A while ago, I had bookmarked this recipe from one of my most used books on pressure cooking: "Pressure Cooking Perfection". When my son was a little boy, he'd beg me to bring home those "Blue Boxes" of mac 'n cheese. Now that he's all grown, he doesn't eat those any longer (thank goodness). So, I don't make Mac 'N Cheese often. But this recipe got my attention because it looked so easy, and it sounded really good. I liked their variation of adding tomatoes, so I set my mind to making this for dinner.
NOTE: If you don't own a pressure cooker, please know you can still make this recipe on a stove top. It'll just take a bit more time, but it's worth it.
I've written several recipe posts on pressure cooking, and I hope that I can convince more folks that there is nothing to fear about pressure cookers. I wish I could hold your hand, and show you how easy it is to plug in an electric pressure cooker. This macaroni and cheese recipe is the perfect "starter" way to personally learn how fool-proof pressure cooking is.
The first thing you do is measure out 8 ounces (two cups) of macaroni, and 2 cups of water. There's no pot of salted water to bring to a boil...no cooked pasta to drain. No-siree!
I added a can of drained petite diced tomatoes, with the uncooked pasta and water. For seasoning, I added some dry mustard and a pinch of cayenne...gave it stir, locked on the lid to my electric pressure cooker and set the timer for 5 minutes at medium-low heat. When the pressure cooker beeped, I simply pressed the "quick release" button and listen to the hiss of steam being released. It's not the least bit scarey, believe me! I was so amazed that the macaroni was perfectly cooked until "al dente".
Cheesy Cauliflower Bake with Crunchy Panko Crumbs. So, while the pasta was pressure cooking, I melted 1/2 stick of unsalted butter and and then added about one cup of panko crumbs and fresh thyme.
As for pressure cooking, I can't say it often enough about how great it is. Do not be afraid! Many people love their stove top pressure cooker. Good for them! Personally, when I switched from a stove top model, to an electric model, I found that pressure cooking became even simpler. I've been asked what model I recommend. The model that I've owned is about 15 years old, and is still going strong. Unfortunately, it is no longer made. So, if mine should break I would buy this pressure cooker.
I like that both of these pressure cookers have a non-stick, removable pot. This makes cleanup so much easier. I have never had to scrub off stuck food... because food just doesn't stick!
One more advantage to pressure cooking is that on a hot day (like last night, when I made this), the pressure cooker doesn't heat up the kitchen. Sure, I turned on the broiler, but it was only for a few minutes. I do hope that you give pressure cooking a try. You will love it, and become as hooked on finding ways to cook recipe in 1/4 of the time it would take on a stove or in the oven. With Winter coming (I sound like "Game of Thrones), I can make stews and soups in 20 minutes. Seriously!
27 more days until surgery. I hope to get in a few more recipes before I disappear for a while.
Here's the recipe card: