When I fall in love, I don’t fall in love. I jump head first without checking if I’m in the deep or shallow end. I fucking jump and hope for the best. And for a while, I’m swimming in bliss with my latest obsession. A couple things have clung to my heart… Photography. The One Second app. Costco. Abercrombie sweatpants. And some slip away very quietly (maybe it’s shame or regret for spewing love) like sneaking veggies into food, repurposing zip loc bags, Serial, etc.
The above is truly a Disclaimer for my friends and family. Because if they were awful, they’d say: Remember that time I needed an ice cream maker?! Remember when you swore on the virtues of only eating homemade bread? My head hangs low for only a split second, because…
Guess what? I’m in love again! I see this thing and I literally get weak in the knees. I blush and giggle when I see it. I get flummoxed and stammer. I’m like a schoolgirl in its presence.
I adore the shit out of my Instant Pot.
What’s not to love?! It’s a multi powered demon in the kitchen! Pressure Cooker/Slow Cooker/ Yogurt (if that’s your thing)/Kitchen god. Yes, I’ve written about my love of a pressure cooker. I believe in it’s power. Don’t worry about old tales from your Grandma. Those have been fixed with lots of safety measures.
But the Instant Pot takes it a step further…
Sure, it’s electric so it takes a little longer to come to pressure. Sure because it’s electric it does take a little longer to cook (not much longer…, but a smidge). Sure it’s another appliance for your kitchen.
But it’s amazing! I use it almost every single day. It’s really quiet compared to my stove top PC, so my family loves this fact. But ignore them… It’s all about my feelings! There’s a speed (please factor in the time to come to pressure, but you’ll still come out ahead on 95% of recipes) that you can’t ignore. The fact that I don’t have to stare at the pot waiting for the button to pop, HELLO?! I’m lazy. Plug it in, set it and it listen for the beep. It’s literally plug and play. I can saute, cook, and eat. I don’t even need my stove. No shit? No shit. And oh yeah… It’s also a slow cooker when you want a longer cook time. And has a delayed timer?! You should love it. You will love it.
Let’s talk about how I use it for the basics…
I use it for rice probably twice to three times a week (less when I remember to make a huge batch and freeze it). White rice is my favorite (scroll to the bottom), but brown rice is equally as good. I said it. Here’s the formula for moist and almost sticky brown rice.
- 1 C. long-grain brown rice
- 1 3/4 C. + 1 T. water
- 1 T. oil/butter
- Some salt
Bring to pressure for 31 minutes. When completed, unplug and let it return to normal pressure (usually 12-15 minutes) . Open and fluff. Enjoy.
We eat a lot of burritos (fine… I eat a lot of burritos). I prefer homemade beans. They’re cheaper and with an Instant Pot, they’re almost always ready. I’ve soaked and not soaked. If you soak for 12 hours, beans (depending on bean) can be ready in 30-40 minutes. I freeze mine in 1.5 Cups portions.
Hard boiled eggs are (were… Coop has decided that he doesn’t like them for lunch any longer) a favorite in the house. They take about the same time conventionally, but… Here’s the key! They peel in two pieces when done after a quick cool (don’t want to burn your fingers) and maybe 2.5 pieces if left in the fridge! Two pieces!!! I follow the recipe below and I use my finger to run a crack up the center. And I basically peel the two sides apart. I’m not kidding, Folks.
- 1 cup of water in the bottom of my pot
- 1-12 cold eggs in a steamer basket
- Cook for 3 minutes. Reduce pressure for 8 minutes and then quick release the rest of pressure.
- Run under water and peel or store in the fridge.
Mashed potatoes?! HELL YES!! You basically steam the potato chunks and drain. Use the saute feature and make them like you’d do on the stove. Best thing? Done in about 15 minutes. Sure, not much longer than stove top. But… You aren’t watching the boil. You chop. Insert a steamer basket. Add potatos. Set and go. You’re using minimal water, so it’s steaming lots of nutrients. It’s dump and go, People. That’s perfect for busy people. Dump and go!
We also do a lot of bone-in chicken thighs for salads. Salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes. Natural release for 4 minutes and release the rest of pressure. Shred and go.
Recipes are really important with a pressure cooker. There’s no tossing “Cause I feel like it”. You need liquid levels and fats with certain ingredients. Some spices won’t work. Particular veggies need to go in the right spot. So buy a book or Google some recipes and get cooking!
You can even stack different foods in the Instant Pot. Meatloaf AND mashed potatoes? Hell yes you can!! And if you pick up “Miss Vickie’s Real Food Fast” you’ll find one with meatloaf, potatoes, and brownies! I always recommend Lorna Sass’ book, but this one is my new favorite (The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book)! It’s written for stove top and electric pressure cookers. Nice solid foods. No cream based soups. Tons of veggie recipes and great knowledge.
Those are my basics. As for standard recipes, I’m just making my way through cookbooks. I’ll share soon.
tonight’s dinner: Coffee-Braised Chuck Roast with Balsamic Vinegar
*if I had two, I’m make the polenta in the other one. Instead… I’ll use my stupid stove.
And this cheesecake. Yeah, I did that.