Pressure Cooker Tomato Beet Salad

Beet The Heat With This Tasty Salad!

Beet Salad Plate

Since I didn’t want to go yet another week without posting a recipe, I had to come up with something I could make utilizing the pressure cooker in this crazy heat wave we have been having, so I came up with this tomato beet salad with pickled onions, goat cheese and candied pecans.

My wife is not a huge fan of beets (in other words, she doesn’t like them), but if I dress them up with enough accoutrements, such as pickled onions, tomatoes and goat cheese, she can tolerate them.

Thermostat

By doing the cooking part at 8 AM, when it was a mere 80 degrees in our apartment, by the time dinner time came around the cooked components were cooled and it was just a matter of assembling the salad.

I did all the cooking in the instant pot. Even though the onions aren’t cooked under pressure, I used the Instant Pot so I only had to dirty one pot. So I’m happy, the wife’s happy, it’s a win-win!

I used seven smallish beets which came out to about 1-1/4 pounds. Trim the leaves off, leaving about 1/2 inch of the stem attached. Doing this will keep the beets from bleeding while cooking and will help to keep your kitchen from ending up looking like a venue which recently played host to the Red Wedding.

Beets

Pour 1-1/2 cups water into the pot and insert the steam tray. I could have used the tray that came with the instant pot, but opted to use the “daisy” style tray that most of us have.

Place the beets in the tray, lock the cover on the pot and set the time for 20 minutes. As I said, these beets were on the smaller side, if your beets are larger, you may have to add 4-5 minutes.

While the beets are cooking, you can get the red onion ready to go. I used the second-thinnest setting and sliced them on my mandoline, which I refer to as “The Widowmaker”, after a treacherous trip to the ER in which my thumb was spewing a stream of blood reminiscent of a Monty Python sketch. Which leads me to caution you to always use the safety guard, kids, or at the very least, a kevlar glove!

When the time is up for the beets, let the pressure come down on its own.

Carefully remove the beets to a plastic cutting board and let them cool for a few minutes while you work on the pickled onions.

Rinse out the inner pot of the cooker, and replace.

Pour 1 cup cider vinegar, or a mixture of vinegars. I used mostly cider vinegar, but added a little sherry vinegar because I didn’t have a full cup of cider vinegar left. Also add 1 cup of water, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of pickling spice. Next,  add 2 tablespoons of sugar. Set the pressure cooker to sauté mode on the high setting and bring to a boil, stirring often until the sugar and salt are dissolved.

Onion Liquid

Turn off cooker and let cool for about 2 minutes.

Strain the liquid through a strainer into a bowl to remove the pickling spices, Add the sliced onions to the bowl and let them sit until cooled, about ten minutes or so.

Onions Liquid

Transfer the onions and liquid to a jar or other container and refrigerate. I did this in the morning, so they had all day to steep. If you plan on doing this later in the day, refrigerate them for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Now that the beets are cooled, you can easily rub the skins off with a paper towel. Put in a container and refrigerate until ready to use. I like to wait until assembling the salad to cut them into pieces.

Now, let’s assemble this thing.

Cherry Tomatoes

Take a pint of halved heirloom cherry tomatoes, all one color or mixed, (regular cherry tomatoes will do as well) and place in a bowl.

Cut the beets into quarters (if larger, cut int 6-8 pieces). Add these in with the tomatoes.

Take about half of the pickled onions out of the jar with a fork and add to the other vegetables.

Onions Jar

Pour about 4 tablespoons of the onion liquid and two tablespoons olive oil into the salad and gently mix together.

Crumble a 4 ounce package of goat cheese and a few ounces of candied pecans (pecans are optional).

Beet Salad Bowl

Gently toss once more and serve on plates or in bowls. Add salt and pepper to taste.

I would recommend serving on top of greens such as butter lettuce, which I would have done if I had remembered to buy some (c’mon Michael), but it was still delicious, but not quite as pretty.

Pressure Cooker Tomato Beet Salad
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Ingredients
  • 7-8 beets (about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds), leaves trimmed with ½" of stems left on top
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 4-ounce package goat cheese
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar (can use a mixture of apple cider vinegar and sherry vinegar)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons pickling spice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pint heirloom cherry tomatoes (regular will work), halved
  • 2 ounces of pre-made candied pecans (available at most markets, optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Place steam tray in pressure cooker with 1-1/2 cups water.
  2. Add beets to steam tray
  3. Lock cover on pressure cooker and set time for 20 minutes at high pressure
  4. When time is up, remove beets to a plastic cutting board and let them cool
  5. Rinse inner pot of pressure cooker and replace
  6. To pressure cooker pot, add the vinegar, water, sugar, pickling spice and ½ teaspoon salt
  7. Set sauté setting on pressure cooker to high
  8. Bring to a boil, stirring often until sugar and salt are dissolved
  9. Turn off PC and let liquid cool for 2 minutes
  10. Strain liquid into a bowl
  11. Add onions to liquid, tossing to make sure all onion is coated
  12. Let set for about 10 minutes
  13. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, and up to overnight
  14. Rub the beets with paper towel to remove skins, and break off stems and tips
  15. Place beets in a container and refrigerate until you assemble the salad
  16. When you are ready to put the salad together, cut the beets into 4-8 chunks each, depending on how large your beets are and put them in a serving bowl
  17. Add the halved tomatoes in with the beets
  18. Add the onions to the tomatoes and beets (I used about half of the onions, you can save the rest for other uses)
  19. Add in four tablespoons of the onion pickling liquid and 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  20. Toss gently, and add salt and pepper to taste
  21. Crumble the goat cheese on top and toss on the candied pecans
  22. Lightly toss cheese and pecans into the salad
  23. Serve on greens such as butter lettuce

