Let’s look at some Ray Standards for the Instant Pot. I rarely cook the same thing twice. But these have been made at least twice and have been well received by adults and two kids.
Weeknight Spaghetti :: As the title suggests, a nice weeknight meal. Plus a good use for a pesky half pound of ground beef. I didn’t think it’d be enough meat, but it was exactly the right amount. I really enjoy pasta in the Instant Pot. Not only does it become a No-Watch meal, but if cooked correctly it turns the pasta into plumpier (is that a word? screw it…) bits of goodness. It also uses some of the fish sauce you bought for one recipe a month ago… If you don’t have any, you could leave it out with decent results.
Mall Food at Home (aka Bourbon Chicken) Mark stops EVERY. SINGLE. time someone is waving a tiny piece of Bourbon Chicken on a toothpick. Plus always goes back for seconds and doesn’t care if the employee recognizes him. So I was really hopeful for this recipe. Fine there’s no actual bourbon in it (name comes from the flavors…), I got over this fact long enough to try it. I love chicken thighs. I believe they kick Chicken Breasts’ ass.. Why? They’re much cheaper, they have more flavor and do so much better in the Instant Pot than chicken breast. But I thought the cooking time was a little long on this recipe. So I adjusted the cooking time to 5 minutes, Natural Release for 5 minutes, and then Quick Release. Check for doneness. If not fully cooked, put it back on for another minute. Serve with white rice.
Healthy Good Mornings Before the Instant Pot, I had never tried Steel Cuts oats because of the cooking time. Who’s got time for that shit in the morning?! So I really wanted to try the sped up Instant Pot version. But I struggled finding a good steel cut oats recipes. Every one I tried didn’t taste good. Maybe this was how steel cut oats actually tasted… I wasn’t ready to give up. I stumbled on this one and the cup in pot method made a huge difference. Another plus? This recipe is a really good use of the timer function. Set it up the night before and wake up to a warm healthy breakfast!
Pulled Pork with a Twist I buy our pork butt from Costco. Which means I buy about 12-16 pounds at a time. I wrap them in smaller portions, shove them in the freezer and wait for a large hungry crowd. This recipe was a hit. I think in large part due to its non-traditional pulled pork flavors. If mid summer has got you sick of normal BBQ-y pulled pork, try this one! Don’t forget the slaw. If you need to speed up the cooking time, cut the butt into smaller pieces. 4 big pieces will probably only take 50 minutes. Always test if you can shred the pork easily with a fork. If you can, try shredding it in your mixer! Faster and way more fun. Edit: I’ve seen a few forum comments mention that the fat in pork butt makes it mushy when you use a mixer to shred it. I thought mine was mushy ONLY because I added too much of the reserved liquid. Maybe it was my mixer as the first time it was perfect, but I used forks that time. I will say that the mixer works perfectly for shredded chicken.
Best yogurt tutorial I go through phases with yogurt. I really wish I loved it. Mark also went through a longer phase with yogurt, so his phase indulged my Instant Pot curiosity phase. This recipe was also approved by his co-workers. It makes enough to share if you live in a house with people who go through yogurt phases… One note: yogurt takes a long time to make. I’m still trying to find the best time to start it… I always use a half gallon of milk and a heaping tablespoon of Greek yogurt.
How about I share my favorite Mac n’ Cheese recipe? Who doesn’t love a good Mac n’ Cheese? It’s a handy back pocket recipe! Little ones coming over? Mac n’ Cheese! A dish for a new neighbor? Mac n’ Cheese! Need something to make you feel cozy? Mac n’ Cheese! (Fine… Unless you can’t eat dairy, then it’s your enemy and I feel sorry for you)
Healthy-ish Mac n’ Cheese
adapted from “The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook”
- 1 lb. uncooked whole-wheat macaroni (or regular. whatever is leftover in your pantry. but whole wheat pasta cooks beautifully in the IP. I never could get the right balance on my stove.)
- 3 T. butter
- 1 t. yellow mustard
- 1 T. kosher salt
- 1/4 t ground black pepper
- 4 C. water
- 1 (12 oz.) can of evaporated milk
- 10 oz. of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz. of shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 oz. of Parmesan cheese
Note on cheese… I’ve made this using the exact cheeses and the exact amounts. I’ve made this with a little less and I’ve made this with Colby, mozzarella, and just a handful of Parm. Get crazy, Folks. The world is yours!
- Fill the instant pot to the 4 cup line and set to Saute. Add butter, pasta, mustard, salt and pepper. Give it a quick stir. Secure the lid.
- Select Manual and cook at high pressure for half the time as the lowest cooking time minus one minute (A good point for ALL pasta dishes). I do 4 minutes for regular macaroni.
- When finished cooking, release pressure by turning the valve. A towel over the valve is helpful because sometimes pasta water spurts out…
- Check pasta. If not tender, cook for another 2-3 minutes on Saute.
- If done, select Saute (I always forget that I have to hit Cancel before I hit Saute). Add evaporated milk. Stir well and then add cheeses by the handful. Stir until melted. Add another handful. Continue until you’ve got a creamy ooey-gooey masterpiece…
And now the world is yours again! Pour it in a 9×13 pan. Add butter and breadcrumbs. Broil until golden.
OR let it cool in the pan. Put in fridge until later. Pull it out and bring to room temp. Bake in a 400 degree oven until warmed about 30 minutes.
I promise to share hits with you. I’m testing a new baked beans recipe this weekend. Bourbon and orange flavors… If it works out and y’all will be the first to hear about it. I like standards and what’s more standard than a solid baked bean recipe for the Summer?
I did not include my family’s all-time favorite recipe. Not because I’m selfish, but because I tweak it a bit and I really want to include pictures. I want to nail this one for y’all.
I’m aware that this picture has nothing to do with these recipes, but what’s a blog post without a picture?
It’s shit that’s what!
But it’s a good reference for what can fit in one pot. See that big bowl on the left? All inside one pot. The 6 quart makes a good amount of food, Folks. I used two Instant Pots to make two servings of a Low-Country Seafood Boil (his rib recipes are really tasty). If you look really close, you’ll see a Mac n’ Cheese in the background.