Pressure Cooker Chicken Quesadilla

Just Don’t Call It A “Cheese” Quesadilla!

Quesadilla_Plate_Top

Looking around the interwebs at various recipes for Quesadillas, there seemed to be quitej a few recipes for “Cheese Quesadillas” (yes even Paula Deen doesn’t know any better), “Cheesy Quesadillas”. But seeing as how “Queso” is Spanish for cheese, that would be akin to posting a recipe for a “Tuna-y Tuna Sandwich”.

Chicken_Ingredients

But this recipe is for a quesadilla with the addition of chicken, so “Chicken Quesadilla” is appropriate.

Sure, there are quicker Chicken Quesadilla recipes, but this one has a tasty, braised chicken filling that would take longer if prepared in a conventional manner.

Tortillas_Cheese

I have made a smaller batch of this in my stovetop pressure cookers, but in my electric the minimum liquid is 1.5 cups, so a larger batch of chicken is necessary.

Cheese_Grated

This is a bit of a hybrid recipe, in that it utilizes the pressure cooker as well as the oven or griddle. I probably would do them on a griddle if I had one, but because of the size limits of my kitchen that probably will not happen soon.

Tortillas

This can also be done with smaller tortillas, using two tortillas with one on the top and one on the bottom, but my preference is to use large “burrito size” tortillas and fold them. This is also better if cooking them on the griddle, since your can just pivot them from one side to the other, whereas if you were doing it sandwich style, there would be a lot more difficulty in flipping it without losing all of the tasty filling.

I like to use a 9 or 10 inch tortilla. The ones I used this time were 12 inch and a little difficult to work with.

Chicken_Cubed

So let’s make the chicken filling. If you want to make the chicken dicing a little easier, you can pop the chicken breasts in the freezer for about 15 minutes or so to firm it up a bit.

In a couple tablespoons of your favorite cooking oil (it doesn’t have to be your favorite, your are welcome to cook in one you hate if you really want to), sauté a chopped onion until it becomes translucent. Add in 5 cloves of garlic (smashed with a press) and sauté for another minute.

Onions_Garlic

Add a couple pounds of cubed boneless, skinless chicken breast and cook until the outside starts to turn white.

Quesadilla_Spices

Add the oregano, cumin, salt and pepper and stir together.

Pour in 1/2 cup of beer and stir it all together.

Chicken_Beer

Add two cans of Ro-Tel, after draining the liquid from one of the cans.

Chicken_Rotel

Put the pressure cooker over high heat (if using an electric PC, switch to pressure mode). Put top on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 3 minutes.

When time is up, do a quick release.

Remove the top from the pressure cooker.

Chicken_Cilantro

Put pot over high heat (for electrics switch to the highest sauté or brown mode.

Add about 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro and simmer for 8-10 minutes until the mixture is reduced to desired thickness.

So, that’s it for the filling. Let’s put together our quesadillas.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Baking_Sheet_Tortillas

Lightly grease a baking sheet. Depending on the size of your tortillas, get out two or three of them (however many will fit on the baking sheet folded in half. If making a lot at once, use two baking sheets.

On one half of each tortilla, put one or two large spoons of the chicken mixture. Put a generous amount of cheese on each one as well.

Tortilla_Folded

Fold each quesadilla in half and put the baking sheets in the oven.

Set timer for 5 minutes.

Quesadilla_Plate_Side

When time is up, remove the baking sheets from the oven and let cool for a few minutes.

