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

 

Pressure Cooker Frijoles Charros

Pressure Cooker Mexican Cowboy Beans

Frijoles_Charros_Cornbread2

These Frijoles Charros make a mui bueno side dish to any Mexican or barbecue meal, but are just as good on their own with tortillas or corn bread. As a matter of fact, they would be the perfect accompaniment to your Memorial Day BBQ, which coincidentally is this very weekend!

Frijoles_Charros_Ingredients

Yes, I know there is no beer in this picture, but in my usual quest to keep you on your toes, I followed my usual policy of leaving out one item. But to make up for it, I included two onions, even though I decided that one large one was enough.

Chopped_Veggies

This isn’t exactly health food, what with the multiple types of pork and all, but consumed only on occasion it can be a spicy, tasty treat.

Start by soaking a pound of beans. I like to soak them overnight, but I have used the quick-soak method a couple times and works in a pinch, but I still think the very best texture is achieved by the good old overnight soaking method.

Bacon

Once the beans are soaked, you can get started on the frijoles.

In the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons oil and sauté 1/2 pound of chopped thick cut bacon until it starts browning (or longer, if desired). I have found that the thick cut bacon doesn’t really get crispy like the thinner bacon, but has a nice chew to it that works great with this recipe.

Onions_Peppers_Beer_Rotel

Add a half-pound of Mexican chorizo and cook until it starts to crumble. It will finish cooking under pressure, you just don’t want a large block of cooked sausage when you are finished. I used bulk chorizo, but if yours is in a casing, remove it. Make sure it is Mexican chorizo, Spanish chorizo is a whole different animal, well not exactly, it is still pig, but just a different form of pig and is usually already cooked. Now, add half of the onion and continue to sauté until it just starts to soften.

Chorizo

Remove the meat and onion mixture to a bowl with a slotted spoon or one of these spider dealies:

Meat_Onions_Removing

If there is a large amount of grease left in the pan, you can drain all but 3 tablespoons or so, but don’t pour it all off, this is pure flavor. The red grease from the chorizo is especially flavorful.

Keeping the heat at medium high, in the fat left from the meat, add the rest of the onion and the Serrano chiles. Sauté until the onions start to soften, then add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.

Veggies_Beer

Add the beer, scraping up any meat bits from the bottom of the pan, then add a can of tomatoes with chiles (like good old Ro-Tel).

Now it’s time for the cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and the liquid smoke.

Onions_Peppers_Beer_Rotel

Add the beans and 5 cups of water and one tablespoon beef better than bouillon, then put the top on your pressure cooker and bring to high pressure (instead of the water and Better Than Bouillon, you can use 1 quart beef stock and 1 cup water).

Frijoles_Charros_Finished

When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 20 minutes.

When time is up, do a quick release (remember when cooking legumes, your pressure cooker should never be filled more than half full).

Remove cover and add the meat/onion mixture. Stir and return top to pressure cooker, then bring to high pressure once again.

Frijoles_Charros_Cooking

This time, set the time for 10 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure come down on its own.

Remove top from pressure cooker and stir the contents, then serve in bowls as a side dish or main course.

Frijoles_Charros_Ribs3

The first night, I made ribs for dinner, and this was a side dish. When I had the leftovers the next day, I served it as a main course and had corn bread with it. And to be honest, I think I liked it better as a main dish. It would also be great with tortillas.

Enjoy!

