Red Beans and Rice with Sausage – Instant Pot

And the obsession continues……….I still absolutely LOVE my Instant Pot and was surfing Pinterest to find something new to try since my youngest son came to the table for dinner and said “Gosh Mom, how many times a week are we going to have Spaghetti?”  I would normally take offense to such criticism but he was right…..I had made it at least once a week since I got my Instant Pot and although my hubby and I could eat it even more often, it was time to try and find something new.  So, what does every other self-respecting person do?  We turn to Pinterest……..I surfed and read and surfed and read and as the day turned to night (just kidding) I found several recipes and the heavens opened up and the angels sang – or was that the song on the radio?  Well, either way, there were a few things that spoke to me:

  1.  No pre-soaking the beans (which would require forethought on my part)
  2.  Dinner in under an hour and a half -Can I get an Amen???
  3. Cajun flavors – One of my hubby’s favorite cuisines!!

I know some are shaking their heads right now and saying “dinner in under an hour and half??  Is she crazy – that’s a LONG time!”  Yes, but consider this…..Traditional red beans and rice takes ALL day to cook, yes I am crazy, and while this is cooking in the Instant Pot, all I have to do is cook the rice on the stove…..The rest of that time can be spent watching the latest episode of Fixer Upper or better yet, the Food Network.  Sounds like a match made in heaven to me!

You start with the “Holy Trinity”of Cajun cooking and the dried beans with a few spices and that’s it……..Seriously, that’s it.

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If you hear nothing else, hear this……Do NOT put the sausage in the Instant Pot!  One of the recipes that I read, the blogger said the first time she added the sausage at the beginning and the consistency was “hinky” (that is a technical cooking term, I swear).  So, her solution was to cook the beans for 28 minutes, do a quick release, add the meat and re-seal the pot and cook for an additional 15 minutes.  This sounded reasonable to me and I tried it and even when adding the meat later on in the cook cycle, it came out still VERY hinky.  My solution is to use the Instant Pot on the Saute mode before you put the vegetables in and brown the sausage.  Remove it and set aside.  When you add the veggies and water,  stir to mix and scrape the bottom of the pot to get all of the yummy browned bits mixed in with your holy trinity and beans.

This recipe, once I tweeked it, has made my monthly rotation and my family couldn’t be happier…..Especially my hubby!!!!  Food is love and that makes me so happy!!!

Here is a bowl of that Cajun dreamy yummy bowl of goodness…..

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The recipe:

  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 bell pepper diced
  • 3 celery stalks diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 pound dry red kidney beans
  • 1 tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper (optional)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 2 leaves bay
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 pound andouille sausage cut into thin slices (I have also used smoked sausage and it is just as good)
  • 10 cups cooked rice

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients, except for sausage and rice to the Instant Pot.
  2. Place the lid on, lock it, and set to manual high pressure for 40 minutes.
  3. At the end of the 40 minutes use a natural release.
  4. When the Instant Pot is fully depressurized the pin will fall, and you can remove the lid.
  5. Add the sausage, place the lid back on and let it sit for about 10 minutes.  (This will allow the sausage to soak up the flavors and for it to thicken slightly. .
  6. Serve the bean mixture over a cup of cooked rice.

Enjoy!!!!

Be safe out there and be kind to each other!!!!

Janet

 

Note:  This post contains affiliate links 🙂

“Pa-Sketti” (Spaghetti) in the Instant Pot

Do you remember the days when your kids couldn’t pronounce certain words or made up an entirely different name for something??  It’s been a long time for us but these are a few that I will never forget:

Spaghetti – “Pa-Sketti” (hence this post)

Remote Control – “Mocha Matrol”

Pacifier – “Na-Nee”

Grandma and Grandpa – “Meemom and Deedad” (which is Mommy and Daddy backwards, and we still call them that to this day!!!)

This brings me to one of my families and my favorite weeknight quick and super delicious dinners!  “Pa-sketti!!!!”  (ok…ok…Spaghetti in the Instant Pot)

I started with one recipe and through trial and error (I assure you that my family didn’t hate the experiment involved in coming to this AMAZING recipe) I created this.  It is SOOOOO yummy!!!!!!