Pressure Cooker Shrimp Boil

Shrimp Boil – A Quick Summer Meal

Shrimp Boil Plate1

Is this even a recipe? I don’t know, but it is quick and tasty. And it is about all I could muster in these near triple-digit temperatures we’ve been having. Besides a little rough chopping, everything is dumped in the pressure cooker pot and cooked under pressure for 4 minutes. Even in my 90 degree apartment, the pressure cooker and the 4 minute cooking time didn’t even make it feel any hotter. The traditional Seafood Boil is usually cooked outdoors in a large pot, but if you are only feeding four or so and don’t have access to a giant pot, or you don’t have access to cooking outdoors as applies to many of us urban apartment dwellers, the pressure cooker can be a suitable stand-in.

Shrimp Boil IngredientsBasically, you just take all the ingredients and add them to the pressure cooker. I used my 7 litre Kuhn Rikon, but I am pretty sure it would fit in a 6 quart as many of the electric cookers are. Anything smaller than that would definitely be too small.

Shrimp Boil Garlic

Here are the ingredients, listed in the order in which to dump them in the cooker:

16 ounces of beer (Use a lager or something similar.  I haven’t tried an IPA, but I am guessing that would work fairly well. Just don’t use anything dark, that would not lend itself to this recipe).

1 heaping tablespoon of Old Bay Seasoning. Most grocery stores should have this. It is a must for recipes such as this one, or for crab cakes. I always have some on hand.

Shrimp Boil Onions

1 teaspoon of crushed red peppers, the same kind that you sprinkle on pizza (at least that’s what I do, don’t you?).

About 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

A few grinds of black pepper

2 medium onions, cut into chunks. I cut each one into 8 pieces.

8 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed slightly with the side of the knife

Shrimp Boil Potatoes

About a pound of tiny potatoes. I used “pee wee” potatoes. If you cannot find any that small, just use the smallest you can find and cut in halves or quarters. They will need to be small enough to cook in the allotted time.

4 ears of sweet corn, cut into thirds. I used white, because it looked better than the yellow at my grocery store, but yellow is fine as well.

Veggies_Sausage

A 12-ounce package of smoked sausage. I used Andouille, but Kielbasa will work as well. Make sure it is the fully cooked kind, which almost all Andouille and Kielbasa is.

1-1/2 pounds of large shrimp. I bought ones with shells still on, but heads removed. I recommend using shell-on because it adds a lot of flavor. I admit they can be a bit of a pain to peel while you are eating them, but the yumminess more than makes up for it.

Shrimp Boil Before Cooking

So, you just add all of this to your pressure cooker, lock on the top, turn the heat to high and bring to high pressure.

When you hit high pressure, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and set the timer for 4 minutes.

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

Shrimp Boil Cooked

Serve in bowls or on plates and pour a little of the liquid on top.

I accompany with some melted butter and some Tabasco Sauce, along with French or Sourdough baguette.

Pressure Cooker Shrimp
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
The classic southern seafood boil, in a quick pressure cooker version
Ingredients
  • 1 16 ounce can beer
  • 1 heaping tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 sweet onions, cut in chunks
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
  • About a pound of tiny potatoes, or larger potatoes cut into chunks
  • 4 ears of corn, cut into thirds
  • 12 ounces (fully cooked) smoked sausage such as Andouille or Kielbasa
  • 1-1/2 pounds fresh shrimp (in shells, heads removed)
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to pressure cooker pot (in order listed)
  2. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  3. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain pressure
  4. Set timer for five minutes
  5. When time is up, remove pot from heat and do a quick release
  6. Serve on plates with french or sourdough baguettes

 

Ground Beef Curry

Is it Keema Curry? Is it Dry Curry? I Call It Ground Beef Curry.

Ground Beef Curry1

I’ll just call it Ground Beef Curry for now. I set out to duplicate the filling of an Aussie Curry Pie that I had recently, but once I started getting the recipe figured out I realized that without the pie element it is basically the same as Indian Keema Curry or Japanese Dry Curry, but it is still tasty nonetheless.

After spending the week trying to get everything just right, I started coming up with different ways to serve this, just to have a little variety. And this  made me discover just how versatile this ground beef curry can be.

