The good thing about living in Southern California, besides the year round sunshine, is the food. Here in Los Angeles, which is one of the most multicultural cities in the world, people from different countries allow us to taste different types of authentic cuisine.
There are many good Mexican restaurants and food trucks in East Los Angeles where you can find some of best tacos in the country. If you go for the Taco Tuesday deals, each taco is as low as $1. After your meal, you can walk along some streets in East LA, and there are some food trucks selling fresh churros, they are just delicious!
Just because my family loves Mexican food, I came across with this Pork Chile Verde recipe on seriouseats.com using a pressure cooker. Simply add some homemade Mexican rice (recipe here), some beans and/or tortillas as your sides, and you will have a pretty satisfying meal.
Pork shoulder (Cut into chunks)
Tomatillos (quartered, papery husks removed)
Poblano peppers (about 2 peppers, chopped, seeds and stems discarded)
Anaheim peppers (about 2 peppers, chopped, seeds and stems discarded)
Roughly chop all peppers, remember to keep the Jalapeno chili seeds. Chop onion and peel garlic. (Picture 1)
Toast 6g of whole cumin seeds and then grind them with a mortar and pestle. (Picture 2)
Put all of the vegetables into a pressure cooker, then put meat on top. (Pictures 3 and 4)
Add ground cumin and salt to the pressure cooker, then use tongs to stir everything together. (Pictures 5-7)
Cover the lid and cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. Turn the sealing vault to the “sealing” position. (Picture 8)
After 30 minutes, do a quick release of the pressure.
Remove pork with tongs to a bowl and set aside. (Picture 9)
Use an immersion blender to blend the vegetables to a smooth puree. (Picture 10)
Add in a tablespoon of Asian fish sauce. (Picture 11)
Return pork to the pot. (Picture 12)
When serving, add a good amount of chopped cilantro.
I had read some reviews about the vegetables being burned at the bottom of the pot. The pressure cooker I’m using is an electric pressure cooker, so this problem will never happen. If you have a traditional stovetop pressure cooker, you may want to test it out by adding a little water to the pot.
Whenever I spoke to friends/relatives/co-workers about cooking the last few years, I would hear so much about how they fell in love with their IP and why they couldn’t stop using their IP. Cooking with an IP is currently very popular, but what is an IP? IP stands for Instant Pot which is a multifunctional electric pressure cooker. According to The New York Times, Instant Pots currently sit in the top 10 list of Amazon best sellers in the Kitchen category. I’ve owned one for more than a year now and I understand why people love it so much. You can easily convert many recipes for pressure cooking.
I normally cook this chicken in a Dutch Oven with potatoes and carrots added to the pot (Dutch Oven chicken recipe will follow). Cooking this chicken in a Dutch Oven or in a pressure cooker keeps the chicken moist and tender. When I don’t have much time preparing dinner, I just bring out my IP.
1 (4 pounds)
Whole roasting chicken
Cooking wine (optional)
Spices for Chicken Skin:
Ingredients for gravy:
Low sodium chicken broth (cooking together with the chicken in Instant Pot)
Clean the chicken and pat dry.
Melt butter in a microwave and prepare all herbs. (picture A)
Use a chopper to chop garlic, rosemary and lemon zest together. (picture B)
In a container, mix butter, salt and herb mixture. (picture C)
Rub herb mixture evenly underneath the chicken skin and cavity. (picture D)
Cover with cling wrap and let it sit in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight (you can skip this step if you don’t have time).
Combine all spices for chicken skin in a bowl. (Pictures 1 & 2)
Sprinkle the skin evenly with the spice mixture. (Picture 3)
In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil with a sprig of rosemary. Cook the chicken until evenly golden brown, add in cooking wine (optional). (Picture 4)
Pour 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth (or water) to your Instant Pot (pressure cooker), place the metal trivet into the pot. Gently place chicken on top of the trivet with tongs. (Pictures 5 & 6)
Select manual setting, adjust pressure to high and set time for 20 minutes. Turn knob to the sealing position. When finished cooking, do a quick pressure release. (Picture 7)
To make gravy:
Reserve all the juice from the pot and skim the fat from the top. Transfer gravy from Instant Pot to a small pot.
