Friday, November 17, 2017

Instant Pot: Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake

Thank goodness for cheesecake. It's been the dessert that is perfect for special occasions, is versatile to make into a variety of flavors and above all, it's super easy to make into a gluten free indulgence. For Thanksgiving, I've made this Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake. The creamy cheesecake filling is decoratively swirled with a homemade wild cranberry sauce, garnished with whipped cream and a little more cranberries. This is an elegant way to sweeten up any holiday meal!...

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Instant Pot: Vegetable & Herb Dressing

As much as I love rice, I just can't eat it on Thanksgiving day. Instead, I would rather carb load on mashed potatoes and dressing. In fact, dressing (or stuffing) is one dish I want to make throughout the year but I just can't seem to do it. Maybe this coming year I'll make it as a side with roast chicken or turkey... since it doesn't have to be enjoyed only on Thanksgiving, right?! This dressing is chock full of vegetables and fresh herbs... it's really flavorful and so, so easy to make. Forget those boxed mixes. You probably have all the ingredients in your pantry to make it from scratch!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Instant Pot: Cranberry Orange Sauce

What cranberry sauce camp do you fall in... the jellied, canned version or the homemade style with a chunky consistency? My husband and I have chosen to agree to disagree because we are in very different sides of this topic lol. He loves the jellied version while I love the homemade team. That said, I lovingly purchased this beloved canned cranberry sauce while I also serve up my chunky sauce on the table for Thanksgiving dinner. This year is no exception and I'm making my sauce in the IP. The sauce is pretty simple with only 4 ingredients and takes 5 minutes to pressure cook...

Cranberry Orange Sauce

1 cup orange juice
1 cup white sugar
2 packages (12 oz) cranberries
1/2 teaspoon orange zest


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Add orange juice, sugar and cranberries; stir to dissolve sugar.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 5 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 5 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the display reflects L00:05 (which is 5 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.


Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Stir in zest and transfer to serving dish. It will thicken as it cools.




Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Instant Pot: Champ {Scallion Mashed Potatoes}

I'm a big fan of ethnic cuisines and since my husband has some Irish roots, I figured I'd cater to some dishes highlighting his background. One well known dish is Irish Champ {Scallion Mashed Potatoes} where comforting mashed potatoes uses scallion infused cream and butter to impart more delicious flavor. This was such a nice change from the usual mashed potatoes with a nod to the Irish...

I've found myself making more potato side dishes lately and my default potato side dish is mashed potatoes. But thanks to my husband, he's given me some inspiration to make some variations to traditional recipes. It sounds so easy and it is... scallions add a subtle onion flavor and some specks of color to what normally can be bland and colorless. If you have any green onions to spare, give this a try for a different spin on mashed potatoes for the upcoming holidays!

Champ {Scallion Mashed Potatoes}
recipe rom One Last Bite

Ingredients
  • 4-6 peeled baking potatoes (Russet or Yukon Gold)
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large bunch (4-oz.) scallions (use the bulb and green stem)
  • 1-1/2 cups milk or light cream or half-and-half
  • 4 to 8 tablespoons butter
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Place trivet in IP with 1 cup of water.

Peel and cut up potatoes in bite sized pieces. Place in steamer basket or colander that fits inside IP.


Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 8 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 8 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 8 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 2 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Meanwhile, finely chop scallions and place in a medium saucepan. Cover scallions with cold milk, cream or half & half; and bring slowly to a boil. Simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes, then turn off heat and leave to infuse.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).


Press KEEP WARM/OFF on the IP.

Remove the potatoes from the IP along with trivet. Drain water from insert and return to IP. Transfer potatoes back to the IP.

Pour the scallion infused milk mixture over the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher to your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve with additional butter if desired.


