Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Modernist BLT

Modernist BLT

One of the gifts I received for Christmas was Modernist Cuisine at Home, which is the slightly more affordable version of Nathan Myhrvold's massively encyclopedic treatise on Modernist cooking... a multi volume set that costs somewhere on the order of $500. While I certainly blog about sous vide here, I'm not so awed by foams and spherification that I need the definitive treatise on the subject; the dumbed down n00b version is just fine for me and seems a lot more practical for the nerdy home cook.

The first thing I made from the book was actually pressure cooker marinara sauce, but while it was really quite a good way to make tomato sauce it didn't feel quite epic enough for a blog post. Enter cured sous vide pork belly and bacon mayonnaise assembled into a Modernist BLT sandwich. Yes, that's right, I said bacon mayonnaise.

Sous Vide Pork Belly Browned

The pork belly gets a 72 hour brine (with Insta Cure for the pink color) before getting a 36 hour sous vide hot tub treatment, so not exactly something you whip up on a whim... but all that time involves nearly zero work from you, so it's not exactly a difficult process either. What you see above is said pork belly after all those hours of cooking and curing... just briefly browned in a hot skillet. The texture is so tender it's actually pretty surprising, and the cure gives it a flavor that is reminiscent of ham.

The bacon mayo is made by cooking some blended egg yolks sous vide (153 degrees F) for 35 minutes to increase their emulsifying powers (and eliminate salmonella fears)... then you whip in some rendered bacon fat and Xanthan gum to get your emulsification going... before adding crumbled bacon pieces. Because of the Xanthan gum they warned your bacon mayo will solidify when cold, but I didn't find that... in fact, it didn't really obtain the right consistency until it was chilled (it was quite runny when warm). I guess maybe I didn't use enough Xanthan gum? Fractions of a gram aren't something my current scale can measure, so I just did it by eye, and maybe didn't add enough.

The sandwich was quite good and definitely different... dare I say "unique"... and worth making if you are into this kind of thing. I don't suspect curing your own pork belly and making bacon mayo will ever replace the classic original BLT, but it's a cool variant nonetheless.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Baking Steel

Baking Steel
Hello interwebs! It's been a while since I've posted, for which I apologize, but I've been obsessed with some topics that aren't cooking, which has cut down a bit on my ability to make big fun blog-worthy cooking projects. On the cooking positive side I got a bunch of exciting cookbooks and cooking implements for Christmas, which has reinvigorated me a bit... so hopefully even if I can't quite return to weekly blogging it won't get worse than biweekly. We shall see!

What you see above is one of those holiday gifts from my kind and loving family: a baking steel (Modernist Cuisine edition). At $100 it's a bit pricey (the non-Modernist one is $20 bucks cheaper but thinner), though anybody who has used one has raved about it.

We had some really good results as well... though I think I didn't let the dough get warm enough before shaping the pizzas. I just never seem to get that oven spring/hole structure I see in everybody else's homemade pizza. Regardless, we still had more oven spring than normal and had really great leopard spotting on the crust (which unfortunately I forgot to photograph).

Margherita Pizza

The ultimate pizza making performance is allegedly achieved using your broiler with the Baking Steel, not just a 500 degree oven... but unfortunately our broiler is on the bottom of our oven, so to use the two together would involve some shenanigans that would probably lead to pizza on the floor... but it might bear investigating.

Though we've only used it once, we've already seen a large improvement in our pizzas and I'm definitely looking forward to baking some bread on it. Is it worth 2x (at least) the price of a baking stone? Depends on how obsessive you are about your homemade pizza... and perhaps how good the pizzerias near you are. Overall I know that I am very pleased but there are some caveats to keep in mind. While our pizzas were much improved, it didn't suddenly make them equivalent to Pizzeria Posto or When Pig's Fly and the steel itself is also super heavy (15 or 22 lbs!). So keep all that in mind when making your decision, but I am certainly a fan.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Thanksgiving After Action Report: Sous Vide Deep Fried "Turchetta"

Sous Vide Deep Fried Turchetta

Since we have a Thanksgiving tradition where meat eaters are in the minority (usually I am the only one), roasting a whole turkey is basically an exercise in insanity. I'd either be eating it three meals a day for a week and a half or tossing it out, so I look for nothing bigger than a small turkey breast when I start planning. Given the aforementioned vegetarian related constraints, I also like to not take up the oven for hours on end if possible. Last year I made turkey confit and that was basically perfect. It's not too much food, all but the last bit can be done ahead of time, and it was incredibly delicious. In fact, I was so satisfied with the outcome that I was planning on doing that again... that is until I saw Kenji at Serious Eats put out a recipe for Sous Vide Deep Fried Turchetta (so yes, I made yet another Food Lab recipe).

