Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Pressure Cooker Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes

After several attempts, I think I finally figured out how to make creamy tasty scalloped potatoes. They require a little more effort than I had hoped but are done much faster than the traditional oven method. They would also be good with chunks of cooked ham.

This recipe makes enough for 2-3 small side servings.

Slice 5 medium-sized peeled potatoes (1/8-1/4" thick)

1 cup water

1 Tablespoon dried minced onion

salt & pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in pressure cooker. Set to 4 minutes on vegetable setting.

While the potatoes are cooking, make 3/4 cup of your favorite white sauce.

Quick release the pressure and carefully drain off any extra water.

Gently stir in white sauce and 1/2 cup grated cheese.

Put lid back on pressure cooker and let sit for 15 minutes on the keep warm setting before serving.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017


I recently tried horchata for the very first time. I've seen it on menus but never decided to give it a try. I loved it! I immediately had two thoughts: one, I had to figure out how to make it myself; and, two, it would be great with coffee.

Since I had no idea what it had in it, even after drinking it, I did some research. Wait... all it has in it is rice, water, sugar, milk, cinnamon and vanilla? That didn't seem possible. I did some more research, read some recipe reviews and came up with my own method. It has lots of possibilities and flexibility depending on your taste. I'm sure I'll come up with my own favorite combinations over time.

But for now, here's my base recipe for horchata...

1 1/2 cups rice
2 cups water

Place in a blender and pulse 6-7 times.

Add 3 more cups of water.

Blend until the rice is coarsely ground.

Pour into large bowl with pour spout or pitcher.

Add 2-3 whole cinnamon sticks.

Put a cover on it and place in fridge for 6-8 hours or overnight.

Remove from fridge and pour through a sieve into a clean bowl or pitcher.

Place 1/2 cup sugar (use more or less to taste) and 1/2 Tablespoon of cinnamon into a food processor and pulse until the sugar is finely ground. This helps it dissolve better in the cold liquid.

Whisk well into the rice-y liquid until dissolved.

Then pour in 1 to 1 1/2 cups of milk. I like mine richer so I used some milk with heavy cream added. But I think you could also use half and half or a can of evaporated milk. You could also used any non-dairy milks. (I'm going to try all of those ideas someday)

Then gently whisk in 1/2 Tablespoon of vanilla. I also threw in a bit of almond extract. It's not authentic but I love the flavor it gives. That being said, I will probably try vanilla almond milk next.

Chill and serve. Shake well before serving. It will settle a bit.

By the way, I was right. It is good iced with coffee! Mmmm!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Pressure Cooker Bread Pudding with Bourbon Sauce

Our other Fat Tuesday tradition is bread pudding. Despite not finding much to go on on-line, I attempted it anyway...

First I cut up some crusty bread into cubes and put them in front of the woodstove to dry them out a bit. But it's better if you have a few days to let them dry out on their own.

Grease two 8oz ramekins and fill with bread cubes. Stir in some raisins, if you like. I did one of each.

Beat well:
2/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1/8-1/4 cup sugar
splash vanilla
ground nutmeg

Pour egg mixture over bread evenly.

Pour 3 cups hot tap water into pressure cooker.

Put steamer rack in pot and place ramekins on rack.

Turn it on meat setting and let water heat for 5 minutes. It will probably boil.

Turn pressure cooker off.

Put lid on cooker and cook on meat setting for 15 minutes and let natural release for 10 minutes.

When I opened the lid, I didn't expect to see them all boiled over. It was a bit of a mess but didn't seem like a total loss...

Remove the puddings and let them cool 15-30 minutes.

Then make bourbon sauce.

Heat 2 Tablespoons milk and butter, 1 Tablespoon of white and brown sugar on medium-high heat until it just boils. Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon bourbon.

Spoon sauce over puddings and serve.

The texture of the pudding was nice but I should have added more bourbon to the sauce... :)

Pressure Cooker Jambalaya

Every year for Fat Tuesday we have jambalaya for dinner. I've made it from scratch but to be honest I really like this stuff in the box...

I only  used half a box since it was just for my hubby and I.

But first I sauteed some ingredients for several minutes on the meat setting with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil:
 1 chicken breast, cut up
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
6 oz andouille sausage
10-12 shrimp, peeled

Turn off pressure cooker. Stir in 1/2 can of diced tomatoes

Stir in 2/3 cup of the rice mixture into the cooker. Add 2/3 cup water and shrimp. Stir lightly.

Put lid on cooker. Cook on rice setting for 6 minutes. Let natural release for 10 minutes.

Stir and let sit for a few minutes.

We had our Mardi Gras dinner with okra and wine.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pressure Cooker Egg Bake

I was hesitant to post this without trying it a second time because my pressure cooker didn't seem to actually build up pressure. It heated up and then counted down. But there was no steam released once the timer was up. But it turned out so perfectly that I did it anyway... :)

The secret to my egg bake is tater tot rounds. You know, those cute flat tater tots you buy in the frozen food section next to the French fries.

Turn your pressure cooker onto the meat setting and let it heat up for a couple of minutes. Add a bit of oil and brown your favorite breakfast meat (sausage, ham or bacon) until it is cooked along with your some veggies of your choice. I had to reset my meat setting a second time.

I used 1/8 cup chopped onion and bit of chopped green pepper with 6 oz of my homemade breakfast sausage.

Toss in 2 cups of the tater rounds and give them a toss to heat them up a bit.

