I was asked to teach a two hour Mexican cooking class this past summer for a corporate group. The only caveat was that I would not have access to a kitchen or an oven, so my options were limited to using portable stoves and a large table top. What to do?
I consulted with my good friend who has supplied me with many of the Mexican recipes on this blog and came up with the following:
Quick N Easy Salsa
Homestyle Flour Tortillas
Homemade Taco Seasoning
Pozole (Pork and Hominy Soup)
I have never heard of Pozole ~ she basically described it as a traditional Mexican soup using a red enchilada sauce without the thickener and adding pork and hominy.
Hominy is made from kernels of corn, soaked in lime or lye, which removes the hull and germ of the corn and causes it to puff up to twice its normal size. It is either white or golden, and you can use either for this recipe.
Pozole is very easy and quick to make. It starts with cut up boneless pork ribs (shoulder, stew meat) which are browned. Pasilla chili powder, a dark chili powder that is wonderful in this soup. You can use anywhere from 3-5 Tablespoons, depending on how hot you like it!
Saute some onion, add some garlic, and then you are ready to add your tomato sauce or juice. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, or till the pork is tender.
Add the drained hominy and heat through.
That's it! Serve hot with some lemon or lime wedges, sliced avocado, and fried tortilla strips.
Pozole: Pork & Hominy Soup
(4x6 recipe download) (full page printable recipe)
The weather has been cold and for me, that means a cup of creamy soup.
I was introduced to cheese soup by a roommate in my college years and I was hesitant to try it. Cheese? In soup? Really?
Her recipe used a can of Cheeze Whiz, which was foreign to me, but once I got a taste of this soup and its creamy, cheesey goodness, I was hooked.
I wanted to update the recipe and use real cheese instead of processed. I found this recipe in my trusty Better Homes & Gardens cookbook and it was a family winner. I used my pressure cooker, but by all means, use your stove top for this recipe. It's super easy and your kids will love it!
Carrots and onions are cooked until tender with 1 c. of chicken stock (3 min HI pressure or 5 min on stove).
Mix milk and flour till smooth and add to cooked veggies. Cook over medium high heat until bubbly.
Stir in a combination of sharp and American cheese. I used white cheddar and a mild cheddar cheese. If you use American cheddar, your soup will have a smoother feel.
Stir until the cheese is melted, about one more minute and serve.
Give it a try!
Creamy Cheese Soup
(4x6 recipe card download) (full page printable recipe)
I love chicken noodle soup. My husband loves soup in my Italian bread bowls. One night, I got a craving not just for chicken noodle soup, but a CREAMY chicken noodle soup, so I hunted the Internet for a recipe.
I was disappointed to find the majority of the recipes called for a can of creamed soup. Sure, I have the stuff, but I wanted to make a creamed soup from scratch. Can it be that hard? Apparently, it's not.
This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's Lady Chicken Noodle soup. I simplified it and adapted it for my pressure cooker by using boneless skinless chicken and omitting the sherry and mushrooms.
The creaminess comes from using a small amount of heavy (whipping) cream and all purpose flour. The flavor of this soup is phenomenal .... take a look ...
I LOVE using my pressure cooker to put frozen (YES FROZEN) chicken, the broth (water or sauce) to cook it completely. It only takes 9-12 minutes on HI pressure in the pressure cooker, with quick release. I tossed some diced onion with the chicken broth to help flavor the chicken while cooking.
I took the chicken out to cool before dicing and put in the rest of the ingredients.
Veggies do not take a long time to pressure cook. Usually 3-5 minutes, depending on the vegetable and the size. I cut some carrots in 1/2" slices and found these dried homestyle noodles that take ... get this ... 20 minutes to cook on the stove. I thought, "Why not try cooking noodles in the pressure cooker?" I added seasonings and gave it a quick stir, making sure all the noodles were covered. Set the pressure cooker on HI for 6 minutes with a quick release, and....
Did it work? You betcha!
These noodles were perfect! Not mushy and not tough. You will NOT be able to cook fresh noodles or very small noodles (orzo) in a pressure cooker.
Now, this soup is fine the way it is, but if you like it creamy, you need to add a little bit of flour to the cream and stir it in. Oh, and some Parmesan cheese....
Don't forget to take the bay leaves out... no one wants a surprise in their soup!
The flavor of this soup is VERY good: Italian seasoning, lemon pepper, parsley, rosemary, garlic, onion and a couple of bay leaves are all you need. A soup that would normally take 1 1/2 hours or longer to make took less than 45 minutes from start to finish in my pressure cooker.
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from Paula Deen's Lady Chicken Noodle Soup
2 frozen, boneless chicken breasts
1 c. chicken broth
1 small onion, diced
3 c. chicken broth
½ t. Italian seasoning
¼ t. lemon pepper seasoning
1 t. dried parsley
½ t. dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
2 large carrots, ½” sliced
1 c. celery, sliced
1 c. dry home-style noodles
½ c. Parmesan cheese, grated
¾ c. heavy cream
1-2 T. flour, depending how thick you like your soupsalt & pepper to taste
Put chicken in pressure cooker. Pour 1 c. broth and onions on top. PC on HI for 9-12 min, depending on chicken size. Quick release, remove chicken.
Add seasonings, garlic, bay leaves, carrots, celery and noodles. Make sure broth is covering noodles. PC on HI for 6 minutes, with quick release.
Dice cooked chicken and return to PC.
Stir flour into heavy cream and pour in cooked soup. Cook on browning setting, stirring, till bubbly. Add Parmesan cheese, stir and serve.
*PC=Pressure CookServes 4