Thursday, August 18, 2011

Frugal Cooking Tip Numero Uno: Pressure cooker

We went to pick up the wood today and got two trailer fulls, good wood, tons of pvc pipe, and a few panes of glass that I can make into windows. No pictures because it was dark but just imagine two trailers with 2x4's, 4x8 sheets, and red pvc pipe. We got several different sizes so I can use it for the plumbing too!

When we were driving around we also found a Keg of lone star. The beer is probably bad but I am going to use it to build a water purifier so that I can make pure drinking water out of captured rain water! I also found a pressure cooker at the local thrift store for $7. Today has been a great day!

Anyways, on to pressure cookers. They are probably the best cooking invention Yea they are that awesome.

I just made dinner in a pressure cooker,  Beans and rice, a very frugal recipe and it's actually pretty good.  I didn't soak my beans [because I'm an idiot and don't plan ahead] but dinner was ready in 45 minutes.

Here is a wiki on pressure cookers:

If I were to have soaked my beans they would be done in 15 minutes! crazy right?

You can buy a pressure cooker for $30-$40 or if you look at thrift stores you can find them for around $5-10

My recipe for beans and rice: [Feeds 2  ~$1 per person ]

1/2 lb beans, raw [your choice]

2 cups rice, instant [your choice]

3 cloves of garlic, crushed [I like garlic]

1/4 onion, chopped [I also like onion]

2 teaspoons of salt

combine beans, crushed garlic, and chopped onion in the pressure cooker, put it on medium high heat and cook until beans are done. soaked beans will take around 15 minutes once pressure has been reached [it starts to hiss] raw beans will take around 30-45 minutes.

DO NOT try to open a hissing pot. You WILL seriously injure yourself and probably the pot.  Instead hold the closed pot under running water until the hissing stops.  This is called crashing it and it will allow you to see if the beans are done without completely cooling the water. This way, If the beans aren't done, you can seal the cooker and put it back on the burner and be back up to pressure in less than a minute.

After the beans are done use some of the leftover juice and use it to cook your rice.

Strain the beans, add the rice, salt to taste!

If your pressure cooker is spitting make sure you don't have it more than 3/4 of the way full. If it isn't add a tablespoon of oil to the pot to prevent it from foaming. If it foams it could clog the vent hole  and your pot could explode...that's a bad thing, I always add oil to the pot beforehand.