German Style Goulash

And the Never-Ending Goulash Controversy Still Continues

Goulash Plate2

I know I have covered a lot of this in my Goulash Soup Recipe, but for those of you who are just joining us: What is Goulash? If you asked 100 people, you would probably get 200 different answers. If Goulash was on Facebook, it’s status would be “It’s Complicated”. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about it.

As you can see, the definition of Goulash changes as your location changes. First of all, let’s eliminate that glorified Hamburger Helper that some folks call Goulash. That isn’t Goulash. There is no macaroni in Goulash, although I do usually serve it with Spaetzle, which is a pasta, but it is not mixed in. Also, real Goulash is not made with ground beef. It contains chunks of meat. I usually use beef chuck.

In Hungary, the dish that is pronounced Goulash (Gulyás), is actually a soup. The dish that is closest to the goulash that most of us know is called Pörkölt.

Goulash Ingredients

Now that your heads are spinning, my recipe is based on the German dish Rindergulasch (Beef Goulash). Of course, there are also hundreds of variations, everyone claiming that theirs is the “authentic” version. Tomatoes or not. Potatoes or not. Green peppers, red peppers, carrots, what have you. It’s similar to the arguments over what constitutes Texas Chili.

I keep it pretty basic. In Germany, red wine is often used, but I use beer instead. I don’t use tomatoes either, but I do use a little tomato paste. As for potatoes and bell peppers, forget them. Not necessary.

Beer and Beef

Since it seems that many people received a shiny new electric pressure cooker over the holidays, I made this in my Instant Pot and wrote it for the electric pressure cooker, but of course it can be easily made in a stove top model.

A thickener such as flour could be used, but I prefer to just let it cook down for 7 minutes or so.

Cubed Chuck

Let’s start by browning the beef. Heat a few tablespoons of cooking oil with your sauté (or browning) setting on high. In batches, brown the meat on one side (this is enough to get the flavor of browning, but saves some time). Remove the beef to a plate.

Lower your heat setting to medium.

MandolineAdd another tablespoon of oil if necessary and sauté a couple medium onions until they soften. I like to slice them on “The Widowmaker” (my nickname for my mandoline), using the thinnest setting. Two sliced onions may look like a lot, but thinly sliced they will basically dissolve into the sauce, adding that oh-so-good oniony flavor.

Onions Sweating

When the onions soften a bit, add the meat back in.

Add in 2 heaping tablespoons of paprika, a teaspoon of caraway seeds, and a little salt and pepper. For full disclosure, I accidentally grabbed cumin seeds at the store instead of caraway. Since I was right in the middle of preparing dinner I substituted the cumin seeds, but I usually use caraway. I used Hungarian sweet paprika. If you like you can use half sweet and half hot, but I wouldn’t use only hot. That would change the flavor too much.

I also add 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper at this point, but I will leave that up to you. I know some people seem to have a cayenne-phobia. 1/2 teaspoon doesn’t add much heat, but it is totally optional.

Plop in a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and, you guessed it, stir!

Now, pour in a cup of beer, 1/2 cup water, 2 tablespoons beef base (such as Better Than Bouillon) and 2 teaspoons of Kitchen Bouquet. A german lager works well for this. I used Stiegl, which isn’t German but Austrian. It’s not the best beer for drinking but works fine for cooking.

Toss a couple of bay leaves in.

Turn off the sauté mode and lock the top on the pressure cooker.

In manual mode, set the cooker for 25 minutes at high pressure.

When time is up, do a quick release and remove the cover.

With the sauté mode on medium, simmer the Goulash for 7 or 8 minutes to thicken a bit.

Goulash Finished

You can serve it with egg noodles, homemade Spaetzle (my favorite way), or boiled or mashed potatoes.

Goulash Plate3

I usually have red cabbage with it as well (you gotta have your veggies).

