How to Cook Dinner in Less Than 20 Minutes

posted: 04/14/15
by: Stephanie Vuolo
How to Cook Dinner in Less Than 20 Minutes
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This recipe is fresh, fast and filling.

Everyone loves the convenience of the slow cooker --you come home to a hot meal that has been cooking on your counter unattended all day. However, when you forget to defrost your meat or fail to press the start button your meal plan for the night quickly goes out the window. That's why I love being able to deploy my pressure cooker to quickly pull together any dish.

It can be used to stimulate long term braising and simmering in a process that takes 70% less time than traditional cooking methods. Early pressure cookers didn't have certain safety features now standard in modern devices, like locking lids or secondary pressure release. These original pressure cookers were dangerous because they were known to explode in use. For that reason, many cooks are now afraid to use pressure cookers. However, as long as they are well maintained, they are a quick, reliable way to prepare a meal from start to finish in minutes.

Pressure cookers can make almost any food in 20 minutes or less, including stocks and stews that normally take hours. They are also great for cooking root vegetables and winter squashes within 10 minutes. I use my pressure cooker the most frequently to make rich, nourishing bone broth. Although, it takes slightly longer than I've suggested above because it extracts lots of minerals and gelatin from the bones. It's fool-proof to pull off and worth every minute. Enjoy sipping it in a mug to accompany any meal, as a base for your favorite soup recipe, or to heal from any illness.

Effortless and Nourishing Bone Broth

3 pounds meaty beef marrow bones
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 large peeled carrot, roughly chopped
1 large peeled onion, roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
8 cups cold water
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the first 6 ingredients in a 6- or 8-quart pressure cooker.
2. Close the lid securely, and bring to high pressure over high heat.
3. Reduce heat to medium or level needed to maintain high pressure; cook for 50 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop.
5. Once the pressure is released, remove the lid.
6. Strain the stock through a sieve into a large bowl and press the remaining solids to release excess liquid.
7. Discard solids.
8. Cover and chill overnight.
9. Skim solidified fat from surface and discard.
10. Season with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

Note: Refrigerate stock for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe adapted from myrecipes.com.