Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

My friend Lissa and her family are in town this week! So fun! We’re all about sharing recipes with each other, and we’re both definitely drawn to ones that are quick and easy but over the top tasty. As soon as I saw her this week she said she had a new one for me: macaroni and cheese cooked in a pressure cooker in six minutes. SIX MINUTES. Speaking my language, girlfriend.

The recipe originates from this bookwhich may have found its way into my Amazon shopping cart. I added some frozen mixed vegetables to it because, hey, vegetables.

By the way, this Fagor Multi Cookeris the pressure cooker I have. I’ve had it since 2009 and use it several times a week — still going strong!

Pressure cooker macaroni and cheese

Ingredients

  • 3 cups elbow macaroni
  • 1 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces processed cheese (I used Velveeta)

Instructions

  1. Add pasta, chicken stock, water, butter, Parmesan cheese, vegetables, salt, and pepper to pressure cooker
  2. Lock the lid and cook on high pressure for six minutes, then quick release
  3. Stir in cheddar and Velveeta until melty and creamy; let everything sit for five minutes before serving if you want it to thicken up a bit (I found it didn’t really need it)

Informal poll! How many of you have a pressure cooker? What’s your favorite thing to make in it?

Thai peanut noodles

This is, no kidding, Peanut’s new favorite lunch. And mine too! It’s one I found on Rumble in the Kitchen a while back, and I can’t believe how long it took me to try it! I’m on my third batch of it in as many weeks.

I doubled the spice level of mine because my heat tolerance is certifiable; otherwise I didn’t adapt it much. Any suggestions for other things to add to this to get some variety going?

Thai peanut noodles

Ingredients

  • 1 box spaghetti noodles
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter*
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Thai Red Curry Paste (this makes it SPICY; use more like 1/2 tsp. if you don’t want a lot of heat, or substitute with cayenne pepper to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions
  2. While the pasta cooks, measure everything but the pasta water into a large serving bowl; mix till well combined (this will make a very thick sauce)
  3. When the pasta is done, add it along with 1/2 cup of the cooking water to the bowl and stir it all around till everything is well mixed and the noodles are coated
  4. Serve warm, or store in the fridge and eat it cold!

Notes

*That’s 128 grams of peanut butter, if you’re interested; scooping it into a bowl on a scale is easier than smooshing it into a measuring cup!

Add-in suggestions welcome! 🙂

Tangy BBQ sauce

I started looking for a vinegar based BBQ sauce recipe because I so much love the tang of the Dixie sauce at Martin’s BBQ. This is a fairly thin sauce, as you can see, so it’s more suited for mixing in with the meat than as a topping on a sandwich (although, honestly, I did both — because it’s good). My “Gooble-ing” as Kiddo says, brought me to this recipe.  I halved it and made a couple tweaks and it turned out pretty great!

Tangy BBQ sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. hot sauce (I used Louisiana)
  • 1 Tbsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Bring all ingredients to a simmer in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is completely dissolved. Cool and enjoy! It’s much tastier if it’s had the chance to chill in the fridge for a day or so

 

Enjoy!

Pan-roasted chicken thighs

I kind of never know what to do with chicken thighs. Chicken breasts? No problem. Ditto whole chickens. But I wasn’t sure what to do with chicken thighs till I saw this recipe, which looked simple and delicious. The end result is fantastic! Very tasty, with crispy skin that makes it seem like you’re eating fried chicken.

Pan-roasted chicken thighs

Ingredients

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 475F. This takes my oven about two and a half years to accomplish, so start early
  2. Put the chicken pieces on a paper towel-lined plate, and season well with salt and pepper
  3. Heat oil over fairly high heat in a cast iron or other heavy skillet big enough to hold your chicken without it being too crowded
  4. Put chicken in skillet, skin side down, and cook two minutes; reduce heat to medium-high and set a timer for 12 minutes; you’re looking for crispy, golden brown skin on the chicken, so move it around as needed to make it evenly browned
  5. Transfer your skillet to the oven and cook for 13 minutes; flip the chicken skin side up and continue cooking till it’s cooked through, about 5-8 more minutes
  6. Transfer to a plate and let it rest five minutes before serving

 

I will warn you that this was crazy levels of smoky in my oven; you might want to turn the fan on before you get this going. But it was SO GOOD and SO WORTH IT. Let me know if you try it!