Ground Beef Curry Sliders

I started out more traditionally with Curry and Rice. By the end of the week I was getting a little crazy. My Ground Beef Curry Poutine was my favorite, but the sliders I had tonight were great as well.

Ground Beef Curry Poutine

A little different from typical curries which can be quite “saucy”, this is almost like Indian Sloppy Joes. The possibilities are endless (ok, maybe not exactly endless, but it is quite versatile). If you have any ideas how to use it, let me know!

So, here’s how to make it:

Ground Beef Curry Ingredients

Heat a few tablespoons of coconut oil over medium-high heat in pressure cooker pot. Any oil will do (well, maybe not Quaker State), but I prefer coconut oil with this recipe.

Lightly brown a couple pounds of ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks.

Ground Beef

When the beef is browned, drain most of the fat, leaving enough to sauté the onion.

Scooch (you heard me, scooch) the beef to one side and add a diced onion.

Sauté the onion until it starts to soften, then add 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, run through a press,  and sauté for another minute or so.

Ground Beef with Onions

Stir together the meat, onion and garlic and add in the 1 tablespoon Curry Powder, a tablespoon of Garam Masala, 1 teaspoon of Cayenne (less if you don’t like it so “Zesty”) and 1/2 teaspoon Salt and 1/4 teaspoon black Pepper.

Let it cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring the spices into the beef mixture.

Ground Beef Curry Spices

At this point pour in a cup of tomato sauce and 1/2 cup water, along with the a teaspoon of beef base (I use Better Than Bouillon, but you can substitute 1/2 cup of beef stock for the water and BTB).

Ground Beef Curry Pre Cook

Add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce, a tablespoon of soy sauce and a cup of frozen peas, then give it a stir. Peas should still be frozen, no need to thaw.

Drop 2 bay leaves on top, wave goodbye, and lock the cover on the pressure cooker.

Turn the heat to high and bring the pressure cookers to high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and set your timer for 5 minutes.

When time is up, remove the pot from heat and do a quick release.

The curry should be fairly thick, not saucy (about the consistency of Sloppy Joes). If it seems too liquid, you can place it over medium high heat for a few minutes to reduce a bit.

Ground Beef Curry Cooked

Discard bay leaf and serve with rice, pita bread, naan or fries. I think my favorite way to serve this was my Poutine I made with it a couple days ago. For this, serve it over french fries with some cheese curds and sliced hard boiled egg on top. I had the Ground Beef Curry quite a few times this week, but I still have a hankerin’ (did I really say hankerin”?) for the Ground Beef Curry Poutine.

The printable recipe is right here:

Ground Beef Curry
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Asian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, put through a press
  • 1 tablespoon Madras Curry Powder
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon beef base (I use Better Than Bouillon, ½ cup beef stock can be used instead of the water and beef base)
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat in pressure cooker pot
  2. Lightly brown the ground beef, breaking it up as it cooks
  3. When beef is browned, drain most of the fat, leaving enough to sauté the onion
  4. Move beef to one side and add the onion
  5. Sauté the onion until it starts to soften
  6. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  7. Stir together the meat, onion and garlic
  8. Add in the Curry Powder, Garam Masala, cayenne and salt and pepper
  9. Cook for 30 seconds or so, stirring the spices into the beef mixture
  10. Pour in the tomato sauce and water, along with the beef base
  11. Add the Worcestershire Sauce, soy sauce and frozen peas and give it a stir
  12. Drop 2 bay leaves on top and lock the cover on the pressure cooker
  13. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  14. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 5 minutes
  15. When time is up, remove from heat and do a quick release
  16. It should be fairly thick, not saucy (about the consistency of Sloppy Joes). If it seems too liquid, you can place over medium high heat for a few minutes to reduce a bit.
  17. Discard bay leaf and serve with rice, pita bread, naan or fries.

 

Pressure Cooker Soutzoukakia

Soutzoukakia? Just Call Them Greek Meatballs!

Soukzoukakia_Closeup

I think I make meatballs almost as often as I make chili, and like chili there is an almost endless variety of flavors and styles.

Sometimes called “sausages”, Soutzoukakia are actually more of a torpedo shape than actual balls, though you could shape these into balls if you like, but this is the traditional shape

Soukzoukakia_Formed

I got the idea for these the same way I get a lot of my inspiration, from watching TV. I think it was Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives this time. At a Greek Restaurant they were putting these together and I thought “That looks good!”, and the next thing I know I’ve got a pressure cooker full of Soutzoukakia on the stove.

Greek flavors such as cumin, cinnamon and mint set these apart from other meatballs. And as you are preparing these and have the fresh mint and the cinnamon and all the various ingredients out, your kitchen is going to smell great!

Soutzoukakia_Spices

I know some people are not crazy about mint, but don’t be tempted to leave it out. I, too am not very fond of mint flavoring in candy, ice cream or pretty much any other pastry or confection. In fact, when my wife asks if I want any type of mint flavored treat, my usual response is “No thanks, I don’t care for toothpaste flavored food.”