Cut into wedges with knife or pizza cutter and top with your favorite toppings.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Quesadilla
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Recipe type: Entree or Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-8 quesadillas
The Southwest favorite with a tasty chicken filling
Ingredients
For Chicken
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into approximately ½" cubes
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • ½ cup beer
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cans Ro-Tel, 1 drained, 1 with liquid (or other canned tomatoes with green chiles)
  • ½ cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro
For Quesadillas
  • Flour Tortillas (quantity will vary depending on size)
  • 24 oz cheese, grated (I like half Pepper Jack and half Cheddar)
  • Toppings of your choice (I like Salsa, Guacamole and Sour Cream)
Instructions
For Filling
  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat (or medium sauté setting on electric model)
  2. Sauté onions until they become translucent (4-5 minutes)
  3. Add garlic and sauté for another minute
  4. Add in chicken and stir until it takes on a little white color (I prefer the meat not be browned for this recipe)
  5. Add oregano, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to mix
  6. Pour in the beer
  7. Add the can of Ro-tel with juice and the drained can of Ro-tel
  8. Stir, then turn heat to high and place top on pressure cooker (for electric, turn off sauté mode, put top on cooker and set pressure to high)
  9. When high pressure is reached set time to 3 minutes
  10. When time is up, remove from heat and do a quick release
  11. Remove cover from pressure cooker
  12. Place back over medium-high heat
  13. Add chopped cilantro
  14. Bring to low boil for 8-10 minutes, stirring often until mixture thickens
For Quesadillas
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees (you can preheat while chicken is cooking)
  2. Lightly grease 1 or 2 baking sheets, depending on how many you want to make at a time
  3. Place two tortillas on sheet (can be hanging off the side since you will be folding) You might be able to get 3 on a sheet if using smaller tortillas
  4. Depending on tortilla size, put one or two large spoons of chicken on one side of each tortilla
  5. Top with generous handful of cheese
  6. Fold tortillas (like a large taco)
  7. Place baking sheet in oven for 5 minutes
  8. Cut quesadillas into wedges with knife or pizza cutter
  9. Serve with whatever topping you like

 

Sneak Peek – Pressure Cooker Chicken Quesadilla

Coming This Weekend, Pressure Cooker Chicken Quesadilla

PC_Quesadilla

Ok, not entirely in the pressure cooker, but the tasty filling is made in the pressure cooker. A couple minutes in the oven or on a griddle and there you go.

Here in SoCal, there aren’t many places that you can’t get a Chicken Quesadilla. So, I wouldn’t bother making one at home if I didn’t think I could do it better.

You be the judge when the recipe is posted this weekend!

Pressure Cooker Frijoles Charros

Pressure Cooker Mexican Cowboy Beans

Frijoles_Charros_Cornbread2

These Frijoles Charros make a mui bueno side dish to any Mexican or barbecue meal, but are just as good on their own with tortillas or corn bread. As a matter of fact, they would be the perfect accompaniment to your Memorial Day BBQ, which coincidentally is this very weekend!

Frijoles_Charros_Ingredients

Yes, I know there is no beer in this picture, but in my usual quest to keep you on your toes, I followed my usual policy of leaving out one item. But to make up for it, I included two onions, even though I decided that one large one was enough.

Chopped_Veggies

This isn’t exactly health food, what with the multiple types of pork and all, but consumed only on occasion it can be a spicy, tasty treat.

Start by soaking a pound of beans. I like to soak them overnight, but I have used the quick-soak method a couple times and works in a pinch, but I still think the very best texture is achieved by the good old overnight soaking method.

Bacon

Once the beans are soaked, you can get started on the frijoles.

In the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons oil and sauté 1/2 pound of chopped thick cut bacon until it starts browning (or longer, if desired). I have found that the thick cut bacon doesn’t really get crispy like the thinner bacon, but has a nice chew to it that works great with this recipe.

Onions_Peppers_Beer_Rotel

Add a half-pound of Mexican chorizo and cook until it starts to crumble. It will finish cooking under pressure, you just don’t want a large block of cooked sausage when you are finished. I used bulk chorizo, but if yours is in a casing, remove it. Make sure it is Mexican chorizo, Spanish chorizo is a whole different animal, well not exactly, it is still pig, but just a different form of pig and is usually already cooked. Now, add half of the onion and continue to sauté until it just starts to soften.

Chorizo

Remove the meat and onion mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon or one of these spider dealies:

Meat_Onions_Removing

If there is a large amount of grease left in the pan, you can drain all but 3 tablespoons or so, but don’t pour it all off, this is pure flavor. The red grease from the chorizo is especially flavorful.

Keeping the heat at medium high, in the fat left from the meat, add the rest of the onion and the Serrano chiles. Sauté until the onions start to soften, then add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.

Veggies_Beer

Add the beer, scraping up any meat bits from the bottom of the pan, then add a can of tomatoes with chiles (like good old Ro-Tel).

