Monday, January 29, 2018

Instant Pot Lemon Risotto

Ok, risotto is made much much faster in an Instant Pot. I make an easy risotto- and didn’t think it’s got easier- this is just as easy and SUPER fast!

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 T oil in pressure cooker pot for 2 to 3 minutes. Sauté 1/2 c onion until tender.
While it sautés. Add 1.5 c aborio rice to pressure cooking pot and cook, stirring frequently, until rice becomes opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add 2 T lemon juice and 3 cups broth. Cover and lock lid in place. Select High Pressure and 5 minutes cook time. When timer beeps, turn off and use a quick pressure release.
Select Simmer and stir in the baby peas. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally for 1 to 2 minutes until peas are heated through. (Hearing optional- can just stir in til warm.)
Stir in 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, and 1 teaspoon of lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste. 
Serve immediately topped with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Instant Pot Pasta

In the continued quest to figure out how to do more cooking in the Instant Pot- pasta was a great option. Dump in ingredients- walk away- and dinner is done!

Here is the variation I made-
  • 1 Pound Lean Ground Beef (I used fake veggie crumble and James was none the wiser)
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 8 oz of sliced mushrooms 
  • 1/2 Teaspoon EACH Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Pound Spaghetti Noodles (I used half gluten free and half regular as that is what I had)
  • 28 oz of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 Cans of water (4.5 cups)
  • 1 (14.5 Ounce) Can Diced Tomatoes or 1 diced fresh tomato 
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • Frozen meatballs

  1. Set the Instant Pot to saute' and add the ground beef/“beef”, mushrooms and onions. 
    Add the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasonings.  Cook the meat and seasonings, breaking the meat up until it's completely browned.  Turn the Instant Pot off. 

  2. Break the spaghetti in half and place on top of meat in the Instant Pot. (Spread like pick up sticks so it doesn’t clump while cooking.)  
    Pour over tomatoes and water.  Push the spaghetti down with a spoon if necessary to make sure it is completely covered in liquid.  
    Add spinach and push down again.
    Add meatballs on top.

  3. Seal the instant pot and set it to manual mode, high pressure, 8 minutes cooking time.  When the time is up, use manual quick release to open the Instant Pot.  Stir the spaghetti well.  Serve immediately.

    Add mozzarella or parm cheese if desired!

Monday, January 1, 2018

NY day lucky meal

For NY day, I wanted to make a meal dedicated to a year of prosperity- black eyed peas and greens!

Black eyed Peas with shrimp, over polenta-


  1. For black-eyed peas:
    • 4 bacon slices (I used MorningStar fake bacon)
    • 4 scallions, chopped or 1/2 onion
    • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
    • 1 celery rib, finely chopped
    • 1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
    • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/8 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
    • 2 (15-ounces) cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
    • 1 3/4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
    • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  2. Cook bacon in a pot or skillet over medium heat until browned but not crisp. Transfer bacon to a plate, then tear into small pieces.
  3. Cook onion, carrot, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, red-pepper flakes, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in fat in skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are pale golden, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add black-eyed peas and broth and simmer 5 minutes. 
Add raw shrimp on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cook until pink- flipping once.

Serve over polenta and collard greens, sprinkle with bacon.

Collard greens:
For the greens: Saute bacon and onion. Add greens, 3 cups chicken stock, and 1 T vinegar, salt and pepper. (I added mustard powder for a little something!)

Polenta in the Instant Pot:
For Basic Polenta
  • 4 1/4 cups Water or Broth
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 cup Polenta (aka, coarse corn meal, coarse corn grits)
For Creamy, Cheesy Polenta (Add to the Basic Polenta when it is done cooking)
  • 1 cup Parmesan Cheese grated
  • 3/4 cup Milk (or half and half)
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper

To Cook the Basic Polenta
  1. Press the Sauté (Normal) button on the Instant Pot.
  2. Add the water, butter, and salt. Bring to a simmer.
  3. Whisk in the polenta, and put the lid on the pot. Set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
  4. Cancel the Sauté function (usually by pressing the Keep Warm/Cancel button).
  5. Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) button, and then the + or - button to select 7 minutes (4 minutes for the quick cooking variety). When cook cycle ends, turn off the pressure cooker and let the pot naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. Then manually release the remaining pressure.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Instant pot

Recently, I got an Instant pot and still learning how to cook in it. Today I made two simple things that worked:


Place beets in bottom with 1 c water.
Cool on manual for 12-13 minutes (for smaller ones).
Let naturally release pressure.