Preparing to roll up Turchetta

Porchetta is pork belly that is stuffed with garlic, fennel, and herbs before being rolled up and roasted or fried... so this recipe is trying to do the same thing but with a turkey breast. You take off the skin, separate the breast meat from the bone, butterfly it to make them flat, rub with your herb paste, and then wrap it up in the skin in a cute little cylinder. It's actually easier than you think, and I honestly spent the most time obsessively re-wrapping and tying the thing... trying to get "perfect" skin coverage... which, of course, turned out to be perfectly meaningless because nobody is looking at that when you bring it to the table.

After I vacuum sealed the turchetta I let it cure for a couple of days and made turkey stock from the bones. The stock only took about an hour with a pressure cooker and then I was done until Thanksgiving day, which was a pretty nice feeling. Besides making the gravy from the turkey stock, all I had to do with it on the day of was stick the turchetta in the water bath for 5+ hours and take it out to deep fry right before we were getting ready to sit down. As the recipe warns, the hot oil did flare/splatter a ton in the first minute or so, so you want to use an actual lid and not just a splatter screen or you will have a big mess on your hands. Final product looked great... even the vegetarians were impressed at how professional it looked... and it tasted just as good. Totally worth making if you have the means.

If I ever cook for a large group of omnivores I think I would probably take a whole turkey and break it down to do the legs confit and the breast like this... that would be the ultimate.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sous Vide Tacos de Lengua

Sous Vide Tacos de Lengua

This is a supper simple recipe from Serious Eats for beef tongue tacos made with a sous vide setup (though they do include alternate stove top braising instructions). All you are doing is putting your big ole cow tongue in a bag with tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and duck fat so that after 24-48 hours in the water bath (at 170 degrees F) you also have the basis for a salsa.

Beef Tongue ready for Water Bath

If you've never dealt with beef tongue before, you do have to handle the fact that it is indeed an animal's tongue and there is really no mistaking that. What that means, besides however "gross" you might think it looks, is that you have to peel the outer layer off before dicing up the rest of the muscle. I didn't have any problem with this... and I'm not an offal person in general... but obviously your mileage may vary. Personally I think if you are eating meat you should be comfortable with the fact that said meat came from an animal with a face (and a tongue)... but I suppose that doesn't mean you should have to want to eat it, however I think you'd be missing out since it is just like any other muscle in most respects.

Circling back around to the recipe... I had two relatively minor problems with it. The first is that it calls for 1.5 lbs of cow (or veal) tongue which, in the case of cows, is physically impossible. Cows are big animals, so you are looking at something more on the order of 3 lbs and butchers don't generally sell them in pieces (at least in my experience). So you either need access to veal tongue, to double the recipe, or a friend who also wants half a cow tongue... which worked for me, believe it or not, but seems like it would be somewhat uncommon in general. The second issue is that, once your beef tongue is done cooking, you divide the resulting liquid into two parts... one half to make the salsa and the other to reduce on the stove top with the tongue. The instructions say "Combine tongue and remaining liquid in heavy-bottomed 10 or 12-inch skillet. Bring to a simmer over high heat, reduce to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is reduced and tongue has started to crisp, about 8 minutes." Emphasis mine. How exactly does that work? Can you crisp something in liquid? Well if it's fat, yes, and so I suppose it means for you to cook off the water and then fry the tongue up a bit... but all my liquid cooked off with no "crisping" so I ended up deglazing and going with it as is. I also found I preferred to just mix my beef tongue in with the chipotle salsa instead of keeping them separate, so I'm not sure there is really anything to be gained from that step.

Otherwise it's a solid recipe. Super simple and a great way to use a sous vide setup.

Friday, November 1, 2013


Recently Anna and I took a quick weekend trip up to Montreal for a belated celebration of our wedding anniversary. It's only about a five and a half hour drive from Boston through a lot of pretty country up in Vermont so it's a bit of a shame that I've only been up there once before. My previous visit (Anna had never been) was back in the 90's when I was fresh out of college and I went with four guys who stuffed themselves into a room at the Travelodge (try not to imagine the smell)... and let's just say our, uh, "priorities" were a wee bit different on that trip... so this was a pretty fresh experience of Montreal.


