By Julie Culpepper Being a Chef sometimes places unusually high expectations in the minds of people. That is a reasonable thing to do, I suppose, with all the competitive cooking shows on TV nowadays. There’s so much more to the idea of being a Chef than the presentation of an entrée that looks like an artistic masterpiece. It’s also about desiring high standards of cleanliness, food quality and nutrition, professionalism, customer relations, and service. And as I ride along in life I’ve realized that most people want simple meals that meet their everyday needs. Meals that need to be healthier, desirable for a group with differing palates, and that can be prepared and served in reasonable amount of time. There’s always the time and place for a really great made-from-scratch meal that’s served beautifully in a special atmosphere. I love those kind of meals shared with people I love. But mostly, people just want ideas to get their families fed that meet the needs of everyone involved. So that’s been a challenge for my style of cooking that often involves extra steps to ensure freshness and higher nutrition. I want to have the “Martha Stewart” kind of meal along with the atmosphere. But, the time spent talking and laughing with my people is far more important. I’m always challenged with the task of keeping balance in my cooking as with every other issue in life! So if you haven’t tried the pressure cookers or insta-pots out there, I would encourage you to do so. They are super quick, easy to prepare and serve, and deliver really tasty results. Things like dried beans that would take all afternoon to simmer now take 45 minutes or less in my pressure cooker. So I can achieve my goals of fresh, nutritious, and tasty in a “balanced” kind of way! Since wings are always a crowd favorite and good introduction to pressure cooking, try these at your New Year’s Eve celebration. You will have more time to enjoy your people and the good food as well as an easy clean-up after they are gone. Pressure Cooker Wings
1 cup of your favorite bbq sauce per each 2 pounds of wings
Place your drumettes into the steamer basket of the pressure cooker and cook on “high” for 18 minutes.
While the steam is releasing on your cooker, Heat your oven (convection is best) to 425 degrees.
Toss the wings in a large bowl with the sauce of your choosing (You could really creative here- maybe try Asian style wings one time).
Place the sauce covered wings onto a broiler sheet pan in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes or until the sauce is caramelized and glossy (I turned them once to get more air circulation to the wings and to brown them on each side). Each 2 pounds serves 2-3 people.