Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 72 hours ago!
What’s the opposite of Sneak Peek? A lot of times my Wednesday posts are Sneak Peek posts, but this week I am kind of putting the finishing touches on the past weekend’s post, since I posted it before I had the final, plated, photo.
The internet wasn’t very helpful on this point. So, redux it is.
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned, our continuing heat wave here has forced me to be an early riser so I can get cooking in the morning on weekends, before the temps inside our apartment reach 90 degrees. I think I have also mentioned before that we have no air conditioning. When renting an apartment in the area where I live, the landlords are fond of saying “Oh, you don’t need it. It’s nice and cool near the ocean!”
Um, maybe in the ocean, but not two miles away, and certainly not this year.
Anyway, because of this wacky schedule, I often post my recipe before I actually have it on the plate for serving so that I can get the recipe up in a timely manner, so the original post doesn’t have a nicely plated (well, nicely for me) recipe complete with serving suggestion photo.
So, I guess I have said all that to say this. Here is a picture of my swiss steak, as served on Sunday evening.
Even though it was a little warm by the time we were eating this, it seemed to be one of my wife’s favorite things that I have made recently.
And she told me that when she was warming it up at work for lunch the next day she was getting a lot of “That smells good!” type comments.
Sometimes it is difficult for me to be objective because these recipes are all my babies and I love them all. Well, except for that middle recipe. It’s the black sheep.
And if you missed the recipe on the weekend, you can find it right here.
I don’t know if there is actually anything Swiss about this dish. According to Wikipedia there actually is a way of preparing steak in Switzerland that is similar to this, but I don’t know if I’m buying it.
My guess is that tenderizing the meat by poking holes in it recalls Swiss Cheese, but that is just my guess.
This is something I grew up with. I don’t think I have seen it once since I have been on the West Coast, but in Michigan we probably had it once a week or so the entire time I was growing up.
Speaking of the West Coast, temperatures are still in the nineties, so once again I got up early to do my cooking. I have posted salad recipes for the past few weeks, but from what I hear, it is actually seeming like Autumn in parts of the country (and the rest of the world), so I thought I would prepare something a bit more Autumn-y for those of you not sweating in a hot apartment.
I used top round, but bottom round or chuck will work fine. Sirloin would work, but that’s getting into spendy territory, which you are probably trying to avoid if you are making this type of dish.
Start by taking 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of meat and cut into serving-size pieces, which would probably be 4 pieces for 1-1/2 pounds and about 6 pieces for 2 pounds. I did this by cutting my steak in half, so I have two pieces. Now, cut each of these pieces horizontally through the center so that it is half as thick as before. The goal is to end up with four equal-sized pieces, which I failed miserably at.
Now, go to town on them with one of these poundy poky things:
You don’t need to get it super-thin, you just want to get all the meat to a fairly uniform thickness.
Slice a couple small onions. I used “The Widowmaker” (my nickname for my mandoline). This will make short work of those onions (and anything else that you might get a little too close to it).
Slice a large green pepper into thin strips and press a couple cloves of garlic.
The “smoky” part of this Swiss Steak comes from using fire-roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika.
In a couple tablespoons of coconut oil (or any cooking oil), brown the steak lightly on both sides. It is pretty thin at this point, so you don’t want to overdo it. Do a couple at a time so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Remove to a plate.
Add the onions and peppers to the pan (adding a bit more oil if necessary) and sauté until they start to soften a bit. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so.
Add just a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan. Now, pour in a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, some Worcestershire sauce, the smoked paprika, a little dried thyme and some salt and pepper.
Add the meat to the pan and toss in a couple bay leaves.
Lock the cover on the pan and turn heat to high.
Bring it to high pressure, then adjust heat to maintain high pressure.
Set the time for 20 minutes.
When the time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
If you would like the sauce a bit thicker, put over medium-high heat for 5-7 minutes until it cooks down to desired thickness.
Ok, I was able to control my pressure cooker habit this time…barely
I came this close to being the proud papa of twins (pressure cookers, that is!).
I know, I have mentioned before that I have a bit of a problem when it comes to pressure cookers. A fondness bordering on obsession.
The latest episode in my ongoing battle against my pressure cooker addiction occurred just this past weekend.
