My Secret Weapon

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Life with a 3 year-old is hectic and, at times, exhausting….. But we gotta eat!
And, as long as I’m cooking, I want it to be delicious
.

While I haven’t had much time to experiment in the kitchen (or blog!), I always make a point of cooking for the week and getting a home -cooked dinner on the table on most nights.

But I don’t do it alone…  my trusty electric pressure cooker is my secret weapon! It’s safe, quick and easy to use. Pressure Cooker

As long as I have a protein (beef, chicken, pork, shrimp, tofu or even veggies) in my fridge (or freezer) and a few pantry staples – my favorite basics include oils, onions, garlic, ginger, frozen vegetables, canned whole tomatoes, tomato paste, beans, dried mushrooms, rice, anchovy paste (don’t knock it until you try it!), soy sauce, vinegars, chile pepper pastes and spices – I can make a substantive meal relatively quickly (and without needing to stand over the stove).

As an example, I’m including a recipe below but here are the basic steps you can use to make your own recipe:
1) Salt your protein
2) Set your pressure cooker on the “browning” setting and add oil
3) Sear your protein and set it aside
4) Add your aromatics, spices and tomato products (or as in the case below, curry paste)-  cook until much of the moisture is gone and color is turning brown
5) Deglaze with your liquid of choice (coconut milk, wine, beer, stock, vinegar or just plain water!)
6) After you’ve scraped up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot and the liquid has   started evaporating (but your pot still contains the minimum liquid required by your pressure cooker instructions), add your protein back to the pot and set your timer on the high pressure setting (follow your cooker’s instructions for how much time)
7) Once it’s finished cooking, taste and adjust seasoning and consistency.  If you’d like a thicker sauce, remove the protein and reduce the liquid on high heat, allowing water to evaporate and create a thicker consistency. If you’d like a thinner sauce, simply add liquid.

Try all kinds of different combinations that suit your palette and please share YOUR recipes!

Coconut Chicken Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp – Coconut Oil
  • 2.5 lbs – Chicken thighs (boneless and skinless)
  • 1 – Onion (sliced)
  • 2 – Bell pepper (1.5 sliced and .5 diced for garnish)
  • 2 cloves – Garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 1 tsp – Ginger (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp – Green Curry Paste
  • 1 Tbsp – Dried Shitake mushrooms (ground to powder in grinder dedicated to spices)
  • 1 tsp – Fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp – Sugar
  • I can – Coconut Milk
  • 1 – Lime or Lemon to finish

Method:

  1. Salt chicken
  2. Set pressure cooker on “Browning” setting
  3. Add coconut oil and, when melted and super hot, sear chicken (in batches) until each side is browned
  4. Remove chicken and set aside
  5. Add each of these ingredients and stir until incorporated: onions, peppers, pinch of salt, ginger, garlic, curry paste, shitake powder, fish sauce and sugar
  6. Once the vegetables begin browning and much of the moisture has evaporated  (8 minutes), stir in the coconut milk (make sure you scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot)
  7. Reintroduce the chicken, close your pressure cooker and, using the “High Pressure” setting, cook for the time indicated in your cooker instructions (on mine, 7 minutes)
  8. Once it’s cooked, taste and adjust seasonings/consistency
  9. Serve over rice with a squirt of lime or lemon, sprinkled with raw diced peppers (or any other raw veggie you like – it’s nice to have the fresh contrast) and chopped cilantro for color – if you have it on hand!

P.S. If you like things extra spicy, add more curry paste and fresh chiles, alongside the bell peppers.

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2 Responses to My Secret Weapon

  1. Jena says:

    This looks delicious and super easy. I don’t have a pressure cooker, but I do have a crock pot. Same thing?

  2. You can definitely use a crock pot or you can simply simmer on the stove (should take approximately 25 minutes for the chicken thighs to cook through)

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