you can skip this step, but I like it thicker. Plus I think the masa adds a little flavor. If you cannot find masa, or don’t want to buy it just to use a couple tablespoons for this, you can substitute fine grind cornmeal. Or you can try the Alton Brown method for thickening chili. I haven’t tried it myself, but in one of his recipes for pressure cooker chili, he substitutes crushed tortilla chips for the masa. And since tortilla chips are basically masa harina in chip form, it makes sense. It is also something that you may already have on hand. So, I say go for it, and let me know how it works!

Masa_Harina

Simmer for another 3-4 minutes until thickened, then remove from heat. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking.

Add a squeeze of lime to each bowl.

You can serve it over rice, or with tortilla chips or bread on the side. I served it with rice this time.

You can top it with shredded cheese, or with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. I went for the yogurt this times (mostly because I didn’t have sour cream of cheese).

Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Chicken Chili
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
A quick and zesty chicken chili, perfect for a weeknight
Ingredients
  • 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken (I used chicken breast tenders this time) Cut in around 1 x 2 inch chunks
  • 2 cans white beans (Great Northern or Cannellini beans work well)
  • ½ large or 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed with press
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 16 oz. jar salsa verde (made with tomatillos)
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons Masa Harina dissolved in ¼ cup water (You can substitute fine-grind cornmeal for this, or even crushed tortilla chips).
  • 1-2 limes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Over medium-high heat (or medium sauté setting on your electric pressure cooker), brown chicken pieces in a couple tablespoons oil (you will probably need to do this in a couple batches.
  2. Remove chicken to a plate
  3. Add onions to the pot (you may need to add a little more oil) and sauté until they start to soften
  4. Add in the garlic and cook for a couple minutes longer
  5. Stir in the oregano, cumin and chili powder and cook for about a minute
  6. Pour just a splash of the chicken broth into the pot to deglaze, scraping up any bits that are on the bottom
  7. Add the tomatillo salsa
  8. Add the chicken stock
  9. Turn heat to high (if using an electric pressure cooker, switch from sauté to pressure cook mode)
  10. Place top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  11. Set time to 8 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and do a quick release
  13. Remove top
  14. Put pot back on medium heat and stir in Masa-water mixture
  15. Let simmer for about 5 minutes
  16. Remove from heat and serve with bread, tortilla chips or over rice
  17. Top with grated cheese, sour cream or yogurt
  18. I like to add a squeeze of lime to each bowl

 

Instant Pot – 30 Day Update

The Instant Pot Review – Part Deux

Instant Pot Panel

Now that I have been using the Instant Pot for roughly a month, I thought it might be time to check in again and share my thoughts.

I have to say, this electric PC has been growing on me. What I once thought of as a bit of a novelty is becoming quite a useful tool. I would estimate that about 50% of my pressure cooking is done using the Instant Pot. And there are certain areas in which it excels.

One thing that it works great for is pressure-cooked “hard boiled” eggs (by the way, I use this method as posted on Hip Pressure Cooking). With the stovetop pressure cooker, you have to keep a close eye to make sure it doesn’t exceed low pressure. With the Instant Pot, once low pressure is reached it adjusts itself to maintain the low pressure and then shuts itself off at the end of the cooking time. There were times with the stovetop model where I turned away for just a minute or so, only to find the pressure was beyond low pressure. It didn’t ruin the eggs, but I did end up with a few cracked ones. It is pretty much perfect every time with the electric.

Instant Pot

I still don’t know the exact reason, but for some reason I really like the way that steel-cut oats turn out in the Instant Pot. Maybe it is the slightly time it takes to get up to pressure and to do a natural release, but using the same 10 minutes under pressure that I use for the stovetop model, the oats turn out creamier with just the perfect amount of chew. I always head straight for the Instant Pot when preparing oats now.

On my first post about the Instant Pot, I mentioned the “spinning inner pot” that I found a bit annoying. Since then, I recieved a comment from a reader that had a perfectly reasonable and valid reason why she liked the fact that the pot turned. But for me, I still find it a little annoying, but something I can live with.

I have also found that I pretty much use the “Manual” button for everything. The individual buttons at the top beside the timer, basically just set the time, and much of the time it needs to be changed anyway, so I prefer to just use manual.

All in all, I would say it was a good investment and will be getting plenty of use.

