Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Couple Delicious Family Recipes

Getting down to the nitty gritty.  Start the countdown on the journal jar.  Here goes #5...

What is your favorite food?  When you cook for my family, what do you enjoy makinng most?

Interesting.  I wonder who wrote that.  And if I've ever cooked for his or her family.  I don't think my mom wrote all of these prompts in the journal jar, but I could be wrong.  So there's a mystery person out there, that I've secretly been cooking for before, and that I enjoyed cooking for-- so much in fact that there are a series of events from which I should choose a favorite?  Or maybe it's just a typo.  Hmm.  Yeah-- when I cook for my family, when you cook for your family...  Alright, enough.

My favorite food is undoubtedly pizza.  I love pizza.  Pizza, pizza, pizza.  Mushroom and olive, sausage and green pepper, sausage and pepperoni, ham and pineapple, chicken and garlic... all so good.

But when I cook for some other person's family...

No.  When I cook for my family, I enjoy making recipes with the pressure cooker.  Two of my favorite recipes involve the pressure cooker--  homemade shredded beef burritos and stuffed artichokes.

Hmm.  Those two don't sound so good together.  But they're delicious on their own.

The key to the burritos is the stew meat.  You place some stew meat-- chunks of beef-- in the pressure cooker with some water, maybe a little white wine, and close it up.  Cook it on medium heat (with the pressure cooker rocker valve a-rockin' away) for about 25 minutes, until the meat is tender and stringy.  Then you can add spices and refried beans to get your base substance for the burrito, and then assemble as you like into a warm tortilla with cheese, olives, sour cream, guacamole, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, hot sauce, salsa... but remember you gotta wrap that tortilla around all the goodies, so don't over stuff!  Fun to prep all the fixin's and assemble at a burrito bar sort of thing.

The artichokes are yummy and quite healthy.  You cut the tops off of the 'chokes and spoon into the leaves a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.  Then you place them in the bottom  of the pressure cooker with about a quarter inch of water.  We've been adding a dollop  of flax seed oil onto each 'choke so the edges of the leaves don't singe.  I also like to add a little white wine to the mix--  pour a little over each 'choke.  Then cook 'em for about 25 minutes, until the leaves are spread out and easily peeled off.  Then you just eat your way down to the heart-- you've gotta dig it out of a bit of spiney stuff, once the leaves get too small and tender to eat, but man, it's worth the work.  The heart is a wonderful delicacy, salt and peppered to taste.

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