Posts tagged: Stove Top

Wheat Berry Salad

By , August 14, 2013

Wheat berry salad 224x300 Wheat Berry Salad

By Teresa B. G.

I recently was invited to a luncheon at a friend’s house.  While having lunch, someone started a discussion on ‘wheat berries’.  I had never heard the term before and had no idea what that was.  I was thinking it was some sort of a fruit berry I had not heard of.  Well, much to my surprise it is the bran, the germ and the endosperm left intact when the husk of whole wheat grains is removed…..Wheat berries are a whole grain full of vitamins and fiber.  They are nutty and chewy and very good for you and can be used in a variety of ways. Believe it or not, I use it in a salad.  I make this salad frequently and love the flavours in it as do my family and guests.  Pressure cooking makes it quicker and gives it a better flavour and texture. Try it.  It is certain to become one of your favourites!


Wheat Berry Salad



  • 2  cups   water
  • 1 cup wheat berries – found in natural food stores
  • ¼ cup raspberry vinegar   ( I do not purchase this, I soak raspberries in vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ¾ cup thinly sliced green onions
  • ¾ cup dried blueberries
  • ½ cup slivered dried apricots
  • ½ cup  chopped toasted almonds
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley


The night before:

Rinse your wheat berries well with cold water and place them in a bowl filled with cold water.  Soak over night. Rinse them thoroughly and drain them.

Pressure Cooking:

Place the wheat berries in the Instant Pot with 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 15 – 20 minutes, manually release pressure when done. If you were doing this on a stove top it would take more water and about 60 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain.

Dressing and Assembling:

Whisk together the raspberry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, mustard, ¾ tsp salt and pepper in a bowl.  Gradually whisk in the oil until blended.  Stir in the onions, blueberries, apricots, almonds and parsley.  Let it stand for 30 minutes.  Stir in the wheat berries.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator so that all the flavours meld.  Garnish with fresh parsley and fresh basil.  It is so delicious and a great addition to summer pot lucks.  The salad keeps well in the refrigerator.






Black Sticky Rice Pudding

By , January 23, 2013

Submitted by Kay G.


  • 2 cups whole-grain black sticky rice, white sweet rice or glutinous rice (I prefer the black sticky)
  • 2 cups or 1 can, coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds and/or toasted unsweetened shredded coconut (Optional) Strawberries (or mango slice) and mint leaves (optional)

I usually use 1/2 the ingredients.  More than enough for 4-6 individuals served in custard cups.


  1. Measure rice into a bowl and rinse the rice a few times until water clears.  cover with at least 2 inches of water and allow to soak 4 or more hours or overnight.
  2.  Drain the rice and place in a heat proof bowl with room enough for the rice grains to expand about a third more than its uncooked bulk.  Add a small amount of boiling water, just enough to cover the rice.  Place the bowl on the trivet that comes with instant pot with 2-3 inches of water  and steam for 30-40 minutes.  Steaming the rice with a small volume of water will leave the top layer of grains intact, retaining a chewy texture which pops in you mouth like nuts.  If you wish softer rice add more water. All of this can be done on a stove top with a steamer but instant pot has an excellent steaming function leaving your stove top free for other things.(I prefer this method versus pressure cooking the rice so I can get the popping texture I love but you can pressure cook the rice for a more glutinous sticky texture.)
  3. While rice is steaming, make the coconut sauce by heating the coconut milk, sugar and salt together in saucepan.  Stir to dissolve sugar and salt and blend the sauce until smooth.  Keep warm.
  4. When the rice is cooked and still hot out of the steamer, add 1/2 of the sauce or enough to thoroughly coat the rice.  Stir and mix well.  The rice should be wet but not swimming in sauce.  Stand 15-20 min to allow the flavor to be absorbed.  Reserve the remaining sauce for spooning over the rice before serving.  Can be served warm or room temperature.
  5. The flavored rice can be molded into a round mound on serving plate and decorated with sesame seed and/or coconut shreds, sliced strawberries and mint leaves for color.  Or dish into individual serving bowls or custard cups, topped with the reserved sauce, toasted seeds, coconut and mint leaf.

Because of the rich, nutty flavor, black rice is usually eaten by itself and not served with fruits, like white rice often is with mangoes.

Evaporation Rate of Pressure Cookers

By , November 16, 2012

Water evaporation 200x300 Evaporation Rate of Pressure CookersLaura Pazzaglia is the creator of the popular, dedicated to make pressure cooking hip. She is more than a prodigious cook, writer and educator.  Laura has also devised a simple but ingenious benchmark to measure one key aspect of pressure cooker performance.  She calls it evaporation measure. In her own words, this is done as:

“Starting with a “cold cooker” (not heated from a previous test) pour exactly 1000g of water into the liner and pressure cook for 10 minutes, with natural release. Then remove the lid and shake vigorously into the base and pour the contents into a zeroed-out bowl on digital scale. Record the weight of remaining water. “

Dividing the missing water amount over the total gives you evaporation rate.  It’s a straight forward measure of leakage of a pressure cooker, which works for both electric and stove-top pressure cookers, probably for stock pots too.