Pressure Cooker Frijoles Charros
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Recipe type: Entree or Side Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6-8 servings
These spicy Mexican Cowboy Beans are good as a side dish or an entree
Ingredients
  • 1 pound dried pinto beans (soaked overnight)
  • ½ pound thick cut bacon, chopped
  • ½ pound Mexican chorizo (remove from casings if applicable)
  • 1 large onion, chopped and divided
  • 4 Serrano chiles, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chiles (such as Ro-Tel)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon beef flavored Better Than Bouillon (you can substitute 4 cups beef stock and 1 cup water for the water/Better Than Bouillon).
Instructions
  1. In the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat, add two tablespoons oil
  2. Sauté the bacon until it starts browning (or longer, if desired)
  3. Add the chorizo and cook until it starts to crumble
  4. Add half of the onion and continue to sauté until it just starts to soften
  5. Remove the meat and onion mixture to a bowl with slotted spoon or spider
  6. If you have a large amount of grease, you can drain all but 3 tablespoons or so
  7. In the fat left from the meat, add the rest of the onion and the Serrano chiles
  8. Sauté until the onions start to soften
  9. Add the garlic and sauté for another 1-2 minutes
  10. Add the beer, scraping up any meat bits from the bottom of the pan
  11. Add the tomatoes with chiles
  12. Add the cumin, oregano, salt and pepper
  13. Add the liquid smoke
  14. Add the beans
  15. Pour in the 5 cups of water and 1 tablespoon Beef Flavored Better Than Bouillon
  16. Put top on pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  17. When high pressure is reached, adjust heat to maintain high pressure
  18. Set timer for 20 minutes
  19. When time is up, do a quick release to bring pressure down quickly
  20. Remove cover and add the meat/onion mixture
  21. Stir and return top to pressure cooker
  22. Bring to high pressure again
  23. Set time for 10 minutes
  24. When time is up, let pressure come down on its own
  25. Remove top from pressure cooker and stir
  26. Serve in bowls as side dish or main course

Pressure Cooker Savory Oats

Steel Cut Oats Get A Savory Makeover

Savory Oatmeal

You’re gonna have to trust me on this one. When I mention this to some people, their initial reaction is “Eeeewwwww!” I guess a lifetime of only having oatmeal with fruit, syrup, brown sugar, apples, raisins and other sweet treats, has conditioned them into thinking that savory oatmeal is just wrong. But, according to this article it is catching on! As you can see, you can get pretty fancy with it, but I thought I would start out with a basic, simple recipe.

INGREDIENTS

Of course, the idea that oats can only be used in sweet recipes doesn’t make sense. Other grains such as wheat, rice, corn and buckwheat (yes, I know that some of these aren’t technically grains, but are usually used as grains) are often eaten is savory dishes, so why not oats?

The oats turn out having a creamy texture very close to risotto. I’m talking steel cut oats here. Not the mushy stuff you put into your microwave for 30 seconds. This is the good stuff.

STEEL CUT OATS

Since I started making this, my wife often requests it for weekend breakfasts. And in the pressure cooker it is so quick and easy that I always oblige.

I use McCann’s Steel Cut Oats, which are cut rather rough. The can says to cook 30 minutes, so in the pressure cooker I cook them for 10 minutes under pressure. Some oats, if cut a little finer might have a shorter cooking time. If yours have a shorter cooking time, Cook for 1/3 of the time listed.

BACON

First, chop up some bacon and cook it in a skillet until crisp. This step is first, because you are going to use a little bit of the fat for the oats. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel covered plate (I know, my picture doesn’t have a paper towel on the plate. I ran out just as I started making this. Some former Boy Scout I am. Be prepared occasionally, that’s my motto!). I tried  cooking the bacon in the pressure cooker pot, but I just couldn’t get the same crispness that I get in an iron skillet.

CRISP_BACON

With the pressure cooker over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat. Stirring constantly, add in the oats, being careful not to burn the oats. Toast for a couple minutes, until you smell a “toasty” aroma. It’s difficult to explain, but I think you will know when the oats are toasted.

COOKED_OATS

Add three cups of water, 1 tablespoon butter and a pinch of salt.

Put the cover on the pressure cooker, turn the heat to high and bring up to high pressure. When pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 10 minutes (or 1/3 the time that your oats specify).

While the oats are cooking, you can grate the cheese.

When time is up, let the pressure release naturally.

OATS_NO_EGG

Uncover and stir. Stir in most of the cheese, leaving a little to sprinkle on top.

Put into bowls, sprinkle bacon on top, then the rest of the cheese and red onions, if you like. I have done it both with and without onions.

Top each bowl with an egg. I like sunny side up, but poached would work well also.

It makes two generous size portions. It is also tasty with Tobasco or Sriracha sauce.

