Back in March I began a new career in wine sales. I love my job but find one of the biggest challenges is getting a good meal together if I haven’t planned ahead. But last Christmas I bought my husband an electric programmable pressure cooker, and it’s been a life-saver. I am using it all the time.
One thing about my job is the inconsistency in my schedule. I am driving all over lower Fairfield County and at the mercy of I95 and Merritt Parkway traffic, which seems to get worse each week. I sometimes have shorter days where I’ll get home at a reasonable time, and then at the end of each month, I’m working well into the late evening. So, planning dinner is a challenge, as I’m not always certain when I’ll get home and not always sure if my husband will be home with food ready or ready to cook.
I have found that I can still get dinner on the table in under 45 minutes if I use the pressure cooker, but more often can get it done in 20 minutes if it’s not elaborate or needing extra time to cook. Beef stew, like our family recipe of “Eintopf” which normally takes at least 3 hours to cook, can been cooked from start to finish in around 45-50 minutes– including the peeling of potatoes, cutting of onions and browning of beef. My Instant Pot cooks the stew in 35 minutes. Now, if I had planned I could also use the slow cooker (crockpot) to make it, but this is for when I haven’t planned, which is more often than not.
How about cooking potatoes in 7-8 minutes to mash? For those nights when I can make dinner in 20 minutes (because we’ve got a practice, scout meeting, etc and that’s all the time I have), it’s a game-changer. And I just learnt that I can make baked potatoes using it in 25 minutes.
Pressure Cooker Mashed Potatoes
4-5 medium to large Russet potatoes
1/4 cup milk
1/3 stick of butter
salt and pepper to taste
Peel and cut potatoes in half or quarters (not too small), add to pressure cooker and cover with cold water. Set Manual time to 8 minutes Pressure. When done and steam/pressure is released, drain potatoes and add milk, butter, salt and pepper. Mash until you’ve got consistency you like. (You can add more milk if you need.)
We made chicken curry last week in 10 minutes… using chicken thighs. All we had to do was add the cut up chicken thighs to a good-quality jarred sauce with a little extra water (the water will evaporate). The entire meal took 15 minutes– the time it took to cook the rice.
I am not getting paid to endorse any product, I just love this! And I’m sure it’ll make a great gift for the busy person.