But fresh mint, that’s a whole different ballgame. It gives such a fresh aroma and flavor to whatever it is used in. So, give mint a chance!

Let’s make the meatballs first

Soutzoukakia_Ingredients_Meat
In a food processor or blender, place 1/2 of a large chopped onion, a small handful of parsley, a small handful of mint and 4 cloves of crushed garlic and pulse it a few times. You don’t want it to be completely liquid, just kind of grated. I don’t like big chunks of onion and leaves in my meatballs, but you still want that flavor.

Soutzoukakia_Herbs_Ground

In a bowl, mix together the 2 pounds of ground beef, 1 beaten egg, 1 cup of bread crumbs (I used Panko), 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese (I used the “green can” type, please don’t think less of me) , 2 tablespoons red wine, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Add in the onion mixture.

Soukzoukakia_Mixed

Mix the whole deal together with your hands until everything is combined. Don’t be too vigorous with the mixing, or you may end up with tough meatballs.

Pop it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to let those flavors get friendly with each other.

Remove the meat from the refrigerator and form it into twelve oblong rolls (torpedo shaped). I make them fairly large. You can make them smaller if you like.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.

Working in batches, brown the meat rolls on all sides and remove them to a plate.

Soukzoukakia_Browning

Now it’s time to get saucy

Soutzoukakia_Ingredients_Sauce

In the oil from the meat, sauté a finely chopped shallot until it starts to soften.

Shallot_Browning

Add in the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon of allspice, and sauté for 30 seconds or so.

Pour in a 26 ounce box (or can) of crushed or strained tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste and 1/2 cup of red wine.

Soukzoukakia_Sauce

Stir in a tablespoon of brown sugar, 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Return the meat to the pan and toss a couple of bay leaves on top.

Soukzoukakia_Bay_Leaf

Turn heat to high and lock the lid on your pressure cooker.

Bring up to high pressure

When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure and set time for ten minutes.

When time is up, remove pressure cooker from heat and let the pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Soukzoukakia_Plate2

Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Serve these with french fries or rice.

Pressure Cooker Soutzoukakia
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Greek
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 large servings
The greek classic Soutzoukakia get
Ingredients
For The Meat
  • 1 medium or ½ large onion, chopped
  • 1 small handful Italian parsley (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 small handful Fresh Mint (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs (I used Panko)
  • 1 tablespoon parmesan (I just use the "Green Can" type)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
For the sauce
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, run through a press
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • 1 box or can (around 26 oz.) crushed or strained tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
For The Meat
  1. In food processor or blender, place the onion, parsley, mint and garlic
  2. Pulse a few times until it looks finely grated, but not liquid
  3. In a bowl, add beef, egg, bread crumbs, parmesan, red wine, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper
  4. Add in the onion mixture
  5. Mix with hands until everything is combined, being careful not to over-mix
  6. Put in refrigerator for 30 minutes or so, to let flavors combine
  7. Remove from refrigerator and form into twelve oblong rolls (torpedo shaped)
  8. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  9. Working in batches, brown the meat rolls on all sides and remove them to a plate
For The Sauce
  1. In oil from the meat, sauté the shallot until it starts to soften
  2. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  3. Add the cinnamon and allspice, and sauté for 30 seconds or so
  4. Add in the tomatoes, tomato paste and red wine
  5. Stir in the brown sugar
  6. Return the meat to the pan
  7. Toss a couple bay leaves on top
  8. Turn heat to high and lock lid on pressure cooker
  9. Bring to high pressure
  10. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure
  11. Set time for ten minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  13. Serve these with french fries or rice

 

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

Chicago Style Italian Beef… Sort Of

Italian Beef Sandwich 1

I know, it’s not like the ones you used to get at (fill in the blank). First off, Italian Beef is not an Italian recipe, it is a regional dish usually found in Chicago. This recipe is not meant to emulate the Italian Beef at any particular place, it is merely Italian beef as I make it.

I am not from Chicago, and I have never had Italian Beef in Chicago. I have had it in other cities and each version was wildly different, so I figured that gives me a lot of leeway to make it “my way” (regrets, I’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention, if I may be Frank).

Italian Beef Ingredients

Generally this is served on French or Sourdough rolls, but it can also be used to top noodles or rice (though not traditional). I like to use Sourdough rolls and add provolone cheese. The traditional condiment is Giardiniera, which can be spicy or mild. The only version I could find without making the trek to the Italian Deli was not really a version meant for sandwiches. It was good, but the huge chunks made it difficult to keep on the bread, and I like it with a little less cauliflower.

Italian Beef Browning

So, we start by heating the oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.

Season about 2 pounds of Beef Chuck with salt and pepper (or Montreal Steak Seasoning, as I used) then brown on both sides and remove it to a plate.

Italian Beef Veggies and Garlic

Add 1 large onion, halved then sliced thickly and 2 bell peppers, also sliced thickly (whichever color you prefer) to the pot and sauté until they start to soften (about 5-6 minutes).

Toss in 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of  a knife and continue to sauté for another minute.

