Instant Pot Wisdom, Five Years Later | Lifestyle News, India Express

2021-11-24 05:46:03 By : Ms. Millie Zhuang

When I wrote about Instant Pots for the first time in 2017, it was with enthusiasm for a new relationship. I was very disappointed with my first electric pressure cooker and happy with the countless ways it can improve my kitchen life. All those dry beans and silky braised pork, instant brown rice, continuous soup and homemade stock on weekdays have fundamentally changed my way of cooking.

The question is, will this habit persist? Or will my Instant Pot end up like many Panini presses and sous-vide wands-on a shelf in the basement, dusty?

I am happy to report that for the past five years, it is still an integrated and well-used kitchen tool. After eating hundreds of meals, I learned some very valuable lessons, whether it was removing odors from the seal ring or solving terrible burn information.

The following are my best practices and tips for making the most of the Instant Pot:

The most important thing I learned is to stick to what Instant Pot is good at. Any dish that traditionally needs to be cooked slowly for a long time in a humid environment will become softer and juicy faster in an electric pressure cooker.

The hard pieces of meat became extremely soft and silky. Pork shoulder — stewed with wine, herbs, root vegetables and olives or capers to brighten up — becomes a staple food as soon as the weather turns cooler. I especially like to make chickpeas from scratch in the Instant Pot, which tastes a million times better than canned food. I have never made risotto or rice pudding on the stove since I took the Instant Pot out of the box. Why mess up to perfection?

This will definitely happen at some point: you have filled the Instant Pot, set the pressure to high, and then opened the lid and found that the dinner was only half-cooked. What went wrong?

The seal ring may be slightly skewed. Before cooking, make sure that the ring is always pressed around the inner lid of the pot. Then after the machine starts counting down, check whether the pressure indicator on the top is firmly in the locked position (I poke it with chopsticks).

Your electric pressure cooker cannot tell the difference between the delicious caramel lump that sticks to the pan after you brown the ingredients (sometimes called the liking), and the food that is smoldering to crispy. This is a common cause of burning messages.

If you use the stir-fry function to burn the ingredients, add some liquid to the pot, simmer on a simmer, and then thoroughly scrape off all the brown parts before closing the lid.

It is also important to use enough liquid, at least half a cup, even if the recipe does not guide you. Older Instant Pot recipes, including my own, may have been tested on earlier models of the device, which have a less sensitive combustion sensor. These recipes may not require as much liquid, because older models do not.

If a burning message appears during cooking, don't panic. Simply release the pressure, open the pot, stir everything up, and scrape off anything sticking to the bottom. If the pot looks dry, add a few tablespoons of water or other liquid. Then reseal the pot and continue cooking.

Cooking dry beans from scratch on any given workday night is a victory for electric pressure cookers. For the best flavor, add salt at the beginning. Boil the beans in salted water to help the seasoning evenly.

The colder the ingredients are in the pot, the longer it will take to reach the pressure. (For example, you are using a block of frozen broth poured from a quart container, my prop.) Defrosting the liquid in the microwave can speed it up. Or, if you are adding water and have an electric kettle, you can heat the water while preparing other ingredients.

The easiest way I found is to make a paste with baking soda and white vinegar to get rid of the lingering, slightly sulfury smell that sticks to the sealing ring. Spread it over the entire ring and let it sit in the sink for about an hour (for very difficult situations, or overnight). Then throw the whole thing in the dishwasher. I made this with all my other dishes and everything sparkled.

-Recipe: Instant Pork Stew with Red Wine Olive

Pork shoulder is one of the most glorious things to cook with an electric pressure cooker. The meat becomes soft and full of rich juice. Here, red wine, tomatoes, rosemary and sage add aroma to the pork, while the olives that are stirred at the end give the pork its luster. This stew is best cooked a day or two in advance to allow time for the flavors to blend. Making it in advance also gives the fat a chance to solidify, so it is easy to remove before reheating. Then, if you want, you can use the stir-fry setting to reheat the stew in the electric pressure cooker. Eat it with polenta or rice, or with high-quality bread to absorb the gravy.

2 pounds pork shoulder or stewed pork, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (diamond crystal), add more as needed

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, add more as needed

6 cloves garlic, grated, passed through a squeezer or pressed into a paste

A pinch of red pepper flakes

1 (15 ounce) canned peeled plum tomatoes

2 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 inch thick (about 1 cup)

1/2 cup pitted and torn green olives, such as Castelvetrano

Chopped parsley or basil, for serving

1. Season the pork with salt and pepper. In a large bowl, combine pork, garlic, rosemary, sage and red pepper flakes.

2. In a small dry pot, roast the coriander seeds until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a mortar and pestle and coarsely crush (or perform this operation on a cutting board with a heavy knife on the side). Add the crushed seeds to the pork and stir well. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

3. Turn the pressure cooker to medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and let it heat up for a few seconds, then add enough pork pieces to fit comfortably in one layer, leaving a little space around each piece. Let each side brown for 2 to 3 minutes, then transfer the cube to a plate. If the pan looks dry, add a little more oil and continue to brown the remaining pork.