Disclaimer: I am in no way connected with Instant Pot and this review is just my humble opinion. 

 

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

A Fat Tuesday Treat! Gumbo_Finished

When I realized that Fat Tuesday was almost upon us, I knew I needed to come up with something to honor the day. After all, it is the last day before lent, which means I will not be able to indulge in this type of thing again until Easter. …BAZINGA! I had you going there for a minute, didn’t I? But even if I don’t stop eating meat for a month doesn’t mean I can’t have an overindulgent meal to celebrate. The recipe may seem a little involved, but fortunately both the roux and the chicken can be prepared ahead of time, so by the time you are ready to put the gumbo together, the entire thing can be done in less than an hour.

THE ROUX

20150210_212856

I admit that I was pretty stressed out about the Roux. That mysterious substance upon which good gumbo is built. Yes, I read all the the horror stories and heard all the warnings. “You can’t make roux, you dang yankee!”, “You’re gonna burn it hundreds of times before you finally get it to turn out right!”, “you can only make a roux if your mama made roux, and her mama before her, and her mama before her, and her mama before her and the ape that she evolved from made roux.” And “you cannot make gumbo unless you are in possession of The One Ring To Roux Them All. But I managed to put that out of my mind, steeled my nerves and did what any red-blooded American boy would do… I cheated! Well, only a little. Rather than stand over a hot stove, stirring for up to 90 minutes until my arm is ready to fall off, I used this method (just the roux part, not the entire recipe) popularized by Alton Brown, and made it mostly in the oven. I made the roux a couple days in advance. It keeps fine in the fridge for a few days. And making it in advance gives you plenty of time to do it over on the off chance that something does go awry. Since this was a special recipe for Fat Tuesday, I went all out and used lard, but you can use vegetable oil if you like. When making a dark roux, it is best not to use butter, as the milk solids can burn and ruin the roux. If using oil, you just need to combine the oil and flour and pop it in the oven. Since I was using lard, I started it on the stovetop over medium-low heat until the lard was melted, then I put it in the oven.

The Chicken

Chicken_Finished

I like to cook the chicken and make the stock at the same time. Starting with a 3.5-4 lb. chicken, throw it in the pressure cooker along with some carrots, celery and onion plus a little salt. Add about six cups of water. You can add a little more water if there is room in your pressure cooker. Bring to high pressure for 25 minutes, do a quick release and carefully remove the chicken to a plate. It may come apart some, but you are going to pull the meat off anyway so that is fine. After the chicken is removed, strain the liquid and save for the gumbo. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones.

Chicken_Bowl

The Gumbo

Gumbo_Ingredients

If you made the roux and chicken ahead of time, take them out of the fridge and hour or so before starting the gumbo. Now that the stressful stuff is out of the way, you can relax and get going on your gumbo. Chop up a couple green peppers, a large onion and some celery (known as “the trinity” in Louisiana cooking) and some garlic. Chopped_Veg

Slice a package of Andouille sausage into approximately 1/2″ slices. In a tablespoon or so of fat, in the pressure cooker pot, brown the sausage, then remove to a plate. Sauté the onion, green pepper and celery in the sausage oil until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a couple minutes more. Saussage_Sliced Add in a couple tablespoons of the roux.

At this point, the roux is just for flavoring so don’t add too much. If it is too thick, you will have a problem getting it to reach pressure. Mix with vegetables and cook for a couple minutes. Add the sausage and all the chicken to the vegetable mixture. Add in the spices and stir for a couple minutes. Add four cups of the stock (more or less depending on how liquid it looks. You don’t want it to be too watery. In my 6 quart electric pressure cooker, 4 cups was perfect. Add 1 tablespoon better than bouillon chicken flavor (this is optional, I like the extra flavor it ads, but it would be fine without). Toss in the bay leaves Turn heat to high, place top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.

Chicken_Stock_Finished

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure (if using an electric pressure cooker, it will do this step for you). Set timer for seven minutes. When the time is up, do a quick release. Lower heat to medium to maintain low boil. Add in four or five tablespoons of the roux (depending on how thick you like it, I used five) while stirring to help avoid lumps. Serve it over rice with some crusty bread, or the traditional potato salad. Or both! It is Fat Tuesday, after all. I know, I am using Fat Tuesday as an excuse to break all the rules, but it’s as good an excuse as any. Some people even put the potato salad right into the gumbo. I may be a bit “northern” to try that.