It began innocently enough. I was at the market just to purchase something for dinner. Granted, it was an upscale “gourmet” market, but a market nonetheless. Why would I go to such a swanky shop to purchase a simple dinner, you might ask? Well, I have a broken foot that is still on the mend, I don’t own a car and it is the closest store. I don’t think they have them outside of California, but Bristol Farms can get a bit spendy. But like I said, it is the closest store. Why didn’t I go to the second closest store? Well, it’s a Whole Foods. So it was basically one of those six of one, half a dozen of the other type deals.
So back to my near moment of weakness. In addition to having a plethora of gourmet food items and an aisle and a half of craft beers, in the “housewares” aisle, where a normal grocery store might have cheap cutlery and ten-dollar nonstick fry pans, in this place you are just as likely to find Fissler and Vitamix products.
And it was a Fissler product that almost brought me down.
As I was approaching the store, I saw several tables out front with signage that read “Sidewalk Sale”. Besides the fact that it was bugging me that they were calling it a sidewalk sale, when in fact it was in the parking lot, I approached it anyway just to have a look. There were also signs that said that everything there was 50% off the marked price.
As I got closer, my eye was drawn to a Fissler pressure pan set, the exact same pan set I already have, but it was so shiny. Well, the picture on the box was shiny, as the pan was brand new, still in box, never opened. OMG, as the kids say these days.
The price marked on the box was $280, which was about what I paid for it, and which meant that the pressure pan could be procured for $140!
How could I pass up such a deal? Do I really need a duplicate pressure cooker? Could I buy it and sell it on eBay (though I knew I would figure out some reason why it would be better to keep it)? These thoughts and many others were whirling in my head. I looked down and to my right, and noticed that my hand, which I apparently had no control over at this point, was being drawn as if by a powerful magnet to my right front pocket. Yes, my “wallet” pocket!
I was not thinking clearly. I was finally able to regain enough presence of mind to grasp my right arm with my left hand, pull it away from the pocket area, lift it up above my shoulder and slap myself in the face with it!
“SNAP OUT OF IT MAN! YOU DO NOT NEED TWO IDENTICAL PRESSURE COOKERS!”
Still shaking slightly, I managed to make my way inside the store to purchase my dinner. But on the way out, I exited through the other door, and took the long way around the building to avoid passing by the “sidewalk” sale.
I can’t say that hours passed without thinking “I wonder if it’s still there?”, but I didn’t go back to check the entire weekend.
Black Bean and Corn Salad With A Spicy Chipotle Dressing
After a few slightly cooler days, and even some (gasp!) rain, we seem to be back in salad mode, at least for a couple more days. So once again I am limited to cooking in the wee hours. And once again I am a bit behind on my post. Between the heat and my broken foot, I am still trying to get back to the proper schedule. I start physical therapy next week, so I am at least on the road to normality, but for now I am still clomping around the kitchen like Frankenstein (yes, I know technically like Frankenstein’s monster, Frankenstein being the doctor, but everyone always calls the monster Frankenstein, so I will too).
This week I have another salad post. This time it is a Black Bean Corn Salad with a Chipotle-Lime Vinaigrette.
The Mexican/Southwest flavors give this dish a kick, and the cooling tomatoes and avocado make it perfect for warmer days. It can be served as a side with a meat dish, or just add some tortilla chips and make it a meal in itself.
I like to get the beans and corn ready in the morning and assemble the salad when it’s time to eat.
I have always found the beans turn out much more uniform when soaked overnight. I know some prefer not to soak, but that will mess up the timing for this recipe, so soaking it is.
The two items that need to be cooked in the pressure cooker (beans and corn) can be done together, saving some time.
Put the black beans in the pressure cooker pot with 3 cups of water and add 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 bay leaves. Add a splash of oil to help reduce foaming.
The corn should be wrapped in foil and somehow suspended above the beans, out of the water. I used a trivet from one of my cookers and laid the corn packet across it. You could also use a daisy style steam tray, or kludge something together using a heavy aluminum pie plate or anything you can come up with, as long as it is food-safe. Unfortunately this is one occasion where duct tape should probably not be your first choice.
I did this in my Instant Pot, 12 minutes at high pressure. When time is up let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. Immediately transfer both corn and beans to a colander and rinse with cold water until they are cool. Depending on the freshness of your beans, time can vary a little. Taste your beans first and put under pressure for another minute or two if needed before rinsing.
You can put this in the refrigerator if you are doing this ahead. Otherwise, set beans and corn aside for now.
To assemble the salad, add beans and corn to a large bowl. Add in a jar of fire-roasted red pepper, chopped. Of course you can make your own roasted red peppers if you like. One large one should do. Add 1/2 of a chopped red onion and 8-10 ounces of Roma style tomatoes. I used a bag of mini Marzano tomatoes that I have been seeing at the store lately. Cut them in a rough dice.