Garlic Crushed

Add a level tablespoon of Italian spice mix and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and stir.

Pour in the 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire Sauce, 1-1/2 cups of beef stock and 1/4 cup pepperoncinis with 1/4 cup of the pepper juice.

Italian Beef Broth

Place the meat back in the pot.

Add a little salt and ten or twelve grinds of black pepper along with two bay leaves.

Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and raise the heat to high.

Italian Beef Finished

Bring to high pressure, then adjust the heat to maintain high pressure.

Set the time for 40 minutes.

When the time is up, let the heat come down on its own for ten minutes then do a quick release.

Italian Beef Sliced

Remove the meat to a plate and let it rest for ten minutes. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and slice thinly.

Remove the Bay Leaves, taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper to taste.

Return the meat to the pot.

Italian Beef Sandwich 3

Serve on sandwiches or over noodles or rice (I like it on sourdough rolls with provolone cheese). Add a little more juice on top of the meat.

This is a bit of a messy sandwich (or maybe I am just a slob), so it may require a knife and fork.

Top with Giardiniera (if desired).

 

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian-American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
My take on the Chicago favorite "Italian Beef".
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2 pounds beef chuck
  • 2 bell peppers (whatever color you like) sliced medium-thick
  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet onions, halved and sliced medium-thick
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 level tablespoon dried Italian spice mix
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1-1/2 cups beef stock
  • ¼ cup sliced pepperoncinis plus ¼ cup of the juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Giardinara (optional condiment)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil the pressure cooker post over medium high heat
  2. Season the meat with salt and pepper (or Montreal Steak Seasoning as I used)
  3. Brown meat of both sides and remove to plate
  4. Add the onion and pepper to the pot and sauté until they start to soften
  5. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute
  6. Add the Italian spice mix and the red pepper flakes and stir
  7. Pour in the the Worcestershire Sauce, beef stock and the pepperoncinis with juice
  8. Place the meat back in the pot
  9. Add a little salt and ten or twelve grinds of black pepper along with the bay leaves
  10. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and raise heat to high
  11. Bring to high pressure, then adjust the heat to maintain high pressure
  12. Set time for 40 minutes
  13. When time is up, let the heat come down on its own for ten minutes then do a quick release
  14. Remove the meat to a plate and let it rest for ten minutes
  15. Remove the bay leaves, taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper to taste
  16. Slice meat thinly, the return it to the pot
  17. Serve on sandwiches, or over noodles or rice (I like it on sourdough rolls with provolone cheese)
  18. Top with Giardinara (if desired)

Pressure Cooker Kale

A Tasty Version of the Puzzlingly Popular Plant

Kale_Bowl

Well, it might not be quite as healthy as some kale dishes, what with having bacon and whatnot, but being able to eat it is healthier than not being able to eat it because of overwhelming blandness.

Why eat kale at all if I am not that enthusiastic about it? Because of convenience and the sheer ubiquity of it. For weekday cooking, I often just want to get things prepared as quickly as possible so we are not sitting down to dinner at 11:00 PM. These days, when looking for pre washed bagged greens it is difficult to find anything other than kale. Believe me, if there were bagged collard greens sitting next to the kale I would certainly opt for the collards. And on rare occasions I do find the collards, but more often than not, there is nothing but kale. So what do I do to make kale a little easier to swallow? Pretend it is collard greens! As an added bonus, when making collard greens in the pressure cooker, they need to cook under pressure for about 15 minutes, and kale can cook in 5 minutes.

Kale_Ingredients

In the pressure cooker pot, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat to keep the bacon from sticking at first.

Kale_Bacon_Chopped

Add the 6 slices of chopped bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until it just starts to crisp. Thick sliced bacon works best for this.

Bacon_Brown

Add an onion, halved then sliced and sauté until it softens, about 3-4 minutes. I like to use a sweet onion for this.

Kale_Onions

Take 5-6 cloves of garlic, and run through a press, then add to the onion. I know that some cooks frown upon these devices, but I find it is a huge time saver. Sauté for another minute.

Kale_Liquid

Pour in 1-1/2 cups of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke, 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of crushed red chiles and a little salt and pepper. You can adjust the salt and pepper at the end if it needs more. The amount can vary depending on the saltiness of your bacon and what chicken broth you use.

Kale_Dry

Stir everything together and adjust heat to high.

Add in the kale. If it goes over the maximum fill line on the pressure cooker, let it cook down for a couple minutes. You can place a glass or metal lid over the top until the kale gets to down to the maximum limit.

Lock the pressure cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure.

Set timer for 5 minutes.

Kale_Finished

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

Immediately transfer kale and liquid to a serving bowl. Make sure to include some of the liquid when serving. That’s the best part!

Kale_Plated

Use as a side to any protein, or make it a meal by serving on top of rice, grits or polenta.

If you feel like I do about the usual kale preparations, give this one a try and let me know what you think in the comments!

Now, if I can come up with a recipe for non-gross quinoa, you guys will be the first to know!

