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

 

Pressure Cooker Taco Pasta

This Ain’t No Hamburger Helper!

Taco Pasta Plate1

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

Taco Pasta Ingredients

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

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

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

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

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

Ground Beef Browning

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

Beef Onion Taco Seasoning

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

Beef Rotel Mixture

 

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

Macaroni

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

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

Remove top and stir everything together.

Cheese Shredded

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

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

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

Taco Pasta Plate 4

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

 

Sneak Peek – Taco Pasta

Taco Pasta – A Spicy Take On Beefy Mac

DSCF9565

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

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

So stop by this weekend for the full recipe!