Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken

The Indian Restaurant Classic Made Simple

Butter Chicken Plate1

Butter chicken, also known as Murgh Makhani is a North Indian dish that can be found in most Indian restaurants, and I have even seen frozen versions in my local market. But why buy mediocre frozen versions when you can make it fresh?

My goal with this recipe was to strip it to the basics to make a fast and easy version that is perfect for a weeknight meal.

The chicken is traditionally cooked in a clay tandoor oven, but wouldn’t you know it, mine was in the shop. So, I just browned the chicken in the pressure cooker pan.

Butter Chicken Ingredients

Some may scoff at the fact that I eliminated the yogurt marinade, but that can add anywhere from another couple hours to an entire day. So if you are one of the scoffers, I will allow you a minute or so to finish your scoffing.

Onions

Ok, we are back. As you may have noticed, this is not a super authentic recipe, but it is super tasty.

As I have mentioned, boneless, skinless chicken is not really my favorite but it works well for this recipe (and it was cheap at the store). I brown it with the breasts intact to make things easier, then cut it into 2-inch chunks before adding into the sauce.

Chicken Browning

Let’s start by heating a little coconut oil and butter on medium-high heat in the pressure cooker pan. Mixing the coconut oil and butter helps keep the butter from burning.

Add the chicken breasts to the pan and brown them until they are a nice golden color, then remove them to a plate.

Lower the heat to medium and add in the rest of the butter.

Veggie Sauté

When the butter has melted, add some diced onions, along with some finely chopped ginger and Serrano chiles. If you have read many of my recipes you have probably noticed that Serrano chiles are my favorite chile to cook with. I have no idea if they are readily available everywhere, but we have them up the ying-yang here in SoCal. If your local ying-yang is not full of Serrano chiles, jalapeños will work fine. Sauté the onions, chiles and ginger until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes).

Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute or so.

Dump in some garam masala, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cayenne and sauté for 30 seconds or so. I usually put all the spices together in a small bowl so I can just add them in one swell foop, which makes things a lot easier.

Chicken In Sauce

Add a can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, a tablespoon of tomato paste, a tablespoon of brown sugar, one cup of coconut milk and some salt.

Stir everything together.

Now cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks and add into the sauce mixture.

Lock the top on the cooker and turn heat to high to reach high pressure.

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

When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for about 7 minutes on its own, then do a quick release.

If sauce looks a little thin, place over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to thicken, stirring often.

Chicken Finished

Serve with rice, naan, or any other flatbread. You can top with a little yogurt, which I had planned on doing but totally forgot until my dinner was totally digested. I did remember for the leftovers the next day, though.

Pressure Cooker Butter Chicken
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
The Indian Restaurant favorite, made quicker and easier in the pressure cooker
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 medium sweet onions, diced
  • 3 serrano chiles, finely chopped
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Yogurt (optional, for serving)
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter on medium high heat in the pressure cooker
  2. Brown the chicken breasts on both sides and remove them to a plate
  3. Lower the heat to medium and add the rest of the butter
  4. Add the onions, ginger and chiles and sauté until they start to soften (about 3-5 minutes)
  5. Add in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  6. Dump in the spices (garam masala, cumin, fenugreek, turmeric, coriander and cayenne) and sauté for 30 seconds or so
  7. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, coconut milk and salt
  8. Stir everything together
  9. Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks and add into the mixture
  10. Lock the top on the cooker turn heat to high to reach high pressure
  11. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain pressure and set time for 7 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 7 minutes on its own, then do a quick release
  13. If sauce looks a little thin, place over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes to thicken, stirring often
  14. Serve with rice, naan, or any other flatbread

 

Swiss Steak Redux

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine for 72 hours ago!

DSCF0219

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.

Pressure Cooker Smoky Swiss Steak

A Smoky Twist On The Classic

Swiss Steak Reduced

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.

Swiss Steak Ingredients

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.

Meat Whole

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.

Meat Divided

Now, go to town on them with one of these poundy poky things:

Mallet

You don’t need to get it super-thin, you just want to get all the meat to a fairly uniform thickness.

Meat Tenderized

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.

Onion_Mandoline

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.

Meat Browning

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.

Onions_Peppers_CookingAdd 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.

Veggies_PanAdd the meat to the pan and toss in a couple bay leaves.

Swiss Steak Cooked

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.

Swiss Steak Reduced2

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.

Serve with potatoes, rice or egg noodles.

 

 

Pressure Cooker Smoky Swiss Steak
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Fire roasted tomatoes and smoked paprika give a slightly smoky twist to this classic
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, or other cooking oil
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds round or chuck steak, cut into individual portions
  • 2 small or one large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 splash red wine
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste), more for seasoning meat
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper (or to taste), more for seasoning meat
  • 2 bay leaves
Instructions
  1. Tenderize steaks with spiky side of mallet and season with a little salt and pepper
  2. Heat oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  3. Brown meat lightly on both sides and set aside on plate
  4. Sauté onions and peppers until slightly soft (add a little more oil if necessary)
  5. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  6. Add a splash of red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits off the bottom of the pan
  7. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes and tomato paste
  8. Add the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, paprika, thyme and salt and pepper
  9. Stir, then add meat back to pan
  10. Toss a couple bay leaves on top
  11. Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  12. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set time for 20 minutes
  13. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  14. Serve meat and sauce with rice, egg noodles or potatoes.

