Under Pressure Now …

Tefal Minut Cook 6 Litre

Tefal Minut Cook 6 Litre


Proud owner of a pressure cooker, thanks to award points. Have never used one before in my life so any tips, ideas, recipes, etc will be much appreciated.

Especially interested in heart healthy and cholesterol lowering recipes as needs must.

Looking around, I found this tip on adapting normal recipes for the pressure cooker.

Step 4: adjust the cooking time

Pressure cooking is all about speed! Determine the original cooking time in your source recipe, then reduce it by two-thirds. You may find it needs a little more time, depending on the recipe, but when you’re trying out a new recipe this is the best way to ensure it’s not overcooked.

Interested in hearing your thoughts on this. My pressure cooker is electric and has two pressure settings: Low 40kPa and High 70kPa. One day I will be able to simply turn it on and get cooking, I’m sure. Anyway, I’ll have fun working it out.

You can’t put chocolate in that!!

You can’t put chocolate in that!!

Just cooked the craziest meal. Mexican Molé that I saw on Good Chef Bad Chef re-runs. I’d call it shit on a stick, except it was a sauce.

Image

You can see the original recipe on Good Chef, Bad Chef (as it isn’t mine) but the recipes on the site are obviously an after-thought to the show and are always missing ingredients and/or method. If you haven’t seen the show (or the comments on the recipe don’t set you straight) you wouldn’t have a hope. I keep going back to the show site, though, as they do do some interesting recipes from opposite ends of the food scale – he is a chef who wants to eat meat, butter, lard and lots of it and she is a nutritionist? who makes lots of vegan, vegetarian and ‘good for you’ food. This recipe is one of his, but surprisingly healthy with only a few tiny adjustments.

I will write out the recipe (to the best of my memory) and link back to this story for you. In the meantime, I did comment on the recipe on the site which might help you. I only forgot to say that the chicken is cooked in the first lot of stock and you may not need all the second lot of stock or ‘tomato sauce’ (passata or spaghetti sauce, not just ketchup), just add ’til a sauce consistency.

* Warning, this show is meant to be a mock confrontation between good and bad eating so if you are passionately vegan best avoid.

Thought of the Day – ‘Mindless Eating’ quote

Thought of the Day – ‘Mindless Eating’ quote

eating_spaghetti
Brian Winsink, director of the Cornell Food and Brand Lab, describes mindlessly eating:

“Most of us don’t overeat because we’re hungry. We overeat because of family and friends, packages and plates, names and numbers, labels and lights, colors and candles, shapes and smells, distractions and distances, cupboards and containers.”

Thanks to The Local Graze for this quote.

Pumpkin Sauce Fettuccine

Pumpkin Sauce Fettuccine

We enjoyed this easy throw-together (as if it were gourmet) while doing the Local Harvest Challenge (see my roundup, here). We were lucky enough to have all the ingredients in our garden and pantry. We used lightly sautéed onion, garlic, zucchini and spinach. You might choose different ingredients to suit what you like or have on hand. (we call this Pumpkin sauce, because we call Butternut a pumpkin)

I’d usually use coconut milk to create the sauce (but I don’t think there are any coconut trees within 160km of our place so used home-made chicken stock that week). No, the fettuccine was neither home-made nor produced within 160km, but everything else was local.

Mini ButternutsWe have many mini butternut pumpkins (squash) ready for the eating from our backyard. Our dog dug up buried Bokashi, thus bringing seeds up to the top of the soil, which allowed them to grow. We let the pumpkins run rampant (along with rockmelons). The plants helped the garden survive some heatwave conditions and the mini pumpkins were the result of not cutting back the vines, I believe. We love them baked whole and have been able to hand them out to family and friends, too.

Spinach Mustard small and large leavesWe also have many “baby spinach” plants (Japanese Mustard Spinach). We use the small leaves in salads and on sandwiches; the larger leaves in stir-fries, soups, etc. These self-seeded when we left one of the original plants to go to seed. We collected a bunch of seeds, but some obviously ended up back in the garden. A great picking garden addition. I have plucked some out of the garden and put in a pot nearer to the back door.

Here’s the recipe… Sorry, I didn’t take a picture of the meal. I will take one next time we have it and update the post.

Pumpkin Sauce Fettuccine

Serves: 2 large serves as a main meal 3-4 as a side or with a salad

Ingredients

Approx 225g (1/2 pound) cooked pumpkin or squash, cut into large chunks *see note

Olive Oil

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic,  finely chopped

1 small zucchini (courgette), cut lengthwise and then sliced

1/2 bunch fresh spinach, chard or silverbeet (cut stalk into small pieces, roll leaves and slice)

Approx 1 cup coconut milk (or stock)

salt and freshly ground pepper

fresh or dried herbs of your choice (optional)

Approx 120g (4oz) dry or fresh Fettuccine (or your preferred serving size x 2)

Grated Parmesan cheese to serve

Method

  1. Cook fettucini in boiling salted water as per pack instructions or until al denté.
  2. Drain pasta and rinse if you wish.
  3. Sauté onion, garlic, spinach stalks, zucchini and spinach (or vegetables of your choice), in a heavy based pan, in a small amount of olive oil if desired.
  4. Remove pan from heat.
  5. Add pasta to the sautéed vegetables and stir through.
  6. Add cooked pumpkin or squash to the pan and stir gently (pumpkin will break down to some extent to form part of the sauce, but try to retain some visible pieces.
  7. Return to heat and add coconut milk.
  8. Season to taste (you could add fresh herbs of your choice at this stage or dried herbs doing sauté)
  9. Stir gently until heated through (adjust sauce thickness by adding more coconut milk if necessary).
  10. Serve immediately, topped with grated Parmesan to taste and perhaps with a light salad.

