Sunday, July 17, 2016

"Baked" Beans - Instant Pot

1 lb navy beans (dry)
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
3 c water
1 tbls olive oil
1/2 tsp dried mustard
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp pepper
1/3 c ketchup
1/3 c molasses
1/3 c brown sugar
3 tbsp yellow mustard

  1. Soak beans for 30 minutes as you prep other ingredients.  (I soaked them before Mass this morning and made the recipe when I got home.)
  2. With the cooker's lid off, heat bacon and onion on high until bacon is nearly crisp.  About 5 minutes.
  3. Add the drained beans, water, olive oil, dry mustard, cloves, and pepper.  Lock on the lid and coon on high for 20 minutes.
  4. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest.
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients.
  1. Good! 
  2. About the same amount of liquid as opening a can of beans so serve with a slotted spoon.
  3. It would be easy to mess with the flavor a little.  These are a little on the sweet side.
  4. I'd also consider adding 1/4 tsp of liquid smoke.  (My new flavor friend, apparently.)
  5. I'm not sure why all the ingredients couldn't just be added from the start.
  6. We'll have this for dinner today and I'll probably freeze leftovers for another time.

Pulled Pork - Instant Pot

1 (4-5 lb) pork shoulder or butt
2 tbls brown sugar
1 tbls chili powder
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dry mustard
1 tbls vegetable oil
1-1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
2 tbls cider vinegar
1 tsp liquid smoke

  1. Cut pork into 2-inch thick slices.
  2. Combing spices and brown sugar.  Rub on surfaces of pork.
  3. With cooker's lid off, heat oil on high and brown the pork.
  4. Add broth, vinegar and liquid smoke.  Lock on the lid and set for 100 minutes on high.
  5. Let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes before quick release.
  6. OPTIONAL - remove pork from cooker, drain all liquid, heat 16 ounces of BBQ sauce on high and add the pork before serving.
  • I didn't do the BBQ sauce step because it was quite flavorful without the sauce.  Don't skip the liquid smoke.
  • Very good!

Whole Chicken - Instant Pot

1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 (3-4 lb) whole chicken, rinsed well
2 tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
2 tbsp dry white wine (optional)
juice of one lemon

  1. With the cooker's lid off, heat oil on high until sizzling.
  2. Sprinkle spices on the chicken breast size and place it breast side down in the cooker.  Sprinkle the spices on the top side.  Let it cook until browned, about 7 minutes.
  3. Flip the chicken in the cooker and cover with remaining ingredients.
  4. Lock on the lid and set for 25 minutes on high.
  5. Let the cooker's pressure naturally for 10 minutes before performing a quick release of pressure.
  6. Remove carefully from cooker and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.
  • Very good and simple.  I used some other spice blend that I had instead of the thyme and poultry seasoning.  I did use the paprika though - it gives a great color.
  • Plan for a little more than an hour from start to finish.

Refried Beans - Instant Pot

2 pounds dried pinto beans, sorted
Mmmm, look at all that cilantro!
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4-5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons lard
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
1-2 teaspoons sea salt

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the sorted dried pinto beans and fill the bowl with enough water to cover the beans by several inches. Set aside to soak for 15 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
  2. To the Instant Pot bowl, add the chopped onion, garlic cloves, jalapeno, dried oregano, ground cumin, ground black pepper, lard, chicken broth, and water.
  3. Use a colander to strain the beans and discard the soaking liquid. Rinse with fresh water.
  4. Now add the beans to the Instant Pot bowl, and stir all of the ingredients together. It’s okay if the lard is in a solid lump, as soon as the Instant Pot comes up to pressure/temperature, the lard will melt.
  5. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and ensure the steam release valve is set to sealing. Press the “Bean/Chili” key, which will show 30 minutes of cooking time, and increase the time to 45 minutes. Now walk away. When the Instant Pot is done cooking, it will come down from pressure naturally, about 40 minutes.
  6. When the pressure is released, open the lid of the Instant Pot and add the sea salt to taste. Use an immersion blender to blend the beans to the desired consistency. The beans will appear soupy, but will thicken as they cool.
  • From the original recipe: "I don’t recommend salting the beans prior to cooking, because I’ve experience instances where they never soften. I only recommend salting beans once they are soft and cooked through."
  • Replace the lard with bacon fat.
  • I replaced the jalapeno with a can of diced chilies.  (Better safe than sorry around here.)
  • I ended up cooking them for an additional 30 minutes because they didn't seem to be quite done at 45.  That was probably overkill, but underdone is bad imo.
  • Freeze them in ziplocs for efficient storage.  This time I happened to have a bunch of 1 cup container bowls, so I did that instead.

