Last year I bought myself a pressure cooker. I use it all the time. I tell everyone about the glamorous lifestyle of cooks that own pressure cookers. I talk as if I'm an expert. Here's a list of why I love them:
- Pressure cookers (PCs) are fast. The cooking time for just about everything is reduced, sometimes by a third, and sometimes by half.
- Beans cooked in a pressure cooker almost always taste better than any other method.
- I don't have to soak beans before cooking.
- Pressure cookers allow cooks to multitask seamlessly.
- The new, or second generation, cookers don't have the loud hiss or the jiggle top pressure release. They are quiet.
Pinto beans cooked in a pressure cooker come out very creamy. This element of creaminess is great when paired with a little heat from the green chilies, and some acidity from fresh lime and cilantro. This is an excellent side dish, when paired with black bean veggie patties, or it can be served as a soup with some tortilla chips on the side. I won't judge.
Pinto beans with green chilies in 10 steps
Yield: serves 4 generous servings
1 cup dry pinto beans, (see Step 1 of Directions below)
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds (see Step 3 of Directions below)
1 teaspoon cumin, ground
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 of a large or medium onion, diced
2 bay leaves
2 and 1/2 cups no-chicken or vegetable broth, or water
1, 4 oz can diced green chilies (such as La Victoria fire roasted diced green chilies)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
the juice of 1/2 of lime
Step 1: We are going to check out the awesomeness of the pressure cooker by preparing dried pinto beans but using the quick soak method of the cooker. Place 1 cup of dried pinto beans, 4 cups of water, and 1 tsp salt in the pressure cooker (OK to use the smaller fry pan with a 2.5 quart capacity). Close the lid and bring the contents to high pressure which is indicated by the second red ring. Cook for 2 minutes at high pressure, and then use the water release method to remove pressure. This means as soon as the time is over, place the cooker in the sink and run water down it's side to remove pressure and stop cooking. Remove the beans from the pressure cooker in a drainer, allow the water to drain away, and wipe out the cooker bottom. Proceed with the recipe. This is called quick soak. This can be done to any beans and then used in the recipe (This step replaces the usual soak and rest time for beans). *see my note below.
Step 2: Heat the pressure cooker over medium heat (OK to use the smaller fry pan with a 2.5 quart capacity).
Step 3: Add the whole coriander seeds and toast until fragrant about 5 minutes. Do not walk away because they go from toasted to burned very quickly. Remove the toasted coriander seeds to a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
Step 4: Turn the heat on the burner to medium low. Add olive oil or butter to the PC. It will melt quickly since the pan will be hot. Add the onions right away and stir. Cook the onions until they are just translucent, about 5 minutes.
Step 5: Add the bay leaves to the PC. Stir.
Step 6: Add the drained pinto beans to the PC. Stir.
Step 7: Add the broth or water along with the diced chilies. Use water to get any residual chilies. Trust me, the flavor for this really is pulled together with the chilies.
I did not forget the salt or spices - you add it at the end after the PC is done cooking!
Step 8: Stir everything together, close the pressure cooker with it's lid, and bring to high pressure (the second red bar). Once the cooker reaches high pressure, cook 12 minutes. Once the timer goes off, turn off the heat, and move the PC to another burner. Use the natural release method; this is the method where the cooker sits and rests to come down to pressure naturally without doing anything to it.
Step 9: Grind the coriander seeds and add the ground coriander to the cumin, set aside.
Step 10: When the cooker is ready, open up the lid, and taste for salt. Add 1 teaspoon salt, the spices, and squeeze in the lime juice and cilantro. Give a quick stir and taste for salt. Remove the bay leaves. Serve with extra lime slices and cilantro to be passed at the table.
*Note: You may omit Step 1 by using beans that have already been soaked and drained.