Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Pressure Cooker: Chicken Congee (Porridge)

This is a keeper. It's easy and tasty. Great for when you want a soupy rice. Perfect for when you want comfort when you are sick, etc. Love this!!

Chicken Congee
Prep Time:  5 min      Pressure Cook Time: 30 min
* Note: It will take a while to get to pressure since there is more liquid in the pot.

1 cup jasmine rice
7 cups water
1 tbsp sliced ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 lb chicken (preferably bone-in but not necessary)

salt (to taste)
sesame oil (to taste)
green onions

Rinse rice. Put rice in the inner pot with ginger, garlic, and water. Place chicken on top. Close the lid and make sure your pot is on "seal". Set manual high pressure for 30 minutes. NPR.

Shred chicken and add salt/sesame oil to taste (about 1/2 tbsp). Top with green onions, etc. If you want, you can put chicken congee in bowl, then salt/sesame oil to taste.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Pressure Cooker: Unstuffed Cabbage (with Meat)

I had cabbage, ground beef, ground pork. Browsing the web to see what I should make, I came across Unstuffed Cabbage as the perfect recipe for the ingredients.

Unstuffed Cabbage w/Meat
Prep Time: 10 min      Cook Time: 5 min
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion (sliced)
4 cloves garlic
26 oz diced canned tomatoes (you can use fresh also)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp paprika
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
3 Tbsp vinegar
1 cabbage (chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Push the 'Saute' button and cook the ground beef and ground pork. Add the onion to cook with the meat. Add the rest of the ingredients (add the cabbage last).

On 'Manual' mode, set to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. You can quick release or wait about a half hour for natural pressure release. I wasn't in a hurry so this time I used natural release.

Open lid. Stir to mix everything well. Taste to see if you need to add any more salt/pepper.

Serve with rice.


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Pressure Cooker: One Pot Pasta

I sift through many, many recipes before trying any of them. Finally tried One-Pot Pasta. It was a hit. I see why people do lasagna pie in the pressure cooker. Still need to buy a pan for that to keep it together.

One Pot Pasta
Prep Time: 10 min      Cook Time: 6 min (Long time to get to pressure)
1 lb ground beef (or other meat, even veggies like mushrooms/tomatoes)
1 onion (diced or chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1 box pasta
1 jar pasta sauce
1 jar water

Turn on your electric pressure cooker. Hit 'Saute' button to brown the ground beef. Add the onions. Then the garlic (for a min). Press 'Cancel'

Pour in dry pasta (any kind); I used a bigger macaroni. Pour in jar of pasta sauce. Fill the same jar with water to add. This eliminates washing a measuring cup!

Stir to mix ingredients. Close/Lock the lid. Make sure your knob is on 'Seal'. Then I was set.

When you are ready (I waited for my husband to get home), hit 'Manual' (high pressure) for half the time it takes to cook pasta. Mine said 10-12 min. I set it for 6 minutes.

It did take 20+ minutes to make it to high pressure because of the amount of liquid. After 6 minutes of high pressure, hit 'keep warm/cancel' so that you don't keep cooking it. When I turned the knob to 'vent', there was no pressure since I had it on keep warm.


Friday, March 31, 2017

Pressure Cooker: BBQ Baby Back Ribs

I made baby back ribs in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. It wasn't as fast as I thought it would be since it was BBQ Baby Back Ribs that needed NPR (Natural Pressure Release).

This is how much time it took:
13 min - to get IP to reach high pressure
25 min - IP manual high pressure
25 min - NPR
15 min - oven to finish

The result was good but not nearly as tasty as my usual oven low and slow 3 hr version.

Pressure Cooker BBQ Baby Back Ribs (3 lbs) 
Generously sprinkle rub (or just season with salt/pepper). Pour one cup cold water into the pot. Place the trivet in. Ribs go in. Make sure IP valve is on "sealing". Close and set it on Manual High Pressure for 25 minutes.

Natural pressure release as I have read that you don't want to do a quick release with meat. This takes about 25 minutes. Then take the ribs out to transfer to a baking dish. Brush ribs with BBQ sauce. Finish in the oven at 450F for 15 min. (*Note: Butcher cut it the wrong way..duh. That is why the pieces are small.)

1.5 hr versus 3 hr. I think I would still do "slow and low" in the oven. Will have to try different recipes that don't to finish in the oven. Or maybe 10 min NPR is okay too? Going to experiment again..

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot: Mashed Potatoes

No need for a steamer basket. I don't consider this to be a "recipe" since it is just a little side dish so this will not be recipe #3. I had a cup of chicken broth left from the previous recipe (Pot Roast) and many potatoes. (But I have seen people mess it up in the Instant Pot Community page. Don't know how you do that.)

Mashed Potatoes
Prep Time 5 min     Cook Time: 8 min

Organic Russet Potatoes (2-3 lb)
4 Tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
salt and pepper to taste (optional)
parsley flakes (optional)

Wash/scrub potatoes. Quarter them. Mine were skin on but you can peel them if you like also.
Place the quartered potatoes in the Instant Pot. Pour chicken broth and throw in the butter.