Hungarian Goulash
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: German/Hungarian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
  • 3-4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 2-1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-1.5" cubes
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I used my mandoline)
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Hungarian paprika
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup german beer
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons beef base (like Better Than Bouillon)
  • 2 teaspoons Kitchen Bouquet
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. In electric pressure cooker, heat 3 tablespoons oil on sauté mode, high setting (medium-high heat in stovetop pressure cooker)
  2. Brown meat in batches on one side only and remove to a plate
  3. Switch sauté mode to medium, add another tablespoon of oil if needed (for stovetop model, lower heat to medium)
  4. Sauté the onions until they soften
  5. Sprinkle in paprika, caraway seeds, salt, pepper and cayenne (if using)
  6. Sauté for a minute
  7. Stir in tomato paste
  8. Pour in the beer and water
  9. Add the beef base and Kitchen Bouquet, then stir
  10. Toss the bay leaves on top
  11. Turn off sauté mode and lock top on pressure cooker
  12. On manual mode, set pressure cooker for 25 minutes on high pressure
  13. When time is up, do a quick release
  14. Remove lid and switch to sauté mode
  15. On medium setting, simmer for about 7 minutes to thicken a bit
  16. Serve with noodles, rice or spaetzle


Happy Holidays To All!

Due the the holidays there will be no new recipe this weekend.

However, if you happen to be looking for a Black Eyed Peas recipe for New Year’s day, you’ve come to the right place!


For Your Consideration, check out my recipe for Not My Mother’s Black Eyed Peas.

We will return next week for our regularly scheduled blog!

White Beans

White Beans + Ham Shank=Delicious!

Beans Bowl

A couple months ago, a reader asked if I could post some simple bean recipes. At that time we were in the middle of a scorching heat wave, so I put any bean recipes on the back burner (figuratively of course, if the beans had actually been on the back burner they would be quite scorched by now). But now that we are starting to see the beginning of El Niño, which I believe is Spanish for “crappy weather”, it is now the perfect time to be trotting out some bean recipes. This here one is super simple but quite flavorful thanks to smoked ham shank and a couple common herbs and spices.

White Beans Ingredients

I used a ham shank that weighed in at 1-1/4 pounds. You could substitute ham hocks (is there actually a difference anyway?), or you could use an equivalent size of smoked turkey thigh.

For the beans, I highly recommend soaking in salted water. I know, it has always been a hard and fast rule that you shouldn’t add salt until after cooking or your beans will be tough. Lately, however, I have been seeing a lot of people suggest soaking the beans in salt water (brining). And by George I think they are onto something. Normally I would soak the beans overnight, but I didn’t buy them until the morning that I was going to make this. I used a pound of beans, sorted them and removed the weird ones, rinsed them, covered them with water by about 2 inches above the beans and added 2 tablespoons of salt and stirred it all together. I let them soak for about 5 hours and that was plenty of time. Rinse them again before adding to the dish.Pork Shank Onions

Heat a little oil in the pressure cooker pot, then add a ham shank and some chopped onions. Sauté, turning the ham shank occasionally until the onions are translucent and the shank is browned.

Run 5 cloves of garlic through a press, toss in the pot and sauté for another minute.

Garlic Pressed

Put some paprika, 1/2 teaspoon salt (that should be plenty, remember that we already salted the beans) and a little black pepper into the onion mixture and stir for 30 seconds.

Dump in the beans, pour in 6 cups of water, then toss in the thyme and bay leaves.

Bay Leaves

Lock the top on the cooker and bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure.

Set the time for 35 minutes.

When the time is up, let the pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes then do a quick release.

Pork Shank Meat

Uncover and remove the ham shank to a plate and let it cool enough to pull the meat from the bones.

In the meantime, put the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer.

When cool enough, pull the meat from the shank and stir into the beans. Continue to simmer for a couple more minutes to thicken slightly.

Beans and Herbs

Remove from heat, and ladle into bowls. Serve with biscuits or corn bread.

I like it with a little hot sauce.

