Instant pot becoming a wonder

Last week, I mentioned that I had recently gotten an Instant pot. There were some mixed feelings, and some anticipation to use that thing right away.

Similar to other kitchen items, this was something that would require some testing, and a few trial recipes before figuring it out.

We have been through quite a few recipes at this point, and I think we have a working relationship now. It’s something that definitely takes a lot of waiting out of the cooking game, which is a huge perk in this household.

There are also things that I have made that definitely just did not make sense to put in the instant pot. Rice for example. Something that really only takes a few minutes to make on the stove, does not need to be put in an instant pot, which will definitely take longer to come to pressure than to cook the regular way.

Long grain rice may be worth it, but as I mentioned, we still have a bit more testing to do.

Chicken and other meats, on the other hand, can be made in a fraction of the time that they can be cooked or baked.

This has been revolutionary for us. Having chicken completely done within about 20 minutes total, but with the results of spending all day in the crockpot. That’s the kind of result I like.

So here is a recipe that was an absolute hit in our house.

Something with good vegetables that may otherwise be difficult to get kids (and some adults) to eat.

Our boys could not scarf this down fast enough, and declared that they loved kale after eating this soup. That’s a parenting win, friends!

Without any more delay, here’s a delicious recipe to try while it’s still a bit chilly outside.

As always, thanks for reading and happy cooking from hbk!

Instant Pot Zuppa Tuscana

INGREDIENTS

3 strips bacon, cooked and chopped

2 lbs ground Italian sausage

1 large onion, chopped

1 tsp oregano, dried

5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced

4-6 medium potatoes, cubed

6 cups chicken broth, low sodium

1 Bunch kale, chopped

1 1/2 C heavy cream, can also be substituted for milk to cut calories (I used 2% milk)

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Turn the Instant Pot to Saute mode, and add the chopped bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon renders out most of its fat. Remove and set aside.

2. Add the sausage and brown it, stirring a few times. If you can get a good browning on it the flavor will be even better!

3. Spoon out all but 2 tsp of the fat (enough to cook the onions).

4. Add the onions, stir them in.

5. Add the oregano.

6. When the onions start to look translucent, add the garlic and stir.

7. Pour in the broth, stirring, and make sure you scrape the bottom of the pot to get up any brown bits (deglaze).

8. Add the potatoes, and add the bacon back in.

9. Check to make sure the contents don’t go over the Max Fill line marked on the inner liner.

10. Cancel Saute mode.

11. Close the lid, set the steam release knob to Sealing.

12. Set to Manual (or Pressure Cook), and choose 5 minutes* (High Pressure). The pot will take several minutes to come to pressure.

13. After cooking cycle ends, allow a 10 minute NPR (Natural Pressure Release).

14. Do a controlled Quick Release for the rest of the steam, and when the pin in the lid drops, open the lid.

15. Add in the kale, (or thawed spinach, if using) and stir well. Cover and let heat through for 5 minutes or so to soften the kale. If using spinach, just stir it in and proceed to the next step.

16. Stir in the heavy cream or milk, and serve!

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.

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