But first, a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Make sure the seal is closed completely!  During one of my many tries the seal on my Instant Pot  wasn’t completely closed.  It sounded like a small hiss but it was noticeable enough for both my husband and I to hear it.  Once we heard it we made sure that it was then completely closed but when that “trial” was done, the pasta was definitely al-dente…….which is normally good but this was a little too al-dente for our taste.
  • Every Instant Pot is different so try yours with this timing and adjust accordingly! (8 minutes was perfect for us – assuming the seal was completely closed)
  • We like things spicy so in case you don’t then you might want to either omit the red pepper completely or scale it down a bit….totally your call!
  • Sometimes the noodles “clump” together, so to avoid that as much as possible (small clumps are semi-normal) make sure you break the pasta in half before you place it in the Instant Pot in a crisscross pattern instead of just adding them in one big pile.

(Insert loud dramatic music here)  HERE IT IS!!!!

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 tsp of EACH:  salt, garlic powder, onion powder, Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound of spaghetti noodles
  • 1 24 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (I use store bought because I am just that lazy)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 36 oz. of water (1 1/2 jars full)
  • 6 oz. of red wine (optional)

1.) Set the Instant Pot to saute and add the meat.  Add the seasonings to the meat and cook the meat and seasonings, breaking up the meat until it’s brown.

2.) Turn the Instant Pot off and drain any excess grease if necessary.

3.)  Break the spaghetti in half and place on top of the meat.  Pour over the spaghetti sauce, canned diced tomatoes, water and wine.  Using a wooden spoon, push the noodles down to make sure that they are completely covered in liquid.

4.) Seal the Instant Pot (see tip above) completely and set it to manual mode, HIGH pressure, with 8 minutes of cooking time.

5.)  When the time is up, use the manual quick release to open the Instant Pot.  Stir well.  (It might seem a little liquidly at this point but let it sit for a minute or so and it was tighten up)  Serve immediately.

As I said in the beginning, I have made this several times and here are a few things that I have served with it and MOST have been a hit:

  • Garlic bread
  • Cesar salad (store bought, already chopped and includes the croutons and dressing)
  • Green salad – same as above but served with my own vinaigrette
  • Roasted green beans (recipe to follow)
  • Brussel sprouts (recipe to follow – the majority of my family does NOT like Brussel Sprouts but I do and my middle son does too….Give this recipe a try and I bet I can make you a believer!!)

I hope you enjoy!!!

Be safe out there and be kind to each other!!!!!

 

 

 

Instant Pot Risotto – Can it really be restaurant quality?

I watch more Food Network than your average “Betty Crocker” and there is definitely a theme surrounding Risotto and it usually begins with you can’t walk away even for a second and it ends with it’s almost impossible to come up with a creamy and tasteful version unless you have been a chef for YEARS and cooked risotto a THOUSAND times……

No pressure there……

BUT, I don’t usually shy away from a challenge AND it was Valentines Day AND I do believe that food is love AND I do love my man AND my family too, so I decided to try making risotto.  As most of you know, I am the proud new owner of an Instant Pot and I’m not gonna lie…….I didn’t think it was possible to make risotto in a pressure cooker but when you search “Instant Pot Recipes” on Pinterest it is one of the beginner recipes that comes up frequently so why not??

As with every single thing I make, I do my “due diligence” and read several different ways of doing the same thing and more importantly I read the reviews.  (A side note on the types of reviewers)

So, I combined a couple of recipes and this my friends,  is what happened….

It was magic!!!!

After just a short time we had the most delicious Pan Seared Filet Mignon with “to die for”  Bernaise Sauce and the creamiest, dreamiest mushroom, parmesan and pea risotto.

YUM!!!!!!!!

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Here is the combination of a couple of recipes and a little blood, sweat and tears…..

Oh c’mon!  Who am I kidding???  It literally took minutes and my amazing Instant Pot (and a couple other normal kitchen gadgets like oh say a pan and a blender and a few knives) and VOILA!

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter divided
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 16oz Crimini (baby bella) mushrooms sliced
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley

Instructions

  1. Set Instant Pot electric pressure cooker to saute.
  2. Heat olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter
  3. Cook onion and garlic until onion is soft and translucent.
  4. Mix in rice and mushrooms.  Turn instant pot off.
  5. Pour in chicken stock and white wine.  Stir.
  6. Set Instant Pot to manual – 7 minutes
  7. Quick pressure release
  8. Mix in remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, parmesan cheese, peas and dried parsley.  Salt and pepper to taste.

