Advertisements

Blog Archives

Pressure Cooker Beans

I was hit with a need for lima beans and cornbread and didn’t want to wait overnight to soak them properly so I turned to the pressure cooker.  I cheated a little – bringing them to a boil and then resting them for an hour before sealing the pot and giving them 40 more minutes under pressure.

Plenty of comment on the best method for pressure cooking dry beans, I saw many mentions of exploded looking beans from letting off the pressure too quickly along with a few predictions of foaming and overflow unless you add a little vegetable oil to the beans or fill the pot only half full, or less.  Many sites have time tables for cooking various beans, I’ve found that my tastes run towards adding a little time to most everyone’s recommendations.

Mine turned out mostly OK, they may have only needed 30 minutes given their head start.The buttermilk cornbread turned out pretty good though the bottom scorched a bit while on the stove top waiting for the toaster oven to come to temp.  I like to pour the batter into a hot skillet to give it a proper crust, got distracted rinsing out the bowls and let it go a wee bit long on high.  Two of the burners on the new stove put out much more heat than any of the burners on the previous range and I’m still adjusting.

Advertisements

Pressure Cooker Italian Beef

It’s just like crockpot Italian beef, only faster.  I’m liking my Instapot cooker more and more.  It’s the only way I make stock these days – just pile in the bones and odds and ends of celery and carrots and what-not with water and give it an hour on the timer and you’re golden.

Anyway back to the beef – sear a good chunk of that on sale chuck or what have you, cover it with some of your stock, add a couple of coarsely chopped onions, a handful of garlic, Italian seasonings (basil, thyme, oregano, parsley), and a jar of pickled pepperoncini.  The peppers are not as important as the juice.  You can add some red pepper flake to spice it up.  I set the timer for 75 minutes – it was easily shreddable when done,I baked some rolls to go with the beef.  I’ve been using the reliable KA bun recipe for several years now.  My hamburger buns usually turn out better looking than these hoagie type rolls but I’m working on that.Bonus Bea pic!

Butter Beans

These went from dry to done in just a couple of hours thanks to the Instant Pot pressure cooker.  It probably could have been done quicker but I was a little leery of the cooking tables.  I have a vague memory of being disappointed in some pintos I cooked following their data.  I decided to simmer them for an hour then give them an hour in the cooker.  They cooked in chicken stock with a chopped onion, bay leaves, pepper, salt, dried thyme, and a couple chunks of cured ham.

InstaStock

Just a reminder for those with an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker – you can make a nice stock out of those chicken bones you are saving.I set it for an hour and that seems sufficient.  The Food Lab has much more!

Pork Belly with Pickled Mustard Greens

Most days we watch cooking shows while having lunch or dinner.  I DVR shows so I can skip the commercials during playback.  This dish caught my eye so I grabbed a notepad to scribble down the ingredients:

  • pork belly
  • brown sugar
  • mushroom soy sauce
  • black bean sauce
  • oyster sauce
  • sliced ginger root
  • chopped green onions
  • chopped white onion
  • minced garlic
  • fermented black beans
  • sesame oil
  • pickled mustard greens

There will be no measurements.  I used about 1-1/2 pounds of pork belly cut into one inch cubes and pretty much eye-balled the rest of it,  I started the video from the top and added the ingredients in the same order as the TV chef, a Jamaican with Chinese ancestry.  His answers, when prompted for amounts by the host, were either “this much” or “that much there”.

The chef was asked how long will this simmer on your stove-top, but I couldn’t make out his reply.  I think he said “till it’s done”.I was going to be making it in the Instapot pressure cooker so I set it for an hour.

The mustard green were added after the pork belly had cooked down.These came from the International Grocery, a store in a nearby college town.  I was pretty sure they would have them, but I looked in the canned veggie section to no avail.  I asked for help.  The store clerk went right to them, they are in sealed plastic bags, he mentioned that they were very sour and needed a good soaking with changes of water so I started the soak the first thing. I also picked up the mushroom soy sauce and the black bean ingredients while there.  Handy store!Chop the greens and add them to the pot after it cools down enough to open.  I also thickened this the same way as the chef – a slurry of corn starch.  When I make this again I will back off on the on the added water.

The TV show was “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the food network.  The info for the episode said it was from season 4, episode 6, first aired 09/05/08.  Alas, a search of the Food Network’s web page didn’t yield agreement, it says the the episode “A Taste of Everywhere” was from season 4, episode 7.  Clicking on that episode link was no help in finding the recipe.

A  Google search for recipes turned up numerous variations, most of them mentioned par-boiling the pork belly.  There wasn’t any mention of that on the show but it may have been edited out.  I went ahead and did it before cubing the belly:

Next time I’ll cube it first and boil it a little longer, that should reduce the fat a little in the end result.