Close the lid. Manual Setting for 8 minutes.

Open lid (after quick or natural pressure release). Mash the potatoes. Add salt (and pepper) to taste. Remember that there is salt in chicken broth already. Add any herbs you would like (example parsley).


2nd Time:
I used water instead of chicken broth. When it was done, I added salt (1 tsp) and milk (1/2 cup), butter (4 Tbsp) while mashing. I actually mash with a fork since it is so soft.

Pressure Cooker / Instant Pot Recipe #2: Pot Roast w/Carrots and Potatoes

When I bought Instant Pot, I thought that I could cook anything in very little time. Well, Pot Roast took much longer. You will need 1.5 hours.

Pot Roast
Prep: 40 min      Cook Time: 45 (beef) + 4 (veggies) min   Other: 5 min (cut beef, make gravy)
** EDIT: Second time: Cut prep time by 10 min. IP reached high pressure after 5 min. **

Natural pressure release. Luckily, we had an appointment at that time. When we returned home, the Instant Pot had released all the pressure. Made the gravy by adding flour.

2-3 lbs boneless chuck roast (it should be about 2 inches thick
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic
1 large onion (sliced)
1 cup chicken broth
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 lb carrots (you can put more)
2 lb potatoes (you can put more)
1.5 Tbsp flour (for gravy at the end)

My prep time was 40 min since I included searing the beef also.

First, you sear the beef. Pour olive oil. Hit the 'Saute' button on your Instant Pot. Sear all sides (8-10 min each side). Remove beef from heat to set aside. Press cancel.


After searing:
Hit the 'Saute' button again but set it on medium heat for onions/garlic. Cook onions for a minute or two, then garlic. For deglazing, splash some red wine in. I love to use frozen garlic cloves so that I can have it on hand.

Add chicken broth, soy sauce, rosemary, thyme in. Place your beef back in. Close the lid.
Pressure cook on high for 45 minutes. Natural release pressure for half an hour.

Beef after pressure cooking:

Remove beef to a set aside. Add potatoes, then carrots. Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Quick release pressure.

Now to make the gravy.. Add flour and stir. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cut your beef. Spoon some gravy on top. I placed veggies on the side.


Friday, February 17, 2017


For Black Friday 2016, I only had one thing I was eyeing to buy since I had been wanting for for months...an Instant Pot. It arrived a week later. Then the box sat in the closet through the holidays while we were away. My goal was to use it by the end of January. Well, mid-February rolled around, it was still in the box until today...

I had been afraid to use it. Woke up this morning and told myself that today was the day I was going to tackle my new appliance. The manual felt thick until I read it realizing that it was that way since it was translated into several different languages (otherwise it would have been thin).

Still unsure of what to make but knowing that it was going to be chicken for the first recipe. I defrosted chicken in the sink during the day (But you can cook frozen chicken in Instant Pot too). Kept reading that it would be done in 5 minutes. Ended up taking much longer than anticipated. Dinner was fairly late for us as a result. Chicken was flavorful and tender but not something I couldn't make in comparable time. Felt that I was extra cautious since it was my FIRST TIME with my Instant Pot.

Yes, it takes 5 minutes on high pressure to make chicken but I set it on 8 minutes since I had 8 chicken thighs that were thick. Used two functions for my dish: 1) Saute  2) Poultry.

Honey Garlic Chicken (Using Instant Pot)
2-3 lbs Chicken Thighs
salt and pepper to season OR dry rub
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
5 cloves garlic, chopped/minced
1 tsp basil
olive oil (for saute)
1 lb carrots

Sprinkle dry rub on both sides of the chicken thighs (or just use salt and pepper).

In a separate bowl, mix water, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, garlic, basil.

Plug in your Instant Pot. With the lid off, put some olive oil to brown the chicken. Push the 'Saute' button. Cook chicken for a minute each side. Place it on a plate when done (found that I could brown 2-3 chicken thighs at a time due to space).

Put browned chicken thighs back into Instant Pot. The carrots will go on top of the chicken. Pour liquids from the separate bowl. Place and lock Instant Pot lid. Make sure the top of your pot is set to 'Sealed' (not 'Vent').

Push the 'Poultry' button. I set it on 8 minutes (recipe called for 5 minutes) since my chicken pieces were thicker.


I stood there staring at it for 5 minutes afraid to change the 'Sealed' to 'Vent' for quick pressure release. Moved it a little at a time for slow pressure release (my first time!!). Ended up switching to 'Vent' by using a spoon instead since I didn't want to get too close.

The result was tender chicken. Started with a simple chicken dish to test the waters.

How was your FIRST TIME using your Instant Pot?? What recipe did you use?

1) It didn't take just 8 minutes since it takes time to reach high pressure.
2) When you saute, you cook like you normally do in a pan.
3) Easy to use but I was still nervous since I had heard stories of people putting holes in their ceilings with pressure cookers.