Make It A Pressure Cooker Summer!

Don’t Let Your Pressure Cooker Take The Summer Off!

PC_VACATION

As soon as the warm weather starts moving in, I’m sure that one thing on the minds of many is “Good, I can put away the long johns, the heavy sweaters, the winter coats, and the Pressure Cooker.

Just because it is Summer is no reason to give the old PC the entire summer off.

One day last week as I was making dinner, I realized that I had just used two pressure cookers to make a salad! I was making a “steak” salad, which also had some green beans in it. Just one minute in the pressure cooker and the beans were perfectly tender-crisp. As for the “steak”, chuck was on sale at the market for a price too good to pass up. Since chuck can be a little tough if you try normal steak-cooking methods, I braised it in some beer in the pressure cooker for about 30 minutes, and it was tender as all get-out.

It’s true that I don’t use the pressure cooker to make as many complete meals as I do in the cooler months, but I often use it to get things prepped for my summer meals.

The shorter cook times and lower heat keep the temps in the kitchen at a reasonable level.

What can you use the pressure cooker for in the summer?

Well, I just happen to have some suggestions:

You can “steam” potatoes for potato salad, which is a lot quicker and cooler than letting water come to a boil, tossing in the potatoes and then boiling for 20 minutes or so.

Try hard “boiling” eggs, for use in egg salad, the aforementioned potato salad, as well as many other salads. And it makes them so easy to peel.

Par-cook vegetables such as green beans and corn in a matter of minutes.

Make a big pot of “baked” beans to take to your picnic. It’s far better than canned, and keeps things a lot cooler than cooking them in the oven.

I almost always cook pasta in the pressure cooker now, too. Make pasta salads in half the time (or less).

I’m sure there are many other ways to use the pressure cooker in the summer months.

Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.

 

Here Comes Summer!

Celebrate The Beginning Of Summer The Pressure Cooker Way

I just realized that we are less than two weeks away from Memorial Day, the unofficial beginning of summer. Time to get out the old grill and burn some burgers and dogs.

But what about those of us who aren’t able to grill or barbecue? Those of us that live in apartments with one small grill out by the pool that is shared by 69 other apartments? You can’t really count on it being available.

And what about if inclement weather puts a damper on your plans. This year, that seems like it may be likelier than in years past. I know friends in a couple different areas who had snow just this past weekend.

You probably saw this coming, but you could use your pressure cooker to make some of the classics that are usually associated with outdoor cooking.

And by gum, I just happen to have a few examples on this here blog.

Such as:

Pulled Pork

PORK-AND-SLAW

This North Carolina Style pulled pork may not be quite the same as smoking a whole hog for twelve hours, but it is still delicious and takes about an hour, to boot.

Pulled Turkey

Pulled_Turkey_Plate3

This one is based on a Central South Carolina, mustard-based sauce. The use of turkey breast instead of the usual pork, makes it a little leaner and a great alternative for non-pork eaters.

Chili Dogs

Coney_Sauce_Final2

 

Or cook up some wieners and top them with this tasty Coney Island Chili. Based on the chili at Coney Island restaurants that are plentiful in the Detroit area where I grew up, after some experimenting, I think this is a pretty reasonable facsimile.

Whether you do you cooking inside or out, I wish all of you a great holiday!