Tidbits

Whoo Boy!  We got some rain last night, the thunder seemed constant all night long.  Bitsy just crawled out from underneath the sofa a few minutes ago.Here’s Gabe and Homer Kitteh messing about by the pond a couple of days ago.  It’s been down a little all winter long, several inches below the overflow pipe.  I haven’t looked this morning yet but it has to be up close, now.I’ve found that using a can of refried beans in my chili recipe really adds some body to it.  I used refried black beans in this but the regular refries from pinto beans should work fine.I’ve been making gravy from the chicken fat captured when I roast a chicken beer-butt style:I pour off the fat (and the water I’ve added to the pan) and refrigerate it to make separating the fat easy.  Make a roux of the fat and flour then add stock to make gravy.  You can also add milk to make it creamy but I don’t except when making it for a pot pie.  We eat half the chicken the first go, then bone the rest for later.  The carcass goes into the pressure cooker to make a stock, takes an hour at pressure rather than all day on the stove-top.Kittehs!  There are a couple of brand new momma cats at the shelter, they were brought in pregnant.  The shelter will eventually spay her but the kittehs have to be weaned first.  Mrs J says 6 to 8 weeks is normal.Rib steaks!  Sous vide is the killer app for steaks.  These spend the afternoon at 138 degrees in their vacuum sealed bags.  Kroger sells whole slabs of these, I slice and bag them with salt and pepper and then freeze.  They go right into the hot bath frozen.Another batch of cuties!  Mrs J says they had to open the overflow kitten room because they have too many right now for the dedicated kitteh nursery.

Leg of Lamb

20160410_132001I brought up a leg of lamb from the basement freezer and decided to go the pressure cooker route.  It was a little over 4 pounds and fit nicely in the Instapot.  I added 2 cups of broth and dusted the leg with a spice mix made up of garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, marjoram, oregano, salt and pepper, and set the timer for 65 minutes per the table in Bob Warden’s cookbook (45 minutes plus 20 for frozen).  Needing thin slices for a gyro, I cut them from the cooked roast and browned them in oil in a skillet, dusting them with more of the spice mix.20160410_133147_HDRThat HDR software works pretty well on gyros, too!  I used fresh dill in the tzatziki this time, and a squeeze of honey, otherwise it’s the basic Alton Brown recipe (sans mint).

Pressure Cooker Corned Beef

20160317_131753[1] (1600x1060)In a slow cooker it’s an 8 hour project.  It takes several hours to boil one atop the stove.  In my Instapot pressure cooker it took 90 minutes for the meat, and the veggies just a few minutes.  There is additional time involved reaching temperature, and some spent winding down but this corned beef was so good I ran back to Kroger’s for two more that I’ll cook today to chill and slice for sandwiches.

Pressure Cooker Pork Mole

DSC_1677 (1600x1060)Valued commenter donnah mentioned in the pressure cooker gadget post that she found this cookbook to be worth purchasing.  I ordered it and it came yesterday.  The pork mole recipe caught my eye, we did it today.  I hoped to find the recipe online so I could link to it.  This one appears to be the same one but it doesn’t have any attribution.  I don’t know who stole from who!  Well, you can’t copyright a recipe, so no harm no foul.

I probably used too much broth and didn’t let it reduce far enough so the sauce is a tad thin, but it tasted great.  I’ll reduce it farther before I put it away today.

Beef Stew in Wine: Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker Methods

We had a bit of snow last night and there’s a chill in the air. When I was at the market I found a nice cut of chuck and decided I wanted to make stew for dinner. It was about 4 pm, so it was time to break out the pressure cooker. In 30 minutes I had a great stew that tasted like it was cooked all day in the slow-cooker. Below is the recipe, you can use in with both.

Originally posted 1/2012

Temperature is supposed to drop by 50 degrees between today’s high and tomorrow’s high. Seemed like a good time to break out the slow-cooker.  I’ve also included a variation of the instructions for a pressure cooker, in case my gadget post made you decide to dig yours out of storage.

We’ve done beef stew before here, this is just a variation on the basic recipe.

The thing to know about beef stew is the flavors really come from the meat and vegetables.  Seasoning is better if kept light for the best experience.

Beef Stew in Wine

  • 1 lb lean stew meat
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • 4-6 small potatoes, quartered
  • 8 oz baby carrots, halved
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 button mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • pinch of rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves (remove before serving)
  • ½ tsp ea. salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup of dry red wine
  • 3 tbsp flour as needed

slowcooker, skillet

In skillet, heat oil.  Add salt and pepper to flour, dredge meat in flour and add to hot oil.  Cook until evenly brown.

Place meat, onion, vegetables & spices into the slowcooker, add 5 cups water and wine,  cook according to slowcooker directions, (usually 8 to 10 hours on low).

I like my stew thick, so about 2o minutes before serving, I turn the slow-cooker heat to high, bringing stew to a boil, mix 1 cup water and flour completely, add to stew, stirring constantly (works best with a fork), and cook until thickened, reduce heat and let simmer additional 20 minutes.

For Pressure Cooker:

Heat oil in pressure cooker.  Dredge meat in flour, salt & pepper mixture and cook in oil until evenly brown.  Add onions and sweat for a minute.  Add vegetables, spices, 5 cups of water and wine to pressure cooker, cover and bring to pressure.  Reduce heat and cook for 20 minutes.  Turn heat off and let depressurize naturally (as opposed to the cold water method).  For a thicker stew follow directions above.