Gumbo_4 I know I have said this before, but it bears repeating: Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez! 

Pressure Cooker Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Cajun
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
A tasty, spicy gumbo made in the pressure cooker
Ingredients
For The Roux
  • 8 oz. by weight fat (I used lard. Vegetable oil will also work.)
  • 8 oz. by weight flour
For The Chicken
  • 1 3.5-4 lb. Chicken
  • 2 carrots, cut in 2 inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut in 2 in pieces
  • ½ large onion, cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups water
For The Gumbo
  • 7 Tablespoons Roux
  • 2 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced about ¼-inch thick
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed with a garlic press
  • 1 tablespoon cajun or creole seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt to start (then to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper to start (then to taste)
  • File Gumbo for serving
  • 4 cups chicken stock (made with the chicken)
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken Flavor (optional)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Meat from a 3.5-4 pound chicken, removed from bones
  • 1 package (12-16 oz.) andouille sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
Instructions
For The Roux
(Adapted from Alton Brown)
This is best when made a couple days in advance
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Over medium-high heat, in an iron skillet or dutch oven, put fat in pan
  3. When fat is liquid, add flour and stir until combined
  4. Put into oven
  5. Stir every 20 minutes until desired color is reached (I left it in oven for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes until it reached a dark brown color). Dark brown gives it a very smoky taste. If you prefer a bit milder, just cook until approximately the color of peanut butter
  6. Keep in oven until slightly lighter than desired color, it will continue darken some after removing from oven
  7. If saving for later, let it cool then put in a container and refrigerate
For The Chicken
  1. Put chicken, carrot, celery, onion and salt in pressure cooker
  2. Turn heat to high and cover pressure cooker
  3. When high pressure is reached, turn heat down to maintain high pressure
  4. Set timer for 25 minutes
  5. When time is up, do a quick release of the pressure
  6. Carefully remove chicken to plate
  7. The chicken may not still be in one piece, so carefully remove all pieces to the plate
  8. Strain the stock in another pot
  9. If doing this ahead of time, wait until cool enough, then put in container and refrigerate until needed
  10. When cool enough, remove chicken from bones, discarding skin
  11. Put into a container and put in refrigerator until needed
For The Gumbo
  1. In 1 tablespoon fat or oil, brown sausage over medium-high heat
  2. Remove sausage to plate
  3. In sausage fat, sauté "the trinity" (Onion, Celery, Green Pepper)
  4. When it starts to soften, add in the garlic
  5. Sauté for another couple minutes
  6. Add two tablespoons roux and stir
  7. Add the cajun/creole seasoning, thyme, cayenne pepper
  8. Add the sausage back in
  9. Add the chicken to the pot
  10. Add 4 cups broth
  11. Add salt and pepper
  12. Add 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon Chicken (Optional)
  13. Toss in Bay Leaves
  14. Place cover on pressure cooker and turn heat to high
  15. Bring to high pressure
  16. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure (electric pressure cookers will do this automatically)
  17. Set time for seven minutes
  18. When time is up, do a quick release
  19. Adjust heat to maintain a low boil
  20. Add in 4-5 tablespoons roux depending on thickness desired, stirring constantly
  21. Cook for an additional 5 minutes
  22. Sprinkle with File Gumbo when serving
  23. Serve in bowls, with rice or potato salad and warm bread

Sneak Peek – Pressure Cooker Fat Tuesday!

You’ll Roux The Day… 20150210_212856

Fat Tuesday is almost upon us. In Detroit where I grew up it is known as Paczki Day, a day when many Polish filled donuts are consumed. But probably most of you equate Fat Tuesday with New Orleans and the tasty dishes they make there. Red Beans and Rice, Jambalaya, Etouffee, Gumbo, the list goes on. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! It almost passed me by until I happened to see something about it on the interwebs. “I’ve got to make something special for this!”, I exclaimed. So towards that end, I have already prepared my roux for my special Fat Tuesday recipe. The roux wasn’t made in the pressure cooker, but the main attraction will certainly be.

20150210_212943

So check back this weekend to see how I plan on utilizing this chocolatey-looking concoction.

Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler!

