Under Pressure: Fast Food is No Sweat in this Summer Heat!

Pressure Cooking Classes BlankIt is SO STINKING HOT! And if you’re like me, the last thing you want to do is turn on a hot oven or heat up the stove top. Which is why I use my Pressure Cooker even in the summer. And you’d be amazed what wonderful summer dishes you can whip up in a fraction of the time. 6 minute boiled eggs? 12 minute rice? 5 minute chicken? Yes, PLEASE!

On July 9th, we had a packed kitchen at Sweet Baking Supply, where we tested and TASTED Chicken Wraps, Pasta Salad, even Deviled Eggs… all from ol’ R2D2. Get all the recipes below to try at home. But if you don’t yet know the wonder of pressure cooking, stay tuned for my one of my Fall classes. Hope to see you there!

Cindy’s Stick of Butter Rice
Stick of Butter Rice

1 cup brown rice
14 oz. can chicken broth
1 small can Campbell’s French Onion Soup
1 stick unsalted butter

Combine all ingredients in pressure cooker pot. Lock lid into place; choose high setting for 12 minutes. When timer goes off, utilize a quick release to release all pressure from pressure cooker. Stir to combine and serve!

BLT Pasta Salad

BLT Pasta Salad3 cups elbow macaroni
2 cups chopped leaf lettuce
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
4 scallions, chopped
1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked, drained, and crumbled, drippings reserved

Dressing
2 Tbs. spicy brown mustard
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Place 4-5 cups chicken broth into pressure cooker pot; add macaroni and stir to combine. Lock pressure cooker lid into place; choose high setting for 5 minutes. When timer goes off, perform a quick release to release all pressure from pressure cooker. Strain water from macaroni, then toss macaroni with a bit of olive oil, if desired.

Remove all but 2-3 Tbs. bacon fats from skillet in which bacon was cooked; whisk in mustard, mayonnaise, sugar, and vinegar; season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large mixing bowl, place macaroni, lettuce, tomatoes, scallions, and bacon; drizzle prepared dressing over all, as desired, tossing gently to coat. Some of the dressing can be reserved for dressing the salad again, at a later time, if needed.

Over-Loaded Deviled Eggs
Loaded Deviled Eggs

1 dozen large eggs
8 slices bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled
3 tsp. white vinegar
2 Tbs. spicy brown mustard
2 Tbs. finely shredded sharp cheddar
½ garlic clove, minced
5-6 Tbs. sour cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Paprika, for garnish, if desired

Place trivet into bottom of pressure cooker pot, then add 1 cup water and eggs. Lock pressure cooker lid into place and choose high setting for 6 minutes. When timer goes off, immediately remove eggs from pot and place into a bowl of ice water. After 30 seconds or so, use your fingers to gently remove the shells from the eggs, while submerged in the ice water in the bowl – they should simply fly off those eggs!

Cut eggs in half lengthwise and remove cooked yolks from the egg whites, placing yolks into a bowl; stir in cooked bacon crumbles, vinegar, mustard, cheddar, and garlic; season to taste with salt and pepper, then add as much of the sour cream as needed to reach a smooth egg yolk mixture. Spoon prepared egg yolk mixture into egg white halves, or, if desired, place prepared filling into a pastry bag and pipe egg yolk mixture onto egg white halves. Garnish filling with paprika, if desired. Chill and serve.

Grilled Chicken and Veggie Hummus Wraps

Hummus
2 cups dry chickpeas, soaked
1 bay leaf
5 garlic cloves, crushed, divided use
¼ cup tahini
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
½ – 1 tsp. ground cumin
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Good olive oil

Place chickpeas into pressure cooker pot; add 6 cups water, bay leaf and 3 cloves garlic. Lock lid pressure cooker lid into place; choose high setting for 20 minutes. When timer goes off, use a natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then a quick release to release any remaining pressure from pressure cooker. Drain chickpeas, reserving the cooking liquid. Remove bay leaf from chickpeas, and allow chickpeas to cool slightly. Place chickpeas into bowl of a food processor, along with ½ cup of reserved cooking liquid, remaining 2 cloves crushed garlic, tahini, zest and juice of lemons, cumin, and parsley; puree mixture until smooth, pulsing food processor as you go, adding back in more of the cooking liquid, as needed, until mixture is a smooth, creamy consistency. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper, then pulse again. Place hummus into a bowl, making a well in the center; fill well with olive oil, as desired. Serve hummus with pita chips or vegetables.

Chicken
1 – 1 ½ lbs. chicken tenders, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper

In pressure cooker pot, add a bit of olive oil; when oil is hot, add seasoned chicken tenders, browning on each side. Add 1 cup of broth to pot, then lock lid into place and choose high pressure setting for 5 minutes. When timer goes off, use a quick release to release pressure from pressure cooker. Remove chicken to a platter to cool; shred chicken, using fingers or two forks; reserve.

Wraps
4 flour tortillas, 8 or 10 inch
Prepared hummus
½ – 1 cup of Your favorite Greek vinaigrette
1 medium cucumber, skin-on, seeds removed, chopped
3 cups chopped leaf or romaine lettuce (sometimes I sub spinach or arugula)
1 pint grape tomatoes, sliced in half
½ – 1 cup feta crumbles

In a large mixing bowl, toss vegetables and chicken with desired amount of vinaigrette. Spread 2-3 Tbs. prepared hummus over each tortilla, then top with veggie/chicken mixture, then sprinkle with feta crumbles. Roll up tortillas to make wrap….and it’s a wrap!

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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