Instant Pot

An acquaintance told me about her Instapot recently. It definitely sounded like something I would love to try out. Luck would have it that the husband and I stumbled onto a Macy’s going out of business sale and there was an Instant Pot (not the “Instapot”, another brand). This has to be one of the most amazing inventions ever.

First, you can do all the things. Think one pot meal and this is your best friend. You can saute, slow cook, steam, warm, pressure cook…I mean the thing specifically has a risotto setting! Also, unlike most other kitchen gadgets you find, this one can eliminate other items in your kitchen! I’m going to keep my crockpot, but I COULD get rid of it.

The first thing I made with the Instant Pot was my risotto. I was skeptical, but it came out awesome. The best part was that the risotto normally takes over and hour and I’m stuck standing over a hot boiling dutch oven for most of the time. While the work out to my arms is awesome, it’s also exhausting. In the Instant Pot, I sauteed the shallots, wine, garlic and rice, and then just added my saffron, salt, pepper and vegetable stock. I set the pot in the steam function for 20 minutes. The risotto was awesome!

As weird as it sound, I love the Instant Pot for making pasta. It’s really the equivalent of one pan as far as dishes are concerned, so while it sounds like too much for such a simple dish, it’s worth it. The pasta comes out perfectly done. I’ve done a recipe where you make the sauce first and add the pasta and steam. I’ve also done pesto by cooking the pasta in the pot and adding the pesto after it’s done to the hot pot. In both cases, the pasta was delicious. Check out the recipes!

My next adventure is going to be chicken. I have some chicken thigh thawed and I’ve found several good looking recipes online. I don’t think I’m going to use one of the recipes, but I will use some ideas I got from them. I’m thinking of a garlic, onion and white wine chicken preparation. I’ll try to remember to update you on how it came out!

Oh, I’m totally adding onto this post! My instant pot and I became fast friends. We upped the pasta game by adding mac and cheese to our list of experiments. We cooked the pasta al dente, so a couple less minutes, then used the saute function on the pot to make the cheese sauce. For pasta, just follow the same ratio as rice (1 cup rice to 1 1/2 c liquid) and set the time for half the time stated for the stove top. If you’re going to cook in a sauce last, reduce the cook time by about 2 minutes to allow for the additional cooking in the sauce.

I have a whole separate post on rice, but the instant pot is great for that too! Our go to dishes are stir fried rice and vegetable rice pilaf, as these work great for the vegan and vegetarian eaters. However, I also made dirty rice from scratch. We’ve always eaten the boxed dirty rice mix, but I wanted to try making it myself. I looked up several Louisiana style dirty rice recipes and took what I thought sounded best from each. It was delicious and it’ll be hard to convince me to buy those boxes again. (Vegans and Vegetarians hide your eyes here cuz this next sentence is not for you) Chicken livers are awesome. They have so much flavor! You can find my recipe here.