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Converting recipes to pressure cooking

 
master steward
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I'm in love with my pressure cooker.  Fast food from real ingredients in minutes instead of hours.  It keeps the nutrition and the flavour in the food.  It also saves water by reducing evaporation.  It saves electricity by reducing cooking time.  It saves space by encouraging me to have one-pot meals.

I want to convert some of my family recipes to cook in the pressure cooker.  But it's difficult to know the times and order.  

This thread is about converting recipes to work in the pressure cooker.

If you have a recipe you have converted or a recipe you want advise converting, then post it here.



Resorses:
pressure cooking times for common ingredients
 
r ranson
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My favourite converted recipe so far is risotto.

I love risotto, but I hate that it takes 45 minutes of active cooking time.  It requires such constant attention that I don't have time to make any side dishes for it, like steamed veg, so it becomes a one-pot meal.

Pressure cooking risotto is liberating.  I can fry the onions in the pan then add the broth, pressure cook it on high for 7 minutes (plus heat-up time) - the key is that I don't have to anything after the broth is added.  I have time to cook other things.

How to convert a risotto recipe to pressure cooker?  

There's almost no evaporation in the pressure cooker, so we just change the ratio of broth to rice and keep everything else in the recipe just about the same.

Normal stovetop recipe: 4cups broth for 1.5 cups of rice.
Pressure Cooker Recipe: 4 cups broth for 2 cups rice.


(I wouldn't recommend lowering the broth because the cooker needs enough liquid to cook properly. )

 
r ranson
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Split Peas Soup recipe:

Normally we make the broth from a ham bone, let it cool a day, remove the bones, cook the peas, add more peas to get the ratio of peas to broth right - it's all guesswork because the broth evaporates as we do this.  Then we cool the soup, take out half, pure it, add it back in, reheat, then cool (this helps add flavour).  Leave it in the fridge for two more days, then it's ready to heat and eat.  Tastes amazing.  But takes about a week to make properly.  

Pressure cooker:
- make the stock by placing the bone and veg in the cooker and filling only half full.  Cook on high for 45 min - 1h.  Slow (natural) relese.
- measure the broth.  For every 3 cups of broth, add 1 cup of split peas (sort and wash the peas first)
- high pressure for 1 min.  Slow (natural) release.  

Tastes amazing right away!  And even better the next day.
 
r ranson
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Something I want to make soon is cabbage rolls.  

We usually buy a couple of heads of fermented cabbage and make a huge batch.  The problem is we like to eat these in the summer but they take so much oven time that they make the house unbearable.  Maybe we can cook this in the pressure cooker.

For the filling: we fry up some ground pork, combine it with sausage meat, cooked rice, spices, and often some goat cheese.  Use the outer leaves of the cabbage to wrap these.

For the sauce: we fry up some onions, then make a spicy tomato-based sauce.  

We bake the cabbage rolls in the spicy sauce.  



Maybe... maybe we could make the tomato sauce in the instant pot and then submerge the cabbages then pressure cook them?



The cabbage rolls in the book Hip Pressure Cooking have different ingredients, but all pre-cooked like mine.


4. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure (see “Get Hip About the Pressure,” here) for 5 minutes/all cooker types. When the time is up, open the cooker using the Normal Release method (see here).

Pazzaglia, Laura D.A.. Hip Pressure Cooking: Fast, Fresh, and Flavorful. St. Martin's Press. Kindle Edition.



(sweet - the copy-paste function from my kindle reader gives citation!)
 
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About a year ago, an Insta-Pot found its way into my kitchen.  Great another gadget I thought.  Well it made me a believer.  Here is the most excellent 'conversion' I have had so far:

Smoked Chicken (for a roast, gumbo, spaghetti, etc...) on the smoker for 30 minutes, instead of several hours at the risk of drying it out.  pressure cooker for 15 minutes.  Perfectly smoked moist melt in your mouth chicken.  Add an extra 1/2 cup of water for the dogs to have 'chicken juice' on their dry food.  Everyone is happy and excited for the weekend to come.  

Ribs work the same.  It allows one to keep the coals low and smokey without turning the bark into charcoal; and allows the meat to cook through and stay moist.  Pressure cook for 20 minutes after smoking for an hour.  Just took 2 racks off the grill, mowing the lawn and waiting for family to show up to have another beer.

I have found I prefer a beef roast in the crock pot over any other preparation, but a 2-3 hour roast at 325 in the oven does great at 45 minutes in the pressure cooker.  Hard veggies go in with the meat.   Softer veggies can go into the broth for 10 minutes, while the meat rests before carving.
 
r ranson
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This is a recipe I absolutely adore!  
sweet 'mango' chutney - sans magos

It's an English recipe from the days of the raj.  People came back to England after spending time in India, they missed the Indian food.  So they made recipes with ingredients they had back home.   They didn't have magos.

Sweet "Mango" Chutney
All ingredients are approximate

3 large onions
drizzle olive oil
2 Tbs mustard seed
1 Tbs powdered ginger
4 dry chillies lightly crushed (seeds included)
a large handful of garlic
At least 6 unripe apples, peeled, cored and cut into chunks less than 1 inch cubed.
1 cup raisins
2 cups apple cider vinegar or equivalent
1 to 2 cups of sugar
boiling water
2 Tbs salt


1. Chop the onions into about 1/2 inch chunks, in a large heavy bottom pot, fry onions on medium-low with olive oil until transparent
2. add mustard seed, ginger, chilli and garlic to the onions, stir well, cook about one min
3. add apples, raisins and vinegar to the onion mix, bring to boil and then turn off the heat
4. Mix 1 cup of sugar with 1 cup of boiling water to make a syrup.  Mix until sugar is dissolved
5. Add syrup and salt to the apples.  Mix well and bring back to a boil.  Taste and add more sugar as necessary.  
6. Boil on high for about 5 to 15 min or until enough liquid has evaporated.  The mixture will thicken as it cools.
7. Place into washed (and if you like, sterilized) jars, seal with lid as per normal.  Because of the spices, salt and sugar, I didn't heat process these jars but if you are keeping this more than 6 months, it might be a good idea to.



Why I want to convert this to the pressure cooker is that my instant pot is now the largest pot in the house.  I figure if I fill this no more than half full (some apple froth) and get inspiration from this chutney recipe, I could bring it to high pressure for one min and then give it a quick release (normal).  That should blend the flavours enough to make a tasty chutney.  



 
r ranson
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the cabbage rolls didn't work because the instant pot shut off due to 'burning'.  It smells like it burnt on the bottom.  I need to reassess the recipe.  
 
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How about Pakistani Biryani?

Goat Biryani ... mmmmmm, almost better than ...

It may require some side prep, but the final stage would be similar to the traditional method where they seal the pot lid with dough.

It's one of my favourite dishes but hard to find a place that makes a good one - won't attempt it myself simply because it tastes better when it's made by others.
 
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i use my cooker for
-beans
-broth when i don't want to wait for the slow cooker to go overnight
-tough meat
-beets

The only sticking point i've found so far is that you can only use it for rice if you are okay with it being mushy (i.e. risotto). I have used it for biryani, but only the part of cooking the meat (for goat, it would be perfect), the rest I put in a normal pot.
 
r ranson
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r ranson wrote:the cabbage rolls didn't work because the instant pot shut off due to 'burning'.  It smells like it burnt on the bottom.  I need to reassess the recipe.  



The burning turned out to be slightly stuck food on the bottom.  Easy to clean - not like real burnt food.  

I am so glad the instant pot stopped cooking when it did.  That would have been hell to clean.  I was still on the fence about the instant pot.  But this turn-off-when-food-burning feature has captured my heart.  

We took the cabbage rolls out of the instant pot and put them in the oven.  They still turned out very good.

I did a lot of the prep-work in the instant pot, so the clean-up ended up being simple.  Usually, I start making these at 10am and am lucky if they are ready by 8pm.  These only took an hour prep and if I had got it right, only 5 min in the pressure cooker.  So less than two hours total to make something delicious that would normally take all day.  

I have plans on how to cook it better next time - make less sauce but water it down.  Put the roles on the steamer rack.  
 
r ranson
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F Agricola wrote:How about Pakistani Biryani?



I just googled that.

Man, that looks delicious.  

I found this recipe for the instant pot.  I think we could change the ingredients to match different recipes for this dish so long as the water ratio stays the same.



CHICKEN BIRYANI IN THE INSTANT POT
 
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This isn't really a "conversion" since it's common to cook it this way, but kichdi/kichuri is great in a pressure cooker. This is an Indian rice and lentil porridge, great after some hard work on a cold day.

This is a pretty good base recipe: https://pipingpotcurry.com/lentil-vegetable-khichdi-pressure-cooker/

We use red lentils instead of green, since red is easier to come by here. Different colors have different cooking times, brown might not cook fast enough for instance.

Kichdi is apparently a common Indian "comfort food" and many families have their own special recipe. Using different veggies or spices would definitely make a difference. I bet okra would be good it but I haven't tried it yet.

Edit: I forgot that this recipe was not the one I've actually tried... I used this one which also tells you how to mix up everything up in advance, so you have everything ready to go when you want it on short notice.
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:The only sticking point i've found so far is that you can only use it for rice if you are okay with it being mushy (i.e. risotto). I have used it for biryani, but only the part of cooking the meat (for goat, it would be perfect), the rest I put in a normal pot.



I found an article online that suggested a 1:1 water:rice ratio with 4 minutes full pressure and natural release for white rice, and that's worked really well for me. Basmati seems to want an extra little splash of water, but the usual short-grain white that I use comes out perfectly tender-firm. I've retired my standalone rice cooker.
 
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Got to say that I've never heard anyone refer to risotto as mushy.

Typically, I add cream or creme fraiche to risotto, I doubt those ingredients would hold up well to pressure cooking.
 
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r ranson wrote:the cabbage rolls didn't work because the instant pot shut off due to 'burning'.  It smells like it burnt on the bottom.  I need to reassess the recipe.  



Did you cook it pot-in-pot with sufficient liquid, or did you try to cook it directly in the pot? The only time I've ever gotten the "burning" message is when I forgot to add the liquid.
 
Brandon Coburn
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Diane Kistner wrote:

r ranson wrote:the cabbage rolls didn't work because the instant pot shut off due to 'burning'.  It smells like it burnt on the bottom.  I need to reassess the recipe.  



Did you cook it pot-in-pot with sufficient liquid, or did you try to cook it directly in the pot? The only time I've ever gotten the "burning" message is when I forgot to add the liquid.



Ours came with a little wire trivet you can set in the bottom of the pot. If you're doing pot-in-pot then you might try setting the inner pot on this and filling the bottom with water. You might not even need an inner pot, I bet you could wrap them in foil and put them on the trivet.
 
r ranson
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Reading the cabbage roll recipe again, it suggests I put the rolls in the bottom of the pot.  Then when it's finished cooking, it suggests I take out the trivet with the rolls on top.  

Next try - use the trivit.  
 
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