Notes and Tips:

* I baked my butternut whole and scooped out the flesh for this dish, but my pumpkin (squash) was just the right size for the dish (about 450g/ 1lb). Generally, you will get half the amount of cooked baked butternut flesh from a whole raw vegetable (so a 900g/2lb butternut will give approx 1lb cooked flesh). You can boil, steam, microwave or bake squash or pumpkin for this dish.

All quantities are flexible, as are the vegetables used.

Possibilities are endless with this dish: sprinkle some roasted pinenuts and chopped fresh parsley over before serving; use baby spinach leaves and add at last minute; add bacon when sautéing vegetables. Very versatile dish to use as a side to meats or to serve with a light salad. Great for lunch or dinner.

Butternut is a perfect consistency for this dish, but you could try substituting your favourite pumpkin or squash.

Savoury Layered Pancake Pie

Savoury Layered Pancake Pie

Our best fun cooking adventure while doing The Local Harvest Challenge, was a Savoury Layered Pancake Pie. We had once had something like this at a café and we already had some cooked crepes in the freezer, so we packed locally purchased and home-grown goodness between the crepes and created a ‘pie’.

Savoury Layered Pancake Pie in pan

Note: We call this a pancake pie because we call crepes pancakes. Apologies for any confusion.

We used a 20cm (8 inch) non-stick pie plate which was just a tiny bit smaller than our crepes, so they could curl up the side and create a bit of a ‘pie pastry’ look to the layers. We used 8 crepes, but you could use a few more or less, as you like.

I won’t list ingredients because you can use anything you like and the quantities will depend on the size of your crepes and your tastes (e.g. you might take one small clove of roasted garlic and break it over a layer or you might want lots of whole cloves in there).

You really don’t need much in each layer. I thought some of my meagre layers would have disappeared in the pile, but was pleasantly surprised.

Method:

For the roasted vegetable pie,  begin by cutting everything in long thin slices where possible (carrots and zucchini lengthwise, etc). Put these on an oven tray, with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Roast at 175 C / 350 F until tender, removing items as they are ready and allowing to cool. *See hint.

Spray pan with a little cooking spray if not using a non-stick pan. Place one crepe in the base allowing any extra to come up the sides of the pan. Put a layer of chosen filling on top of the crepe and top with another crepe, once again allowing to curl up the side of the pan.

Continue alternating fillings and crepes. You can have some layers the same if you like. 

These are the layers we used, as an indication only:

1)    Roasted sweet potato slices with lightly roasted garlic cloves – tear or slice garlic and spread around the layer.

2)   Cooked chicken breast slices mixed with sweet chilli sauce topped with fresh rocket (arugula).

3)   Cream cheese** or other soft cheese mixed with hot chilli and parsley. Spread over crepe.

4)   Roasted tomato and onion

5)   Roasted sliced carrots and roasted onion

6)   Spread of cream cheese mixture topped with roasted capsicum (skin removed after roasting) and lightly roasted zucchini slices.

7)   Any combination of cheeses – cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, whatever you have or like. We only used a sprinkle, but it made a difference.

Top with last pancake. Sprinkle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Cook to heat through (175 C / 350 F) for 10-15 minutes. Pop some foil over if crepes are getting too brown before pie is warmed through.

It is surprising how well it stacked up. Too easy!

Serve with a light salad for a perfect lunch or light dinner

Serve with a light salad for a perfect lunch or light dinner

Hints:

*Roasting: You can put the vegetables that need the most roasting onto the oven tray and start roasting while you continue cutting up. Add and remove items so most things are ready and cooled by the time you are ready to assemble the pie.

**If you are using cream cheese, first soften by stirring or mashing with a fork, then mix in a little milk. This will make a smooth sauce easier to spread on crepes. You can add anything you like to cream cheese, such as herbs, capers or your favourite sauce.

You could use any other fillings you think of: roast meats or ham; other vegetables; sauces (a tomato based sauce or paste would be nice); etc. Just sauté, steam, roast or microwave harder ingredients prior to making up the pie. Probably good to have a little gooey stuff (like cheeses) and a little saucy stuff (but not too wet obviously), just to help the pie stay together when cut.

Variation: I wouldn’t try this with thick pancakes, but you could try mixing different fillings into your pancake batter, cooking as normal and then piling up, warming through and slicing like a pie. A little soft cheese, mixed with chilli sauce or herbs, between the layers might be nice.

PicPost: In bed with the neighbour

What a lovely way to get to know the neighbours better, share a love of garden, feed families home grown produce and spur others onto similar projects. Nicely done!

Old School Garden

PicPost:

‘Two families made a shared vegetable garden from their front yards. They now share the produce & the maintenance. Would you do this with your neighbour?’

From: Growveg

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