Bacon fried rice

You know what bacon fried rice needs? More bacon.

I know, I’m a visionary.

I kept hearing talk of bacon fried rice on Twitter so I decided to concoct my own version: veggies, leftover rice, and bacon fried in bacon grease.

Bacon fried rice

Ingredients

  • Bacon grease (which I always have in the fridge)
  • Broccoli, chopped
  • Cooked bacon, chopped
  • Carrots (I shredded them because I like them tiny)
  • 1 egg
  • Leftover rice
  • Sweet chile sauce

Instructions

  1. Heat a couple tablespoons of bacon grease over medium heat in a skillet
  2. Add in chopped up veggies and cook for a few minutes until they’re as tender as you like; I’m Southern so this was more like 10 minutes for me (you can also add a little water and put the lid on to steam them very tender)
  3. Break egg into the pan and stir while it cooks up
  4. Add in bacon and leftover rice, stirring and breaking up clumps. Stir and cook until rice is heated through and egg is cooked
  5. Add in a bit of sweet chile sauce (or soy sauce) and eat hot!

 

Go make some! What veggies sound good to you to use?

Cheeseburger macaroni

I found this recipe at KevinandAmanda.com and it is such a keeper! I’ve made it three times already, and it easily converts to a freezer meal — something I’ll be needing before too much longer with baby girl on the way. It’s got a little kick of spice to it without being overwhelming, and it’s just such a comfort food. It’s everything you wanted that supper-in-a-box to be. 😉

Cheeseburger macaroni

Ingredients

    • 1 lb lean hamburger meat
    • 1 pkg taco seasoning
    • 1 can Ro*tel
    • 2 cups beef broth or water
    • 1 cup elbow macaroni
For the sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Instructions

  1. Brown the hamburger meat and drain off any grease, then stir in taco seasoning, Ro*tel, broth or water and macaroni. Bring to a boil then turn down to medium/low and cover; simmer for about 12 minutes or until macaroni is tender
  2. While it’s simmering, make the cheese sauce: in a saucepan melt the butter then whisk in the flour. Cook while whisking for about five minutes until the roux turns light brown, then keep whisking while you pour in the milk and bring to a boil. Keep whisking (see a trend?) until the mixture is smooth and thick, then remove from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese till it’s completely melted in. Add in the salt and pepper, then pour over the hamburger mixture and stir it all together. Supper is served!

Notes

To make this a freezer meal let the macaroni cook for only about six minutes, but complete other steps as written. Pour the whole thing into a casserole dish then cover with a layer of plastic wrap then a layer of foil; when it’s cooled off, pop it in the freezer. When you’re ready to heat it up, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then bake at 350F for 30 minutes or so until heated through.

Flour tortillas

These. Are. Amazing. I can say that without bragging because it’s not my recipe; I just made ’em.

This is a Mark Bittman recipe that I scribbled down on a piece of paper without much documentation; I’ll assume it’s either from one of his NYT articles or from How to Cook Everything. These top every single homemade tortilla I’ve ever made or eaten, and they’re quick and easy to boot. NO BRAINER.

Flour tortillas

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (7 oz) AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp. lard (yes, lard, people — don’t be afraid)
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Instructions

  1. Dust off your food processor and dump in the flour, salt and lard; pulse about ten times to cut in the fat
  2. With the machine running, add the water till the dough kind of all the sudden comes together in a ball
  3. Dump it on the counter and knead by hand for about one minute, then wrap in plastic wrap to rest for at least 15 minutes, but up to all day at room temperature
  4. Cut the dough into six pieces and heat a large (cast iron if you have it) skillet for 4-5 minutes on medium; roll out or press the tortillas till they’re quite thin, then cook for about 1-2 minutes on each side, till little browned spots appear. Eat immediately (duh), or keep warm by wrapping in a towel, or cool then keep in the fridge in a large zip top bag.

I used these to make quesadillas with some leftover steak and cheese, but they’re also heavenly for veggie wraps, or slathered in butter and cinnamon sugar and rolled up for breakfast. Enjoy!