I received an electric pressure cooker as a gift for Christmas. I didn’t have a pressure cooker on my wish list, but Bus Boy decided that I needed one. I was very surprised, but didn’t know what I would use it for. I have a stove top pressure cooker that’s an older model, and it works fine. I didn’t see a reason for a new and electric model. Now, after two weeks of ownership, I am wondering how I ever survived without one. It was midway through Christmas day when I finally opened the box and pulled out the pressure cooker. This isn’t a super fancy model with digital displays. It has only a simple knob on it that is turned to the appropriate number of minutes.
As I looked through the recipe book that came with it, I noticed that there was a recipe for macaroni and cheese. I didn’t have all the ingredients that it called for, but I had things that I could substitute. Bus Boy and I headed to the kitchen and placed the 6 quart pressure cooker onto the counter. Even though I was going to make some substitutions, I followed the procedure in the cookbook.First, I melted butter in the bottom of the pressure cooker. Then, I added a one pound bag of elbow macaroni and a cup of water. I stirred this around until the water was absorbed. Then, I poured in two cups of half and half and 1 1/2 cups of shredded cheese added a little salt and pepper and stirred it all up. I put on the lid, closed the pressure valve and wandered into the living room to wait until the pan came to pressure and the timer counted down the 10 minutes of cooking time.
Eighteen minutes later, I released the steam and opened the pot. To my amazement, there was a pot full of fully cooked macaroni and cheese. I poured it into a 9X13 baking pan and sprinkled the top with a little more shredded cheese. I popped it under the broiler for a minute or two until the cheese was melted and had started to brown. Then, I summoned Food Critic. He was adamant that I should not, under any circumstances, deviate from my usual recipe for macaroni and cheese.
I held my breath as he raised the first forkful to his mouth and tasted. I asked him if it met with his approval. He looked at me as if I was an alien. Apparently, it passed muster.
If you have an electric pressure cooker, give this recipe a try. It requires minimal hands on time, and turns out deliciously. The second time I made this dish, I heated the baking dish in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes to let the cheese on top melt. This step is completely unnecessary, but it makes it look prettier. Of course, the same could be accomplished by sprinkling cheese on top of the pot and letting it melt before serving, too. The best part about this recipe was that I spent those 17 minutes while the food was cooking in the pressure cooker hanging out with Bus Boy in the living room. I didn’t have to do a thing. The pressure cooker did it all. I like it when dinner can be hands off.
Here’s my recipe adapted from the Cookbook, “Power Cooking the quick and easy way,” that came with my Pressure Cooker. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. (My pressure cooker is a 6 quart model. If you have a larger one, this recipe may not work, so consult the manual for your particular model).
Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups shredded cheese
- 2 cups half and half
- ½ teaspoon salt
- pepper, to taste (this can be added at the table as the pressure cooker can intensify the heat from the pepper.)
- Turn on your electric pressure cooker
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to the cooker and allow it to melt
- Add the pasta and 1 cup of water.
- Stir continuously until the water is almost entirely absorbed by the pasta
- Add the half and half 1½ cups shredded cheese, the salt, and the pepper (if you are using pepper).
- Mix well and close the lid, sealing it, so that the cooker will come to pressure.
- Cook for 10 minutes.
- Release the steam. You can sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup of cheese, and cover the pot with the steam valve open for a couple of minutes to allow it to melt or...
- Pour the macaroni and cheese into a 9x13 baking pan and sprinkle the top with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese.
- Place in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or under the broiler for 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt on the top.