Now it’s time for the cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and the liquid smoke.

Onions_Peppers_Beer_Rotel

Add the beans and 5 cups of water and one tablespoon beef better than bouillon, then put the top on your pressure cooker and bring to high pressure (instead of the water and Better Than Bouillon, you can use 1 quart beef stock and 1 cup water).

Frijoles_Charros_Finished

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 20 minutes.

When time is up, do a quick release (remember when cooking legumes, your pressure cooker should never be filled more than half full).

Remove cover and add the meat/onion mixture. Stir and return top to pressure cooker, then bring to high pressure once again.

Frijoles_Charros_Cooking

This time, set the time for 10 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure come down on its own.

Remove top from pressure cooker and stir the contents, then serve in bowls as a side dish or main course.

Frijoles_Charros_Ribs3

The first night, I made ribs for dinner, and this was a side dish. When I had the leftovers the next day, I served it as a main course and had corn bread with it. And to be honest, I think I liked it better as a main dish. It would also be great with tortillas.

Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Frijoles Charros
Print
Recipe type: Entree or Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
These spicy Mexican Cowboy Beans are good as a side dish or an entree
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (soaked overnight)
  • ½ pound thick cut bacon, chopped
  • ½ pound Mexican chorizo (remove from casings if applicable)
  • 1 large onion, chopped and divided
  • 4 Serrano chiles, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-Tel)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon beef flavored Better Than Bouillon (you can substitute 4 cups beef stock and 1 cup water for the water/Better Than Bouillon).
Instructions
  1. In the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons oil
  2. Sauté the bacon until it starts browning (or longer, if desired)
  3. Add the chorizo and cook until it starts to crumble
  4. Add half of the onion and continue to sauté until it just starts to soften
  5. Remove the meat and onion mixture to a bowl with slotted spoon or spider
  6. If you have a large amount of grease, you can drain all but 3 tablespoons or so
  7. In the fat left from the meat, add the rest of the onion and the Serrano chiles
  8. Sauté until the onions start to soften
  9. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes
  10. Add the beer, scraping up any meat bits from the bottom of the pan
  11. Add the tomatoes with chiles
  12. Add the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper
  13. Add the liquid smoke
  14. Add the beans
  15. Pour in the 5 cups of water and 1 tablespoon Beef Flavored Better Than Bouillon
  16. Put top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  17. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  18. Set timer for 20 minutes
  19. When time is up, do a quick release to bring pressure down quickly
  20. Remove cover and add the meat/onion mixture
  21. Stir and return top to pressure cooker
  22. Bring to high pressure again
  23. Set time for 10 minutes
  24. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own
  25. Remove top from pressure cooker and stir
  26. Serve in bowls as side dish or main course

Orange Chipotle Turkey Meatballs

Sweet, Smoky, Spicy Turkey Meatballs 

Turkey_Meatballs_Plate4

I’m not sure how I arrived at this recipe. I started out looking at various recipes for “Russian” Chicken, which is not Russian at all, but it got its name because it usually uses bottled Russian Dressing with Apricot Preserves and onion soup mix. Since I would rather not use bottled dressing and onion soup mix, I was contemplating some alternatives.

Next, I was having a conversation with my wife about Orange Chicken and somehow the Apricot preserves became Orange Marmalade. As for the Chipotles, I guess that is because I live on the west coast. Much like the tech industry, whenever they contemplate how to improve their products, the answer is always “Add Bluetooth!”, so it goes in SoCal that whenever you want to improve a recipe, the answer is inevitably “Add Chipotles!”

Meatball_Ingredients

You can use any tomatoes for this, but I say you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not use fire-roasted. It adds another layer to the flavor, and a rather tasty layer at that.

Please promise me that you won’t use 100% ground breast meat for this. I haven’t tried it, but only because I am fairly certain it would not turn out well. What they just call “ground turkey” is fine. It is usually a mixture of white and dark meat.

Meatball_Onion_Garlic

I am not sure why I decided to use ground turkey for this recipe, I was a little afraid it would turn out kind of dry, but currently these turkey meatballs are my favorite meatballs I have ever made of any kind.

