Cooking with Dianne

A pressure cooker can be used to cook many things including this creamy cheesy macaroni and cheese dish that is ready in less than 10 minutes.

I’m not a gadget girl. I don’t need the newest and latest devices, especially for use in the kitchen, mainly because those things take up room and space is already at a premium.

About a year ago, I was home during the day because I was ill. I was watching one of the home shopping channels because my head was hurting too much to try to figure out what else to watch when a segment came on about pressure cooking.

Although I had heard about pressure cooking and even knew a few people who owned pressure cookers, I didn’t have one and I was intrigued.

Those sales personalities are convincing and by the end of the segment I had purchased one –a six quart model. It is mostly just my husband and I for meals, but as the chef doing the demonstration said, “You can cook a little in a large pressure cooker but you can’t cook a lot in a small pressure cooker.” The pressure cooker had numerous pre-set features and looked really simple when they used it on television. “How difficult could it be?” I thought.

The machine arrived about a week later and sat in the box probably another week before I unpacked it and washed the pieces. I read the instructions and decided the pressure cooker would make its debut the following Sunday.

I had a beef roast in the freezer that was just begging to be cooked this way.

Sunday arrived and I placed the thawed beef roast inside the pressure cooker, browned it on all sides, seasoned it and added a cup of beef stock and set the pre-sent button for meat.

When the roast was done and I was ready to serve, the meat was so tough, you couldn’t eat it.

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Following that sorry experience, I put the pressure cooker in the cupboard vowing to never touch it again.

Several months went by and I guilted myself into taking the pressure cooker back out to give it another try. I thought this time I would cook the roast twice as long as the pre-setting cooked it. Success!

That was one of the best roasts I have ever eaten. It was juicy and tender, falling apart when cut with a fork and so flavorful.

That triumph was enough to encourage me to use the pressure cooker more often. That’s why today I have to tell you about a great recipe I found for Macaroni and Cheese. It is so simple to prepare and once the pressure cooker reaches the proper pressure, the dish is ready to eat in less than 10 minutes and uses ingredients I have on the pantry shelves and in the refrigerator.

This recipe has none of the preservatives found in the boxed kind. Just real ingredients. It is so creamy and cheesy, even my husband who won’t touch boxed macaroni and cheese likes it.

If you have a pressure cooker and if you don’t, please consider this my endorsement and buy one to make this recipe. It’s life changing.

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

  • 1 16-ounce box elbow macaroni or a favorite pasta small shape
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried onion powder, if desired
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese,
  • 1/2-1 cup milk

Place the dried macaroni, chicken stock, mustard powder, hot pepper sauce, black pepper, butter and onion powder, if using in the pressure cooker. Set the cooker for six minutes.

Once the cooking time is over and the pressure has released, stir in the cheese and 1/2 cup milk, continuing to stir until the cheese is melted and the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is too thick stir in additional milk.

If you desire, other cheeses can be substituted for the cheddar. You can use Parmesan, mozzarella, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack or almost any kind of cheese. You can also stir in cooked crumbled bacon or any cooked meat or vegetables you like.