Why is evaporation rate important?  set 4 hires 250x250 Evaporation Rate of Pressure Cookers In “Modernist Cuisine” (so far the most comprehensive and authentic  book on the art and science of cooking), Nathan Myhrvold states that sealed cooking pots trap most aromatic volatiles which make stocks more flavourful (Volume II, pages 292). We also blogged about the astonishing discovery by Dave Arnold at the International Culinary Center that leaking steam means leaking flavour. Dave Arnold’s experiments showed that not all pressure cookers are equal in preserving flavour in stocks.  Leaky ones do a bad job, sometimes worse than a stock pot.

Hence, the evaporation rate is not just a simple leakage measure but an indicator of the quality of food the pressure cooker prepares.

What did Laura find out?

“Instant Pot only had an average 2% evaporation during ten minutes of pressure cooking (compared to Cuisinart 4% and most stove top pressure cookers 3.5%).”

In comparison, an uncovered pressure cooker at a vigorous boil for the same amount of time and same weight of water and the evaporation rate is 30%. You can read Laura’s meticulous review of the Instant Pot IP-LUX60 here.

Laura has very high standards. Instant Pot didn’t earn a perfect score. She gave IP-LUX60 a “Very Good” rating. We really appreciate Laura straight to-the-point approach and constructive criticism.  These give us something to strive to improve upon in our next model.


Untraditional Beef Rouladen

By , April 26, 2012

Submitted by Teresa B. G.

Untraditional Beef Rouladen 300x225 Untraditional Beef RouladenWhenever we had friends for dinner my father would attempt beef rouladen…a traditional European Recipe.  He would do it the regular way with ham, dill pickles, celery etc.  Often it was hit and miss for him…sometimes the meat would turn out too tough, he slow cooked it in the oven for a long time.  We loved it any which way. When I started to experiment with a pressure cooker I would also make the Rouladen the traditional way.  Then I started to improvise and combine and came up with a Beef Rouladen Recipe that my family just loves.  I make it in an electric pressure cooker and have not had a failed result yet!  We love it.  Quick and easy.  It takes no time at all and company thinks I slaved all day!  Here it is:

Teresa’s Untraditional Beef Rouladen – Pressure Cooked


  • Standing boneless rib roast – about 2 pounds boneless.  I buy it on sale and have it frozen on hand.  I am sure other cuts of  beef can be used as well, especially in a pressure cooker
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup raisins, preferably golden but the others work as well.  Or experiment and used  dried fruit cut up….apricots or prunes
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed and minced
  • 1 cup seasoned stove top stuffing
  • 2 tbsp water
  • ¼ cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste (1/4 tsp of each)
  • 2 tsps. Powdered beef bouillon (optional).  If you use the bouillon, do not use the salt.
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 – 4  carrots (depending on size and preference) peeled and cut into pieces or a cup or two of packaged ‘baby’ carrots
  • 1 cup of beef bouillon – I boil water and put a tbsp. of powdered beef bouillon into it
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried thyme or 2 tbsp fresh thyme cut up Cooking oil Fresh parsley (optional)


Cut the roast into six equal slices (about ¾ to 1 inch thickness each).  I pound these slices to ¼ or ½ inch thickness.  Truly, I do not even measure – I just pound them flatter.

Heat up your electric pressure cooker on the sauté function.

Melt ¼ cup butter, add the powdered beef bouillon and swish around a bit.

Sauté ½ cup onion, celery, garlic, raisins until onions are translucent (few minutes) and then add the stove top stuffing and the 2 tbsp (or little more) of water. Season with a little salt and pepper.  When I use the powdered bouillon, I do not use the salt.  Mix together.

Divide this above ‘stuffing’ amongst the pounded slices of beef.  Mound the stuffing at one end of each steakette and roll it up .  You may tie it with a string or skewer it with small metal skewers to keep it rolled up.

I heat the pressure cooker again, heat the oil – amount depends on how many roll ups you have – and I brown all of the rolls.

On top of the browned rolls in the pressure cooker I put in the carrots, the other ½ cup of onions, the cup of liquid beef bouillon with the 1 tbsp of tomato puree mixed into it, bay leaves, thyme and the pepper to taste.

I secure the lid and on an electric pressure cooker I use the meat setting.  If you would rather use the timed setting then it is 15 minutes.  I let the pressure naturally release.  When done I put the rolls on a plate, place the carrots on top and remove the bay leaves.  I heat the pressure cooker and I thicken the gravy by sprinkling flour over top, letting it soak in and stir.  I pour some of the gravy over the rolls and put the rest in a gravy boat for company to use.  Sprinkle everything with fresh parsley (optional).

Absolutely delicious.

I will NEVER cook it any other way… tender, so full of flavour.  My family begs for  my rouladen.