All posts filed under: Weeknight dinner

A pile of pork carnitas on shredded lettuce, piled on a tortilla, on an aqua plate

Instant Pot Carnitas

Instant Pot Carnitas Carnitas are Mexican pork candy. Cubes of pork shoulder, simmered until tender, and then fried in their own rendered pork fat. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, I’ve tried Instant Pot Carnitas many times, but the results were not what I wanted…until now. The problem was, I kept trying to make this a one-pot meal, and fry the pork cubes in the Instant Pot by simmering off the liquid. There were two problems. First, the pork would always burn on the bottom of the pot, no matter how carefully I watched it. Second, pressure cooker pots (like the Instant Pot) are not that wide – at best, I could fit 2 pounds of pork in a single layer on the bottom. That’s not enough to satisfy my hungry crowd of kids. My breakthrough was giving up on the authentic, one-pot approach. Mexican kitchens cook carnitas in wide, shallow pots, so there’s plenty of room to fry the pork. Me? I brought out my frypan, and use vegetable oil or lard …

Red bowl full of green split pea soup on a wooden table

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham

Instant Pot Split Pea Soup with Ham Thanks to a tip from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, I can make Instant Pot split pea soup as thick as any fog.1 That tip? Make sure to quick release the pressure. The pressure release starts a vigorous boil inside the pot, boiling, roughing up the peas and releasing their starch into the soup. My pea soups used to be a little watery; now I can practically stand a spoon in them. (Not really, but you know what I mean.) Pork and peas are a perfect pair, so I add pork in two different ways. A smoked pork hock gives up its flavor to the peas, and cubed ham adds meaty bites to the soup. I also sauté my vegetables – a mix of onion, celery, carrot, and garlic – to add a sweet undertone to the bowl. Don’t skip the sauté step – the soup will be bland without it. What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below. Related Posts Pressure Cooker Senate …

Instant Pot Sloppy Top Round Sandwich in a bun on a white plate with a pickle and potato chips, with a cola in the background

Instant Pot Sloppy Top Round Sandwiches with Certified Angus Beef® Brand

Instant Pot Sloppy Top Round Sandwiches  Photo courtesy of Certified Angus Beef® Brand  Instant Pot Sloppy Top Round Sandwiches. Recipe created for the Certified Angus Beef® Brand. Check them out at hashtag #BestAngusBeef and #SteakLover for more beef recipes, or join them in the Certified Angus Beef Kitchen group on Facebook. Sloppy Joes? Shredded beef? Why not both? My friends at Certified Angus Beef® Brand  commissioned me to write Instant Pot recipes using their fantastic beef, starting with these sloppy top round sandwiches. “Sloppy Tops,” as Chef Gavin Pinto calls them. Their version of the recipe is here: Instant Pot Sloppy Top Sandwiches [CertifiedAngusBeef.com] I also spent the a day at Certified Angus Beef® Brand headquarters (just down the road from me in Wooster, Ohio), doing a professional photo shoot of my recipes. I got to see how photographer Mark Merryweather worked with food stylist Bonnie, Chef Gavin, and Chef Michael Ollier to plate, style, and photograph these fantastic sandwiches. Thanks again for the pictures, and enjoy the recipe, everyone! What do you think? Questions? …

An orange bowl full of cilantro lime rice with a text block on the bottom saying: Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice

Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice

Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice This recipe for Instant Pot Cilantro Lime Rice came from my kids’ love of Chipotle burritos. I knew I could make them at home, but the kids didn’t believe me. And…ahem…they were right. Until I got the rice right, they kept saying “these are good…but can we go to Chipotle now?” Now they ask “can you make burritos for dinner?” (I have to go on a rant here. It kills me that my kids still think of “Chipotle Burritos” when they’re really Mission Street Burritos. I even took them to a burrito joint in San Francisco, on our one trip to the West Coast, to show them where burritos as big as your head came from. They still think of them as Chipotle burritos. Not that there’s anything wrong with Chipotle; it’s the principle of the thing. San Francisco! Mission street! Authentic burritos! It goes right over their heads. I’ll remind them of the San Francisco visit, and they’ll say “Oh yeah, I loved those!”, and then go right back …