White Beans
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 ham shank (approximately 1.25 pounds), you can also use ham hocks or smoked turkey thigh
  • 1 large sweet onion, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 pound great northern beans, sorted, brined and rinsed
  • 1 level teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 cups water
  1. Heat the oil in pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat
  2. Add the ham shank and onions to the pot
  3. Sauté, turning the ham shank occasionally, until the onions become translucent and ham shank is browned (about 5 minutes)
  4. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  5. Sprinkle in the paprika, salt and and pepper and sauté for 30 seconds or so
  6. Dump in the beans
  7. Add in the water, then toss in the thyme and bay leaves
  8. Lock top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  9. Set time for 35 minutes
  10. 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
  11. Remove the ham shank to a plate and let it cool a couple minutes
  12. Remove the bay leaf and thyme stems
  13. Put pot over medium high heat for a couple minutes while waiting for the shank to cool
  14. Pull the meat off the bones and stir into the beans
  15. Simmer for just a couple more minutes to let it thicken slightly
  16. Serve in bowls with biscuits or corn bread


30 Minute Chili

OK, make that 30-ish

Chili In Bowl

The last time I made this it took 34 minutes, but I will round it down to 30 anyway. It will vary slightly depending on whether you are using an electric or stove top pressure cooker.

This is another one of my super quick weeknight recipes. With no fewer than 3 canned or jarred items, the entire dish takes around a half hour. In the electric it took about 34 minutes. It is a little quicker on the stove top model, since it comes up to pressure a little quicker.

Chili Ingredients

This recipe can easily be doubled. When I do that, I usually use one can of kidney beans and one can of pinto beans. Of course, doubling the recipe will increase the time a bit since there is more liquid to bring to a boil.

Start by heating a little oil in the pressure cooker over medium high heat. If using an electric pressure cooker, set sauté mode to high.

Beef Browning

Add the beef and brown. It’s ok if there’s a little pink, it will finish cooking under pressure.

Add 1-1/2 tablespoons of your favorite chili powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Adjust salt before serving. Depending on the salt in your salsa and beans you may need to add a little more. Sauté for a minute or so.

Kidney Beans

Drain and rinse the beans, then dump them in.

Now add a can of Ro-Tel and a 16 ounce jar of salsa. I find it works best with a medium-heat chunky salsa. Pace medium picante sauce works well.


Add 1/2 cup water and stir it all together.

Lock the top on the cooker and bring to high pressure.

Set time for 8 minutes.

Chili Finished

When time is up, do a quick release.

Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings, such as onion, sour cream and grated cheese.

I usually serve it with tortilla chips or corn bread.

30 Minute Chili
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4 servings
A super quick chili, perfect for a weeknight meal
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (I use 85-15 ratio)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon of your favorite chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste) it will vary depending on the salt in your beans and salsa
  • 1 can Ro-Tel chopped tomatoes with green chilis
  • 1 jar (16 ounce) salsa (I like a medium heat chunky style best)
  • 1 can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup water
  • Diced sweet onion
  • Sliced green onions
  • Grated cheddar or pepper-jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  1. Heat oil in pressure cooker pot on medium-high heat (on electric use the high sauté setting)
  2. Brown the beef (it is ok if there is some pink, just so it is broken up)
  3. If there is a lot of fat, drain some of it (with 15% fat beef, I usually don't drain at all)
  4. Add the chili powder and salt and stir in with the beef. Sauté for a minute or so
  5. Dump in the Ro-Tel, the salsa and the beans
  6. Pour in ½ cup water, stir, and lock cover
  7. Bring to high pressure and set time for 8 minutes
  8. When time is up, do a quick release
  9. Serve in bowls with toppings of your choice and tortilla chips or cornbread on the side


Sneak Peek – 30 Minute Chili

Speedy, Spicy, Scrumptious Chili in Less Than 30 Minutes!


I know what you’re thinking, “Yet another chili recipe?”

The thing about this one is that it is the quickest chili to make out of all my chilis. In less than 30 minutes including the time it takes to come up to pressure and release the pressure, you can have a tasty meal ready and on the table!

Check back on the weekend for the whole scoop!

