Pressure Cooker Convert Safety Tip

Remember Kids, Treat Your Kitchen Implements With Respect!


I was seconds away from my big “Eureka!” moment. After numerous attempts to create a reasonable facsimile of Detroit-style Coney Island Sauce (Hot Dog Chili for the uninitiated), I could feel it, this was the one!

But in a matter of seconds, things went from a “Eureka” moment to a “Oh, $%^&#” moment.

Before putting the chili under pressure (for  a mere 7 minutes), I wanted to get the oven fries that I had planned for accompaniment going. So, I pulled out my trusty mandoline slicer in order to quickly slice those babies. That’s where things took a turn for the worse.

Yes, as I have answered to many queries over the past week or so, my mandoline has a guard. But, with potatoes, you can’t use the guard until they get down low enough to hold without tipping over. And yes, as I also have answered more than once over the past week, I could have cut the potatoes in half first, which perhaps I will consider in the future.

Anyway, as I was almost finished slicing, I apparently got a bit careless, thereby ending up with a beautiful mound of uniformly sliced potatoes topped by a small chunk of my left thumb.

Searching the apartment for bandages, I came up empty-handed, so bundled what was left of my thumb with paper towels, held in place with packing tape. (Note to self: get a damn first-aid kit).

While the bleeding didn’t seem to be showing any sign of stopping, I pressed on, not only finishing dinner preparations, but also eating.

At that point, with the bleeding subsiding somewhat, I decided to walk down to the local CVS and purchase some proper bandages.

When I got home, I removed the makeshift bandages, and once again it started bleeding. The S.O. convinced me to go to the ER. I thought I probably should listen to her this time. I say this time, because a couple years ago I got hit by a car while riding my bicycle home from work, and responded to her pleas to get it checked out with “I’m fine, that would just be a waste of time.” Then an hour or so later, I looked in the mirror and discovered that my pupils were two distinctly different sizes. At that point I realized that I most likely had a concussion, but didn’t say anything so as not to admit that I was wrong. But from then on I decided that anytime anything happened that she felt was serious enough to merit a visit to the local emergency room, that I should probably listen.

The S.O. doesn’t drive, and I thought better of riding my Vespa to the hospital with a bleeding thumb. Besides, the hospital is just 6 blocks from home, so we walked it.

Unable to give me stitches because of the nature of the cut (it was basically flat, so nothing to sew together), they used something called “gelfoam” to seal the cut and stop the bleeding. So, for the past week or so, my cooking has been minimal since I soon discovered that a bulky bandage on the thumb of your dominant hand can really get in the way when trying to cook.

So the moral of the story is, take care when using all kitchen utensils, from your treasured pressure cooker, to the various knives, slicers, peelers, blenders and processors. It only takes a second of carelessness to have to put up with a couple weeks of a big, bandaged thumb.

And by the way, the Coney Sauce was excellent (the recipe will be coming soon)!



Pressure Cooker German Potato Salad

A Super Quick Pressure Cooker Version of Classic German Potato Salad


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


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.


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.


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 It looks delicious as well.


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.


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.


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
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cuisine: German
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
A speedy pressure cooker preparation of the classic warm German Potato Salad
  • 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
  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).


Pressure Cooker Salt-Crusted Potatoes

Papas Arrugadas In the Pressure Cooker


Just when I think I have finally reached the “end of the internet”, thinking that I have wasted so much time online that I have seen everything that can possibly be seen on the web, I stumble upon someting new.

Who knows what I was searching for when I happened on this article about Canary Island style salted potatoes.


Also known as Papas Arrugadas (Spanish for wrinkled potatoes), these can be a tasty alternative to both boiled potatoes and french fries, and slightly healthier to boot (healthier than french fries, anyway).

In the traditional recipe, the potatoes were boiled in sea water until the water evaporated, leaving the potatoes coated with salt. Since I didn’t think I could boil potatoes in our local seawater here in SoCal and live to tell about it (and I don’t think anyone really uses that method anymore), I used plain water and kosher salt.


