Archive for ‘multicooker or instapot’

May 19, 2020

Chicken Tagine: multipot version

This whole thing took about 45 min beginning to end, with an 18m old in one arm. I feel like I leveled up in parenting today, chopping one handed. I love stews because there’s a large margin for error. Also why I dislike baking.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3-4lb bone in chicken
  • 1 onion (or pearl onion, or shallots) large dice
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced (it will melt anyway)
  • pat of butter
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • 1 can chicken broth (or less)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup dried apricots and or dates (medjool dates are my go to)
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tbs + honey
  • roasted almonds, chopped
  • fresh parsley for serving (I dont use fresh parsley for stews. Turns brown and mushy)
  • salt

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Set multicooker to saute. (or heat a large dutch oven over medium high heat). Add a pat of butter. Saute garlic and onions until aromatic.
  2. Add chicken and spices (I eyeballed the spices…) Salt generously. Mix and saute a bit. Add tomatoes, honey, and enough chicken broth to almost cover the chicken. Cover. (You will probably have left over chicken broth)
  3. Pressure cook on high for 20 min. (stove top: turn heat to simmer and simmer for 45-60min).
  4. Release pressure. Mix rinsed chickpeas into stew. Carefully taste (super hot!) and salt if needed. Cover, set valve to pressure again, and pressure cook on high for 7min. (for stove top, ~15 min)
  5. Release pressure, add dried fruit and cover. Let it sit in the cooker with the power off if you’re not eating immediately. (I let it sit for 30min) Or pressure cook 3 min. Avoid over cooking fruit or it’ll disintegrate. (stove top: ~10 min simmer)
  6. Top with fresh parsley and chopped roasted almonds. Serve with rice, couscous, left over bread, whatever floats your boat.
January 12, 2020

Butternut Squash Pasta with Sage and Bacon

I first made this pasta four years ago. Two kids and a bunch of new appliances later, here’s the better and faster version! This use to take over an hour. Now it’s under 30min.

I’m almost too embarrassed to share this, but look at how ugly this dish use to be: old version.

Four years ago, I had a crappy Nutribullet blender which required working in batches. That’s why everything came out chunky. Today, my Vitamix took a few seconds. Pasta also use to take forever. Rental property stoves take 20 minutes to just boil a damn pot of water, then another 10 or so to cook the pasta. So that was another bottle neck. My new multicooker takes 5 minutes to cook pasta. Beginning to end.

Now I have more time for all of life’s other demands! More time to wipe noses and butts and step on legos. And of course, my lovely, appreciative, angel of a son takes one look at his plate and goes “I dont like this dinner, mommy. Cook me something else. How about a lot of bacon?”

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Some notes:

  • Toys that will make your life easier:
    • multicooker with a steamer basket,
    • vitamix blender,
    • veggie spiraler
  • I roasted half the squash (or whatever fits on the toaster oven tray) and steamed the rest. I find the steamed half lends a creamier texture while the roasted half gives it a nice caramelized flavor. Feel free to pick one or the other. I prefer using both.
  • I use zoodles for half my pasta for health reasons. We also use barilla veggie pasta that’s 1/4 veggies. Also, maybe my kids are dumb, but they dont notice they’re eating veggies when it’s zoodles. Big leafs of spinach? Much less appealing to toddlers.
  • Timing is everything. Roasting veggies takes the longest. Do that first. Everything else can be done while roasting. Then start up pasta when veggies are done. While pasta is cooking, blend the sauce together. 30 min meal, y’all.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 package spaghetti
  • 2 large shallots, thick sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • fresh sage
  • 3-4 slices of bacon
  • ~1 cup chicken stock
  • salt
  • optional: zucchini for zoodles
  • optional: grated parmesan  (I save the little containers that come with Italian take out and keep them in the freezer. Fresh is obviously better but we dont use parmesan often)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. PREP SQUASH: Peel and chop off ends. Cut squash in half, where the skinny end and the fat bulb meet. Slice the skinny half into <1/2 cm thick slices. Thinner slices roast faster! Cut bulb end in half again. Scoop out seeds. Chop into large chunks.
  3. Lightly spray aluminum lined pan and place sliced squash, whole garlic, and shallots on pan. Avoid crowding. Place shallots and garlic in center so they dont burn. Roast for ~15- 20 min.
  4. Dump squash chunks into steamer basket of multi cooker. Add 1-2 cups of water to inner pot, insert steamer rack trivet then steamer basket, making sure squash isn’t sitting in water. Steam 7 min. Drain and dump squash into blender.
  5. COOK BACON: Place slices of bacon in a cold frying pan. Turn heat on to medium. Render fat and fry bacon, turning as needed, until brown and crispy. Remove and set aside on paper towel. Chop into pieces. Use fat to fry sage–>
  6. FRY SAGE: Pick off the large pretty leaves from your sage stem. Reserve ugly or small ones and set aside. Place pretty leaves in hot bacon fat over medium high heat. Fry until each side is dark and crisp. I used a chopstick to turn them as they crumble easily when fried.  Remove and set aside on paper towel.
  7. COOK ZOODLES: Dump out most of the bacon fat. In remaining thin coat, heat pan on medium high again, then add zoodles. stir and salt to taste. Remove and later mix with pasta.
  8. COOK PASTA: (multicooker)
    • Unfortunately for spaghetti you need to break the dried pasta in half.
    • Dump pasta in inner pot.
    • Pour in just enough water to cover pasta. Salt.
    • Pressure cook on high for a little under half the time the box says. 9min pasta? Cook for 4. 11 min pasta? Try 5.
    • Drain in steamer basket used earlier for squash.
  9. BLEND SAUCE: Add chicken stock then roasted veggies and several small ugly sage leaves. Blend until smooth, adding chicken stock if too thick. (Honestly I didn’t’t bother to heat the chicken stock as everything else is plenty hot.)
  10. Mix zoodles and pasta, pour over some sauce, mix. Top with parmesan bacon and sage leaves.

 

 

January 5, 2020

Multicooker: Chinese Pork Rib Stew 清燉排骨湯

Chinese soups in the multicooker, take 2! Totally trying Korean braised short rib stew next. That was my intention this week, but my son ate the Korean pear I was saving.

You’ll notice it looks a lot like the Chinese chicken soup recipe. But it tastes surprisingly different. Chicken and pork don’t taste alike, after all. This one takes a bit longer with an extra parboiling step, but well worth the effort.

This is the clear broth version. For the soy sauce based or “red braised”  紅燒排骨 pork rib stew, see this recipe! Easy to adapt for the multicooker.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3lb pork spare ribs (chinese style, or other small tender cuts)
  • 2 stalks green onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 slices ginger
  • white pepper, pinch
  • 1/2 cup of Chinese rice wine/Michiu (TTL is my go to brand)
  • dash of soy sauce for umami
  • salt
  • 2-3 medium daikon radishes, roll cut
  • 6 -7 dried red jujube dates

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. PARBOIL: I always parboil pork. ‘Cause my momma says to. Add ribs (chopped into equal size pieces) into a pot (not your multicooker pot). Fill water until just covered. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove from heat.
  2. Remove ribs one by one and wash under cold water in the sink. Place each clean rib into the inner pot of your multipot.
  3. Place a large mesh strainer over the inner pot of ribs. Carefully pour parboiling water over strainer. This is your soup base without all the nasty foamy meat floaties. *some people discard their parboiling water and start their base with clean water. I think that’s a waste of good tasting meat water.
  4. Add green onions, garlic, ginger, rice wine, a sprinkle or two of white pepper, and a dash of soy sauce, and a couple tsp of salt.
  5. Cover, close vent to “pressure”, pressure cook on HIGH for 40min.
  6. Carefully vent pressure.
  7. Add daikon and jujube dates. Close valve and pressure cook on HIGH for 10min.
  8. Best served the next day. Cover and store in fridge the next day. Skim off fat, then slowly heat on stove before serving. *TIP: remove some of the solids into a separate container before storing soup so that skimming the fat is easier! Or you’ll be skimming around chunks of rib pork and daikon instead of working with a smooth surface.