Zuppa Toscana - Instant Pot

½ pound bacon, chopped
1 pound mild Italian sausage
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
28 oz honey gold potatoes, scrubbed clean quartered
10 cups water, divided
3 tbsp. Chicken Base
5-6 cups chopped kale (approximately, I did not measure)
2 cup heavy whipping cream
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. With instant pot on  sauté mode, cook bacon until crisp, set aside. 
  2. Crumble in sausage and red pepper flakes, cook until almost done, then add onion and cook 3-4 minutes. 
  3. Next add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Turn IP off. 
  4. Add potatoes, 8 cups of water, and bullion. Lock lid in place, set knob to seal, set IP to manual 10 minutes. 
  5. Let stay on keep warm mode for 15 minutes, then turn IP off and turn knob to venting. 
  6. Once all pressure released, open lid and add kale and 2 additional cups of water. 
  7. Set to sauté mode and cook 10-15 minutes to tenderize the kale. 
  8. Turn off, once soup stops boiling, add cream. Serve with crumbled bacon.


  • This called for 12 cups of water (four cups in step 6 instead of the two I added).  That seemed like too much.
  • I used a carton of chicken broth in place of a bunch of the water.
  • I also a left the bacon in during the cooking process instead of serving it on top at the end.
  • Add more red pepper if you like it hotter.  The original called for 1 tbsp.
  • We also would have preferred it to be thicker.  I'd recommend a roux in the last step.
  • Opinion: This is one of those recipes that made me not buy an Instant Pot.  Basically, it cooked the potatoes a little faster, although not really once you consider how long it takes to build pressure.  The saute mode steps are probably less efficient using the IP than they would be on the stove top.  Especially my lovely gas stove where I have better control over the temp. 
  • Having said that, the recipe is good - we all liked it.


Steel Cut Oats - Instant Pot

3 tbls butter
1 c steel cut oats
3-1/2 c water
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sugar

  1. With the cooker's lid off, heat butter on high until melted.
  2. Add the oats, water, cinnamon and salt.  Lock the pressure cooker's lid and set for 5 minutes on high.
  3. Perform a quick release to release the cooker's pressure.
  4. Stir in brown sugar (original recipe also says to store in 1/4 c of milk).
  • This worked well and actually took a reasonable amount of cooking time (plug in to pressure release), but there was lots of liquid that had not yet absorbed by the end of the cooking time.  All of this extra liquid was absorbed about a half hour later.
  • It made 4 servings.  I packaged them to reheat for breakfasts this week.
  • Using apple juice instead of water would probably be worth a try.
  • I'd add fruit (raisins, craisins, or granny smith apples) before cooking next time.
  • Definitely good.  Could easily be doubled.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hard Cooked Eggs - Instant Pot

A friend loaned me her Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) to test over the next few days and I started with this easiest "recipe" for eggs.

Basically, I cooked a dozen eggs for 7 minutes at low pressure.  Release the steam immediately after the timer beeped, and let them cool a bit.  (I moved them to a bowl of cold water.)

In just a few minutes they were cool enough to peel, which was the really big part of the show!  After cracking them around the middle and removing a few pieces, almost all of the shells came off in two halves.  It was pretty impressive and the eggs were perfectly cooked.

Slightly more detailed instructions here.