This weekend I boldly went where I had never gone before — I opened my IMUSA pressure cooker, and I actually used it.
The box has been stowed away in my laundry closet for over a year, and if we’re being “real” here, I’ll admit to you that it’s a cooking instrument I was deathly terrified of using. I’m not really sure why, it’s not like ever known someone to have their frijoles explode all of them, and growing up, I watched as my neighbor’s mom used it at least once a week to make chicharo. My mom made our caraotas (or black beans in Venezuelan Spanish) in a large caldero after letting them soak overnight.
Although it was an overall success (I’m writing this with my mouth full, these tacos are the bomb), deciding to go for it was scarier than the time I jumped in the water with hundreds of whale sharks earlier this summer. I stared at the box for a good five minutes before opening it, reading the instructions over and over again as to not make a single mistake while I washed and assembled my pressure cooker.
I’ll tell you where else I went that I had never gone before. I followed a recipe rather than making up my own. PAUSE FOR REACTION! This was not the time to take any chances. Of the four enclosed in the box, I chose to follow a fellow champ’s recipe and made George Duran’s Ropa Nueva. George, if you’re reading this, que cosa tan buena!
And so it was with the caution of a novice cook that I followed the recipe, stopping to review the pressure cooker’s instruction manual at least four or five times throughout, pausing to cover myself in a bath towel, oven mitts, and sunglasses when it came time to open the lid. Safety first, people. Safety first.
My take on it all? Made with skinless shredded chicken, olive oil, veggies and spices, the recipe is most definitely “Fit Cook” approved, and the pressure cooker lets all of the flavors come together beautifully in just a few minutes. George’s serving suggestion was over rice, and while I chose to make tacos with my Ropa Nueva, I’ll be serving it over brown rice mañana.
Shredded Chicken “Ropa Nueva”
by George Duran
You will need:
- 1 rotisserie chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 Garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 Yellow or orange bell pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeño, seeds removed, chopped***
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 packets sazón with saffron
- 1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1. Remove skin from rotisserie chicken, pull apart meat and set aside.
2. Heat oil in your IMUSA PRESSURE COOKER on medium-high heat and sauté onions, garlic, and peppers until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken and the rest of the ingredients except for the cilantro.
3. Mix and shut lid on the pressure cooker and bring to high heat. When the orange pressure regulator pops up, lower heat to medium and allow to cook under pressure for 6 minutes.
4. Turn off the heat and using a wooden spatula gently press on the pressure control valve (on the center of the lid) to allow all of the pressure to escape until the orange pressure regulator goes back down. Open lid and let rest for 5 minutes. Serve with rice and chopped cilantro.
***the jalapeño was my addition; I love me some spicy food!