Pressure Cooker Kale
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
A Tasty side dish, bacon takes this Kale dish from bland to grand!
Ingredients
  • 1 tabespoon oil
  • 6 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon crushed red chilis
  • 1 bag (about 10 ounces) pre washed Kale
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In the pressure cooker pot, heat the oil over medium high heat
  2. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring occasionally until it just starts to crisp
  3. Add the sliced onion and sauté until it softens, about 3-4 minutes
  4. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  5. Pour in the chicken broth and vinegar, then stir
  6. Add in the brown sugar, liquid smoke, crushed red chiles, salt and fresh ground pepper
  7. Stir everything together
  8. Adjust heat to high
  9. Add the kale (if it goes over the top of the pot, let it cook a minute or two until it starts to cook down a bit. You can put a glass or metal cover over it to speed up the process.)
  10. Lock lid on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  11. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  12. Set time for 5 minutes
  13. When time is up remove from heat and do a quick release
  14. Immediately transfer kale and liquid to a serving bowl
  15. Use as a side to any protein or make it a meal by serving on top of rice, grits or polenta

 

Cherry Sriracha Baby Back Ribs

No grill? Celebrate the Holiday With These Easy Ribs!

Ribs Plate3

Talk about falling-off-the-bone tender. These were practically leaping off the bone. In fact, I had to point at my plate and in a stern voice, shout “Stay!”

Ok, that may have never happened, but the falling off the bone part is true. The rest may have been a delusion due to my being a bit under the weather this weekend, which is also why this post is a little later than usual, but it is worth the wait for this tasty treat. This would be good for your 4th of July party if you don’t have a grill, or if you want something in addition to your grilled foods.

Cherry Sriracha Ribs Ingredients

It’s not quite as sweet as it sounds, the Sriracha Sauce helps temper that a little.

Start by cutting about 5 pounds of ribs (2 slabs comes out to about the correct weight) into pieces small enough to fit in the pressure cooker.

Ribs In Pan
Rub them with Montreal seasoning (or seasoning of your choice such as seasoned salt). I have been using a lot of this Montreal Seasoning lately. Partly because it is tasty, and partly because I went shopping at the local warehouse store, so I came home with what is quite possibly a lifetime supply. They must release some kind of drug into the air vents in those stores, because it always seems like a good idea at the time to buy a container of seasoning that causes you to have to tie your trunk shut for the ride home.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.

In batches, brown the ribs (meat side only), removing them to a plate as you go. I probably really needed a platter because the ribs were stacked precariously high on the plate. I dubbed it “Mt. Ribmore”.

Ribs Stacked3
Toss a chopped onion in the pot and sauté it until it is translucent.

Add in four cloves of garlic (run through a press), a couple tablespoons fresh ginger (about a thumb sized piece, chopped) and a teaspoon of dry mustard and continue to sauté for another minute.

Ginger Piece

Now, add a jar (about 12-13 ounces. If you have a larger jar, measure about a cup) cherry preserves, 1 bottle (12 ounces) cola, 1/4 cup Sriracha, 4 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 cup catsup, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, and 1 teaspoon each sesame oil and liquid smoke. I always look for catsup and cola without high-fructose corn syrup. I know, it might seem strange considering other things I eat that HFCS is where I draw the line, but that’s just the way I am.

At this point, add in a little salt and pepper and return the meat to the pot.

Cover the pressure cooker and adjust heat to high and bring to high pressure.

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set the timer for 40 minutes.

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release.

Remove the ribs to a plate.

Adjust heat to medium-high and let simmer the sauce for about 7 minutes or so.

Sauce Reducing

Remove the sauce from heat.

You can use sauce as is (rustic style), but I prefer to whizz it with an immersion blender for a few seconds.

Sauce Blending
Serve the ribs with some sauce on top and some on the side.

Ribs Plate2

Cherry Sriracha Baby Back Ribs
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
A sweet and spicy sauce with a slight Asian twist makes these tasty ribs perfect for your next get-toghether
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • Montreal seasoning (for rubbing meat)
  • 5 pounds baby back ribs
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 jar cherry preserves (about 12-13 oz. jar)
  • 1 12 oz. bottle cola
  • ¼ cup Sriracha chile sauce
  • 1 cup catsup
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few grinds of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cut ribs into pieces small enough to fit in pressure cooker
  2. Rub with Montreal seasoning (or seasoning of your choice such as seasoned salt)
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  4. In batches, brown ribs on meat side only, then remove to plate
  5. Toss onions in the pot and sauté until they are translucent
  6. Add in the garlic, ginger and dry mustard and continue to sauté another minute
  7. Add in the cherry preserves, cola, Sriracha, soy sauce, catsup, vinegar, sesame oil and liquid smoke
  8. Add in the salt and pepper
  9. Return meat to pot
  10. Cover the pressure cooker and adjust heat to high
  11. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 40 minutes
  12. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  13. Remove ribs to a plate
  14. Adjust heat to medium-high and let simmer for five minutes or so
  15. Remove from heat
  16. You can use sauce as is (rustic style), but I prefer to whizz it with an immersion blender
  17. Serve ribs with some sauce on top and some on the side

 

Pressure Cooker Taco Pasta

This Ain’t No Hamburger Helper!

