Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Multi-Cooker Pressure Cooker Posole (Pozole)

     Ah, posole (pozole). This is such a simple dish. At its core, just pork, hominy and peppers. Done well, it is one of the greatest winter comfort foods we can think of. Served with some corn bread or tamales, you really have something special. If you have a few hours to spend to make it right, do it. If you don't, it's time to drag out the multi-cooker. I took a Bon Appetit recipe and repurposed it for pressure cooking. The ingredients are fundamentally the same. However, the actual cooking process has been significantly changed. We found that the pressure cooker version tasted close enough to identical to the original recipe, but shaved over two hours off the time. Do yourself a favor and try this. As always, notes are in blue.

adapted from Red Posole with Pork from Bon Appetit 
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds pork shoulder (Boston butt) (we used a 3 pound pork loin)
  • 1 large white onion, sliced, plus chopped for serving
  • 2 heads of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 10 guajillo chiles, ribs and seeds removed
  • 6 dried chiles de ├írbol, ribs and seeds removed
  • 3 15-ounce cans white hominy, rinsed
  • Thinly sliced cabbage and radishes, dried oregano, and lime wedges (for serving)
Directions
  1. In a pot (not the multi-cooker, we're talking about stove-top right now), add the chiles and three cups of water. Bring to a boil and let boil for 10 minutes. Pour peppers and water into a blender/food processor, or use an immersion blender to blend until smooth. Pour the mixture into your multi-cooker.
  2. Add onions, garlic, bay leaf, cloves, and hominy to the multi cooker. Add salt, if desired (we have used adobo seasoning with good results; about 1 teaspoon). Lay the pork (fat side up) on top of the contents of the multi-cooker.
  3. Add enough water to the multi-cooker to bring it a bit under the 2/3 full line.
  4. Attach lid and set cooker to HIGH pressure for 1 hour. (on our Crock-Pot cooker, this is the MEAT/STEW setting)
  5. After cooking, use a natural steam release for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, open the release valve and carefully let out the remaining steam.
  6. Remove the pork and discard the fat. Shred the pork and return to the pot. Stir, and set to BROWN/SAUTEE for about 10 more minutes. 
  7. Serve with the garnishes. 
Good Times!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Instant Pot Pork Shoulder In Turnip Gravy

So people have been yammering about the Instant Pot for quite a while now. They swear by it. As for me, I was too cheap to buy one. However, The Wife came through at Christmas and bought me a Crock Pot Multi-Cooker. It was less money than an actual Instant Pot, and basically does all the same things. I have to say, these things are great. They do legitimately save a bunch of time and are super easy to use. I used mine enough that I worked through most of the recipes in the manual and the recipe book I got along with it. It was time to try a recipe of my own and see how it worked. It worked great! I ended up with a hearty, tasty main course that unfortunately looks like canned dog food. I imagine maybe running an immersion blender in the gravy might help with the visuals, but I'm lazy like that. If you have one of these multi-cooker, I'd say give it a try. If you don't like it, it's probably something you did wrong. I've tried to explain the settings in a way that you could figure out what buttons to use if you have a different cookers. If there's confusion, just message me. As always, notes are in blue.

Pressure Cooker (Instant-Pot/Multi Cooker) 
Pork Shoulder in Turnip Gravy
Ingredients
  • 4-5 pound pork shoulder, preferably boneless, cut in half
  • 3 turnips, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cup dry white wine (if you don't want the alcohol, substitute chicken or vegetable stock. As a last resort, you can just use water)
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • OPTIONAL: 3-4 tablespoons of pepper jelly/jam (we used Darn Hot Berrily Hot Jam. Unfortunately, it looks like they don't make it anymore. However, they have a number of other items that would work here. Check them out at Darn Hot Peppers)
Directions
  1. Add oil to pot and set pot to "SAUTEE/BROWN"
  2. Add pork to pot and brown each piece on both sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. Remove pork to a plate.
  3. In a large bowl, toss vegetables with sage, salt, and pepper (use however much salt and pepper you like. I used probably about 1 teaspoon of each. You could probably bump up to 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt if you like that sort of thing). Add vegetables to cooker and sautee, stirring occasionally, for about 5-6 minutes.
  4. Add the liquid to the veggies and let it get to a boil (give it a couple minutes at the boil if you're using wine to get rid of the alcohol)
  5. Lay the pork on top of the veggies. If you're using the pepper jam, spread it over the top of the pork. 
  6. Put on the lid and set the cooker to HIGH pressure for 1 hour. (In our case, we used the MEAT setting and adjusted the time to an hour)
  7. At the end of the cooking, use a NATURAL release for about 10-15 minutes, then open the valve to release any steam (be careful, there's still going to be a fair amount of steam in there)
  8. Remove pork to a plate. Shred or slice depending on how you like to serve it. 
  9. Get a plastic or vinyl masher and smash the living hell out of the veggies. Leaving in some chunks is fine.
  10. Mix the corn starch with an equal amount of cold water. Add the mix to the cooker and set the cooker back on BROWN/SAUTEE until the mixture starts to bubble. Let it go for a minute or two, stirring, then switch the heat to WARM for serving.
  11. You can either throw the pork back in the gravy or serve the gravy on the side. 
Good Times!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

