Saturday, March 05, 2011

Under Pressure

Today, I taught a pressure cooking class at Big George's in Ann Arbor. It's a great thing to do on a rainy dreary midwinter day. The first recipe I demonstrated is Beef Monterey, which is a southwest variant on swiss steak. It's quick and easy for a weekday dinner. Saffron Risotto with vegetables is beautifully colored, especially cheery on a gray day like today. To make it into a meal, add some cubed chicken with the rice or some shrimp at the end. Risotto in the pressure cooker is so easy - it literally takes 5 minutes to do. No standing by the stove and stirring for 45 minutes! It's probably the number one reason to get a pressure cooker. I'm devoted to my Kuhn Rikon Duromatic pressure cookers (I own two), because they are beautifully built. Alas, they are spendy! I've written about my love of Swiss kitchen gadgets before, but I'll let you in on a little secret. I bought a Phillipe Richard pressure cooker at J.C. Penney for $20 and it worked splendidly. I'd suggest using a flame tamer with a cheaper cooker to help evenly disperse the heat. A flame tamer is a metal disk that goes between the flame and your pot.

Beef Monterey

1 T. olive oil
¼ c. flour
Salt and pepper
1 top round beef steak, approx.. 1 ¼ lb, cut into 4 serving size pieces
1 T red wine vinegar
1 medium onion, sliced pole to pole
2 poblano peppers
1 10 oz. can tomatoes with peppers
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, minced

In uncovered pressure cooker, heat oil on medium high heat Combine flour, salt and pepper in a ziplock bag. Add beef and shake so meat is evenly coated in flour, and add beef to cooker and sear quickly on both sizes until browned. Remove meat from pan and set aside.

Deglaze the pan with vinegar, add onion and pepper and cook for a minute or so. Add tomatoes, including juice. Return beef to the pan . Cover cooker and bring to full pressure (15 lbs) over high heat. Lower heat to maintain high pressure. Cook for 20 minutes. Release pressure using the quick method, open the cooker and remove the meat, cook sauce uncovered until it has thickened slightly, 7 – 9 minutes. Top meat with sauce and garnish with cilantro. Serves 4

World’s Easiest Risotto

The basic recipe
1 T. olive oil
1 ½ c. arborio rice
3 ½-4 c. stock
¼ c. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Basic method – heat the oil in the open cooker, add rice stirring to coat with oil, add 3 ½ c. stock. Cover, bring to low pressure (12 lbs) over high heat , lower heat to just maintain pressure. High pressure(15 lbs) is okay if that is the only option with the cooker. Cook for 5 minutes, release pressure using the quick method, and open the cooker. Add Parmesan and heat uncovered until desired consistency, adding stock if necessary. Add salt and pepper to taste Makes 4 main dish servings (or 6 side dish)

Today’s variation
I made Saffron Risotto with Vegetables – I added ½ c. chopped leeks, ¼ t saffron to oil during the rice step, I used chicken stock and I added a cup of peas during the Parmesan step


Anonymous said...

It was delicious! Jenny went home and used hers to make dinner. I hear it turned out great!

Donna S

elle pee said...

Great job on getting everyone excited about pressure cooking!

I use the Italian pressure cooker method for cooking Risotto, which is a simple 2:1 ratio between the stock and the rice, and is cooked 7 minutes under pressure (any pressure, I tested this on 8, 13 and 15PSI), opened with cold water method, stir in a little butter and cheese and it is ready to serve - no extra cooking once the pressure top comes off!

Try it!


hip pressure cooking
making pressure cooking hip, one recipe at a time!