Monday, December 10, 2007

Pressure Cooker Cook-off

Mr. Bolsh wants to eat better food, but he just doesn't have the time to prepare meals so he ends up eating a lot of canned foods. Every once and awhile I teach him a new trick but it takes awhile to stick. For a Christmas present he wanted a pressure cooker so he could easily make his beans and rice. Not being able to turn down any desire Mr. Bolsh has to enhance his cooking skills, I bought him one.
I started off by cooking some lentils because the directions said the beans still needed to be soaked for 4 hours before their time in the pressue cooker.

Pressure Cooker Lentils:
1 cup lentils
2 cups liquid (from the canned tomatoes and water)
1 canned tomatoes
1 onion (diced)
2 cloves garlic
1 cube of bullion

Put everything in the pressure cooker pot, mix and put the lid on.
Cook for 15-20 minutes.

It doesn't look that pretty but it tasted wonderful!

The next experience was Mr. Bolsh's:
Red Bean Medley Over Rice:
1 cup red beans
1 can tomatoes plus juice
2 cups water
1 bullion cube
2 medium potatoes (cubed)
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 large carrots

Throw the ingredients in a pot and cook in the pressure cooker for 20-30 minutes.

The problem with this dish is that not everything cooked at the same time. The beans were undercooked and the carrots melted in your mouth they were so soft. We need to figure out how best to add ingredients while it's cooking because we read you can.

So far we've had some hits and misses, it will just take awhile to understand how best to used it. I've also cooked potatoes make mashed potatoes. It was quick and easy.
Let me know how you like to use your pressure cooker if you have one.


bazu said...

I am inordinately attached to my pressure cooker. We hardly ever eat canned beans any more, and split peas and garbanzo beans, which I could never cook successfully at home, are a breeze now. Good X-mas gift!

Melisser; the Urban Housewife said...

I always wondered the deal with pressure cooker; I may have to get one!

VeganFabulous said...

I just found out that you can cook risotto with a pressure cooker. My have I been in the dark...

Kristin said...

I have a pressure cooker but usually can't figure out what to do with it so it sits in the basement. I'd love to see more pressure cooker recipes as you guys figure it out so that my pressure cooker can come out of hiding.

aTxVegn said...

I usually use my pressure cooker for rice, but I would love to use it to make beans. Mine didn't come with any instructions for cooking beans, and it is not fancy (just "on" and "off"). I thought you never had to soak lentils. I guess each brand is different. I need to get my cooker out of the coat closet and use it more. I think your lentils look yummy!

julie hasson said...

Hi Webly! I find that if you don't add any salt/acids (like tomatoes) until after the beans are already cooked, they will have a better cooked texture (soft and creamy). Otherwise the beans stay kind of firm.

I don't think I usually soak lentils/peas before pressure cooking them. I do like to soak my beans first overnight though.

Have fun with the pressure cooker. They're awesome!

Judy said...

I keep hearing such fabulous things about pressure cookers, and I think it is about time I joined the club. Too bad I pulled the whole "I don't really want any gifts this xmas" otherwise I would ask for a pressure cooker.

Lynn / vigilant20 said...

Merry Christmas!

Melody Polakow said...

I love my pressure cooker.. and if if I don't soak my beans overnight, I just boil them for 10 minutes, drain and then cover by 1/2 inch of water in the cooker and cook for 20-30 mins..
I pretty much only use mine for beans so far.. but have also heard you can do soups and such. I do soups if they are creamy..but none that use veggies as texture. if/when I do I'll definitely blog about it. I'm sure there's a huge resource out there on the web about how to do such things.

Kate said...

I don't have a pressure cooker, but if I do get one, I am maiking this!

Holler said...

I must admit, I am a little scared of pressure cookers. My mum has one and I stand well back! But, this sounds like an interesting way to use them, mum only makes soup in hers. I will keep visiting back to see what else you do with it!
Happy New Year!