I haven't quit posting!

For the record, I'm still cooking. It turns out having a toddler takes up a fair amount of time. I've gotten really good at shouting "NO NO! THAT'S HOT HOT! DON'T THROW YOUR RUBBER DUCKS ON THE SKILLET!" I assure you, I will have more recipes and videos coming soon.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Slow Cooker Ham, Green Bean and Potatoes

Every now and then we make what we like to call "Desperation Recipes." These are recipes that are created in an effort to use up ingredients before they go off. This has let to some amazing failures like The Great Hot Dog Jambalaya Debacle and The Canned Ham and Asparagus Soup Incident. This recipe, however, was a success. Such a success that I totally forgot to take a picture of the finished product. Instead of a picture of the finished product, I will use a picture of a Chevy HHR decorated like a pig. In the event somebody makes this and takes a picture before I do, I will replace this picture with theirs.

Slow Cooker Ham, Green Beans
and Potatoes
 Ingredients
  • 6 red potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1-1/4 pound ham, cut into small chunks (a chunk is whatever size you like within reason. 1/2-1" is probably fine. 6-8" is probably not going to work)
  • 1 pound frozen green beans
  • 1 can (15 ounce) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Milwaukee Avenue seasoning from the Spice House
  • Dash of hot sauce 
Directions
  1. Throw all the ingredients into a slow cooker (There's a fair amount of stuff going in. I'd recommend at least a 4 quart cooker).
  2. Stir everything up.
  3. Cook on LOW for 6 hours or until potatoes are done
Good Times!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Slow Cooker Turkey and Noodles

     After Thanksgiving, we usually have a terrifying amount of leftovers. This is because I have no idea how to cook for small groups. This year, for myself, The Wife, and The Spud, I cooked a 12 pound turkey. That's all well and good, but there's only so many turkey sandwiches you can eat. At The Wife's request, we took a Chicken and Dumplings recipe we have used from The Gooseberry Patch Super Fast Slow Cooker Cookbook. This works great because I promised some of you the recipe some time ago. Simply replace all instances of "turkey" here with "chicken" and you'll be fine. This makes a nice, thick, dish. Remember, this isn't soup, so don't come fussing when you say it is too thick. If you want soup, just keep adding stock until it's the consistency you want. This is a real winner on a cold day.

Slow Cooker Turkey & Noodles
Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 pound shredded cooked turkey
  • 2 cans (10.5 ounce) cream of chicken soup
  • Chicken/Turkey stock equal to 4 cans (about 5.25 cups)
  • Seasoning of your choice to taste. (We used Ukrainian Village Seasoning from the Spice House) 
  • 24 ounces (two frozen bags of wide noodles or dumplings. I am referring to the thick square noodle type dumplings, not pot sticker or kreplach style)


    Directions
    1. Load everything except the noodles/dumplings into a slow cooker (5 quart or larger).
    2. Cook on LOW for 6 hours.
    3. Add the noodles/dumplings and cook another 30 minutes on LOW.
    Good Times!