Or course, that can be partly attributed to the sauce. It has the sweetness of Chinese Orange Chicken, balanced out by the spiciness of the chipotle chilis and the smokiness of the tomatoes (I added a bit of liquid smoke also, but you can leave it out if you are using the fire roasted tomatoes).

Turkey_Meatball_Mixed

So, let’s make those meatballs:

Mix together 2 pounds of ground turkey (not all white meat), Italian seasoned bread crumbs (unseasoned are probably fine, but I like Italian for this dish), 2 eggs, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon dried parsley.

Form into balls about 2 inches in diameter. I ended up with 19 meatballs.

Turkey_Meatballs_PC

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs in batches and remove to plate.

Ok, sauce time:

In blender or food processor, add a can of fire roasted tomatoes, 1 cup of orange marmalade (I used a 13 oz. jar and it came out to exactly a cup. I prefer to use one without corn syrup.), 2-3 canned chipotles (use more or less, depending on how hot you like it), 1 tablespoon of the sauce from the chipotles, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 teaspoons cumin, 2 teaspoons oregano, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Pulse until smooth.

Chipotle_Sauce Blended

In the oil from the meatballs, sauté the onion until it turns translucent.

Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute.

Meatball_Onions_Browning

Return the meatballs to the pan on top of the onions. Pour the sauce over the meatballs. Toss a couple of bay leaves in and lock the cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain pressure and set the time for 7 minutes.

Turkey_Meatballs_Saufe

When time is up let the pressure come down naturally.

Serve with couscous (which is how I made it), rice or mashed potatoes.

Turkey_Meatballs_Finished2

Spicy Apricot Chicken
Print
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-5 servings
Ingredients
For The Meatballs
  • 2 pounds ground turkey (not all breast meat)
  • 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 3 tablespoons oil
For The Sauce
  • 1 can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 2-3 canned chipotle chiles (I used 3, you can use 2 if you like it milder)
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle sauce (from the can)
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
For The Meatballs
  1. In a bowl, mix all the Meatball ingredients except the oil
  2. Mix gently with hands, do not over-mix
  3. Form into balls approximately 2-inches diameter (I got 19 meatballs)
  4. In 3 tablespoons oil, brown meatballs working in batches
  5. Remove meatballs to plate
For The Sauce
  1. In blender or food processor mix first 12 ingredients (the tomatoes through the black pepper)
  2. Pulse until smooth
  3. Over medium-high heat, in the oil from the meatballs, sauté the onions until they are translucent
  4. Add the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes
  5. Place meatballs in pressure cooker on top of onions
  6. Pour sauce over meatballs
  7. Toss two bay leaves on top
  8. Put top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  9. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure
  10. Set time for 7 minutes
  11. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own
  12. Serve with rice, couscous or mashed potatoes

 

Here Comes Summer!

Celebrate The Beginning Of Summer The Pressure Cooker Way

I just realized that we are less than two weeks away from Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer. Time to get out the old grill and burn some burgers and dogs.

But what about those of us who aren’t able to grill or barbecue? Those of us that live in apartments with one small grill out by the pool that is shared by 69 other apartments? You can’t really count on it being available.

And what about if inclement weather puts a damper on your plans. This year, that seems like it may be likelier than in years past. I know friends in a couple different areas who had snow just this past weekend.

You probably saw this coming, but you could use your pressure cooker to make some of the classics that are usually associated with outdoor cooking.

And by gum, I just happen to have a few examples on this here blog.

Such as:

Pulled Pork

PORK-AND-SLAW

This North Carolina Style pulled pork may not be quite the same as smoking a whole hog for twelve hours, but it is still delicious and takes about an hour, to boot.

Pulled Turkey

Pulled_Turkey_Plate3

This one is based on a Central South Carolina, mustard-based sauce. The use of turkey breast instead of the usual pork, makes it a little leaner and a great alternative for non-pork eaters.

Chili Dogs

Coney_Sauce_Final2

 

Or cook up some wieners and top them with this tasty Coney Island Chili. Based on the chili at Coney Island restaurants that are plentiful in the Detroit area where I grew up, after some experimenting, I think this is a pretty reasonable facsimile.