We stayed at LHotel whose claim to fame is having a pretty impressive collection of Pop art decorating its walls... we passed a couple of Lichenstein's and a Warhol on the way from the elevator to our room. It's got a great location on the edge of old Montreal and is right near the metro, so you don't really need to do any driving. We didn't eat there or really spend much time in the room besides sleeping, but the people at the desk were nice and the room was reasonably priced... so unless you want a lot of amenities, I think you'll do well there.

Now, Montreal obviously has a lot of French food, which is not particularly friendly to vegetarians (unless all you want to eat are salads)... and Canada's most famous food, poutine, is a meaty gravy and cheese curds covering fries. So we had to do a little leg work to make sure Anna had some good food to eat. Luckily, on the poutine front La Banquise exists, which among it's 30 odd varieties of poutine has a vegetarian version. You can see our order pictured up top... the closest is "La Kamikaze", which I ordered, and contains hot peppers,tobasco, and merguez sausage. I found it to be quite excellent, and something that surprisingly lived up to the hype Canadian partisans are always heaping on it. It's not something I would want to have every day, but it certainly puts your standard chili or cheese fries to shame. Anna was intrigued enough to want to tinker with the vegetarian version at home... so who knows, maybe we'll post a recipe for it someday... though we'd also have to make the cheese curds I think, since that's not something you see in Massachusetts grocery stores.


The weather wasn't great... not bitter cold, but drizzly... so we took advantage of the metro (which seems great by the way) to head to the the big Jean-Talon market after our poutine. It's got both indoor and outdoor stalls vegetables, food, bread, cheese, meat, fish, etc and I believe it is year round (at least the indoor section). As tempting as the vegetables were... there were some very cute collections of wild mushrooms that were nearly irresistible... it didn't make a whole lot of sense to buy any, so we only window shopped.


There are a number of shops that encircle the market such as the above Capitol Butcher. Meat wasn't really on the grocery list either, but we did bring home some Quebec cheeses. Some of the fromageries we visited were a little intimidating thanks to big crowds and the shouting out of numbers I can barely recognize from high school French class... but we ended up at Marché Des Saveurs Du Québec, which specializes in local products. While there was a bit of a language barrier, we did very well and came home with three pretty unique cheeses.

That evening also managed a fancy vegetarian tasting at XO Le, which was just about 50 feet from our hotel. Really quite nice with impeccable service... probably the longest meal I've ever had but paced so well as to not feel that way. The food was great... modernist in style which powders and foams and whatnot, and was very good. It was quite expensive of course, but that's what you expect for such an evening.

Anna on top of Mount Royal

On the way out we picked up half a dozen St-Viateur Bagel's right out of the wood oven and made a stop for a quick picture on top of Mount Royal. All in all a quite enjoyable trip, and hopefully we won't let decades pass before we get back up to it again.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Chicken Enchiladas Verde

Chicken Enchiladas Verde
I have trouble thinking of enchiladas verde as a "fall food" since they are so bright and green and fundamentally spring-like in my head... but I bought the tomatillos and chili peppers for this recipe up at a farmer's market in Maine about two weeks ago, so I guess that makes them a fall food whether I can wrap my head around it or not. I wasn't particularly planning enchiladas when I picked out the tomatillos, but I knew I was going to make something verde, and tomatillos are produce that I try to pick up every time I see them... I just love their bright tartness.

In the end made Rick Bayless's Roasted Tomatillo salsa (multiplying quantities by 4 for 2 lbs of tomatillos)... omitting the onion because I was planning on using diced white onion as a garnish... and then substituted that as the salsa verde in the Simply Recipes' chicken enchiladas verde recipe because you should always roast tomatillos and chilis because... it's just a fact. A tasty fact. That Simply Recipes recipe is the first hit when you search for "enchiladas verdes" so if you've ever even considered the dish you've probably seen her recipe, but I was actually surprised to discover it did not have any baking time for the enchiladas at the end. You just use the oven to keep everything warm while you are assembling the enchiladas, which makes this a pretty good weeknight dinner option if you make the chicken and salsa ahead of time. Indeed, I found myself assembling a single (oven safe) plate on enchiladas for a bachelor dinner and just sticking it in a 200 degree oven for a few minutes to make sure it was warm.