    Tuesday, September 5, 2017

    Slow Cooker Honey Wheat Bread

         I do love my slow cookers. I use them for so many different things. However, there was one thing I never thought to try: bread. It seemed to me that there would be no possible way to bake bread in a slow cooker without it ending up super damp and mushy. Not surprisingly, I was totally wrong. I've managed to find a couple recipes that turn out some surprisingly good bread. I love it because it means I can bake on a hot day without having to turn on the oven! This particular bread has a touch of sweetness and is a great breakfast bread. It actually manages to have a good crust and a super nice crumb. Best of all, I was able to make it without using their method of putting a second container into the cooker! Fair warning, I needed considerably more flour than the recipe called for. As always, notes and changes are in blue. 

    Slow-Cooker Honey Wheat Bread
    (via Slow Cooker Magic in Minutes)
    Ingredients

    • 3 cups whole-wheat flour (I needed considerably more than this)
    • 2 cups warm milk
    • 3/4-1 cup all-purpose flour (I needed considerably more than this)
    • 1/4 cup honey
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1 envelope active dry yeast
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    Directions
    1. Spray a 1-quart casserole, or other high sided baking pan with nonstick cooking spray (totally didn't to that. I just lined a 1.5 quart slow-cooker with parchment paper and sprayed it with non-stick spray)
    2. Combine 1-1/2 cups whole-wheat flour, milk, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, honey, oil, yeast, and salt in a large bowl. Beat at low speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. 
    3. Add remaining flour. If mixer has difficulty mixing dough, mix in remaining flour. (Holy crap did I have difficulty. The amount of flour called for in the recipe will deliver a sticky mess. I needed close to another cup and a half of flour. I just did a 50/50 mix of flours to make up this difference. Just don't freak out when the original recipe doesn't yield a nice, smooth dough.)
      Mix until dough is smooth and elastic (using my KitchenAid and dough hook, this took about 6-7 minutes in total)
    4. Transfer to prepared dish. Place dish in slow-cooker. (As I mentioned in step 1, I was not going to do that. I just shaped the dough into a ball and put it into the parchment lined slow-cooker). Cover and cook on HIGH 3 hours or until edges are browned.
      (If you are doing it my way, here are a few tips. After 3 hours, take out the loaf, flip it over, lay a paper towel over it, put the cover back on and let it go another 45 minutes to hour. This will get rid of any moisture on the top and give the top a bit of a crust without having to throw it under the broiler at the end.
    5. Turn out on a wire rack to cool. 
    Good times!


    Monday, July 31, 2017

    Steamed Pollock in Black Bean Sauce

         So here we are with my SECOND post of 2017! I have tried to make up the difference with my YouTube channel, but sometimes people just want printed recipes. This makes no sense to me as I am a beautiful, beautiful man and am worthy of consideration by all the people of Earth. Anyways, here we are. I've been super busy with The Spud and all sorts of home improvements (bathroom remodel, replacement of our back patio door, fence installation, yard and garden work, reorganizing rooms to maximize space). I have let the blog slip and I apologize.
         This particular recipe makes use of a bamboo steamer basket. If you don't have one, a steamer rack or some other form of rigged up steam system should work fine. I had some pollock I needed to use up and went to my trusty copy of The Thousand Recipe Chinese Cookbook and tinkered with a recipe. The end result surprised myself and The Wife. This made a really delicious sauce and a wonderful meal. The fish turned out nice and flaky. We served it up with some steamed sesame buns I got from the local world market. You could also use steamed pork buns and they would be great. This was super easy to put together. You could pretty much use any sauce you'd like with the fish, but I recommend giving this one a try for something a little different. As always, notes are in blue.

    Steamed Pollock in Black Bean Sauce
    Ingredients

    • 1 pound pollock (or other whitefish) 3-4 fillets
    • 1 tablespoon garlic black bean paste (available in the Asian section of most supermarkets)
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
    • 1/2 inch ginger, finely grated
    • 2 scallions, chopped
    Directions
    1. Dry the fish with a paper towel
    2. Lightly rub the fish with a bit of salt and pepper
    3. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients that are not the fish
    4. Line a steamer basket with parchment paper, making sure it goes up the sides to prevent spillage
    5. Lay the fish in the steamer basket and pour over the mixture from the bowl
    6. Steam for about 30 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork
    7. Serve fish and top with sauce 
    Good Times!