Utilizing the pressure cooker these can be made quite a bit quicker than without, and the results leave potatoes flavored throughout with salt, but not overly salty.

The traditional accompaniment to these is red or green mojo sauce (pronounced mo-ho), but I made some chipotle ketchup for dipping (I was lazy so just mixed a couple teaspoons of chipotle chili powder with some ketchup).


This recipe works best with really small potatoes. I used Russian banana potatoes and they worked perfectly. If you use smaller or larger potatoes, you will need to adjust the cooking time in either direction.

Ten minutes might sound like a slightly long cooking time for such small potatoes, but you also want them to get a slightly wrinkled appearance.


I served these with bunless burgers with parmesan crisps (hey, it’s a new year, I am trying to cut down on my bread consumption. We’ll see how long I can pull that off.)
Even though the salt gives the illusion of decadence, since these are not fried, they are almost guilt-free. Give them a try and let me know how you like them!


Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 pound small potatoes, washed
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • water
  1. Put potatoes in pressure cooker pot
  2. Cover with water (I used 4 cups in my Fissler)
  3. Add the salt
  4. Stir around a little and place the top on the pressure cooker
  5. Turn heat to high and bring to high pressure
  6. When high pressure is reached, turn burner down to maintain high pressure and set timer for 10 minutes
  7. When timer sounds, remove from heat and do a quick release
  8. Drain water from potatoes
  9. Put pot over medium heat with potatoes
  10. Stir around for a couple minutes until water evaporates from potato surface
  11. Remove to a bowl and serve with a dipping sauce


Partial Pressure Cooker Potatoes

Oktoberfest, Pressure Cooker Style Pt. II,
copycat Umami Burger Smushed Potatoes

This isn’t a pressure cooker recipe, per se, but I did utilize the pressure cooker in preparing the potatoes to accompany the sausage and sauerkraut that I made for my recent “last weekend of Oktoberfest” celebration.

My plan was to replicate the “Smushed Potatoes” that they have on the menu at local gourmet burger joint Umami Burger.

I don’t think I am the only person trying to replicate this tasty treat, since a quick search on the internet turns up quite a few searches for Umami Smushed potatoes, albeit in a variety of different spellings.

These are basically twice-cooked potatoes. They are first boiled, at least in my interpretation (I am making no claims that this is the exact same way that Umami makes them), although I actually steam them. Then they are “smushed” and fried.
If you ever get a chance to go to Umami Burger, besides having the best burgers in Los Angeles in my opinion, the Smushed Potatoes, along with the Cheesy Tots (which are not on the printed menu, but are usually available by request, no password required) are the best side dishes on the menu.

So here’s how my “copycat” recipe goes:

Take 8 or so small potatoes (I used 8 to serve 2 people). I think Umami always uses reds, but my local grocery didn’t have any so I used small Yukon Gold potatoes, though I would have liked ones that were slightly smaller.

Put them in the pressure cooker with a half-cup or so of water. Once full pressure is achieved, reduce heat and maintain full pressure for six or seven minutes.

Let pressure come down naturally.

Now, for the smushing. I use the flat side of my meat tenderizer, but if you have the mallet type of tenderizer, be sure to use a little restraint (it might be best not to do this right after work), otherwise you will be changing your plans to having countertop mashed potatoes. I have used a plate before also, with good results.

The idea is to flatten the potatoes as much as possible while keeping the skins reasonably intact and the potatoes from crumbling. I had one casualty this time, but the others turned out fine.

When you are finished flattening the potatoes, heat up some butter in a skillet. While the butter is melting, season the potatoes. I used salt, pepper, hot paprika and garlic powder. This isn’t necessarily what Umami Burger uses, just my preferred seasonings, use whatever you like.

Brown the potatoes on both sides, until a nice crust forms, and that’s it. Put on a plate and serve.

Let me know how you like them. If you have tried Umami’s version, let me know if I am in the ballpark with these.