Pressure Cooker Savory Oats
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Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
A delicious, savory break from the usual sweet oatmeal.
Ingredients
  • ½ pound bacon (weight before cooking), chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon reserved bacon fat
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • Salt
  • 4 oz. grated sharp or extra sharp cheddar cheese.
  • 2 cooked eggs (Sunny Side Up or Poached)
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in skillet, reserving 1 tablespoon of the fat.
  2. Over medium heat, add bacon fat to pressure cooker pot
  3. Add in the oats
  4. Stir constantly until lightly toasted (you will notice a toasty smell), be careful not to burn
  5. Add in the water, butter and a pinch of salt
  6. Put top on pressure cooker, turn heat to high until high pressure is reached
  7. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure
  8. Set timer for 10 minutes (or ⅓ of the time that is listed on your oats)
  9. When time is up remove from heat
  10. Let pressure come down on its own
  11. When pressure is released, open top and stir in most of the cheese, reserving a little to sprinkle on top
  12. Divide into two bowls and top with the chopped bacon and an egg

 

 

Pressure Cooker German Potato Salad

A Super Quick Pressure Cooker Version of Classic German Potato Salad

PotatoSaladSausage

Classic? Maybe. Traditional? I’m not so sure.

INGREDIENTS

The first time I set this dish in front of the S.O., who is from Germany, she asked me what it was. I replied, “Warm Potato Salad, like in Germany!”

“That’s news to me. I’ve never had warm potato salad in my life, and I used to have potato salad all the time in Germany!” was her reply.

BaconSlices

Of course, it’s entirely possible that it is a regional thing, and she happens to be from the “Cold Potato Salad” area of Germany.

But, authentic or not, one thing for sure is that this is pretty dang tasty.

BaconCrisp

And also, a disclaimer: just because this is mayo-free, it is by no means “low-cal” or “healthy.” It is full of bacon-y goodness. If you are in the market for something a little lighter and healthier, give the “Italian Potato Salad” a try at hippressurecooking.com. It looks delicious as well.

OnionsInPan

The most time-consuming thing about this recipe is cooking the bacon. Once the bacon is cooked, everything else just takes a few minutes. If you plan ahead (I never can, but maybe you can), cook some extra bacon for breakfast one day, and save it (along with some of the grease), and this will go even quicker.

PotatoesPan

I used small red potatoes, and cut them into around 1/2″-3/4″ chunks. And try to get extra thick bacon, it works best with this dish.

After opening, adjust the salt and pepper to taste, making sure it has cooled enough to taste first. Or should I say: “Making thure it ith cool enough to tathte firtht (the tongue bandages come off next week). You may not need much salt depending on what bacon you use.

This goes great with sausage and sauerkraut (of course), but also could be a good alternative to fries, served with a corned beef sandwich or hot dog.

I usually serve this just a little warm, not “hot”, but I have also had it cold and it is good that way, too.

PotatoSaladFinal

So give it a try for the true taste of the “Old Country” (if by “Old Country” you mean somewhere in Minnesota).

Pressure Cooker German Potato Salad
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Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A speedy pressure cooker preparation of the classic warm German Potato Salad
Ingredients
  • 6 slices thick-cut bacon (about ½ lb.)
  • 2 lb. red potatoes, cut in ½"-3/4" chunks
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 splash worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard (grainy or Dijon both work fine)
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf (italian) parsley
Instructions
  1. Put pressure cooker pot over medium high heat
  2. Roughly chop the raw bacon (you can leave it whole if you have a large pot, but I do it this way because it fits better)
  3. Put bacon in pot and fry until crisp (around 15 min. total)
  4. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate
  5. In the bacon fat, saute onions until translucent (do not brown)
  6. Chop the crisp bacon fine and add back to the pot
  7. Add potatoes to the pot
  8. Add in vinegar, broth, worcestershire sauce, mustard, celery seed, sugar and a little salt and pepper
  9. Turn heat to high, cover pressure cooker and bring to high pressure
  10. When high pressure is reached, lower heat to maintain high pressure and set timer for 5 minutes
  11. When timer sounds, remove from heat and let sit for two minutes then do a cold water release
  12. Adjust salt and pepper to taste
  13. Stir in the parsley, then let it cool (it can be served warm, or put in the refrigerator to be served later (I served it cold).