Beat 5 eggs and 1/4 cup milk. Pour over meat/tater tot mixture.

Place lid on cooker and cook on rice setting for 7 minutes.

Quick release and open lid. Sprinkle with some shredded cheese and replace lid to melt.

This is also very good served in flour tortillas with salsa and sour cream for a breakfast burrito.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Pressure Cooker Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

Someone in the PC group on Facebook posted about making stuffed peppers. It didn't work out how she'd hoped, but it inspired me to try. Mine turned out much better than hers did, but I learned from her (and my) mistakes.

4 medium to large green peppers, cut off the tops and take out seeds and other stuff

2/3 cup rice
2/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons taco seasoning.

Pour into pressure cooker or into a smaller pot to place inside. If you cook it in a smaller pot, place 1 cup of water in bottom and put pot on top of rack.

Cook on rice setting for 6 minutes, Let natural release while preparing the rest of the filling.

Saute 1/4 cup onion in a bit of oil in a pan on the stove. When it begins to brown, add 1/3 cup frozen corn. Saute until moisture is gone.

Stir in 1 small can of salsa and the onion/corn into the rice.

Drain and rinse 1/3 cup black beans. Add to rice mixture.

If you wanted, you could also add some browned ground meat.

Stuff rice mixture into peppers (I made 2 and froze the remaining filling for another time)

Place rack into pressure cooker and add 1 cup water. Place peppers on top of rack.

Cook on vegetable setting for 5 minutes. Release steam and carefully remove peppers. They were perfectly done. Tender but still firm.

Sprinkle with grated cheese and let melt before serving.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Pressure Cooker Buffalo Mac & Cheese

This recipe makes 2 main-dish sized servings. But it can be easily modified to make more.

From my research the key is to grate your own cheese from a block and not to use pre-grated packaged cheese.

1 large chicken breast, cut into small pieces
2 Tablespoons oil
2 Tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon garlic
1/2 stalk of celery, chopped
buffalo wing sauce, to taste
8oz pasta (I used large macaroni)
water or chicken broth (I used water and a bit of bouillon)
salt and white pepper, to taste

Preheat oil in cooker. Turn onto meat setting for 15 minutes and let preheat. Add chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add onion, garlic and celery and saute another 3 minutes. 

Add buffalo wing sauce and stir to coat chicken.

Place pasta in pressure cooker.  Pour water/broth over until barely at level with pasta. 

Give a stir. Cook for 6 minutes on rice setting. Quick release and add...

1 generous cup of grated cheese (I used mostly pepper jack with a bit of medium cheddar)

Stir well to melt cheese.

Add some sour cream  to make it a bit smoother. Mine only needed a tad. But add what you like.

It will thicken as it sits for a few minutes before serving. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Pressure Cooker Creamy Italian Chicken

We made this for our youth group's Valentine's banquet fundraiser a couple of years ago. Except we did it in giant roaster ovens and served it over pasta. But with my pressure cooker I can do it all in one pot with only 6 minutes cook time.

2 cut up chicken breasts
6 mushrooms, sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 oz cream cheese, cut into 8 chunks
1/2 can of cream of mushroom soup
6 oz dry pasta
1 Tablespoon chicken bouillon
1 package of dry Italian dressing mix
1/4 teaspoon crushed red peppers
black pepper

Preheat olive oil in cooker. Turn onto meat setting for 15 minutes and let preheat. Add chicken and saute for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute another 3-4 minutes.

Add cream cheese, soup, pasta, bouillon, dressing mix, and spices. Pour water into pot until pasta is just covered.

Put lid on cooker, turn onto rice setting for 6 minutes. Quick release steam and remove lid.

Stir to mix and melt cream cheese. Set sit for 5 minutes to thicken.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Almond Toffee Macaroons

It's hard to imagine that I only started liking coconut at all in the last 8 years or so. I must have been crazy! :)

I made lemon curd today and had 6 egg whites that I didn't just want to throw down the garbage disposal. So I made cookies instead. Yummy coconut cookies with toffee bits I had in my freezer from Christmas and chocolate drizzle...

4 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon each of vanilla and almond extract

Beat this until foamy but not white. Don't worry if the sugar isn't totally dissolved.

Mix in 14 ounces of shredded coconut and about 1/2 cup of toffee bits.

Pack tightly into balls (about the size of a walnut) with wet hands to keep them from sticking too much to your hands.

Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Or use a slipat that you've sprayed. These suckers are sticky!

Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until golden on edges and a bit on top.

Let cool on baking sheet on a wire rack for 20 minutes before removing.

After they have cooled, drizzle them with melted chocolate chips with a bit of coconut oil for stability at room temp.

Pressure Cooker Indian-Style Chicken & Rice

I'm sure using the garam masala blend of whole spices from India really helped put this over the top. That spicy, sweet smell of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, peppercorns, fennel seeds, mustard seeds, cloves, cinnamon and anise is amazing. It was so tasty that I will definitely be making it again...

Cut up 2-3 chicken thighs into small rough-cut pieces

Turn cooker onto meat/chicken setting and let preheat for a couple of minutes with 2 Tablespoons of butter inside.

When the butter is melted, saute the chicken for a bit. Then add:

1/4 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic

Continue to saute for 5-6 minutes.

Stir in:
3/4 cup rice (I used jasmine)
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 can of fire-roasted diced stewed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon of garam masala

Put the lid on the cooker and set for 6 minutes on rice setting. Let natural release for 10 minutes. Release any remaining steam, remove lid, stir and serve.