Taco Pasta Plate1

Now that summer is upon us, I try to make a lot of super quick meals, so as not to generate any more heat than is necessary in the kitchen. This is based on the classic dish that is sometimes know as “goulash”, but I just can’t get myself to call it that, since it bears no resemblance to actual goulash.

Taco Pasta Ingredients

The version as written is quite spicy, but you can leave out as many of the jalapeños as you like, or replace them with canned mild green chiles.

I don’t often use packaged seasoning, but recently I’ve added some of them to  my repertoire (such as in my Atlanta Brisket recipe) to save time during the summer months. But I do try to avoid ingredients such as MSG.

So let’s get started on it now, so you have time to take a dip in the pool after preparing the meal:

Heat a couple tablespoons cooking oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat.

Add the ground beef, chopping it up as it cooks, until no longer pink, then move beef to the side and add the chopped onion. Sauté the onion until it starts to soften.

Ground Beef Browning

Stir the beef and onion together, then add the taco seasoning and stir it together.

Beef Onion Taco Seasoning

Add in the Ro-Tel, olives, jalapeños and the macaroni and stir everything together well.

Beef Rotel Mixture

 

Pour in the beef broth until macaroni is covered (I used the entire 32 oz. carton, but it might vary depending on your pasta).
For stove top pressure cooker, cover and turn heat to high until LOW pressure is reached, then adjust heat to maintain low pressure.
For electric pressure cooker, turn off sauté mode, put top on cooker and set for LOW pressure.

Macaroni

The general rule for pressure cooking pasta is to cook it for half the time that is specified on the pasta package for al dente pasta, but I prefer slightly softer than al dente, so I usually cook it half the specified time plus 1 minute and it turns out just the way I like it. In this case, the macaroni package specified 8 minutes, so I set the timer for 5 minutes (four minutes, plus 1 minute).

When time is up, turn off heat and do a quick release.

Remove top and stir everything together.

Cheese Shredded

Add in about half of the cheese (about 1-1/2 cups), reserving the rest for topping.  Add in about 1/4 cup of the sour cream.

Give it a stir and let it sit for a minute or so.

Stir it once more, then serve on plates, topping with the reserved cheese and sour cream.

Taco Pasta Plate 4

Pressure Cooker Taco Pasta
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
A South-of-the-Border take on the classic Macaroni & Beef. A perfect weeknight meal made super quick in the pressure cooker.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1-1.5 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 box (16 oz.) elbow macaroni
  • 2 cans (10 oz. each) Ro-Tel
  • 1 can (4 0z.) sliced black olives
  • 1 can (3 oz.) diced jalapeños (if you prefer it less spicy, you can use less or substitute canned mild green chiles instead)
  • 1 quart (approximately) beef broth
  • 8 oz. shredded sharp cheddar, or cheese of your choice
  • ¼ cup sour cream, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Heat a couple tablespoons cooking oil in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add ground beef, chopping it up as it cooks, until no longer pink
  3. Move beef to the side and add the chopped onion
  4. Sauté the onion until it starts to soften
  5. Stir the beef and onion together
  6. Add the taco seasoning and stir
  7. Add in the Ro-Tel, olives and jalapeños
  8. Dump in the macaroni
  9. Stir everything together well
  10. Pour in the beef broth until macaroni is covered (I used the entire 32 oz. carton, but it might vary depending on your pasta)
  11. For stove top pressure cooker, cover and turn heat to high until LOW pressure is reached, then adjust heat to maintain low pressure.
  12. For electric pressure cooker, turn off sauté mode, put top on cooker and set for LOW pressure.
  13. For the time, the general rule is half of what is specified on the pasta package for al dente pasta, but I prefer slightly softer than al dente, so I usually do it half the specified time plus 1 minute and it turns out just the way I like it. In this case, the macaroni package specified 8 minutes, so I set the timer for 5 minutes.
  14. When time is up, turn off heat and do a quick release.
  15. Remove top and stir everything together
  16. Add in about half of the cheese (about 1-1/2 cups), reserving the rest for topping
  17. Add in about ¼ cup of the sour cream
  18. Give it a stir and let it sit for a minute or so
  19. Stir it once more, then serve on plates, topping with the reserved cheese and sour cream

 

Sneak Peek – Taco Pasta

Taco Pasta – A Spicy Take On Beefy Mac

DSCF9565

Yes, I said Beefy Mac. I refuse to call macaroni with tomatoes and ground beef Goulash. Mostly because it is not goulash. Hungarian goulash is a totally different thing. Which reminds me, I still haven’t posted my Pressure Cooker Hungarian Goulash recipe. I will have to get to that one soon.

Which brings me back to this weekend’s recipe. Add spices and chiles to macaroni and ground beef, and you end up with Taco Pasta. I had the leftovers for two days after the first day that I made this, and didn’t even tire of it.

