One of my new toys is a new pressure cooker. This is actually my third one but I’ve never really cooked with one before now. So now I finally have one of those fancy-schmancy ones that doesn’t jiggle and it’s really quiet. In the past two days that I’ve had it I’ve made roast beef, chicken stock, mashed potatoes, and then I canned chicken stock I made.
So I guess this would be a good time to let you know a little bit about my cooking life. I’m a good cook. But that’s what I am. I’m a cook. I’m not a chef. Give me a recipe and I can do it. Give me a bunch of ingredients and tell me to make something fantastic… Well let’s just say that will probably end up with calling out for pizza.
I love watching shows like Chopped, Cutthroat Kitchen, and other silly cooking show competitions. I can’t imagine being told, “For this round you will need to make a cake.” I’m not making a cake if you don’t give me a recipe.
I also tend to eat in binges. And I don’t mean eat a lot at one time, though I am pleasantly plump so obviously I do that,but I mean I will get in the mood for mashed potatoes. And I will eat mashed potatoes at every meal for the next three weeks. Then I will get in the mood for pasta. And we’ll have spaghetti carbonara one day, cajun pasta the next, macaroni and cheese the following day… You see where this is going. On top of all that, I’m a carbaholic.
I am managing to get a lot more confident in the kitchen by taking cooking classes. I have found Craftsy. Well I say that like it’s a new discovery. It’s not I’ve been around since the beginning almost. It’s a company based in Denver that publishes classes online, not real-time, that you can watch over and over again and they teach on all sorts of different craft subjects. One of the subjects that they teach a lot on is food and cooking. I’ve actually learned a lot by enrolling in the classes. You will find that I will sing the praises of Craftsy a whole lot when it comes to my sewing. But that’s another blog post.
In addition to my new found joy of pressure cooking, I’ve also recently discovered a product called the Wonderbag. It’s basically slow cooker that doesn’t require electricity. You start the food on the stove get it boiling or whatever and then you put your pot in the bag which is insulated well enough that the food continues to cook, and over the next 12 hours the food will stay warm. It’s really neat.
That’s just a couple of my latest food crazes. One thing that’s usually pretty consistent for me is that I love a recipe called Chile Chicken.
I can remember exactly the first time I ever made this. I was raised with food that was… Well, there’s really no easy way to say this. The food my mother cooked was on the bland side. That’s what she knew, that’s what she liked, and frankly, she had three children who were very picky eaters so that’s probably about the only way she could cook and have us eat it.Unfortunately, I married a man who likes spicy food. I would make a huge pot of soup and put in 1/8 teaspoon of red pepper flakes and think that it was burning hot. So it was in 1994 and we were living in San Antonio, Texas, when I found a group of recipes that included the following recipe. I made it and I panicked. I had never used cumin before and I wasn’t prepared for the olfactory stimulation that it would give me. I thought it was crazy spicy but I liked it. 20 years later I still make this recipe at least twice a month — though to be honest, it’s been a weekly thing now for about a year. (See my comment above about binging)
Without further ado here’s the recipe I hope you like it. Let me know what you think.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 bell peppers, cut into strips
- 2 medium onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 2 teaspoons hot chili peppers or 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil, add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add peppers, onions and spices. Mix well and cook covered over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle the chicken with the lemon juice.
At the end of the 10 minutes, add the chicken. Mix well and cook covered over medium heat for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
This recipe is easily adjusted down for 2 people.