In a blender or food processor, mix together all of the dressing ingredients and pulse a few times until smooth.
Pour the dressing into the salad and give it a toss. Finally, add the avocado and gently mix. I add the avocado last to keep it reasonably intact.
Add some salt and pepper to taste.
You can serve as a side, but I like to eat it as a main course with some tortilla chips.
Zesty Latin and Southwest Flavors and cooling avocado combine to make a zesty warm weather meal
For The Dressing
½ Cup Olive Oil
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Honey
1-2 Canned Chipotle Chiles, chopped
2 Teaspoons of the Chipotle Sauce
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ Teaspoon Salt
For the Salad
2 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight
1-1/2 cups frozen corn
½ 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers, chopped
½ red onion, chopped
8-10 ounces fresh Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
Salt and Pepper
For The Dressing
Combine all dressing ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use
For The Salad
Put soaked beans in pressure cooker with 3 cups of water
Add 2 teaspoons salt and a couple bay leaves
Add a splash of oil to reduce foaming
Wrap frozen corn tightly in foil and put on a rack above the beans. I used a trivet stand, but it you don't have one that will work, you could use a standard daisy type steam tray or fashion something out of a sturdy foil pie pan
Lock top on the pressure cooker and set for 12 minutes at high pressure
When time is up, let pressure come down on its own
Remove beans (test for doneness first) and corn to a colander and rinse immediately with cold water
You can make this early and refrigerate until you are ready to assemble the salad
Add beans and corn to a large bowl
Add the onions, peppers, and tomatoes
Pour the dressing over vegetables and toss until well mixed
Add avocado last and toss lightly to keep avocado intact.
A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Green Papaya Salad
I had no idea how difficult it would be to find a green papaya to use for this salad that I was all set to make for dinner. But difficult it was. So difficult that I finally gave up and switched gears, ending up with a rice noodle salad instead. Except for the papaya, I used all the ingredients that I had planned on using, but with rice noodles instead.
I know that this hardly counts as a “pressure cooker” recipe, since cooking the green beans one minute under pressure does not a pressure cooker recipe make, but I consider this the second half of my Thai Chicken recipe from the weekend, so I was able to justify it somewhat.
This shares many of the same flavors as the chicken, so it should go well with it.
First, cook the noodles according to the package directions. I made the entire package, since there is no way to divide up the package before cooking without making a mess, because it comes in kind of a brick shape, but you will only need about half or a bit more.
Now, for the part that makes this a pressure cooker recipe, trim and cut the green beans.
Put 1-1/2 cups water and the steam tray in your pressure cooker. Add the green beans and lock the top on the pressure cooker. Set the time for 1 minute. When the time is up, do a quick release.
Immediately transfer the beans to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking. And so ends the pressure cooker portion of our recipe.
Now, combine some fish sauce, lime, Sriracha, honey and garlic. Pulse that a few times in a blender or food processor.
In a large bowl, mix the noodles, about 20 cherry or grape tomatoes (halved), 1/2 cup peanuts, some chopped cilantro and the drained beans.
Toss everything together, then pour in the dressing and continue to toss until it is pretty well mixed together.
A Hot Weather Take On The Thai Chicken Classic Ping Gai
Once again I am running behind a bit on getting my post up. The reason for this is that there is only a small window of time in which I can do any cooking. I need to get my cooking done in the early morning hours before the apartment becomes too hot to even stay inside, let alone do any cooking. Which is why my most recent recipes are things that can be made quickly and can usually be served cold.
I made this especially to be served with a green papaya rice noodle salad, which I will post the recipe for this coming Wednesday. The reason I didn’t post it along with the chicken is that I haven’t made it yet. And though the salad includes just the tiniest bit of pressure cooker use, I think that it is close enough to include it on this blog.
This chicken is in no way authentic, I was just looking for inspiration and came across the grilled chicken dish known ad Ping Gai, also called Kai Yang. I have incorporated some of the flavors of this dish, but it is not grilled, and I serve it chilled. If you are one of those people who do not like cilantro, this is not for you, as the cilantro is definitely the predominant flavor here.
I normally stay away from boneless skinless chicken breasts because they tend to be dry and flavorless, but using the pressure cooker it is possible to infuse both moisture and flavor into this usually bland cut of meat. I usually prefer chicken thighs, but for some reason breast just seems to work best in salads.