A good solid recipe that is very worth making.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Peter Reinhart's Bagels Revisited

Homemade Bagels
We've made these bagels a handful of times since I first wrote about them in 2010. It's a recipe made internet famous by Smitten Kitchen (like many, many internet famous food things) but one that many consider a little too fussy to be getting on with. Now I'll grant you, Reinhart's recipe is a two day process so it's no good if you want bagels RIGHT THE HELL NOW, but if you are going through the trouble of making your own bagels then I ask you: what's the point of cutting corners? Frankly I find it to be an advantage that it's spread out over two days because it means the morning you are preparing them is devoted solely to boiling and baking. Otherwise there are two exotic ingredients involved: high gluten flour and malt powder. You can just use bread flour or you can go in for something like this. I've seen Sir Lancelot flour at a well stocked Whole Foods and a co-op in Maine, but you might need to order it online if you are intent on super authentic bagel flour... if you do look in a store just make sure you don't come home with vital wheat gluten by accident. I think you could probably doctor up some all purpose flour with a few tablespoons of it, but it's important to note that while it is super high in gluten content it's not actually flour and is what people use to make seitan... and seitan bagels sound pretty gross.

We've used malt powder in the past, but when I went to grab some for this recipe it had turned into a solid malty block. I guess you are supposed to freeze it to store it, who knew? (well people who read the packaging probably) We substituted a little brown sugar as suggested and I thought the bagels tasted great, so I'm not sure I'll bother with it again.

These are a great little project and well worth making. I'm no bagel connoisseur, but I feel like these are worlds better than 90% of the bagels out there and will give even the very best a run for their money.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Spicy Sous Vide BBQ Pork Chop and Collards with Bacon

Spicy BBQ Pork Chop and Collards with Bacon
This was a fairly simple meal that was one of my more successful cooking efforts in recent memory. Largely because of serendipity with complimentary flavors between the two dishes, wherein the apple cider vinegar in the collards and bbq sauce really unified the plate. In addition, I think the ancho chili powder I used in the dry rub for the pork accented the smokiness of the bacon in the collards. Complete and total luck for my part, as this was certainly not something I was thinking when I picked the dishes to go together... but it was definitely something I noticed as I tried to figure out why this meal was especially good. The pork chop was from Kenji at Serious Eats and the collards from Simply Recipes, with both recipes followed as written (though my chops were boneless). The collards were especially awesome, and I can't praise Elise's recipe enough... though my vegetarian wife was none too pleased with my "ruining" of a perfectly good pot of collards with bacon (I may in fact try a vegetarian version with liquid smoke).

I don't intend for this to become a "modernist" food blog... I have no plans to start messing with meat glue or spherification... but sous vide really is becoming my default for cooking meat. My favorite cooking is probably always going to be slow braises and hearty stews and the like, but if you ever see a pork chop, steak, or chicken breast on this blog it will most likely cooked sous vide. I don't really feel bad about that fact since I pretty much never cooked those things conventionally before anyway, and I think the picture below makes the case for sous vide quite strongly:
Sous Vide Spicy BBQ Pork Chop
That's the juiciest most perfectly cooked pork chop I could ever hope to make, and the fact is that sous vide makes it incredibly easy. The argument has always been one of price, but beyond the $100 DorkFood device I use, there are new all-in-one devices that are hitting at around a $200 price point. So I don't think sous vide is going to remain just a fad for cooking geeks... I'm not going to go as far as to say they'll be as ubiquitous as microwaves, but I think it's a cooking technique that is coming to the mainstream someday soon, so if you are not a fan you had best get used to it.

Friday, October 4, 2013

White Beans with Roasted Tomatoes

White Beeans and Roasted Tomatoes
We're well into Fall at this point, so the days of perfect summer tomatoes that just need a little salt to be delicious are long since past. Roasting gives you a way to get a lot of flavor even out of lame super market tomatoes or whatever might still be in your garden. The recipe is from Epicurious, and was quite good. However I will note that while the 500 degree oven temperature is great for getting the tomatoes roasted in less than an hour, all the liquid from the tomatoes turned into a black coating on my roasting pan that took steel wool to get off... though on the bright side that's the cleanest my roasting pan has been since I bought it. If I do this again I think I'd go with Alton Brown's Slow Roasted Tomatoes, not letting them get all the way to the point where they are like sun dried tomatoes but where they still have a fair bit of moisture (more like 6-8 hours at 200 degrees).

