Tuesday, March 27, 2018


What inspires you to make the food you make?  To try new recipes?  For the last year and a half, I've been more intentional about eating healthy (and, if I'm being honest, eating less).  It hasn't been the most inspiring since I don't bake as often or make many indulgent recipes.

But, for my birthday, my mom bought me an Instant Pot.  I've decided that sometimes having a new "toy" or a new method to experiment with is inspiring.  Last year, I got a spiralizer and I use it probably weekly.  I may not have bought myself an instant pot since I'm generally a late adopter but having a shiny new one as a gift got me cooking!  My sister gave me some invaluable tips and I got some recipes from a tennis friend and some cookbooks I found at the library.  I'm not yet ready to modify my existing recipes to work in a pressure cooker, but I've been using it a ton and really enjoying the Instant Pot experience.

One of the misconceptions about the instant pot is that it's, well, instant.  It's not.  There are things that cook much quicker than normal like the short rib recipe below but depending on the recipe, you also have to take in account the amount of time it takes to come up to pressure (about 10 minutes) and to release pressure (could be instant, could be 30 minutes or more).  So far, this recipe has been one of my favorites!  I served it with steamed white rice and some green veggies.

Five Spice Short Ribs  (serves 6)
from The Instant Pot Cookbook

6 boneless beef shortribs, trimmed
2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
kosher salt
2 T canola oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 T rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup beef broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar (or raw sugar)

Preheat oven to broil.  Coat both sides of the shortribs with the five-spice powder and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Line a sheet pan with foil and place the short ribs on top.  Place under the broiler for 3 minutes each side. 

Preheat the Instant Pot by selecting "Saute."  Add the oil.  Saute the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes, or until starting to brown.  Add the vinegar and cook for 1 minute.  Select "Cancel" and add the broth, soy sauce, and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Add the ribs and secure the lid.

Select "Manual" and cook at high pressure for 35 minutes.  Once the cooking is complete, use a natural release.  This took about 20 minutes. 

Remove the ribs and place them back on the same foil & baking sheet.  Brush with he cooking liquid and broil again for 3 minutes per side to form a crust.

Meanwhile, select "Saute" on high heat and reduce the sauce by half.  After broiling, brush the ribs with the sauce again and serve with the extra sauce on the side.


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