By Emeril Lagasse
I love hosting a big party for the Super Bowl. There’s nothing better than watching the game with family, friends and delicious food. Often I’m asked for tips when entertaining and my advice is always the same⎯serve something that is simple and great-tasting and, most important, can be prepped ahead of time. Choosing dishes I can tackle in advance is key to enjoying time with my guests and watching the game.
With the big game coming up, I’ve put together a couple of recipes that utilize a great tool for saving time in the kitchen: the pressure cooker.
Chili is always a crowd favorite. My Navy Bean & Chicken Chili is a take on what some folks might call a “white” chili⎯made without red meat and sometimes with beans. In my version, I add chicken breast and one of my favorite beans, the classic navy bean. I then flavor it with my favorite green chiles, a touch of regular chili powder and, of course, cumin. This chili cooks up so quickly you won’t believe it.
For folks looking for a little more meat, I also like to serve a classic combo: Pulled Pork and Coleslaw. People loved pulled pork but can be intimidated by how long it can take to cook. With the pressure cooker, though, you can get it on the table in about a third the time it takes to cook in a conventional oven. Talk about a time-saver.
Navy Beans and Chicken Chili
This chili takes its personality from navy beans, a variety of green chiles and tender chicken breasts that are cooked just to the point of doneness, then shredded and stirred back in near the end of cooking. The result: a chili that stands out from the pack with moist, flavorful pieces of chicken in every bite.
• 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 1 tablespoon plus 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
• 3½ teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons chili powder
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 onions, minced (3 cups)
• 3 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced (1½ cups)
• 2 serrano chiles, stemmed, seeded and minced
• ½ large bunch or 1 small bunch cilantro, stems and leaves reserved separately, finely chopped
• 1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, stem removed, minced
• ¼ cup minced garlic (8 to 10 cloves)
• 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or regular oregano, crushed with your fingers
• 1 pound navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
• 5½ cups chicken stock
• One 4-ounce can chopped green chiles, with juices
• 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornmeal
• Sour cream, for serving
• Lime wedges, for serving
• Minced red onion, for serving
• Finely minced jalapeños, for serving
• Grated Monterey Jack-cheddar cheese blend, for serving
Season chicken with 1½ teaspoons of the salt, 1 teaspoon of the cumin and 1 teaspoon of the chili powder.
Set a pressure cooker to the “browning” program and heat olive oil. When oil is hot, add chicken breasts (in batches if necessary) and cook until they are golden on both sides and just cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate, tent with foil or plastic wrap and set aside.
Add onion, poblano and serrano chiles, cilantro stems, chipotle chile, garlic, oregano, remaining 2½ teaspoons cumin and remaining 1 teaspoon chili powder to pressure cooker. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, 5 to 6 minutes. Add beans, chicken stock and canned chiles. Close and lock the lid and set to HIGH for 15 minutes. While beans are cooking, shred cooled chicken into bite-size pieces and set it aside.
Open the pressure release valve and allow steam to escape. Unlock and carefully open lid. Add remaining 1 tablespoon salt and the cornmeal, and stir to combine. Close and lock lid, and reset pressure cooker to HIGH for 8 minutes. Release pressure, unlock and carefully open lid. Beans should be tender; if they’re not, continue to cook under pressure for 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Set pressure cooker to the “simmer” program. Stir in chicken and cook, uncovered, until chicken is heated through, about 10 minutes.
Serve chili in bowls, garnished with sour cream, lime wedges, minced onion, minced jalapeños, grated cheese and cilantro leaves.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings (about 9 cups)
Pulled Pork With Classic Coleslaw
Pulled pork is a sure crowd-pleaser, especially when you pair it with southwestern spices and cool, creamy coleslaw. Serve this dish at your next football party or tailgate and you’ll have more fans than you know what to do with. The pork is coated with an intensely flavored rub, then refrigerated overnight before cooking. The results? Oh, baby.
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1½ tablespoons pimentón picante (hot smoked Spanish paprika)
• 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
• 2 teaspoons hot Mexican-style chili powder or regular chili powder (New Mexican is spicier)
• 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano or regular oregano
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon ground coriander
• 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• One 5-pound bone-in pork shoulder, cut into large chunks
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
• 1 yellow onion, minced
• 4 cloves garlic, sliced
• 4 cups homemade chicken stock or packaged low-sodium chicken broth
• ½ cup buttermilk
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
• 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
• ½ teaspoon celery seeds
• 1½ teaspoons salt
• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 1 small head red cabbage, thinly sliced
• 1 small head napa cabbage, thinly sliced
• 2 carrots, thinly sliced on a mandolin or shaved with a vegetable peeler
• 1 head butter lettuce
• Tortilla chips, broken into bite-size pieces
• Lime wedges
Marinate the pork: In a large bowl, combine sugar, pimentón, ancho chile powder, hot chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and black pepper and mix well. Place pork in bowl and toss with spice mix, coating all sides of pork. Cover with plastic wrap or transfer to a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Let pork to come to room temperature before cooking. Season pork with salt.
Set a pressure cooker to the “browning” program and add grapeseed oil. When oil is hot, brown pork, working in batches, about 5 minutes per batch. As it is browned, transfer pork to a baking sheet and set it aside. Add onion and garlic to pressure cooker and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Return pork to pressure cooker and add chicken stock. Close and lock lid and set to HIGH for 60 minutes.
Open the pressure release valve and allow steam to escape. Unlock and carefully open lid. Pork should be fork-tender; if not, cook it under pressure for another 10 minutes. Once it is done, transfer pork to a platter and allow it to rest until it is cool enough to handle.
Shred pork with two forks and return it to broth. Pork can be served at this point or frozen for up to three months.
Prepare coleslaw by combining buttermilk, mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, celery seeds, salt and cayenne pepper in a large bowl and mixing well. Add cabbage and carrots and toss well. Set aside for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Salad can be made up to several hours in advance and refrigerated until ready to serve.
To serve pork, separate butter lettuce leaves and place them on a platter. Top leaves with warm pulled pork, place some of the coleslaw on top of pork, and top with tortilla chips. Serve with lime wedges.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Recipes courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, originally appearing in Emeril’s Cooking with Power, William Morrow Publishers, New York, 2013, courtesy Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
For more of Emeril's cooking tips, tune in to QVC for the “Emeril’s Kitchen” broadcast Sunday, February 19 beginning at midnight (ET)