All posts filed under: Weeknight dinner

A yellow bowl of alubia blanca beans with chorizo and a red sauce, with olive oil and smoked Spanish paprika in the background.

Instant Pot Spanish Farm Beans (Alubia Blanca De La Granja)

I read it for the pictures.1 Joanie Simon, YouTube food photographer extraordinaire, recommended Art Culinaire Magazine for photo inspiration. And, boy, is she right – the pictures are art-film worthy, and the professional chef recipes are way beyond what I cook at home.2 But that doesn’t mean they can’t spark ideas. I noticed Rancho Gordo Alubia Blanca beans mentioned in in a high-end Judiones de la Granja recipe from MiniBar in Washington, DC. This quick mention led me down the path to this recipe – Instant Pot Spanish Farm Beans. De la granja means “of the farm” – this recipe is the Spanish farmhouse version of pork and beans. The pork is dried Spanish chorizo; the beans are small white beans – try to get Alubia Blanca beans from Rancho Gordo if you can, but Navy beans make a good substitute. Add onions, lots of garlic, and a heaping helping of Pimenton de la Vera, Spanish smoked paprika. (Spanish smoked paprika is one of my favorite spices.) To soak or not to soak, that is …

Short ribs with coconut curry sauce in a teal bowl with rice, and bowls of cilantro, shallots, limes, and curry paste in the background

Instant Pot Short Ribs with Coconut Milk and Thai Curry

Instant Pot Short Ribs with Coconut Milk and Thai Curry. Pressure cooked ribs, braised in coconut milk, with the Thai flavor combination of hot, sour, salty and sweet. I read Bon Appetit’s Short Ribs Slow-Roasted in Coconut Milk recipe, and I had to do my own take on the recipe. This is a cross-Pacific riff on Thai curry. I borrow the four flavors of Thai food: hot (curry) sour (lime) salty (soy sauce) and sweet (coconut milk). These ribs come out fall-apart tender, and swimming in a flavorful curry sauce. It is not particularly authentic, but it is delicious, and can be stocked from the International aisle of most grocery stores. It’s also a simple enough recipe to make on a weeknight. The only pre-pressure cooking is a quick sauté of the shallot, garlic, and ginger. After that, it’s dump and stir, and the result is well worth the (minimal) effort. Serve it with some simple white rice, or make a batch of coconut rice (to match the coconut ribs) if you’re feeling fancy. Recipe: …

An orange bowl of turkey and bean chili, sprinkled with cheese and green onions, with a bowl of cheese and green onions in the background

Instant Pot Quick Turkey Chili with Canned Beans

It’s chili time! The super bowl means chili for a crowd. For my family’s Super Bowl party, I make two chilis; a real-deal Texas Red chili, and a wimpy chili. (What can I say – I’m from Ohio. Around here, “chili” means ground meat and beans.) Not that I’m against Wimpy Chili – I grew up on it, and I’m a big fan. This is the quickest way I can make it: Instant Pot Quick Turkey Chili with Canned Beans. I have a standard chili technique, so this recipe will look familiar to long-time readers. The mix of spices is the key – I like the hint of Mexican Mole that coriander, cinnamon and cocoa powder bring to the turkey chili. Now, I say “canned beans” here, but I know you have an Instant Pot. (If not, I’m impressed you’re still reading!) To take this recipe from great to fantastic, pressure cook your own beans. Homemade beans are easy with an Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker), and so much better than canned. Check out …

Instant Pot Marcella Hazan Tomato Sauce

Marcella Hazan’s three-ingredient tomato sauce is famous, and rightfully so. Butter, onion, and canned whole tomatoes make a simple, yet fantastic sauce. Let’s try it in a pressure cooker with Instant Pot Marcella Hazan Tomato Sauce. The only tricky part of this recipe was getting the timing down. 30 minutes under pressure is the Goldilocks zone: a balance of breaking down the tomatoes into a sauce without overcooking and losing the bright, tomato flavor. Marcella recommends Italian San Marzano DOP tomatoes, which are fantastic…and expensive. I get good results with American brands of canned plum tomatoes, which are less than half the price of San Marzano tomatoes. (I usually go with American canned tomatoes.) The big difference between Italian and American canned tomatoes was the amount of salt in the can. Italian tomatoes don’t have salt; they need some, or the sauce comes out tasting a little flat. Looking for a simple tomato sauce that replaces hours of simmering with 30 minutes of pressure? Try this one out. Thanks, Marcella! What do you think? Questions? …

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

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 instead of the …

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

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 Bean SoupPressure Cooker Bean Mix SoupPressure Cooker …