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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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

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 Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Plate Lunch Style Macaroni Salad Made Quicker

Mac Salad Plate4

Alright, let me clear up a couple things from the get-go. Yes, it is called Hawaiian Macaroni Salad, but that does not mean that it has pineapple in it. There is NO pineapple in this, and simply adding pineapple to something does not make it Hawaiian. Also, this is in no way, shape or form intended to be a healthy dish, so please do not try to substitute Low Fat Mayo, skim milk or brown rice (or spelt, etc.) macaroni. Any of those changes will automatically render this dish Non-Hawaiian.

Mac Salad Ingredients

This dish is meant to emulate the creamy, decadent macaroni salad that is typically served with the Hawaiian Plate Lunch. If you have never had a plate lunch, it usually comes with one or two entrees such as Teriyaki Chicken or Kalua Pig, with two scoops of rice and a scoop of macaroni salad. It is definitely not “diet” food, but it is definitely delicious. I will admit, though, that I have used less mayo and milk than most recipes call for (believe it or not).

Celery Scallion

I have found that adding the vinegar to the water while cooking the pasta will permeate the macaroni with vinegar flavor, giving it the “tangy” quality that restaurant versions have. If you taste the macaroni by itself, you may find it kind of odd tasting, but once it is all mixed together you will have a tangy, tasty treat.

Grated Carrot

I made this in the electric pressure cooker, so that is how I wrote the recipe. You can easily use a stovetop model using the same timing. But make sure that you are cooking on LOW pressure, so as not to overcook the macaroni.

Start by dumping the macaroni into the pressure cooker pot.

Add 1/2 cup rice vinegar and about 2-1/2 cups water (liquid should just barely cover the macaroni, adjust as needed). Apple cider vinegar will also work, but I prefer the milder taste of Rice Vinegar.

Add a tablespoon of oil to help reduce foaming and salt the water liberally.

Place the top on the pressure cooker and set for LOW pressure.

Set the time for half the time that is listed on the macaroni package (mine said 9-11 minutes, I set the time for 5 minutes). You want the macaroni to be soft and fluffy, not al dente, so that it will easily absorb the dressing.

While the macaroni is cooking, get your dressing ready. In a bowl whisk together 1-1/4 cup mayonnaise, 1 cup milk, a tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce, a couple teaspoons prepared mustard, a tablespoon of brown sugar and one teaspoon of onion powder. This mixture will look thin, but once it is blended into the macaroni and some of it is absorbed it will be just right.

Mac Salad Dressing

When time is up, do a quick release. Remove the top and let it sit for about a minute.

Transfer the macaroni to a colander and quickly rinse with cold water. Drain for a few minutes, then transfer macaroni to a large bowl.

Macaroni Cooked

Add about 1/4 cup grated carrot, 2 stalks finely chopped celery and 3 finely chopped scallions and mix together. I used the medium side of a box grater for the carrot.

Pour the mayo/milk mixture over macaroni and stir it all together.

Taste and add salt, if needed.

Mac Salad Mixing

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.

Top with freshly ground black pepper and/or paprika, if desired.

For authentic plate lunch, serve with white rice and an entree, such as teriyaki chicken. It is also a great side for just abut anything, Hawaiian or not!

Mac Salad PLate1

Pressure Cooker Hawaiian Macaroni Salad
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: Hawaiian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8-12 servings
The Hawaiian plate lunch staple made quicker and tangier by using the pressure cooker
Ingredients
  • 1 pound large elbow macaroni
  • ½ cup rice vinegar
  • 2-1/2 cups water (approximately)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • salt
  • 1-1/4 cups mayonnaise (not "Lite")
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ cup grated carrot
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
Instructions
  1. Dump macaroni into pressure cooker pot
  2. Add the rice vinegar and about 2-1/2 cups water (liquid should just barely cover the macaroni, adjust as needed)
  3. Add the oil (to help reduce foaming) and salt the water liberally
  4. Place top on pressure cooker and set for LOW pressure
  5. Set time for half the time listed on macaroni package (mine said 9-11 minutes, I set time for 5 minutes. You want the macaroni to be soft and fluffy, not al dente)
  6. While macaroni is cooking, in a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, milk, Worcestershire Sauce, mustard, brown sugar and onion powder
  7. When time is up, do a quick release
  8. Transfer macaroni to colander and quickly rinse with cold water and drain for a few minutes
  9. In a large bowl mix together macaroni, carrot, celery and scallion
  10. Pour mayo/milk mixture over macaroni and stir it all together
  11. Taste and add salt, if needed
  12. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes
  13. Top with freshly ground black pepper and/or paprika, if desired

 

Sneak Peek – Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Coming This Weekend – Macaroni Salad Made Quicker In The PC!

Mac Salad

My favorite part of the Hawaiian “Plate Lunch”, is probably the macaroni salad that comes with it. Creamy, tangy and oh so unhealthy. But tasty as heck. And no, Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is not Macaroni salad with pineapple in it. A lot of folks seem to think you can toss a handful of pineapple into anything and it magically becomes “Hawaiian”. But this dish earned its moniker simply because it is the kind of macaroni salad that is served in Hawaii, with nary a pineapple chunk in sight.

This is not a one pot meal like a lot of pressure cooker recipes. The macaroni is cooked under pressure, with a twist that gives it the characteristic tang of the original.

Come by on the weekend to learn the secret. Mahalo!

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

 

Sneak Peek – Pressure Cooker Kale

Non-boring Kale! Who’da thunk it?

KALE

I have to admit, I am not a huge fan of Kale, and fail to understand its current popularity. But, sometimes convenience trumps all else, so I find myself buying Kale in a bag because lately the stores are stocked up with Kale at the detriment of all other greens.

So, how to make Kale more tolerable? Pretend it is Collard Greens!

Stop by this weekend for my recipe!

Pressure Cooker Red White & Blue Cobbler

Looking For a Quick Dessert for Your BBQ Bash? You’re Welcome!

Cobbler Plated2I know, I seem to be going full midwest on you all lately. First, I use Onion Soup Mix, then a Taco Seasoning packet, and now this. Cake Mix? What the heck was I thinking? Well, I guess I was thinking “mmmmmm, I need something tasty and quick for dessert.”

By using the pressure cooker, you can make a quick and tasty dessert without heating the entire kitchen.

DSCF9603

And on top of that, four ingredients! That’s right, four!

This recipe uses the “Pot in Pan“, or “Bain Marie” method, much  like I used in my Pressure Cooker Grits recipe.

Steam Rack

You will be using the steam rack or trivet that came with your pressure cooker, along with a bowl or steam insert (solid, not perforated). It should be about 4 cup capacity or more. My insert has a handle, which makes things easier. If you use a bowl or a cake pan, you may need to fashion helper handles from aluminum foil, so that you are able to easily remove it from the pressure cooker. Mine is just about 4 cups, and was just about exactly the correct size. If yours seems a little small, you can just cut back a bit on all the ingredients.

Rack In Cooker

I call this “Red, White and Blue Cobbler”, though mine wasn’t quite as patriotic as I had intended. The title was derived from the ingredients, which I intended to be blueberries, red cherries and white cake mix, but my extremely clever idea was thwarted at every turn. The store I went to did not have white cake mix, so I used yellow. Either will work fine, by the way. The only canned cherries I could find were not all that red, although they were quite tasty.

PC Insert

So, the only 4 ingredients are 1 can of blueberries in syrup, 1 can of cherries in syrup, 1 box of white (or yellow) cake mix and 1 stick of butter.

Start by coating your pressure cooker insert with cooking spray, oil or butter. I used oil.

Melt the stick of butter ( I did it in the microwave, so as not to use the burners on the stove).

Blueberries and CherriesDump the blueberries and cherries into the insert or bowl. Dump the cake mix on top, and pat it down lightly. Pour the melted butter over the cake mix.

Berries, Cake Mix, Butter

Cover the insert with aluminum foil, sealing it as best as possible.

In the pressure cooker, add the minimum amount of water that your pressure cooker can use. I did this in the InstantPot, so the minimum was 1-1/2 cups. Then insert the steam rack, or trivet.

Cobbler Covered

Carefully lower the insert onto the steam rack in the pressure cooker.

Place the cover on the pressure cooker and set to reach high pressure.

If using an electric pressure cooker, set it for high pressure and set time for 20 minutes.

If using a stove top pressure cooker, set heat to high, and when pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure, then set timer to 20 minutes.

When time is up, let pressure come down naturally for 20 minutes. If pressure isn’t fully released after 20 minutes, do a quick release.

Cobbler Finished

Let it cool for 5 minutes or so.

Carefully remove the foil and dish onto plate. Serve with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (it is excellent with both!).

Cobbler1

Have a wonderful 4th!

Pressure Cooker Red White & Blue Cobbler
Print
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 servings
Only four ingredients, and you have yourself a quick and tasty pressure cooker dessert.
Ingredients
Hardware
  • Steam rack or trivet for your pressure cooker
  • Bowl, Insert or baking pan that will fit into your pressure cooker (at least 4 cups)
  • Aluminum foil for covering the insert
For Cobbler
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 can blueberries in syrup (15 oz.)
  • 1 can cherries in syrup (15 oz.)
  • 1 box white or yellow cake mix (15 oz.)
Instructions
  1. Melt the stick of butter in the microwave
  2. Coat the inside of the insert (or bowl, etc.) with cooking spray, butter or oil
  3. Pour the cherries and blueberries into the insert
  4. Pour the cake mix over the berries and pat down
  5. Pour the melted butter over the cake mix
  6. Cover the insert with aluminum foil, sealing as good as possible around handles, etc.
  7. Add the water to pressure cooker and insert the steam rack or trivet
  8. Lower the insert with berry/cake mixture onto the steam rack
  9. Put top on the pressure cooker
  10. If using electric pressure cooker, set for high pressure and 20 minutes
  11. If using a stovetop model, over high heat bring pressure cooker to high pressure, when high pressure is achieved adjust heat to maintain high pressure, then set timer for 20 minutes
  12. When time is up, remove from heat and let pressure come down on its own for 20 minutes
  13. If pressure isn't fully released after 20 minutes, do a quick release
  14. Carefully remove insert from pressure cooker and let cool for around 5 minutes
  15. Spoon onto plates or bowls and top with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

Have A Pressure Cooker Fourth!

Need some (pressure cooker) ideas for your holiday get-together?

Well, I just happen to have some right here!

Ribs Stacked2

In addition to my Cherry Sriracha Ribs from last week, I thought I might list a few other things that could work for the occasion.

Frijoles_Charros_Ribs2

How about these Frijoles Charros? All-American? Perhaps not, but if you are having anything such as pulled pork or carne asada, this is the perfect accompaniment.

PotatoSaladFinal

For a change from the traditional, mayonnaise-y potato salad, give this pressure cooker German version a try.

Coney_Sauce_Final3

And last, but not least, if you happen to hail from the Midwest and you happen to be grilling some hot dogs, you might just want to try this Coney Island Chili. I have been told it is closer to the original than most. Give it a try!

So, have a great holiday, and be careful out there!