So stop by this weekend for the full recipe!

Pressure Cooker Hot Chicken Sandwich

Quebecois Hot Chicken Sandwich. Comfort Food At Its Finest!

Sandwich Top View

Ok, I’m not Canadian, but my heritage traces back to there. I also grew up so close to Canada that one time I accidentally got stuck in the line to cross the Ambassador Bridge to Canada because I was looking for parking to attend a concert in Downtown Detroit.

Once I reached the border guard, he let me make a U-Turn and go back to my search for parking. So, Canadian food is one of the cuisines I grew up with. And since a lot of it involves gravy, you can count me in!

There are quicker ways to make this recipe, such as buying a rotisserie chicken and jarred gravy, but I think this way is tastier, and it only takes about 40 minutes or so total.

Hot Chicken Sandwich Ingredients

It would not be a proper hot chicken sandwich if it wasn’t served with peas. You can use either frozen or canned, I have used both and I probably like canned better for this, but I used frozen this time. I usually just heat them in the microwave, but you can heat them on the stove if you prefer.

Plain white bread is traditional, but sometimes I switch it up with sourdough. Use whatever you like, but keep in mind that the bread should never be toasted! In fact I never understood this obsession with toasted bread. I don’t know if it is just here in SoCal, or it is everywhere, but it is difficult to order a sandwich in a diner without the bread being toasted. You usually have to specify “not toasted” to get  the bread in its natural state. Sure, some sandwiches, such as a BLT are normally served on toast, but something like a tuna sandwich or a corned beef sandwich? Come on!

Bread

To get started on the sandwich, melt a couple tablespoons of butter in the pressure cooker pot over medium heat.

Butter

Stir in 3 cups of beef broth, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, along with a teaspoon of Kitchen Bouquet (you can leave this out if you want, but I like the flavor and color it adds to the gravy.

Chicken Breasts Seasoned

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that this recipe utilizes the steam rack or trivet that came with your pressure cooker. All 3 of my pressure cooker came with such an item, so hopefully yours did as well.

Steam Rack

Season the skinless, boneless chicken breast halves with salt and pepper.

Once the sauce is stirred together, lower the steam rack into the pot and place the chicken on top of it. The chicken will be partially submerged, this is fine.

Chicken Breasts In Pot

Lock the top on the cooker, turn heat to high (or set your electric to reach high pressure and maintain for 10 minutes).

When high pressure is reached, adjust the heat to maintain high pressure (does not apply to electrics) and set timer for 10 minutes.

Slurry

While chicken/sauce is cooking, mix 3 tablespoons flour with about 6 tablespoons of water (just enough to make a thick liquid).

You can also heat up a can of peas at this time.

When time is up, do a quick release.

Remove the chicken to a plate.

Chicken Cooked

Carefully remove the steam rack.

Put the pressure cooker pot over medium high heat and bring to a simmer (electric use the sauté mode on high).

Stir in the flour/water mixture. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes to cook out the flour taste and to bring to the desired thickness, stirring frequently.

Shred the chicken meat with two forks. It doesn’t need to be finely shredded, just pull it apart.

Chicken On Bread

Arrange 1 piece of bread on a plate for each sandwich you are making.

Pile chicken on the bread (one breast half for each sandwich is good).

Bread On Plate

Put a little gravy on top of the chicken, then place another piece of bread on top. Add more gravy to the top of the sandwich, then top with peas.

Sandwich Assembled

Serve with French Fries.

Sandwich Finished 2

Enjoy, eh?

Pressure Cooker Hot Chicken Sandwich
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Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Comfort Food
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Quebecois Comfort Food At Its Finest!
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 4 half breasts)
  • salt and pepper (for chicken)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons white flour
  • 8 slices bread (white is traditional, sourdough works great as well)
  • 1 can peas, or 1 bag of frozen peas
Instructions
  1. In pressure cooker pot over medium heat, melt the butter
  2. Stir in the beef broth, Worcestershire, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, the ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and Kitchen Bouquet)
  3. Lower steam tray or trivet into the pot
  4. Place chicken on top of the steam tray (liquid will come over the top of tray and partially submerge chicken)
  5. Lock top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  6. Set time for 10 minutes
  7. While that is cooking, make a slurry with 3 tablespoons of flour and enough water to make a thick liquid
  8. Heat peas in microwave or small pan
  9. When pressure cooker time is up, do a quick release
  10. Remove chicken to a board to cool and carefully remove the steam rack
  11. Put pressure cooker over medium heat and bring liquid to a simmer (on electric pressure cooker, use sauté mode on high setting)
  12. Stir in flour-water mixture
  13. Let simmer for 10 minutes or so, stirring frequently
  14. When desired thickness is reached, remove from heat
  15. Shred the chicken with two forks
  16. Place one slice of bread on each plate
  17. Top with chicken (approximately 1 breast half per sandwich
  18. Top each with another piece of bread, then cover sandwich with gravy
  19. Spoon peas on top of each sandwich
  20. Serve with French Fries