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup

A Hearty Beef Mushroom Barley Soup


I was looking for something hearty to make for dinner befitting this cool weather we’ve been having lately. The weather plummeted to 72 degrees today. But really, it has been getting down to the 50s at night, so it really is soup weather. I didn’t want to make chili again since I already had that  twice this week. I was pondering what to prepare while having a beer and for some reason it came to me, I will make something with barley it it!


Mushrooms are a natural and classic combination with barley. And I added beef to add even more to the heartiness and to make it a full meal. Just add some sort of bread and you’re set.


I used pre-cut stew beef because I am lazy, but chuck cut into cubes will work as well.

Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in pressure cooker on medium-high heat. I used the electric pressure cooker, so I used the Sauté setting on HIGH.


Next, brown the beef on one side, seasoning with salt and pepper while it is browning, then remove to plate. Browning just one side is enough to give it the browned flavor.

If there is a lot of fat from the meat, drain all but 2 tablespoons. Mine was pretty lean, so I didn’t drain at all.

Sauté some diced onion until translucent.


Add the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Stir it in with the onions and sauté for about 30 seconds.

Splash in a little wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Just a couple tablespoons of wine is plenty.


Add some frozen peas and carrots, sliced crimini mushrooms and barley.


Add the meat back into the pan then pour in some beef broth and a little water.


Toss the bay leaves on top.


Lock the cover on the pressure cooker, and set to high pressure for 18 minutes.

When time is up let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.


Serve in bowls with crusty bread or corn bread.

Beef Mushroom Barley Soup
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
A hearty soup perfect for a chilly winter night
  • 1 pound beef stew meat (or chuck cut into cubes)
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Italian herb mix (I used Penzey's Tuscan Sunset
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 splash red wine (a couple tablespoons, optional)
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 10 ounces frozen peas and carrots
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • 1 quart beef broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons cooking oil in pressure cooker on medium heat
  2. Brown beef on 1 side, seasoning with salt and pepper while it is browning, then remove to plate
  3. If there is a lot of fat from the meat, drain all but 2 tablespoons
  4. Sauté the onion until translucent
  5. Add the Italian seasoning, paprika, salt, garlic powder and pepper
  6. Continue to sauté for 30 seconds or so
  7. Splash in a little red wine to deglaze pan, scraping up any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan
  8. Add frozen peas and carrots, mushrooms and barley
  9. Add the meat back into the pan
  10. Pour in beef broth and water
  11. Toss the bay leaves on top
  12. Lock cover on pressure cooker and set to high pressure for 18 minutes
  13. When time is up let pressure come down on its own for 10 minutes, then do a quick release
  14. Serve in bowls with crusty bread or corn bread


Quick Macaroni and Cheese

Mac and Cheese, Made Quicker in the Pressure Cooker!

Mac and Cheese Plate

There is nothing better than a big pan of macaroni and cheese, made with a roux and then baked in the oven until the cheese on top is crusty and the breadcrumbs are nicely browned.

But what if you need the comfort of mac and cheese on a weeknight and you don’t have a couple of spare hours to make dinner? What then, huh?

There is always the dreaded “Blue Box”, but you can do better than that, a lot better.

Mac and Cheese Ingredients

I based this recipe on Alton Brown’s Stovetop Mac-n-Cheese, but made it even quicker by cooking the pasta in the pressure cooker. I used the Instant Pot, which is perfect for this recipe. I also doubled it from Alton Brown’s recipe and added a little garlic powder. Of course, nothing is as good as good old baked mac and cheese, but this is much, much, much better than the blue box.

Pasta and Water

Start by cooking the pasta. Dump the pasta into the inner pot of the electric pressure cooker and pour in enough water to cover. 4 cups was the right amount for me. Since you are going to drain it, it doesn’t have to be an exact amount. Salt the water as you would when cooking any pasta.

For the timing, whatever time the package states for al dente, divide that in half and that is the time you should use for your pressure cooker. Set at LOW pressure and set time (it was 6 minutes for my pasta).