So basically, you just throw everything except the chicken and coconut oil into the blender of food processor and pulse it 2-3 times. You don’t want it to be completely liquified, you want the cilantro to be finely chopped.
Put a few tablespoons of coconut oil into the pressure cooker pan over medium-high heat. Lightly brown the chicken on both sides. Work in batches if they don’t all fit at once. If they do all fit, there is no need to remove them from the pan. If done in batches, return them to the pot and pour the cilantro mixture over the chicken.
Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure. Once high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain pressure and set time for 12 minutes.
When time is up, do a quick release. Let chicken cool some, then transfer to a container and refrigerate until dinner time.
Check back on Wednesday for the accompanying salad!
The Argentinian Favorite Matambre Done Pressure Cooker Quick
Don’t cry for me, Argentina, I think my version of your national dish turned out pretty well!
So, what’s the difference between Bracciole, Rouladen, Matambre and various other rolled meat dishes? A lot of it has to do with the filling and the sauce. I have made Rouladen plenty of times before, and there are some similarities, except that the Rouladen is made as smaller, individual rolls, whereas the Matambre is one large roll that is then sliced into individual pieces.
The tricky part of this recipe is butterflying the flank steak. If you have a butcher who will do this for you, take advantage of it. Don’t be a hero! If you do it yourself, you will end up with a few tears (you can read this as either word that shares this spelling, they both will be true). Fortunately the meat I bought had another smaller piece with it, so that I was able to make a couple patches to fix the holes that I wound up with. If you don’t happen to have a meat patch kit, just push together as best you can.
For the butterflying, lay the meat on a cutting board with the grain running vertically as you are looking at it. With a sharp knife (I used a boning knife), carefully slice through the center, stopping about an inch away from the edge, so that you can open it like a book.
Open it up and cover with plastic wrap.
Using a flat mallet, pound until it is all a uniform thickness (it does not have to be super thin, just try to get it even).
Now, turn the meat 90 degrees so that the grain is running horizontally.
Sprinkle the meat with salt, pepper and oregano.
Sprinkle on the chopped garlic.
Arrange thin slices of onion on steak, leaving about an inch on all sides.
Lay the spinach leaves over the onions. I bought the pre-washed, bagged spinach to make things easy.
Arrange the carrots in rows going across the meat horizontally. I kept the carrots whole since they were small, but next time I will cut them in half because the thicker parts were a little crunchier than I prefer. Also, I didn’t peel them, because they were small and I didn’t want to peel away most of the carrot. If your carrots are larger, you can peel them and cut into quarters.
Next, place the whole boiled eggs near the center in a single row.
Sprinkle olives around, over the top of the other fillings.
Get about 6 pieces of cooking twine ready, long enough to fit around the rolled steak.
Starting at the bottom, roll the meat toward the top, jelly roll style, keeping it tight.
When you are finished rolling it, place the seam on the bottom.
Using the cooking twine, tie it near each end, then tie 3-4 times in between.
Add 1-1/2 cups water to the pressure cooker pot and turn heat to high. This recipe works best in a wider pressure cooker, but roll can be cut into 2 pieces to fit into a narrower cooker. I cooked this in my Fissler, and I was barely able to fit it in one piece with a little bending.
Stir in 1 teaspoon of beef base (I use better than bouillon) and a little salt and pepper. The beef base has quite a bit of salt, so you won’t need much. You can substitute 1-1/2 cups of beef stock for the water and beef base. Add a splash of red wine.
Add the matambre into the pressure cooker pot, seam side down.
Add two bay leaves then lock the cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure.
When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 16 minutes.
When time is up, remove pressure cooker from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
Let the matambre rest for at least 10 minutes. It can also be cooled and served at room temperature.
Slice into 1-inch slices. Can be served with or without some of the pan sauce. I served it cool, so didn’t use any of the pan sauce.
Traditionally, matambre is served with chimichurri sauce, but I was too lazy to make some. If you would like to make some, here is a recipe from a reliable source. There are a lot of other recipes online if you would like to try a different one.
I just served the sliced room temperature matambre with some roasted red potatoes and it was just right for the relatively warm (but not super hot) temperatures we have been having this week.
It’s hard to believe that it is almost the end of summer. With the weather we have been having lately, it’s even harder to believe. It seems to finally getting back down to reasonable temperatures just in time to cook up some tasty treats for the last big blast of the summer!
Here are a few recipes using the pressure cooker so that your Labor Day can be less laborious.