Friday, July 29, 2016

Lentils with cauliflower steak, yeah, it's much more delicious than the sum of it's parts. You can do it all in the pressure cooker ahead then assemble and eat as desired

I saw a picture of lentils with a cauliflower steak on it, online.  I was intrigued and delighted at the same time.  Yeah, I had a bag of lentils and you bet I had a whole cauliflower.  I grabbed the pressure cooker and got started.  The total cook time, once at pressure, is 9 for the lentils and 10 for the cauliflower.  I made them ahead and shoved them in the fridge so that when I had a hankering, it could be satisfied within minutes and THAT is the way I like a hankering to be satisfied.


OK, I cooked the cauliflower, whole, in the pressure cooker... link here:

THEN I made the lentils in the pressure cooker... link here:

I happened to make both the day ahead but you can certainly do this at the last minute.  Cook the cauliflower first so it can set while you make the lentils.

This is an assembly job, ready?  You're going to love this: 


Slice the cauliflower into one inch steaks.  Heat some butter and a little oil in a pan over medium high.  Salt and pepper the cauliflower steak and place it in the butter.  Leave it alone.


 You'll notice the butter browns slightly around the edge of the cauliflower, that's your notice to flip it, add a little water around the edge to stop the butter from browning and to help heat the cauliflower through if you're using it from the fridge like I did.
Put some lentils in a bowl/plate and heat them up, I nuked mine :) Place the cauliflower on top and drizzle with any of the pan juices.



 I hope you like this I saw a pic online of this and had to make my own version immediately.  I'm sort of weak like that.

I devoured this and am eyeing the cauliflower thinking I might secretly make myself another one, you know, for science.  I hoe you try this, it's really quite delicious and you feel great eating it, it's filling but light at the same time,  A big crusty roll would go nicely here too.

Let me know what you think!



PRESSURE COOKED LENTILS, as a side, not as a soup, that's another post

I had a hankering for lentils, for dinner, with a fried cauliflower steak on it.  I saw a picture online and my committee immediately started to harass me till I made it :)

I pressure cooked the whole cauliflower and threw it in the fridge till I needed it, the link here:

I made these lentils and put them in containers, two in the freezer, one in the fridge for me for lunch today, this is going to be good.


(as a side, not a soup)


1 lb bag lentils, picked over
1 Tb bacon fat or oil
1 carrot, chopped small
1 onion, chopped small
1 rib of celery, chopped small
2 bay leaves (I use fresh because my mom brings them to me, dry is fine)
salt, pepper, whatever herbs you love


Melt the bacon oil in the pressure cooker pot, set to BROWN, put in the chopped veggies and fry them around till they get little kisses of brown on the edges, yeah, I did just say that.

Add the picked lentils and bay leaves, stir around to coat the lentils with the veggie bacony juices.  Add salt, pepper, whatever herbs you love.  I add sage because I think lentils and sage work well together.

Cover with water, by one inch, I use the fingertip method of measuring.  I stick my finger in the pot to the settled lentils, the water should come up to the first knuckle it's an inch I think.


Release immediately or leave to come down out of pressure on it's own, it doesn't matter.  Give the lentils a stir and either eat or package and store in the fridge or the freezer.

I love these as a side, they have a little juice but it's not soup or stew, it's just beautifully cooked lentils that hold their shape but are cooked through and tender.

Here's the pics:

Melt the bacon fat and shush the veggies around in it till they lightly color

Pick through the lentils and toss them in and shush them around in the veggies to coat them lightly in the bacon fat or the oil.  Add water to cover by about an inch or so and lock and load, high pressure, for 9 minutes

LOOK at these beauties.  Individual lentils, not mush, absolutely perfectly cooked.  Give them a stir, eat them right away (my favorite way) or put them in containers and store in the fridge or freezer.  


I'm going to make my lunch now, reheat these lentils and fry a cauliflower steak and yeah, it's about to be good to be me (pics to follow, well, after I eat)


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Whole Cauliflower in the Pressure Cooker.... saves time and makes presentation a beaut and oh you can slice it into steaks if you want to

This is a quickie... ready?