Whether you do you cooking inside or out, I wish all of you a great holiday!

Pressure Cooker Salisbury Steak

The Classic School Lunch “Mystery Meat” Updated For The Pressure Cooker!

DSCF9112

This one brings back memories of sitting in the “cafetorium”, enjoying one of the rare occasions when I was allowed to buy “hot lunch” at school.

I am not even sure if I used to enjoy the school lunchroom’s salisbury steak. What I did enjoy was not having to take my embarrassing lunchbox to school.

Ah yes, the lunchbox. I remember it as if it were yesterday…

When I was in first grade, my mother saved up enough trading stamps (I am sure most of you don’t remember that concept) to order a lunchbox for me to carry my lunch to school. Since they were out of the one that was ordered, they sent what they believed was a suitable replacement.

When the delivery man arrived, I waited with anticipation as my mom opened the package and presented me with a pink-accented lunchbox with a fake picnic basket pattern, with a pink handle and pink butterflies on the lid and inside, and there on the front, emblazoned in an ornate script typeface was the word “Debutante”.

Ok, now I know that I am super-old, since I was able to find the lunch box online, in the Smithsonian Institute of all places. I will probably be joining it there soon. I hate to date myself like this, but maybe it will help you to understand why I was scarred for life by this particular lunchbox.

Debutante_Lunch_Box

Image from Smithsonian Institute Website, click image to go to site

I asked my mom what this word meant, since I was just in first grade and had not yet had a lot of exposure to debutantes. I am not sure if she actually gave me an answer. I seem to recall a lot of stammering on my mother’s part, followed my refusal to be seen in public with such a thing. In order to appease me, my parents went to the store to buy some Con-tact Paper (you may not remember that either, but it is actually still made), a self-adhesive covering often used to cover shelves and other things. The general rule was, if it is ugly, cover it with Contact Paper. In fact, I had a couple awkward years where I think my parents were considering wrapping my face in it. Anyway, my folks selected a manly dark woodgrain to cover my lunch box with. So, instead of carrying a frilly pink lunchbox, I carried what appeared to be a small rumpus room (the covering looked similar to the ugly wood paneling that everyone was covering their basement walls with where I grew up).

Anyway, I was always thrilled when my Mom would hand me two quarters in the morning (geez, I’m old, 50 cents for lunch?), to buy a hot lunch, which was often salisbury steak, with the obligatory mashed potatoes and either peas or corn.

Whether I actually liked it then or not is irrelevant, because it is now one of the ultimate comfort foods for me. So let’s make some!

DSCF9076

Mix together 2 pounds of ground beef, 2 eggs, 1 cup of panko bread crumbs, a tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce, a teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon of mustard powder, 1/4 teaspoon of paprika and a teaspoon of dried parsley. Mix with your hands until everything is blended, do not over mix.

DSCF9083

Divide into 4-6 ovals. I made 4, and I admit they were kind of huge, but I was hungry.

DSCF9089

In a couple tablespoons of oil, brown the steaks on both sides. Depending on the dimensions of your cooker, you may have to brown a couple at a time. I just barely could fit mine in my Fissler. It is ok if you overlap them when it is time to put them under pressure, but don’t crowd them when browning.

DSCF9091

Remove them to a plate, then sauté three onions (halved, then sliced). Cook until they just start to take on a bit of brown color.

DSCF9100

Add in 3 cloves of pressed garlic and sauté for another minute or two.

Add the meat back to the pressure cooker pot.

Now, add some salt and pepper, 2-1/2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce and 1 tablespoon Beef Flavor Better Than Bouillon (you can substitute 2-1/2 cups beef stock for the water and BTB). Add a little salt and pepper.

Place top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 8 minutes.

While dish is cooking, mix one tablespoon corn starch with one tablespoon water until smooth.

DSCF9104

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Be very careful, there is always a chance some of the liquid may spray out the vent.

DSCF9105

Remove the meat to a plate. Put the gravy over medium heat. Do not bring to a boil. Stir in the corn starch mixture and stir for one to one and a half minutes, until thickened. Do not get too aggressive with the stirring, too much and the gravy may get thin again.

