Wednesday, December 31, 2014

I bought a pressure cooker

Cliff and I discovered this year that the meat from old roosters can be tough and stringy.  When my cousin, Betty, visited one day, I mentioned this to her.  "I'm SURE that when I was a kid, Mother and Grandma butchered old hens and roosters, and they were delicious," I whined to my cousin.

"Use a pressure cooker," Betty said.  

I knew I could trust her advice because she was raised on the farm, and helped her mom butcher chickens throughout her childhood.  

Unfortunately, the only pressure cooker I owned was my pressure canner, which is huge.  I guess technically I could use it for that purpose, but good grief!  It would hold half a dozen chickens or more.  Who wants to clean up something big enough to take a bath in, just for one chicken?  

I used to have a regular pressure cooker.  In fact, when I first got married, the only way I could make a tender roast was with the pressure cooker.  As time went by, I learned to cook meats without it and it was abandoned on a shelf for years.  Finally I threw it away.  And now I found myself wanting one again, so the old roosters and hens will be edible.  

I found one on Amazon.com for $25, which seemed cheap enough to me, and ordered it.  It arrived yesterday.
  Trouble is, I didn't stop to think about the size.  My new four-quart canner seems really small!  However, I looked at the book that came with it, and according to what it says, I can cook a three-pound chicken in it, with only one cup of water added.  Those roosters seem bigger than that, but maybe not by the time the feet, legs, head, and guts are removed.  If worse comes to worse, I could split a rooster and do half at a time.  It only takes fifteen minutes to cook a whole chicken.  

Anxious to try out my new possession, I decided to cook some black-eyed peas so we can eat them tomorrow for good luck in the coming year (no, I'm not superstitious, it's just fun to play along).  Although the book says to pre-soak most beans, I saw that I wasn't supposed to soak black-eyed peas.  Oh, and they cook in four minutes, once the pressure is built up.  Really?  That didn't seem right, but as it turns out, they were done in that length of time.

Cliff hates black-eyed peas, says they smell like dirt.  But a few years ago, Ree Drummond shared a recipe for a dip made with black-eyed peas that we both liked, so I might make that again.  We're back on track with our eating, but we do have half a bag of tortilla chips left from our adventures in overeating last week.  The recipe doesn't make much, so that's in our favor, too.   


Ingredients

  • 1 can (14-ounce) Can Black-eyed Peas
  • 1/4 whole Onion, Chopped Fine
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • 8 slices Jarred Jalapenos
  • 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Salsa
  •  Hot Sauce, to taste
  •  Salt And Black Pepper To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain black-eyed peas and partially mash, leaving some whole.
Add all other ingredients, stirring to combine.
Spread into a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
Serve with tortilla chips!
*Note: if you have them available, you can use the canned black-eyed peas and jalapenos (they're canned together.) If you do this, you can omit the extra jalapenos.

Now I'm thinking of all the wonderful quickie meals I can prepare with my pressure cooker.  Potatoes take three minutes to cook.  A three-pound pot roast, 45 minutes.  Pinto beans (after soaking) cook in three to six minutes.  Why, oh why, did I throw my old pressure cooker away?  

7 comments:

TARYTERRE said...

ENJOY that pressure cooker. I'm not a bean person, myself. But the dip sounds good. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Margaret said...

Roast in a pressure cooker is amazing. My mom makes stew in hers also. I love chips and dip!!

Charade said...

Have you tried the old Southern tradition of Hoppin' John on New Year's Day? Cliff might learn to like black-eyed peas. We always substitute a hot, spicy Italian sausage for the andouille. Happy New Year!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

I have a pressure cooker that looks just about like yours. It has been on the shelf for years. The only way I've ever eaten Black Eyed peas has been in a dip, but not the one you shared. Yours does sound good!
Best wishes for a Happy New Year !

Jean said...

I have a pressure cooker like your that I cook with for years, but a few months back I ordered a electric one and love it. It's also a slow cooker. CAN'T WAIT TO TRY YOUR BLACK EYE PEA DIP.

Sister--Three said...

Oh, that dip sounds so good. Let us know how it turned out.

Lori said...

I've been thinking about getting a new pressure cooker -- haven't had one in years. You just sold me on it! Hope the chickens turn out well. I LOVE black-eye peas!