Grated Cheese

While the pasta is cooking you can get the cheese and sauce ready.

Grate about a pound of cheese, whatever kind you like. I find sharp cheddar and pepper jack to be a good combo. Set this aside and put the sauce together.

In a large bowl, combine 4 beaten eggs, a can (12 ounces) of evaporated milk, some salt, pepper, dry mustard, garlic powder and some hot sauce. Stir until blended.

Mac and Cheese Liquid

When the time is up for your pasta, do a quick release and drain the pasta.

Replace the inner pot in the pressure cooker and change to the sauté mode set to medium. I tried low, but it wasn’t quite hot enough once I started adding the cheese, so you will have to be diligent with your stirring responsibilities to prevent burning.

Pasta Draining

Dump the pasta back into the pressure cooker and plop in the stick of butter. Yes, I know what you are thinking, “A whole stick of butter!!!?”. Yes, that’s right. We are making macaroni and cheese after all. If this makes you squeamish just chuck the whole thing and go steam some kale.

Pasta With Butter

Stir frequently until the butter is melted.

Pour in the egg and milk mixture and stir frequently until it just reaches a simmer.

Now, add in the cheese a handful at a time and as it melts drop in another handful. Keep stirring until all the cheese is melted and it looks smooth.

Mac and Cheese Finished

Stir for another minute or so after all the cheese is incorporated and melted, then turn off the pressure cooker and remove the inner pot so that it stops cooking.

Like most mac and cheese, this is best served right away. Spoon on plates and add a vegetable on the side to appease your conscience.

I happened to have some corn chips so I put a few on top to add a little crunch.

So, next time you go reaching for the Blue Box, remember that you could have some creamy, tasty, gooey homemade macaroni and cheese instead, Sure, it won’t have that radioactive orange color, but the flavor will more than make up for it!

Quick Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
A quick version of the favorite, adapted from Alton Brown's Stovetop Mac and Cheese recipe
  • 1 pound macaroni (any tubular or shell pasta will work)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 pound grated cheese (I used a combination of sharp cheddar and pepper jack)
  • 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt (plus a little for the pasta water)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Habanero Tabasco)
  1. Put pasta in the pressure cooker pot and cover with water (about 4 cups)
  2. Sprinkle some salt in the water
  3. Lock the top on the pressure cooker
  4. Bring to LOW pressure and set time for half the cooking time listed on the pasta package (mine said 12 minutes, so I set the time for 6 minutes)
  5. While pasta is cooking, grate the cheese and set aside, then whisk together the evaporated milk, eggs, salt, dry mustard, pepper, garlic powder and hot sauce
  6. When time is up on the pasta, do a quick release
  7. Dump the pasta in a colander and drain
  8. Put the inner pot back in the pressure cooker and set sauté mode to medium
  9. Add butter into the pot and stir into the pasta
  10. Add the milk mixture into the pot and bring just to a simmer, stirring often
  11. Add the cheese, a handful at a time, stirring constantly until it is melted into the milk mixture and smooth
  12. Continue stirring for another minute or so
  13. Turn off pressure cooker and remove inner pot from the pressure cooker
  14. Serve immediately


Mexican Quinoa Dinner

A Zesty  One Pot Mexican Quinoa Dinner

Mexican Quinoa Plate2

The holiday is behind us, we have all loosened our belts, or in some cases poked extra holes in our belts with a paring knife (I’m just guessing). With visions of huge turkey dinners and huge leftover sandwiches dancing in our heads, what do we have for dinner now?

For me, I’m ready for something relatively healthy (compared to what I have eaten for the past several days, what isn’t)?

Mexican Quinoa Ingredients

Just a few months ago I never would have seen myself posting a recipe with not only ground turkey, but definitely not with quinoa. Quinoa? I don’t even know what it is, but I have slowly started to acclimate myself to the evil pseudo grain. And you know, it isn’t bad. I guess too many “healthy” restaurants that serve plain quinoa with steamed kale put the fear in me. But like most things, it can be a tasty treat if served in tasty ways.