I love cauliflower, I pressure cooker it when it's in season and have it in the fridge for whatever I need it for, take out a hunk, throw some bechamel on it and pop it into the oven with some parmesan cheese and voila, dinner is cauliflower cheese.

Today I am cooking it whole in the pressure cooker.  You'd be surprised that it takes so much longer, I was, but this is the trick to it and you're going to be happy forever with this, ready?



Whole cauliflower
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar


Break the outside leaves off the head of cauliflower and cut the core out, leaving the head in tact.  Cut the bottom dry bit off the stem and trim it, cut into quarters.  This is the best bit people... cooks treat.

Put the water in the pressure cooker with salt and sugar, about a tsp each.  Shush the water around to combine, place a trivet or steamer over the water. Put the stalk/treat pieces on the steamer basket then the cauliflower.

LOCK AND LOAD TEN MINUTES!  (10!)  I know, the pieces only take three but the whole head is so much more substantially dense that it does take the full 10.

Release pressure immediately and VOILA!

You can serve it like this, whole, with a cream sauce or cheese sauce or just plain.

I am going to let this come to room temperature then slice and fry it for my mother alone dinner tonight, I'll show you that when it's done but for now... go pressure cook a whole cauliflower.


The before and the after...  yeah they look identical but I promise it's cooked :) I love that it stays so white this method...  go do it!


I'll add some recipes using this whole cauli.  Oh my favorite. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

My cheeseburger sliders, yeah, they're 5 minutes of actual effort then just pop then in the oven to reheat when you need them and you get just joy and cheesy meaty deliciousness


Everyone loves cheeseburgers, everyone makes cheeseburgers, everyone makes sliders, they're the groovy food fad of the day.  There's a slider for every occasion the ore you can make the better, the easier.

I've been making these for years.  I sort of morphed my take on the best qualities of a white castle skinny burger and leftover meatloaf sandwich day  I frequently have to cook multiple meals a night and this is the best way to get me in and out of the kitchen and I can whip up servings to order, there's nothing at all wrong with that.

This is my take on the current fad.



1 3/4 lb ground beef
1 thick slice bread
1 egg
1/2 grated onion
1 grated garlic clove
whatever cheese slices that make you happy


Dump it all in a bowl and mix.
How easy is THAT?

Flatten the mix into a 1/4 sheetpan or a 9x13 pan.  I line the pan with parchment paper so I can get it out in one piece but that's not necessary at all

Poke the meat with a fork, you're making steam channels so poke and push a bit to make tons of little holes all through it.  I sprinkle a little salt and pepper on top before it goes into the oven.

Bake the meat at 350 for 20 minutes, top third of the oven.

Leave to rest a few minutes then drain any fat away.  Divide the meat into 12 pieces with a spatula or knife or bench scraper, cover with foil and wait till someone is hunry.

As needed, put one square in each open bun, put cheese on top and top with the top of the bun, brush the top with butter if you like (yes, you like) and wrap in foil.  Toss in the oven or toaster oven for about ten minutes or until the cheese melts.


burgers to order...

Here's the play by play



Pop it in the oven for 20 minutes

Drain the fat and divide the meat into 12 squares, put cheese on if you want, cover with foil and let it sit there till someone is hungry.........


OH and as a side, I make potato wedges.


Take as many potatoes as you need, cut them in quarter or 6ths ? and throw them in a dry sink.

Throw salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika on them, drizzle well with oil and put on a rack in the oven.  Bake at 400 for about 20 then flip them all over and bake till they're done.  eat eat eat

Back to the sliders:

Put the bottoms of the buns on a sheetpan, top with a square of the meat and cheese.
Butter the tops and put them beside the bottoms.  Bake till the cheese melts and the buns toast, about 5 minutes at 350 or so.

Assemble, eat, repeat

oh yummy


There ya go, dinner.  I made a couple for the child, then a couple of hours later, i made a couple for me and in a few hours, I'll make a few for the husband.  Dinner across the whole evening and nothing needs to be nuked!