Hard boiled eggs-

Place eggs on the rack with 1 c water.
Cook on manual for 5 min.
Quick Release pressure.
Drop in ice bath. (Don’t  drop on counter than add to ice bath, as I did)

Popovers when exploring Yorkshire pudding

i didn’t realize the difference between popovers and Yorkshire pudding until I was done. It seems that the batter is the same but popovers tend to be small and puddings larger with meat.

Well, this recipe is better for popovers than my original as it has pools of butter. Now I know why my grandmother remarked they were missing. It’s the best!

Adapted from NYT:

3 eggs
3/4 c milk
3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 t kosher salt
12 t of butter
  1. Mix the eggs, milk, flour and salt in a bowl.
  2. Let sit for 30 min.
  3. Add teaspoon of butter to each of 12 muffin cups.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C).
  5. Melt butter for 5 min while preheats.
  6. Pour batter in cups til half full.
  7. Place the pan back in the oven and bake for 11-12 minutes until puffed up and golden brown.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Xmas Pasta

it was the night before Christmas and I had to think of something to take for dinner...

The night before I made basil-ricotta raviolis from Cooking Light (July!)- but it was great so made a modified version for Xmas- both below!

Basil-Rocco’s Ravioli-

3/4 c ricotta
1/4 c parm cheese
1/4 c basil
1/2 t lemon zest
Black pepper
1/4 t kosher salt
16 wonton wrappers
4 t olive oil
3 cloves garlic
10 oz spinach
2 T lemon juice

Mix the ricotta, half parm, half basil, lemon zest, S&P in a bowl.
Dip the edges of the wonton in water and place 1 T of mix in the middle. Fold in half to make a triangle- seal  the wrapper with a wet finger.
Boil the raviolis for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile- sauté garlic in oil. Add salt and spinach. Stir in lemon juice.

Top with remaining parm, basil, oil, S&P.

For Xmas eve version -

Didn’t make the handmade raviolis but bought tortellini instead.
Added leftover cheese mixture to the pot with the spinach and lemon juice. Added more zest as well.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Instant Pot Banana Bread

I got an instant pot this week and decided to try banana bread in it. I dont think it was any faster than in the oven- so not sure why one would use the instant pot for this- other than the ability to leave the house while it cooks (maybe...)

I didnt have any eggs- so here is the recipe I used:

Spray the pan. Mix in the pan:
3/4 c applesauce
3/4 c brown sugar
1 T coconut oil
Mixed together until fluffy. 

Add 2-3 ripe bananas (mine were frozen, so I let sit out to defrost).

Add 1 t of vanilla and 1/3 cup of milk.

Mix in 2 cups flour, 1 t baking soda and 1/2 t salt. 

Optional, add 1/2 c of chocolate chips and/or walnuts.

Cook on the pressure cooker setting for 50 minutes, then natural release for 10. It was moist on top when it came out- but tastes good.

One-pot pasta with spinach and tomatoes

1 T olive oil
1 c onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic
14.5 oz diced tomatoes
1.5 c stock
1/2 t oregano
8 oz pasta
1/2 t salt
10 oz spinach
1 oz parm cheese

Heat oil- add onion and garlic for 3 minutes.
Add tomatoes, stock, oregano, pasta- in that order. (Press down.)

Bring to boil- cover & Reduce to med-low for until pasta is done (see box for time).

Add salt, spinach to wilt and let stand 5 minutes.

Serve with cheese.

Adapted from Cooking Light