I have a new gadget in my kitchen. Well, maybe not exactly new. I purchased a counter top pressure cooker last year, and I stared at it quite a while before I actually put it to use. The delay probably resulted from my upbringing as a child. I was well-versed in the dangers of pressure cookers as a child. I remember wondering each time my mom would use it whether it would result in an explosion. Lol!
Today’s cookers are much safer and easier to use. Once I used mine, I realized what a wonderful gadget it is. I have only made a couple of things so far, but I can already see what a benefit they are. Meat can go from freezer to finished in no time. And those same meals you cook in the crock pot for hours, can be done in thirty minutes.
Here’s what I tried last night.
Balsamic Apple Pork Tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1.5 pounds pork tenderloin
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup apple juice or chicken broth
- 1 apple, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 2 springs thyme
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- Turn on sauté function and heat. When hot, add oil.
- Brown tenderloin on all sides. Approx. 2 minutes per side. Remove tenderloin to plate. Set aside.
- Add onion to pot and cook until tender, stirring frequently.
- Add garlic. Stir.
- Add balsamic vinegar. Stir.
- Add juice/broth, apple, salt, rosemary, and thyme. Stir well.
- Add tenderloin, nestling in the mixture. Cancel sauté function. Place lid on cooker and lock. Close steam release vent. Press cook. Adjust time to 10 minutes. Longer if meat is frozen: 15 minutes. When cycle finishes, let pot rest in the warm function for 15 minutes.
- Release any remaining steam and remove lid. Check internal temperature of pork for doneness: 140 degrees F.
- Remove from pot and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Switch on sauté function. Add butter and incorporate.
- Remove 1/3 cup broth, whisk in cornstarch, and return to pot to thicken sauce.
- Turn off pot.
- Slice meat and top with sauce.
No pressure cooker? This recipe can be made in the crockpot or the oven. Just adjust times accordingly.
Weight Watcher Friends: This has 5 SmartPoints if made with chicken broth, 6 with juice. I used beer which doesn’t add any points to the overall dish.
Good food ain’t cheap and cheap food ain’t good.
I don’t always know in the morning what I’ll be in the mood for at the end of the day. Sometimes, I just opt for throwing some meat along with a little broth and salt and pepper into the crockpot and wait for inspiration to come. That is how this recipe came about. I started a small roast cooking and then did some investigation into my options. Originally, I thought maybe green chili pork, but it got pushed aside for this recipe. It’s still pork and chilis but taken up a notch with the smoky flavor of chipotles.
This isn’t quite as easy as coming home to a fully cooked crockpot meal, but with fifteen minutes of prep and thirty minutes of simmer time, you can have something pretty yummy on the table. Just add some cornbread, tortilla chips, or crusty garlic bread for a hearty and satisfying dinner.
Smoky Pork Chili
• 1 ½ pounds pork roast
• ½ cup chicken broth
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 1 teaspoon olive oil
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 1 red bell pepper, chopped
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste
• 1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
• 1 tablespoon cumin
• 1 tablespoon minced chipotles in adobo sauce
• 1 ½ dried oregano
• 2 cups chicken broth
• 2 15-ounce cans of pinto beans, rinsed
• 1 15-ounce can corn
• 1 15-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
• Sliced green onions or chopped cilantro for serving
1. Place roast and broth in the crockpot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook on low for 8 hours or until meat shreds easily. The pressure cooker will also work here.
2. On medium heat add oil to soup pot; heat until hot. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
3. Add tomato paste, garlic, cumin, chipotle, and oregano. Cook the mixture, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
4. Stir in broth, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 2 minutes.
5. Stir in beans, tomatoes, and the shredded pork; bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 30 minutes.
6. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with scallion greens or cilantro and serve. Enjoy!
One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.
Weight Watchers: 3 Smart Points per 1 1/2 cups.