4. Add the wine to the pot and cook, scrape off the brown part from the bottom until it is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Using kitchen scissors or your hands, cut the tomatoes into pieces and add them to the pot along with the liquid. Put the pork back in the pot, add the carrots and 1/2 cup of water and stir.

5. Seal the pot and cook under high pressure for 45 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally.

6. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to the plate. Use a fat separator to separate the fat from the juice, or just use a spoon to scoop out the fat from the top. (There may be a lot of fat.) If the sauce looks runny, use the stir-fry function to simmer it until it thickens. Stir in the olives, then taste the sauce, and add some salt if you like.

7. Pour the sauce on the pork, then sprinkle with chopped parsley or basil before serving.

Recipe: Instant Tomato Braised Chickpea Tahini Sauce

Seasoned with cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric, and topped with cream and garlic tahini, these tomato stewed chickpeas are a complex and satisfying meatless meal, especially when served with warm bread dipping sauce. If you start with soaked and drained chickpeas, reduce the water to about 1 1/2 cups—just enough to cover them—and cook under high pressure for 13 minutes instead of 35 minutes.

1 large red onion, thinly sliced

2 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, add more as needed

4 cloves garlic, grated, passed through a squeezer or chopped

1 (15 ounce) canned peeled tomatoes or diced tomatoes

1 (2 inch) cinnamon stick, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 pound dried chickpeas (about 2 cups)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, mint or parsley, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, plus more flavor

1 clove garlic, finely chopped, passed through a squeezer or pressed into a paste

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more flavor

1. Use the medium cooking function to heat the oil in the pressure cooker. Add the chopped onions and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring often, until the onions are light golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

2. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute. Using kitchen scissors or your hands, cut the tomatoes into pieces and add them to the pot along with the liquid. (If using diced tomatoes, just add them to the pot.) Add cinnamon sticks and bay leaves, scrape off any browned parts from the bottom of the pot, and simmer until the sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add chickpeas, cumin, turmeric, the remaining 2 teaspoons of salt and 4 cups of water. (The water should cover the chickpeas by about an inch; if not, add a little more water.) Cover and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for at least 20 minutes. Release any remaining pressure.

4. While the chickpeas are boiling, make tahini: Put lemon juice, garlic and salt in a mixing bowl. Stir in the tahini, then in the oil, a few drops at a time, until emulsified. Add enough ice water and stir to make a thin, pourable sauce. If needed, taste and add more lemon juice.

5. Stir the chopped coriander into the braised chickpeas and taste. Add more salt if you want. When serving, decorate a bowl with plenty of tahini and more coriander.

Recipe: Instant Rice Pudding

Rice pudding cooked in an electric pressure cooker is quick and easy-you can make something like this in minutes between other kitchen tasks. This version requires short grain rice, which becomes plump and pleasingly sticky when cooked in a combination of milk and heavy cream. Adding vanilla beans will give off a strong aroma, but if you don’t have one, just stir 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract and egg yolks into the pudding. Or skip the vanilla and add a teaspoon of whole cardamom pods to the pot to complete the spicy flavor of cinnamon. Whipped cream may be a bit overkill for such a rich pudding, but the premise is the best way.

Total time: 30 minutes, plus cooling

3/4 cup arborio or other short grain rice

1 (4-inch) strip of orange or lemon zest, peeled with a vegetable peeler (optional)

1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, scrape off the seeds with the tip of a peeling knife, or 1 tbsp vanilla extract

A pinch of fine sea salt

Cinnamon powder or cardamom powder, edible (optional)

Whipped cream, to serve (optional)

1. In a pressure cooker, stir together rice, milk, sugar, cinnamon sticks, orange peel (if using), vanilla beans and seeds, and salt.

2. Close the lid and cook under high pressure for 10 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.

3. Open the lid and discard the cinnamon sticks, orange peel and vanilla beans.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and egg yolk. Add to the rice and continue stirring until it thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. (It still looks sour at this time.) The residual heat of the rice will boil the egg yolk, and cooling will thicken the pudding. Stir in the raisins, if using.

5. Scoop the pudding into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. If you want, you can sprinkle a little cinnamon or cardamom powder with whipped cream.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

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