Sure, I top it with sour cream and pepper jack with corn chips on the side, buy hey, it could be worse.

I was kind of inspired by Spanish Rice and maybe a little by a certain product that is intended to assist hamburger.

Yes, it still has turkey in it, like you have been eating since Wednesday, but it is ground turkey. You just want to wean yourself off the “bird” a little at a time. Once you have the turkey on your back you don’t want to quit cold, um cold what? Well, I guess that is where the name comes from. Anyway this recipe is intended to get you back to normal.

Diced Onion

But, as I usually caution, do not use ground turkey breast, use ground dark turkey. It took me awhile to get used to ground turkey at all, but ground white turkey, I am not sure if I will ever be OK with that.


And I am starting to warm up to quinoa. It is super fast to cook and takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it with, kind of the “tofu theorem”.

To start, in a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium heat, sauté the turkey and onions until the turkey is no longer pink.

Dump in the garlic and continue to sauté for a minute longer.


Now’s the time to introduce a packet of taco seasoning (I always look for one with no MSG) and the quinoa (always make sure to rinse quinoa well before cooking).

Stir and sauté for another minute or so.

Turkey Onion Quinoa

In a measuring cup, pour a can of Ro-Tel (juice and all), or another brand of diced tomatoes with green chiles. Then add enough chicken (or vegetable) broth to make 2 cups.

Add the tomato/broth mixture and stir.

Dump in a can of black beans (drained and rinsed) and a cup of frozen corn (fire roasted corn would probably be nice in this also).

Give the whole kit ‘n’ caboodle a stir and lock the top on the pressure cooker.

Bring to high pressure and set time for 2 minutes.

When time is up, let pressure come down on its own. If pressure is not completely released after 10 minutes, do a quick release.

Let sit another 5 minutes or so to further absorb the liquid.

Serve in bowls or on plates, topped with grated cheese (I like to use pepper-jack), sour cream and chopped cilantro.

Mexican Quinoa Plate

I serve it with corn chips on the side. I usually put them right on top, it provides just the crunch it needs.

Mexican Quinoa Dinner
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: American
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
A quick and easy one-pot quinoa dinner.
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 can Ro-Tel (10 oz), juice included (or other brand diced tomatoes with green chiles. If the can is larger than 10 ounces, use only one cup)
  • Chicken Stock (enough to make 2 cups when combined with the tomatoes)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Serve with corn chips
  • Shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped cilantro
  1. Over medium heat, sauté the turkey and onion in 2 tablespoons oil
  2. Toss in the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  3. Add the quinoa (make sure that it is rinsed well) and stir together with the turkey mixture
  4. Add in the taco seasoning and sauté for 30 seconds
  5. Pour in the Ro-Tel and chicken stock mixture
  6. Add the black beans and the frozen corn
  7. Give it a stir and lock the top on the pressure cooker
  8. Bring to high pressure for 2 minutes
  9. When time is up, remove from heat (if using electric, make sure it is turned off or unplugged)
  10. Let pressure come down on its own for ten minutes, then do a quick release
  11. Let set for a minute or so, then fluff with a fork
  12. Serve on plates or in bowls with cheese, sour cream and cilantro


Smoked Turkey Collards

A Great Side Dish For Thanksgiving, or any time!

Greens On Plate

Greens, greens, I love some greens, on the far side of the hill! Yes, the New Christie Minstrels said it best back in the fabulous sixties, in one of the best songs about greens ever recorded. Wait, what? The song wasn’t about collard greens? Well, as far as I’m concerned there should be a great number of songs touting the virtues of collard greens.

The plan was to post a Thanksgiving pulled pork recipe, but it wasn’t quite at 100% so I decided to work on it a bit longer and post one of the side dishes, which was 100%. The side dish of which I speak is smoked turkey collard greens. I know the trendy green these days is kale, but I have to say, my favorite of all greens are collards. I understand that kale is on the way out, to be replaced by some other trendy green. Chard? Dandelion? Turnip? Whatever is the flavor of the moment, I am pretty sure that collard greens will always be my favorite. I can’t say for sure if it the greens themselves or the way they are prepared that fuel my obsession, but the juice, or “pot liquor” as it is known, is the tasty elixir that makes this dish one of the tastiest.

