How my new pressure cooker is blowing my mind

Mealtime just got a makeover around here. Dinner doldrums and ruts be gone . . . there’s a new pressure cooker in town.

Ok, maybe I’m being a little over-dramatic, but there is a reason that the Instant Pot has become all the rage. Open Pinterest and there are countless recipes to whet your appetite; look it up on Amazon and your mind will spin at all the different options.

I’m not a food photographer — nor am I a food writer or critic — but I am a mom who, after over 20 years, was in desperate need of a good shovel to dig me out of the dinner rut. Enter the Instant Pot.

The second it arrived, Husband said “Oh, it’s just a pressure cooker! My mom had a pressure cooker — one of those that sat on the stove.” I never cooked with a pressure cooker before because they terrify me.

One wrong move and . . . KAPOW!

The Instant Pot is different, I learned. There seem to be safety measures in place for trying to pull off the cover too soon. It’s easy to operate — electric so it plugs into the wall and has a timer for everything. The pressure valve twists easily — and the inner pot (where you do all your cooking) is removable and cleans up in a flash. But that’s not the best part.

It’s so FAST and everything comes out tasting like it’s been on the stove simmering — or in the oven braising — for hours. (You braise things in the oven, right? I’m not too sure about that, but it sounded good.)

Baked sweet potatoes? Five minutes. Stroganoff? 7 minutes. Lamb stew? 20 minutes. Bone broth? Just about an hour (if memory serves, but of course, that’s going).  That’s been my whole repertoire — until last night.

Last night, I made butter chicken. Butter chicken is one of my favorite Indian dishes and, other than making a little curry from time to time, I have shied away from tackling Indian food.  Why, when the restaurants downtown are SO GOOD?

But yesterday I also started a month of Whole30 eating.  Pinterest came to the rescue and this recipe didn’t seem too taxing. The long pole was the cutting up of the chicken — but you could cut all that out and just put in the whole pieces.  Since I always opt for following the recipe closely the first time, I spent about 20 minutes chopping. Then another few minutes to saute the onions — right in the pot.

After that? 8 minutes of Instant Pot wonder.

While the Instant Pot was working its magic, I doctored up a bag of cauliflower rice. I first sauteed some almond meal — my go-to mock breadcrumbs — in some coconut oil. Then, using the same cast iron pan, I threw in the cauli rice. Sauteed that with some garlic and cilantro flakes — and a little bit of salt — and then threw in my almond crumbs.

When I finally removed the top of the Instant Pot, the house smelled like a delicious Indian restaurant.  Paprika, tumeric, garlic, and garam masala filled the air. I had to taste — and when I did, I was stunned at how tender the chicken was. If there had been bones, it would have fallen off the bone.

Husband’s eyes lit up when he took a bite. When we were cleaning up, he announced happily that we have enough for dinner tonight.

As for me . . . I’m in heaven. I went back to work yesterday and I love to cook — but I hate the tedium of doing it every night. My new Instant Pot has brought dinners back to life around here. What better way to start in January?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. My sister has been extolling the virtues of instapot….might have to tr6 it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. barbganias says:

      I’m glad I did!

      Liked by 1 person

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