You can also cut them in half the long way and have 8 decent size portions.

Taste, and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles and peas or corn.

DSCF9114

 

Pressure Cooker Salisbury Steak
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-8 servings
The school lunch classic made quicker in the pressure cooker
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 3 medium onions, halved and sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2-1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon Beef Better Than Bouillon (you can use 2-1/2 cups of beef stock instead of water and BTB)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, bread crumbs, eggs, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, parsley and 1 tablespoon of the Worcestershire Sauce
  2. Mix together with hands until just blended
  3. Form into 4-6 oval patties
  4. Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  5. Brown the patties on both sides (you may have to do 2-3 at a time, depending on the diameter of your cooker)
  6. Remove meat to a plate
  7. Sauté onions until they just start to pick up a little brown color (5-7 minutes)
  8. Add the garlic and sauté another minute or two
  9. Add the other tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce, the water and 1 tablespoon of Beef Better Than Bouillon (you can use 2-1/2 cups of beef stock in place of the water and BTB)
  10. Add a little salt and pepper
  11. Cover pressure cooker and turn heat to high
  12. Bring to high pressure
  13. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 8 minutes
  14. While dish is cooking, mix together 1 tablespoon corn starch and 1 tablespoon water
  15. When time is up, take pressure cooker from heat
  16. Let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes then do a quick release
  17. Remove the meat to a plate
  18. Place gravy over medium heat
  19. Stir in the corn starch mixture, don't bring to a boil
  20. Stir gently for 1-1/2 minutes, don't stir too vigorously as it could make the gravy get thin again
  21. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary
  22. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles and corn or peas

 

A Word On Pressure Cooker Maintenance

Pressure Cooker Maintenance. Do as I say, Not as I do! 

InstantPot_Gasket

I was reminded last week of the importance of checking your pressure cooker before each use. Sometimes I tend to get a bit lackadaisical until something happens that suddenly snaps me out of it. In this case it was nothing particularly dangerous, but if I could make a dumb mistake like this, who knows what else I am capable of?

I was cooking up a batch of rice to make some fried rice. I put the rice and liquid into my InstantPot electric pressure cooker, put on the top, set the timer and walked away for a bit. I went into the kitchen to check on it, and pressure still hadn’t been reached. “Hmmmm, it usually doesn’t take this long”, I thought. That was when I noticed steam was coming out from the entire circumference of the lid. I scratched my head for a second, then happened to glance to my right, where there in the dish rack was the silicone seal for my InstantPot. “Crap! How could I make such a rookie mistake?”

I turned off the cooker, removed the lid and found a mess. Soggy rice, a good deal of it stuck to the bottom of the pan. It wasn’t burnt fortunately, and I may have been able to salvage some of it, but it was such a mess and I was so angry with myself that into the trash it went, 1-1/2 cups of rice wasted.

Which brings me to the topic at hand. You should check out that everything is in working order before each use. Make sure the seal is inserted properly and that the valves and seals are moving as they should.

On one of my pressure cookers, the handles have a tendency to get a little loose. So that is another thing to check. If a handle is loose, tighten it. Loose handles and hot liquids are a recipe for disaster, as they say.

I still have scars on both my feet from a boiling water accident last year (not pressure cooker related, but another one of those “wake up calls”).

If you notice something is starting to look a bit worn, such as gaskets, o-rings, etc., order a new part and replace it.

On my first pressure cooker, which is approaching three years old. I have replaced every part on the lid over the past couple years. Gasket, o-ring, plastic valve parts, you name it. These are mostly moving parts and withstand high heat, so they wear out eventually.

By just giving everything a once over before each use, you will enjoy your pressure cooker for many (safe) years.

Pressure Cooker Steak Picado

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With Steak Picado

Steak Picado6

Living in Southern California, there is no shortage of Mexican food, and I have eaten many different dishes going by the moniker “Steak Picado”. Sometimes it is a skillet dish that seems more akin to fajitas or a stir-fry. But I was inspired for this recipe by  “Guisados“, a local place here in the Los Angeles area that was featured on one of the food shows I watch, or “my stories” as I call them. I don’t claim that this recipe is anything like theirs, but merely inspired by their idea of serving homestyle braises, which would simmer on the stove the entire afternoon. But through the magic of the pressure cooker, you can have a tasty, falling apart flank steak in a tangy sauce in about an hour. Perfect over rice, on warm tortillas, or a little of both!