Monday, September 30, 2013

RIP Marcella Hazan

Here is the NY Times obit. Her Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking remains the Italian cooking bible in our home. I think it would be difficult to overstate her influence on Italian cooking here in the US, or on my Italian cooking personally. I've related the story here on how my mother became obsessed with Marcella Hazan while trying to perfect her ragù bolognese... and how she transferred that obsession to Anna and myself by starting every discussion of Italian cooking with "Well, Marcella says..."

She will be missed.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Sous Vide Chicken Wings

Sous Vide Buffalo Wings
I'm not typically a huge chicken wings guy. I'll occasionally order them from a local place, but mainly because they offer tofu tenders for Anna when she's in one of her junk food moods... not because they are renowned for their wings. While I enjoy them, wings are messy and kind of a pain to eat, so more often than not I just don't bother. Certainly I had never thought to make them at home. But with all that said, the start of football season was upon us and I decided to go ahead and give them a try... if having a food blog is good for anything it's getting you out of your comfort zone and cooking things you otherwise wouldn't.

As is often the case here, my jumping off point was a recipe from The Food Lab wherein he advocates a low and slow fry (essentially confit the wings) followed by the traditional 400 °F deep fry. The idea being that the low temperature cooking will convert some of the collagen in the skin to gelatin without really cooking the meat very much (if at all). In the article Kenji makes a throwaway comment about maybe doing some wings sous vide in duck fat instead of this low temperature fry, but doesn't supply any time or temperature information. I was intrigued by this idea (as were many of his commenters) so I did a little research on my own.

Turns out that Modernist Cuisine at Home has a recipe for sous vide chicken wings. They call for cooking the the wings sous vide at 148 °F for 1 hour followed by a 390 °F fry for 3 minutes. A quick Google suggests that a number of people trying this recipe were disappointed about the crispiness of the end product, which makes sense given Kenji's technique since 148 °F is at the very low end of collagen breakdown. Collagen breaks down at temperatures greater than 140 °F but it happens very slowly until you get up into the 160-170 °F range, so 1 hour at 148 °F probably has no noticeable effect on the skin.
Wings after Frying

Despite the fact that the end product might not be the crispest wing EVAR, I decided to go with the Modernist Cuisine recipe anyway. At some point in the future I might decide to extend the sous vide cooking time more into the 6-8 hour range to see if that helps with crispier wings, but you need a baseline for comparison purposes so I just did their recipe verbatim. One tip I saw was to make sure the wings are extra dry before you fry them, so I made two batches... one with about a 3 hour air dry on a rack on the counter and the other with overnight air dry in the fridge. The second batch was noticeably crisper, so it's worth doing if you have time.

Sous Vide Chipotle Wings with Avocado Crema

Otherwise I did your standard Buffalo sauce for my first batch (1 cup of Frank's + 1 stick of butter) and then made the second batch using a recipe from Saveur for Chipotle Wings and Avocado Crema. Both were good and the sous vide aspect guaranteed perfectly tender wings, but I still can't help feeling like Kenji is right and that they could be even crispier. Not perfect, but still a good use of a sous vide setup... one nice aspect is that you can freeze the wings after the sous vide step and just pull them out of the freezer for a quick fry whenever you want some wings.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Frito Pie or Walking Taco

Frito Pie or Walking Taco
If you are born and raised on either coast, then the concept of a Frito Pie/Walking Taco is likely going to be completely alien to you. I myself, as a lifelong East Coaster, had never heard of them until I saw the recipe in Homesick Texan's cookbook, but apparently Midwesterners (who call it a Walking Taco) and Southwesterners (who call it a Frito Pie) just love these things for football season... because what better thing to eat in the stands than warm chili put inside a bag of chips? And that's basically the long and the short of what this is: take a bag of chips (canonically Fritos obviously), cut it open lengthwise, pour on some chili, and top with shredded cheese, jalapenos, onions, etc.

Now, I had basically forgotten it since I saw it in Lisa Fain's cookbook, but recent hype about the next Doritos Locos Taco (for those who ignore fast food news: a ground beef taco made with a Doritos shell) got me thinking about the Frito Pie again. I mean people really seem to love those Doritos tacos, but I swore off Taco Bell somewhere in my mid 20's and I think it's best for both of us if I continue to keep my distance... so why not just do a Frito Pie with with different kinds of Doritos? Not that I pretend this is some kind of genius idea, since people were already doing it and the advertising itself shows a taco coming out of a Doritos bag... but I thought it was a good excuse to try this iconic recipe I don't fully understand.