Monday, November 13, 2017

Instant Pot: Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

How often do you make soup? I've found myself making soup more often due to the cold temps where we are. It's a great way to sneak in more vegetables into our diet. Usually when I have family and friends over for dinner, I'll have salad as a first course. But with the cold weather, soup seemed more appropriate. Now I feel like I've overlooked how great soup is as a starter, if not a meal in itself. The most recent soup I made was this Butternut Squash & Apple Soup. Who knew making this was as simple as combining butternut squash puree, apple slices, chicken broth and some aromatics, then giving it all a good whiz with an immersion blender?...

The weather warrants a steaming bowl of this delicious warmth. This was a perfectly balanced soup with both the sweet and savory notes throughout. You could blend the soup as smooth as you'd like but I left some small bits of apple for additional texture. The original recipe called for blending the soup with the creme fraiche but I opted to dollop each serving with some so that folks could swirl it in as they ate. It also offered a nice color contrast and presentation to have the creme fraiche unblended. If you have difficult finding creme fraiche in your area, no worries - substitute it with some sour cream or even Greek yogurt.


Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
recipe adapted from Williams Sonoma


Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound diced butternut squash
  • Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored & thinly sliced
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 small bay leaves
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche
  • fresh chives for garnish


In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place

Press SAUTE and melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until soft but not browned.

Add the butternut squash, apple, broth, bay leaves and salt and stir to combine. 


Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 20 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 20 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 20 minutes, turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).

Remove the bay leaves and discard. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup directly in the IP until smooth.

Ladle the soup into warmed bowls and garnish with a dollop of creme fraiche and fresh chives.


Friday, November 10, 2017

Instant Pot: Loaded Bacon Deviled Eggs


Eggs are a major pantry staple in our house. We love our eggs and one of our favorite snacks are deviled eggs. To put a tasty spin, I made these Loaded Bacon Deviled Eggs as an appetizer for recent party we hosted. Full of crispy bacon, Parmesan cheese and a bit of green onion for a pop of color, these little bites of goodness won't take long to be devoured...

With the holidays coming up, these make a great easy and quick appetizer. Another bonus about this recipe is that there is very little moisture added to the filling. Nothing is worse than a runny or soupy deviled egg filling. The filling in this recipe is nice and firm, holds its shape and has good texture from the bacon, cheese and green onions mixed in. Next time, I'll need to make at least double this because I couldn't keep them on the serving platter long enough! When it comes to pressure cooking eggs, a tip I have is to think of Chuck Woolery and the old tv game show, Love Connection.... these eggs will be ready in 2/2... 2 mins LOW pressure cooking, 2 mins NPR! Perfect every time...

Loaded Bacon Deviled Eggs
recipe adapted from Food

1 dozen eggs
3 slices crisp cooked bacon, crumbled
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1-2 stalks green onion, thinly sliced on bias
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
2-3 tablespoons real mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Place trivet inside of IP with 1 cup of water.


Place eggs on trivet or if available, place eggs in a mesh colander set on top of the trivet.

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 2 minutes on LOW pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 2 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.


When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 2 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 2 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).


Remove eggs from IP and set in a cold water bath or run under cold water to handle; peel the eggs.

Cut eggs in halves lengthwise and remove yolks, placing yolks in a medium bowl.

To the yolks, add the bacon, parmesan cheese, green onion, mustard, mayonnaise, salt & pepper and stir to combine. Transfer filling mixture to a piping bag for easy filling or simply use a teaspoon.

Carefully fill the hollowed out egg whites with the yolk mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours to meld flavors.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

Instant Pot: Sausage & Mushroom Cannelloni

Fall weather means comfort food. One kind of comfort food is pasta, especially rich pasta dishes. I've always been a fan of stuffed pastas like cannelloni. If anything, think of cannelloni as the Italian version of the Mexican enchilada. Pasta sheets are filled, rolled and baked, similar to enchiladas. I recently made this Sausage & Mushroom Cannelloni and it definitely warmed us up and hit the spot...

