This will be a quickie, what I am in love with is the smaller version of a pressure cooker. A couple of days ago, I was at a friend's house, she had a brand new pressure cooker, it appears to be either a 4 or 6 quart, this is not a big, canner sized unit. We had been talking about learning how to use one, I looked at the booklet that came with it and saw that it cooks most things in minutes, yes in minutes! I was blown away, I knew that pressure cookers cooked much quicker, but I had no idea just how fast these work.
I found the page for pinto beans, it says to cook pinto beans for 3 to 6 minutes. I had to try it, so I found a bag of pintos, I picked the whole bag, but only used half the bag. I placed the beans in a bowl of water with a pinch of baking soda and covered it. The next day when I went over to my friend's house, I brought the fixens for making tortillas. I poured out the bean water, rinsed the beans, placed them in the pressure cooker, added a chopped onion and some chili powder. I poured water up to the half way mark, put on the lid, locked it down and put it on the fire. It takes 5 to 10 minutes to come up to pressure. Once up to pressure I turned down the flame, just enough to keep the rocker rocking. I timed it for 6 minutes, then remembered that at high altitude you have to add more cooking time so I added 2 more minutes.
I had serious doubts that it would be cooked completely through in that little time, but I followed the directions. I made a double batch of flour tortillas while the beans were cooking. Once the timer went off, I turned off the fire and allowed the pressure cooker to come down by itself. That took about 15 minutes, of course the beans are still cooking during that time. Once the tortillas were done, the beans were ready to come out, I was not sure that the cooker was fully de-pressurized so I put it in the sink and ran cold water over it. I didn't have to do that, but I felt better about opening it afterward.
Once opened, the beans were perfectly cooked, all were soft but not falling apart. I then seasoned it with salt and I minced a pickled serrano chili pepper, that went into the pot. Then we tasted it. It was delish! We ate a bowl of beans each, with a couple of rolled up tortillas to go with it. Man was it good! My friend has been eating these beans for the last two days, she tells me every day how good they are. Now I need to find our small pressure cooker, I have a canner, but I also have a smaller pressure cooker that will be perfect. We can't afford the propane or electricity to cook a pot of pintos in the traditional manner, cooking for hours and hours. With the pressure cooker, I can afford to run the propane for the amount of time it would take to cook a pot of beans. I'll post more about this soon, stay tuned!
OK, so this isn't as much as a quickie as I thought... I tried. LOL!
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