Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pressure Cooker Chili


Chili, in the pressure cooker.  It's what pressure cookers were made for.  Really, quick, easy, delicious, food.  

Pressure cooker chili doesn't take many ingredients and you can get the 'cook all day' flavor from a little chopping, a little frying and 15 minutes of pressurized cooking.  It takes about 10 minutes to come up to pressure, even with that added time, this is a quick, rich, rib sticking bowlful of goodness that will make you happy.

You can spend time having a glass of wine, listening to your friends good news or you can draw and play with your new watercolors.  That's what I did. 

This is what I did while I waited on the meat to cook...I'm no artist but it makes me happy to play around with various mediums and it's not that I CAN do it it just that I DO do it.  

Apparently I was thinking about flowers today.
    

IN any event, you didn't come by to see my little doodles, you came to see this: 

TRACY'S (basic but yummy) PRESSURE COOKER CHILI

1 1/2 lbs ground beef (or chopped chuck)
bacon fat or oil
1 large carrot, diced
1 onion, diced
1 celery, diced
3 garlic cloves (sliced!)
3/4 can tomato paste
1 can chopped tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
1 cup chicken stock or water or beef stock (or more or less depending on how thick you like it)
taco seasoning (to taste or not)
salt/pepper
3-4 Tablespoons chili powder
2 Tablespoons cumin
1 Tablespoon cocoa powder
bay leaf
any other spice that makes you happy to add

OPTIONAL:  add a little cornmeal dusted over the chili before you lock and load.  Stir it in so you don't get dough ball lumps and it'll thicken the chili while adding a nice background flavor and it adds body to the chili as well, you should try it.  Alternatively, you can add it after you've pressure cooked the chili and boil it a minute or so for the same affect.

QUICKIE instructions: 

Brown meat in (a little bacon fat) in pressure cooker. 
Add veggies and tomato paste and fry until softened.
Add spices and fry for a moment to bloom flavor.
Add garlic, tomatoes, stock, seasonings to taste. 
Add stock/water and bay leaf.
Pressure cook on HIGH for 15 minutes, release pressure naturally or leave on warm until you're ready to eat. 
EAT in big bowls, topped with whatever makes you happy.

Long winded, loads of pictures and commentary instructions: 

I love my new ORANGE Cuisinart mini chopper, I'm looking for things to chop so in this recipe, today, the veggies were chopped and the tomatoes were pureed.  I have a new toy, I will play with it!  

My OTHER new toy, a most fantastic new toy is a Pampered Chef Garlic Slicer given to me by my forever friend, Cindy.  She's been a victim of my cooking for years since she lives 2 blocks away from me.  She's had to sample all my kitchen alchemy and so far, has lived to tell!  She found this most marvelous of gadgets and bought me one for Christmas.  She's a keeper.  

Oh sure, I agree with you, that a garlic slicer sounds stupid.  WELL, it's NOT!  It's AMAZING!  Seriously, go now and log onto the site and order yourself one, call your local distributor and get one, these things are crazy.  There's 3 pieces that come apart easily, go in the dishwasher or just rinse out, easily!  The blades are super sharp and you can get 36 slices of garlic from one clove... oh ok maybe not 36 but you can get loads and they are paper thin.  I don't gush over much but this is definitely gush-worthy.
   
Lift the hopper thingy and drop your peeled garlic inside. Push the plunger down and twist and LOOK at the see-through sliced garlic, it's amazing and super and I highly recommend it!
  
I also whirred (in the cuisinart mini chop) the carrots, celery and onion.  I put the beef in the pressure cooker on the BROWN setting and fried up my beef.  When it was brown, I added the chopped up veggies.
  
After the veggies fried up a bit, I put in the tomato paste and a healthy amount of chili powder, cumin, pepper, and some taco seasoning, yeah yeah don't even say anything.  I don't like the stuff on it's own but it adds a nice flavor to the chili and it's a combination of spices anyway so that's how I justify it in my own head.  I also added the cocoa powder here and fried it all up until the color changed from that ghastly bright red to a dark brick.
   
Now is when I add the paper thin garlic slices, seriously, look at this! I also took a can of Rotel tomatoes with chili and whirred it in the mini processor too
  
Add the pureed tomatoes, some stock... Lock and Load, 15 minutes.  Go have a glass of wine or paint something.
  
After the pressure comes down naturally, because I was busy and there's no hurry on this.  If it's thinner than you like, boil it a minute or so to tighten it up, if it's too thick, add a little stock.  I have been known to add a little corn meal to the chili when it's done, it adds a nice flavor and a little body to it.  Stir it up and serve in gigantic bowls with cheese, rice, avocado, sour cream, tortilla chips, whatever you like on your chili
  
Random beauty shots:
   

It's fast, it's easy, it's cheap, it's a great Thursday night 'what on earth should we have for dinner' meal.  Have a salad on the side and it's complete.  

You'll notice there are no beans in this chili.  I live in Texas and adding beans to chili is an impeachable offense.  Sometimes, however, when no one is looking, I add black beans.  You can add anything else you like to the pressure cooker before the lock and load...  I won't tell ;) 

Go make this, it's yummy. 

/enjoy


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