As I mentioned, cannelloni is quite similar to enchiladas. For this recipe, rather than buying those hard, dried cannelloni pasta shells (which are difficult to fill), I used flat, no-cook lasagna noodles. The noodles are soaked in hot water until pliable, then filled and rolled. As for the filling, this recipe combined crumbled Italian sausage and mushrooms with a creamy 3 cheese mixture. Once you've filled your casserole dish with cannelloni, everything is topped with more sauce and cheese. It's all pressured cooked to a bubbly finish and garnished with more cheese and fresh parsley. If you wanted more color, the dish can be broiled just before serving.

Sausage & Mushroom Cannelloni
recipe adapted from Epicurious

1 package of fresh lasagna sheets (found in the refrigerated section at the store)
3 1/2 cups of your favorite marinara or meat sauce (homemade or store bought)
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings
1 cup sliced white button mushrooms
1/4 cup white wine or dry vermouth

Filling:
8-ounce container whole-milk ricotta
1/2 cup 1/4" cubes of Asiago or sharp Provolone
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp chopped Italian parsley



In your Instant Pot:

Plug in the IP with insert set in place.

Press SAUTE and add oil to IP.  Add the garlic, onion, and mushrooms and sauté until onions and mushrooms begin to turn color. 

Add the sausage and crumble into the IP. Continue to cook until sausage is browned. 

Add the wine or vermouth and turn up the heat, stirring often until all the wine is absorbed and onions are golden. Transfer sausage mixture to a bowl and allow to cool.

Press KEEP WARM/OFF and place the IP trivet in the now empty IP pot and add 1 1/2 cups of water.

In a large bowl. combine the ricotta, cubed cheese, 2 tbsp Parmesan, parsley and pepper. Add the sausage and mushroom mixture to cheese mixture, tossing to combine. Note: The cheese filling can be made a day ahead and kept refrigerated. 

Lightly grease a 7" or 6" springform pan with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup of pasta sauce on the bottom of the springform pan.


Spread about 2 ounces (scant 1/3 cup) of the filling on lower two-thirds of each lasagna sheet and roll up from the short side. Lay in the springform pan seam side down in a single layer. I was able to get roughly 6 rolls in a single layer. Repeat and form another layer of cannelloni over on top of the original layer in the springform pan.

Pour the remaining pasta sauce over the rolls in the springform pan and sprinkle top with remaining 3/4 cup grated cheese. Cover with plastic wrap and top with foil. Carefully place springform pan on the trivet set in the IP. 

Secure the lid of the IP and ensure the valve is set to SEALING.

Press MANUAL and adjust the time to 20 minutes on HIGH pressure.

The display will reflect ON while the IP comes to pressure. Allow a few minutes for your IP to come to pressure.

Once at pressure, the display will reflect 20 (the number of minutes you initially set) and will begin to countdown to 0 minutes.

When the IP beeps after pressure cooking for 20 minutes, allow your IP to naturally release pressure for 20 minutes. While naturally releasing pressure (also known as NPR or NR), the display will reflect numbers counting up from 1. The numbers indicate how many minutes the IP has stopped cooking since it beeped (or how many minutes it has been naturally releasing pressure).  No need to touch your IP while it naturally releases pressure. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.

When the display reflects L00:20 (which is 20 minutes since the IP has beeped), turn the setting on top of your IP to VENTING. Doing so allows the IP to quickly release any remaining pressure (also known as QPR or QR). I use a wooden spoon to carefully turn the setting to avoid close contact with the potential steam. You may also want to turn your IP away from cabinets to allow the released steam to escape freely. The pin at the top of your IP will drop when all pressure has been released and it's safe to open.


Preheat your broiler as you wait for the pin to drop and all pressure is released from the IP.

Open up your IP when the pin has dropped (allow a few minutes for this to happen).


Meanwhile, preheat broiler.

Remove springform pan from IP and uncover.

Place springform pan on baking sheet and broil in preheated oven until browned to your preference, 

Let stand 10 minutes before cutting/serving.