Pressure Cooker French Dip

French Dip (no, I don’t mean Inspector Clouseau)

French Dip

Please pretend you don’t see the chip in the plate. Thanks for your cooperation.

Beef Dip, Beef Au Jus Sandwich, French Dip. Call it what you will, but here in Los Angeles it is and always will be French Dip.

Like in other cities, where two places claim to be either the “first” or the “best”, such as Pat’s vs Geno’s (Cheesesteak) in Philly, Matt’s Bar vs 5-8 Club (Juicy Lucy Burger) in Minneapolis or Lafayette vs. American Coney Island in Detroit, here in Los Angeles it’s Phillipe’s vs. Cole’s when it comes to the French Dip, with both claiming to be the originator. By the way, if you have always wanted to try a Juicy Lucy Burger, but are nowhere near the Minneapolis area, I just happen to have a Pressure Cooker Juicy Lucy recipe here.

Who was really the first, and what is the real story behind it’s invention? We will probably never know. Even Snopes.com gave it an “undetermined” rating.

This can be made with other cuts of meat, but I prefer Chuck Roast because it strikes a good balance between price and flavor.

French_Dip_Ingredients

The ingredients. Hey, I don’t think I forgot anything this time. Well, maybe the cooking oil, but I don’t usually put that in the photos. Oh, and the bread, but that doesn’t go in the pressure cooker so it doesn’t count. So there.

Turn heat to medium-high. In a couple tablespoons oil, brown the roast on both sides. Remove to a plate, then add the beer to the cooker, using a spoon to scrape the tasty bits off the bottom of the pot.

Meat_On_Plate

Return the meat to the pan.

Add in the 2 cups water and 1 tablespoon of “Better Than Bouillon”. You can replace the water and BTB with 2 cups of beef broth or stock, but I have been liking the “Better Than Bouillon” lately. It might not be as healthy as plain stock, but I find it gives it a more “restaurant-y” flavor. If the water completely covers the meat, use a little less, so a quarter inch or so of the meat is exposed.

Add in the Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, oregano and thyme.

Add the salt and pepper.

Toss in a couple bay leaves.

Meat_Browning

Turn the heat to high and place the cover on the pressure cooker.

Bring to high pressure. When pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer to 45 minutes.

Beer_Opening

While waiting for the meat to cook, feel free to finish the beer that is left in the bottle.

When timer sounds, let the pressure come down for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

Remove to a plate and let it rest for five minutes.

Slice thinly. You can either return the sliced meat to the broth, then put on the sandwiches, or you can serve broth on the side.

Sandwich_On_Tray

I like to butter the rolls and toast in the oven for a few minutes, then put shredded mozzarella on the bottom part of the roll and toast for a couple more minutes.

They are great with a little prepared horseradish on the roll.

Sandwich_Au_Jus

Pressure Cooker French Dip
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
For Meat
  • 3 pound (approximately) boneless chuck roast
  • 1 cup beer
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
For Sandwiches
  • 4-6 Sandwich Rolls
  • Butter
  • Shredded Mozzarella
Instructions
For Meat
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Brown roast on both sides
  3. Remove to plate
  4. Add beer to pressure cooker, scraping any meat bits stuck to the bottom of the pot
  5. Return meat to pan
  6. Add water and Better Than Bouillon (you can substitute 2 cups beef stock for the water and BTB)
  7. Meat should not be submerged, use a little less water if it looks like it will cover meat completely. Leave just a bit showing above water level
  8. Add soy sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper
  9. Add bay leaves
  10. Put cover on pressure cooker
  11. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  12. When high pressure is reached, turn down heat to maintain high pressure
  13. Set timer for 45 minutes
  14. When time is up, remove from heat
  15. Let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
  16. You can either add the meat back to the pan or just put slices on the sandwich and serve the pan sauce in small bowls on the side for dipping
For Sandwich
  1. Shred about 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  3. Put 4-6 French rolls on baking tray
  4. Spread Butter on both sides of French rolls
  5. Put in oven for about 5 minutes, or until bread starts to brown
  6. Sprinkle mozzarella on bottom of rolls
  7. Put back in oven for 2-3 minutes
  8. When cheese is melted, remove from oven
  9. Divide beef between rolls
  10. Spread horseradish or mustard on tops of rolls (optional)
  11. Put tops on sandwiches and serve