Steak Picado Ingredients

I prefer to use Serrano chiles, which are a little hotter than Jalapeños, but I am led to believe that the Serrano chiles may not be as easy to find in some areas, whereas Jalapeños can be found just about everywhere, so feel free to use the Jalapeños. I leave the seeds in when I chop them, but you can remove the seeds if you prefer a milder flavor.

Flank Steak Pan

This recipe is for approximately 2-2.5 pounds of flank steak. The flank steak that I used was unusually large at about 2-1/4 pounds, but you may need to use two smaller ones.

Start out by browning the steak on both sides in a couple tablespoons of oil, then remove it to a plate.

Flank Steak Browning

Sauté some chopped onions, green peppers and the Serrano or Jalapeño chiles until the onions just start to take on a little brown color, then add in the garlic and continue for another minute or so.

Steak Picado Sauteed Veggies

Add in 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, 1 tablespoon of chili powder of your choice (I like to use Penzey’s Chili 9000), 2 teaspoons of cumin and 1 teaspoon oregano.

Stir for a minute or so until the spices become fragrant.

Pour in a can of roasted tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-Tel, but I used Trader Joe’s brand).

Steak Picado Sauce

Pour in 1/2 cup beer and 1/2 cup water, then add 1 teaspoon of beef flavored Better Than Bouillon. You can add 1/2 cup beef stock in place of the water and Better Than Bouillon if you prefer.

Top it off with a couple of bay leaves, then put the top on the pressure cooker.

Steak Picado Pre Cook

Bring to high pressure, adjusting heat once high pressure is reached to maintain.

Set time for 40 minutes. I know this may sound like a long time, but it should give you that good, falling apart texture that requires hours of braising without the pressure cooker.

Steak Picado Finished

When time is up, remove the meat to a plate. Put the sauce back on medium-high heat and let it cook down a bit (around 7-8 minutes, until the meat is ready to add back in).

Let the meat rest for five minutes, then cut into approximately 1-inch chunks. Some of the meat will probably fall apart in shreds. That’s fine. This is a rustic recipe, as they say when things don’t quite work out as planned.

Steak Picado Chopped

Stir the meat back into the sauce, then remove from the heat.

Serve with rice and warm tortillas.

Steak Picado1

 

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Pressure Cooker Steak Picado
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Mexican
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 large portions
Mexican-style braised flank steak with a medium spice level. Excellent for tacos.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2-2.5 pounds flank steak (1 large or two small steaks)
  • 1 onion, halved then sliced
  • 2 green peppers, cut in strips
  • 2-3 serrano or jalapeño chiles, chopped (remove seeds if you want it to be milder)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 can roasted tomatoes with green chiles
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup beer
  • 1 teaspoon beef flavored Better Than Bouillon
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Brown steak on both sides (depending on pressure cooker size, you may need to cut steak in 2 or 3 pieces)
  3. Remove meat to a plate
  4. Sauté the onions, green peppers and chiles until onions start to show a bit of brown
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  6. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and oregano
  7. Stir for about 30 seconds until spices become fragrant
  8. Pour in the roasted tomatoes with chiles
  9. Add the water and beer
  10. Stir everything together
  11. Stir in the teaspoon of Beef Better Than Bouillon (or substitute ½ cup beef stock for the water and Better Than Bouillon)
  12. Add the meat back to the pot
  13. Toss the bay leaves on top
  14. Lock cover on the pressure cooker
  15. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  16. When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure
  17. Set time for 40 minutes
  18. When time is up let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  19. Remove meat to a plate and let it rest for five minutes
  20. While meat is resting, put sauce back on medium high heat and bring to a simmer
  21. Let simmer for five minutes
  22. After meat has rested for five minutes, cut into approximately one-inch chunks. Some of the meat might end up shredded when you try to cut in cubes, that is fine.
  23. Stir the cut meat back into the sauce and remove from heat
  24. Serve with rice, beans and warm tortillas