Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Where Have You Been All My Life? I'm in Love!

If you are the sole cook in your household or even if you cook every once in awhile you will want to read this post!  I have a new kitchen appliance and I want to share its AMAZINGNESS!  

I've been wanting a pressure cooker, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to try using my pressure "canner" as a "cooker" first or if I wanted to spend the money to buy a new pressure cooker.  One of my hesitations with using my pressure canner was that it is huge and also because we have an old stove and it is really a pain to get it up to pressure and keep it at a set pressure.  Well, my wonderful mother introduced me to the "Electric Pressure Cooker".  The best part is that I won't have to use our electric stove. The electric pressure cooker has its own heating element!  Initially, she purchased the Montel Williams model from a TV shopping network, but it did not live up to its promises so she sent it back.  She was able to make a few recipes, but it would not hold pressure after the first few times she used it.
So, we both did some research and found the Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker.  While I was helping her research I was falling in love with all of the great reviews.  Since I had a gift card with Amazon I decided to purchase one for me and I bought her one for her birthday!  


So far, it is everything I had hoped for.  Tonight, I decided that since I had a pork shoulder that I would try to make the pulled pork recipe in the book that came with it and try making potato salad using potatoes and eggs cooked in the cooker.  Since I waited until after work I really needed to hurry or dinner would be too late so it was a great opportunity to see how fast this PC really is.


Normally, I put whole red potatoes onto boil and I have to keep checking them to see if they are done enough, but not too much.  It takes between 25-30 minutes.  They have to be that perfect medium or the potato salad won't be perfect.  So, I threw a bunch of whole potatoes into the PC with 1 cup of water and set it on high for 7 minutes.  YES!  I said 7 minutes!  Now, it does take the cooker a little bit of time to get up to pressure before it starts the countdown, but I can set it and walk away.  Then, when I hear the beep telling me it is done I can go check on it.  So, I was able to go back to my desk and continue to work until they were finished.


As you can see from the picture above they turned out perfect.  There is water in the bottom still, but you can't see it in the picture.  Kevan and I like the peelings on our potatoes so I don't remove them, but if you don't like the peelings they came off VERY easily.  See pic below....I peeled this one a little bit and it was coming right off. 


So, if you were following.  This took 7 minutes to cook them (plus the time to get it up to pressure), but I could work and didn't have to check on them that entire time!  A little longer and we could've had mashed potatoes (although, my hubby doesn't like them).

My mom gave me the tip last week that eggs cooked in the PC come out PERFECT as hard boiled eggs.  No struggling to get the shell off.  It FALLS off.  The steam gets under the little skin between the shell and the egg and it just falls right off.  Here is a picture of the eggs after I cooked them.  I put them in with 1 cup of water for 8 minutes.  The conventional way takes me about 25 minutes.


I used eggs from our friend who raises organic pastured hens.  As you can see from the picture below they came out perfect and the wonderful orange yolks are because they are from pasture raised hens and not store bought.  One note though - if you are taking them somewhere as deviled eggs or some other egg dish you may consider using white eggs.  Because mine were brown they had a little brown tinge to them, but I can live with it!  You can barely tell.


Now, for the pulled pork.  I followed the recipe in the book.  Normally, when I cook pulled pork in the crockpot it takes all day long and uses energy all day.  Or we make it in the smoker and it also takes at least 6 hours or so and we have to constantly check on it to see how it is doing and spraying it with cider vinegar.  I forgot to take a picture of the pulled pork during the process so I will just explain.  

The PC has a few settings - Brown, Saute and Simmer.  The book said to cut it and then brown it in oil using the brown setting (taking turns with each piece) until they were all done.  I only cut my 2.5 pound meat in half.  I think I should've cut it into fourths because I had to cook it a little longer.  Anyway, after browning it (it took about 5 minutes).  Then, I put all the meat in the cooker with some cider vinegar, a little brown sugar, salt and pepper.  I put it on high for 45 minutes.  I finished making the potato salad then went back to work again and did not check on it until the buzzer went off.  Then, I removed the meat, kept 1/2 cup of the liquid that was left....put it all back in the PC with 2 cups of our favorite BBQ sauce and put it back on for 5 more minutes.  Dinner was done!

Also, after each item was done in the PC I used the quick release option to release the pressure.  I'm impatient and don't like to wait.  :o)  It worked great.

Recap:

Potatoes - 7 minutes
Eggs - 8 minutes
Meat - 45 minutes plus 5 minutes

So, in a little over an hour we had this for dinner.  keep in mind that I didn't have to stay in the kitchen while it was cooking. I was probably only in the kitchen "doing something" for 35 minutes.  The rest I was just waiting in my office for it to finish.  I made the whole wheat buns earlier in the week from fresh ground wheat berries.  :o)


I don't know how I lived this long without it!


I do want to say one more thing.  This pulled pork was very good, but we do prefer it being cooked in the smoker since it gets a nice crunchy coating on it.  So, I will probably continue to smoke it, but this is a great alternative.

I shared my post on Tammy's Recipe Site for Kitchen Tip Tuesdays.  Tammy has a wonderful site full of tips and recipes.  I have made several of her recipes and they have all turned out great.  

13 comments:

  1. My wonderful domesticated daughter! Yum! Mom

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    1. Thanks Mama! It was your idea. :o)

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  2. Watch out Paula Deen

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    1. Thanks! I don't think I'd want to be Paula Deen. I'm not into the whole "fame thing"....I like to be "virtual" where no one really knows who I am. lol!

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  3. I've never had one of these...always been afraid of them.

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    1. Tonya,

      You don't need to be afraid of it. It has a safety locking feature so it cannot below up like the older versions. :o) You can't even open it if you wanted to until the pressure is released.

      Jayde

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  4. I have 2 pressure cookers! I love them!

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  5. You are the man er, I mean, GIRL! You amaze me Jayde Riley!

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  6. Thanks so much for sharing, Jayde! I loved all your tips (and photos!) on cooking different things in the pressure cooker! :)

    Would you mind adding a link back to Kitchen Tip Tuesdays? :) Thanks! :)

    Tammy

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    1. Thanks Tammy! I love love love your blog! I feel honored that you added my little post to your Kitchen Tip Tuesdays! ;o)

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  7. I have the same pressure cooker and I'm loving it. never thought about hard boiled eggs in the PC. I most def will try that. Beets and hearty squashes were never a joy to cook but they are a snap in the PC!

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  8. I received a Pressure Cooker for our wedding! They are theeeeeee most amazing things ever! I have the same one as you =)) One tip...cook your pork in the pressure cooker FIRST, and then slow smoke it in your bbq!

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  9. Cooking with Pressure cookers not only speeds up your cooking process but also retains the nutritional value of the food you are cooking. I completely go by your blog on pressure cooking. For generations we have been using the Prestige Pressure cooker and the food comes out just perfect every time.

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