Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"Carrot Pickle" and more quick fun with the PC

While watching one of my favorite food shows "Ultimate Recipe Showdown", on the Food Network the other night, I was reminded of this Carrot Pickle recipe, and Vinegar Salad Dressing recipe, I used to make quite frequntly because of how low in calories and big in flavor it was. The TV shows challenge was to make the best burger, and one of the cooks used her Vietnamese background to come up with her Asian Fusion burger, topped with pickled veggies.....what a great idea!

Here I used the Carrot Pickle recipe and added shredded watermelon radish, amd shredded broccoli. To make a lunchtime salad I tossed with some chicken (cooked in the PC, see next recipe), and a handful of raisins.

Carrot Pickle

3 carrots, shredded (or 2 c. any shreddable veg, like daikon, broccoli stem, etc.)
1 tbl. sugar
1/4 c. water
2 tbl. vinegar
1/4 t. salt

Mix all ingredients and let sit in fridge for at least 1 hour (the longer the better though).

I used white wine vinegar, because that's what I had, but I think this recipe is best done in the traditional way with distilled white vinegar and white table sugar.....not exactly "PC" (politically correct, not "pressure cooker, lol!) I think I might also add some fish sauce in the future (go light with the fish sauce, starting with only 1 t., increasing it to 1 tbl. depending on your taste)

Vinegar Salad Dressing

1/2 c. white vinegar
1 t. olivel oil
1/4 c. water
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 1/2 tbl. sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, red or white sliced thin

I like this salad made with chinese cabbage, instead of the thicker green cabbage I use for slaw. I add in my ususal carrot, scallion, diced jalapeno, cilantro, chicken or shrimp.

Both of these recipes are from "The Vietnamese Cookbook" by Diana My Tran, a nice little cookbook worth owning for easy, (unintentional) low calorie recipes.


I'm in love with these little cans of prepared salsa! Like canned chipotles, salsa verde and pickled jalapenos, I now keep this red salsa stocked in my pantry to use with rice, and/or bean meals in the PC. I like fresh ingedients more than most, but after reading the ingredients on the labels, really, what's the difference between using canned salsas and canned tomatoes? The ingredients are the same as if I was making fresh salsa, nothing funny or unusual. And for $.89 (about $1.69 at Safeway versus the Mi Pueblo), can you beat it?

Spanish rice is basically white rice cooked with tomato sauce added to the water, and sometimes sauteed onion or scallions. I wanted to make a healthier version of spanish rice using brown rice, and shredded chicken, for my youngest son to use as a burrito filling or just to eat on it's own. the great thing about cooking chicken legs and thighs in the PC is that the bones in the chicken make the "stock" that the rice cooks in, adding tons of chicken flavor, and it's so moist and tender it just falls off the bones. And talk about fast, easy and with few ingredients.....

Salsa Ranchera Spanish Rice w/shredded Chicken

2 cups brown rice (I used 1 c. brown
rice, 1 c. red rice)
3 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. tomato paste
7 oz. can salsa ranchera
1 t. salt
4-8 bone-in chicken leg and thigh pieces, skinned (or up to a dozen thighs)

Throw all of this into the pressure cooker, lock lid, bring to high pressure and cook for 20 min., let the pressure come down natually......that's it! I didn't even saute an onion!


cathy b said...

OMG, that recipe worked out so well and it was awesome. Can you believe even the kids ate it!!!
Thanks so much for posting these recipes and putting yourself out there.

Tracy Reifkind said...

cathy.....told ya'! lol

I know these kind of "pantry" recipes are not "gourmet", but when you've got little time and lots of hungry mouths ( and picky too, lol) then, really, home cooking is what's important.

Use this as filling in a whole wheat or sprouted tortilla, add some shredded greens (baby salad greens are fun), and it's got so much flavor (from cooking the rice with the bones in the chicken) it doesn't need cheese or anything else that adds extra calories.

You can do the same thing, using pork shoulder, or beef stew meat, but making sure to cut it into 1" pieces so it'll cook in the 20 min.