Place the pot on stove top on medium heat. Dissolve 2 Tbsps of cornstarch in the minimum amount of water needed to make a thin paste.
Pour the cornstarch slurry into the pot and use a spoon or whisk to mix (don’t pour in all cornstarch slurry, if gravy is still thin, add more in until it’s slightly thickened.)
In the 21st century, most people changed their eating habits and chose to eat healthily. However, I found that healthy foods do not taste as good as normal foods so when I introduce healthier meals to my family, I have to make sure my children will allow me to make it again. I found this turkey curry recipe from SimplyRecipes by Elise Bauer. I gave it a little twist to suit our tastes and it became a popular dish for my family.
Ground Turkey (93% lean)
White onion (chopped)
Medium Carrots (peeled and cut into big pieces)
Medium red potatoes (peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks)
Roma tomatoes (diced)
Low sodium chicken broth
Fresh ginger (about 1-inch piece) (peeled and grated)
3 ½ Tbsps
1 ½ tsps.
Red chili powder
Light brown sugar
Salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
Heat 4 tbsps. of grape seed oil over high heat in a large pan. When the oil is hot, add ground turkey, make sure not to crowd the meat. With 3 pounds of meat, it’s better to split the meat into 2 portions and cook separately. Cook turkey until it begins to brown and liquid is dried up. Set aside. (picture 1)
Brown onion in a pan, then add minced garlic and grated ginger. Stir for about 1 minute. (picture 2)
Return ground turkey to the pan with onion, garlic and ginger. Stir for about 1 minute. (picture 3)
Add 4 cups of chicken broth. (picture 4)
Then add in all spices (curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, sugar). (picture 5)
Add diced tomatoes, carrots, peas and potatoes. Add salt and mix well. (pictures 6-8)
Transfer everything to a pressure cooker and press the “Meat/stew” function, press the button to choose the cooking time to 15 minutes. Turn the venting knob to “sealing” position. When it’s done cooking, do a quick pressure release. (picture 9)
If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can easily cook this on the stove top. Cover the pot and simmer the curry for about 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Serve over rice.
3 pound of meat is enough for 2 meals for 5 people. This dish is also very good the next day.
Ground turkey will release a lot of liquid when cooking. Make sure not to crowd the meat, otherwise it will take a long time to brown the meat.
Ever since I bought an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot), I’ve tried different recipes that required long cooking times on the stove top. I must say I love pressure cooking as it has saved me so much time! This Instant Pot is very safe to use, if the cooker is still pressurized, the lid will be locked to prevent accidental opening. I have tried cooking a whole chicken, tri-tip, soup and Oxtail.
Pork Soft Bones
Light soy sauce
Dark soy sauce
Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (or rice cooking wine)
I bought these pork soft bones in an Asian supermarket, as you can see from picture 1, they are like short ribs and has a little fat marbling in the meat. The little white circles are the soft bones, once the ribs are cooked for a long time, you can eat the bones together with the meat.
Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to a frying pan and fry the pork ribs until slightly golden brown. (picture 2)
Add garlic, ginger and green onions to the ribs and stir well. (picture 3)
Add a tablespoon of Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (if you don’t have this type of wine, just add rice cooking wine). (picture 4)
Transfer the ribs to a pressure cooker. In a separate bowl, combine light soy sauce, mirin, water, dark soy sauce and brown sugar. Pour the mixture into the pressure cooker. (pictures 5-10)
I am using an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot). Close the pressure cooker lid tight and make sure the steam release knob is turned to “Sealing” position. Select “Meat/Stew” function, set pressure to “normal” and the cooking time to 35 minutes. As the pressure increases inside the cooker, the Float Valve pops up and seals the cooker. (picture 11)
When the ribs are done cooking, slide the steam release knob to the “Venting” position to let out steam until the Float Valve drops down. The meat is so soft and tender, you can serve it with noodles in soup or rice. (Picture 12)
Note: If you don’t have a pressure cooker and want to make this on the stove top, instead of 1/2 cup of water, add 4 cups of water to the pot. Cook ribs in medium low heat for about 2 hours.