Smoked Turkey

Traditionally, this is made with ham hocks, but to “Thanksgiving” this puppy up a bit, and also just because they are dang tasty, I used smoked turkey thighs.

I used about 2-1/2 pounds of collard greens, with stems still attached.

Start out by removing the stems from the greens. Grip the stem with one had, place  the other hand at the base of the leaf. Pull on the stem and zip off the leaf. Place in a large bowl or sink. Fill with water and soak 15-20 minutes to remove all the schmutz, of which there will be plenty. Grab a stack of leaves, and roll them up like a “see-gar”. Slice the roll in about 1/2″ strips until all the greens are sliced.

Greens Stacked

The dirt and whatnot will sink to the bottom, so remove the leaves from the water fairly gently so as not to jostle the water too much.

Heat up some oil in the pressure cooker. Add in some diced onion, BAM!, and sauté until translucent. Plop in the garlic and sauté for another minute.

Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a simmer.

Greens With Top

Put the greens in the pot. It is best to use your largest pressure cooker, which in my case would be my 7 litre Kuhn Rikon, but since my KR was at the time housing a 6-pound pork butt, it was up to my Instant Pot to pick up the slack and cook my greens.

If your greens fill your pot past the maximum line, I usually put any top that fits fairly well on top of my cooker and steam the greens until they are below the max line. This usually takes just a couple of minutes.

When the greens are down to a manageable level, put in a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon of brown sugar, some salt and pepper and a shake of crushed red peppers.

Greens Turkey On Top

Top the greens with a couple of smoked turkey thighs.

Lock the top on the pressure cooker, bring to high pressure, adjust heat to maintain high pressure if using a stovetop model. Set the time for 25 minutes.

Greens Turkey Cooked

When time is up, immediately remove from heat. If using an electric pressure cooker, immediately remove the inner pot of the cooker.

Take the turkey thighs and place on a plate or cutting board.

Turkey Thighs Plate

Let them cool for 5 minutes or so and with a fork remove the meat from the bones. Remove most of the skin but it’s fine to leave a little. It is where most of the flavor is, don’t you know.

Turkey Shredded

Now, take that tasty turkey and blend it back in with the greens.

Pour into a serving bowl, or if you are serving later, put in a sealable container and refrigerate.

Smoked Turkey Greens Cooked

Makes a tasty side to any BBQ meal, and also a great addition to any Thanksgiving spread.

Smoked Turkey Collards
Recipe type: side dish
Cuisine: southern
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8 servings
A turkey-ized take on the Southern classic, perfect for a holiday side dish
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 2-1/2 pounds collard greens (weight with stems), stems removed and chopped into ½" strips
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 rounded tablespoon brown sugar
  • A few grinds of black pepper
  • A sprinkle of crushed red pepper (around ⅛ teaspoon)
  • 2 smoked turkey thighs
  1. With the pressure cooker pot on medium high heat, place 2 tablespoons oil
  2. When oil looks shimmery, add the onions and sauté until translucent
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for another minute
  4. Pour the chicken stock into the pot
  5. Place the greens into the pressure cooker
  6. If it is above the maximum limit line, put any lid that will fit on top for a couple minutes and let steam until the greens are below the maximum line
  7. Add the vinegar, brown sugar, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper
  8. Place the smoked turkey thighs on top
  9. Lock lid on pressure cooker and set time for 25 minutes
  10. When time is up, do a quick release and immediately remove the inner pot from the pressure cooker, if using electric
  11. Remove the turkey to a plate, let cool for 5 minutes or so, then use a fork to remove the meat from the bones. Discard most of the skin, but you can leave a little of it.
  12. Add the turkey meat back into the greens and mix with a spoon
  13. Move to a serving bowl and serve