It really is just that easy.  No, really it is!!!!

There are so many variations on the Instant Pot Risotto but I would highly recommend you read some other blogs because there is definitely a science to adding vegetables to risotto because of the high water content.  For now, I am going to stick with this one and who knows…..maybe I will feel adventurous later this week and try vegetable risotto….

Stay tuned for more food, life and laughter!!!!!

Be safe out there and be kind to each other……

DISCLAIMER
There are affiliate links in this blog so if you click on them and make a purchase, then yes, I make a little moo-lah on the side 🙂  Thank you!!!

 

 

Instant Pot – 2, Failure – 0

Instant Pot It happened!!!!  Yes, I got my Instant Pot…..well 2 to be exact but that is a story for a different day.

What I will say is that I ordered one from Amazon Prime (remember Prime=hero!!!) and while we were waiting for it to be delivered we heard through the grapevine that the Kroger in Wylie had them for $40.00 less that what I paid for it on Amazon so away we went…We arrived at Kroger and walked the entire store before we found a promising aisle in the middle of the store in the “kitchen gadgets” section. (I know, duh!) There was a young girl restocking things and we couldn’t find the pots at first so I asked.  She pointed to one on a baron shelf and said it was their last one………C’mon now!!!!!  Do you honestly expect us to believe that this is the last Instant Pot in all of Kroger’s infinite inventory of all that is holy????? Of course it isn’t!!!!  So, as I tucked my head and tried to rub the word “Sucker” off of my forehead, I grabbed the box and ran (not walked) to the checkout line….I had already purchased enough food to feed a small army and couldn’t wait to try this amazing “change your life” aparatus…….

I then got home and already started experiencing remorse…NOT because of the Instant Pot but more worried that I had just spent a small fortune on food and what if I tried to use this device that potentially requires a masters degree to use and I wasted all of that amazing food????  Despite my normal fly by the seat of my pants attitude, I decided to dial it back and start small……..

I used an old, stone age technique called a cast iron pan and made sesame stir fry beef…I decided to use the Instant Pot to make some Jasmati rice and although it takes patience and the reading of directions MULTIPLE TIMES the rice was PERFECT!!!!!  It really was as simple as adding water and rice to the Instant Pot and 4 minutes later we had perfect rice…..

Needless to say I was impressed!!!!!  In fairness I have to say that the rice stuck a little to the bottom of the pot but nothing that couldn’t be remedied with hot water and a quick scrub…..

With everything turning out the way it did,  I was feeling a tad bit more confident now and decided that I will try a lunch recipe, chicken wings……..I don’t eat them often but I am OBSESSED with lemon pepper wings from Wing Stop!!!!!  So, this seemed like a formidable challenge…..The recipe says it only takes 9 minutes to cook wings….of course what some don’t tell you is that you do have to wait for the Instant Pot to “warm up” but that took less than 5 minutes and all I did was pat dry the thawed frozen wings, put salt and pepper on them and put them in the pot with 1/2 cup of broth…..  The Pot said “ready” and we were off to the races…..  Sure as the Cowboys won’t make the playoffs in the very near future (Sorry Cowboys!) in 9minutes we had fall of the bone, fully cooked wings…..I prefer them a little crispier so once I removed them from the Pot, I put them on a baking sheet and turned on the broiler to high.  After 5 or or so minutes, I tossed the wings in the sauce and had the MOST AMAZING wings!!!!!!

I really, really wish I had a picture of the finished product but we ate them so fast that it didn’t even occur to me until 5 minutes after I had licked the plate clean of all of the lemon pepper and butter sauce that I messed up but I  am hard pressed to say that I am sorry because they were just that good!!!!!!

Now….on to the next “task”….I am using the bones, some carrots, celery, onion and herbs and going to put the Instant Pot on “slow cooker” mode and make chicken broth to use on another future adventure……stay tuned!!!!

Be  safe out there and be kind to one another!!!!!!!

DISCLAIMER
There are affiliate links in this blog so if you click on them and make a purchase, then yes, I make a little moo-lah on the side 🙂  Thank you!!!