I used Pioneer Woman Cook's recipe instead of Homesick Texan's simply because I didn't feel like roasting chiles and I have some ancho chile powder I really like. The only problem with Ree's recipe is that Ro-tel is not readily available in Boston, but you can imitate it by just using a can of diced tomatoes and a small can of diced chiles (though you'll end up with more than the 10 oz she calls for). The other thing I did differently was to follow The Food Lab's advice on browning ground meat: wherein you deeply brown 1/4 of the meat, and then add the rest, cooking it only until it is no longer pink... which is supposed to leave you with more tender meat without sacrificing flavor.

Now, after being raised on the ground beef and beans style of chili I have come to favor Texas style chili much more... and this recipe didn't change my mind... but while you could certainly skip the beans it's hard to see how big chunks of meat would really work well here. Otherwise I think I still prefer my chili in a bowl with regular tortilla chips or corn tortillas... but it is an undeniably fun way to eat some chili that I don't doubt would be popular with kids or at a Super Bowl party.

While the picture shows only nacho cheese flavor Doritos, I did try a handful of other flavors that I could find in $1 2 oz size bags at a nearby convenience store... and I would say that the sweet spicy chili flavor combo worked out the best specifically because of the sweet contrast. I suspect I would also like Cool Ranch for similar contrast related reasons.

As much as fans of the genre might disagree, I don't think you'll find the Frito Pie to be a life changing experience... but they are fun and worth making all the same.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Serious Eats: Charred Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad

Charred Corn and Cherry Tomato Salad with Zucchini and Radishes
This is a nice late August farmers' market dish from Kenji over at Serious Eats, one that checks a lot of the boxes as far as what is local and fresh this time of year. However, unless you stock things like Mexican crema and cotija cheese... and live in a place where limes grow, it does involve another trip to a the kind of market that has fluorescent lights (and no farmers) to fill out your ingredient list. To save time the day you make it, you are probably going to want to make the supermarket trip before the farmers' market, as that stuff will sit way better than your fresh veggies. That said, I was able to pick up the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, radishes, and scallions all at the farmer's market at the Harvard Science Center... everything perfectly ripe and lovely.

There is a lot of knife work here, so it might take longer than the prescribed 20 minutes of prep time if you are not especially fast... but you can chop things while the zucchini and corn are on the stove. Plus you want this room temperature, not hot, so there is no particular hurry. I found the flavors to be quite good and for it to be a great way to consume bountiful summer produce.

As you can see above, I preferred it taco style as a main course but it could obviously work very well as a side dish.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Easy Pressure Cooker Chile Verde

Pressure Cooker Chile Verde
This is just a variation of Alton Brown's Pressure Cooker Chili, which I've posted about a couple of times. Alton's recipe is not one that's meant to be particularly authentic or elaborate... just a quick full flavored chili that takes advantage of the best qualities of the pressure cooker. So while I would like to make a more hardcore chile verde at some point... with the roasted tomatillos and peppers and all that... this recipe is purely a quickie type deal with jarred salsas and canned peppers. Not something that is particularly fashionable in this era of DIY ketchup and slow food, but sometimes you just want a chile verde you can have on the table in an hour.

I like a good chili even at the height of summer, and using a pressure cooker means you don't even have to heat up your whole house.

Easy Pressure Cooker Chile Verde


  • 3-3.5 lbs pork shoulder, cut into 1.5-2" chunks
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 16 oz. jars of salsa verde
  • 1 4 oz. can of diced green chilies (preferably Hatch)
  • 30 tortilla chips
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • diced onion, for garnish
  • corn tortillas, for serving


  1. Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and toss with the peanut oil and salt. Set aside.
  2. Brown the meat in 3 or 4 batches in a 6 quart (or larger) pressure cooker over high heat, approximately 2 minutes per batch. Once each batch is browned, place the meat in a clean large bowl.
  3. Once all of the meat is browned, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the cooker to deglaze the pot.
  4. Add the meat back to the pressure cooker along with the salsa, diced peppers, tortilla chips, cilantro, and ground cumin and stir to combine. Lock the lid in place according to the manufacturer's instructions. When the steam begins to hiss out of the cooker, reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain a very weak whistle. Cook for 25 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the pressure to reduce naturally (10-15 more minutes).
  5. Put in bowls and top with cilantro and diced onion. Serve with warm corn tortillas.