Thai Rice Noodle Salad

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Green Papaya Salad

Salad Chicken

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.

Rice Noodle Salad Ingredients

 

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.

Beans In Steamer

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.

Beans Cooing

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.

Veggies Bowl

Toss everything together, then pour in the dressing and continue to toss until it is pretty well mixed together.

Veggies Noodles

Serve with my Thai Chicken recipe.

 

Thai Rice Noodle Salad
Print
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Thai
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
A cold noodle salad with Thai flavors. Very refreshing on a hot evening.
Ingredients
  • 5-6 ounces Asian rice noodles (dry weight), cooked according to package directions and cooled
  • 4 ounces green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 20 cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup peanuts, slightly crushed (I put some them in a mortar and pestle and crushed them lightly, and put some in whole as well)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
  • A few grinds of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place steam rack and 1-1/2 cups water in pressure cooker
  2. Add beans to steam rack and turn heat to high
  3. Lock lid on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  4. Set time for 1 minute
  5. When time is up, do a quick release
  6. Immediately transfer beans to a bowl of cold water to stop cooking
  7. In blender container, add fish sauce, honey, garlic, lime and a little black pepper
  8. Pulse a few times until well mixed
  9. Drain beans and put in a bowl
  10. Add tomatoes, cilantro and peanuts to the beans
  11. Add the noodles and mix everything together
  12. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix until everything is blended
  13. Serve with Thai chicken

 

Pressure Cooker Thai Chicken

A Hot Weather Take On The Thai Chicken Classic Ping Gai

Ping Gai Bowl

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.

Ping Gai Ingredients

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.

Cilantro

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.

Chicken Sauce

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.

Ping Gai Chicken Finished

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!

Pressure Cooker Thai Chicken
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Thai
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ⅔ bunch cilantro (save the rest for the salad)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Liquid Smoke
  • A few grinds of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Add everything but the chicken and coconut oil to a blender or food processor.
  2. Pulse 2-3 times until cilantro is finely chopped, but not liquid
  3. Put pressure cooker over medium high heat
  4. In 3 tablespoons coconut oil, lightly brown chicken breasts on both sides, working in batches if necessary
  5. If all the chicken fits at one time, no need to remove it. Otherwise once chicken is browned, add it back to the pot
  6. Pour cilantro mixture over the chicken and turn heat to high
  7. Lock cover on the pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  8. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  9. Set time for 12 minutes
  10. When time is up, remove from heat and do a quick release
  11. Serve with green papaya salad (Recipe to come)

 

 

Pressure Cooker Matambre

The Argentinian Favorite Matambre Done Pressure Cooker Quick

Matambre2

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.

Matambre Ingredients

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.

Flank Steak Seasoned

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.

Flank Steak w:garlic

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.

Matamabre Pre-Roll

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.

Matambre Pre-Cook

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.

Matambre Rolled2

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.

Matambre3

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.

Pressure Cooker Matambre
Print
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Argentinian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
Stuffed Flank Steak Argentinian Syle
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • ½ onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces or so fresh spinach
  • 4-6 small carrots, halved (if larger, cut into quarters)
  • ½ cup green olives with pimentos
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 boiled eggs, peeled
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oregano
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon beef base (can substitute 1-1/2 cups beef broth for the water and beef base)
Instructions
  1. Butterfly and pound the flank steak (see method above)
  2. Arrange on a cutting board with the grain running horizontally
  3. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano
  4. Sprinkle on the chopped garlic
  5. Arrange slices of onion on steak
  6. Lay spinach leaves over onions
  7. Arrange carrots in rows going across horizontally
  8. Place eggs near the center in a row
  9. Sprinkle olives around over the top
  10. Starting at the bottom, roll meat toward the top, jelly roll style, keeping tight
  11. Place seam on the bottom
  12. Using butcher twine, tie near each end, with 3-4 pieces in the middle
  13. Add 1-1/2 cups water to pressure cooker pot and turn heat to high
  14. Stir in the beef base and a little salt and pepper
  15. Add a splash of red wine
  16. Add the tied meat into the pressure cooker pot (if you pot is narrower, you may have to cut the roll in half)
  17. Add two bay leaves then lock the cover on the pot and bring to high pressure
  18. When high pressure is reached, reduce heat to maintain high pressure
  19. Set time for 16 minutes
  20. When time is up remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
  21. Let rest for at least 10 minutes, or it can be cooled and served at room temperature or cooled slightly.
  22. Slice into 1-inch slices. Can be served with or without some of the pan sauce. Can also be served with Chimichurri Sauce

 

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
Print
Author:
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
Print
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
Print
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
Print
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