Italian Food

Cloudy and rainy day in a pot

It starts getting cooler here today, it is cloudy, a little rain here and there. Looks gloomy outside, the color just reminding me of a bowl of mushroom risotto. So I decided to make them. My boys are still sleeping, but worry not, instant pot will keep it warm for them.

If you are too scared to use your instant pot, you are surely missing the fun! Who like risotto but too scared to make it yourself? Yes those smooth creamy yummy rice that even on food network, some of those chefs failed to make? Not anymore, not with the instant pot help. 

I wish you are here to smell and taste it. I just love stirring them and feel how smooth and creamy and smelling those subtle thyme, the asiago cheese and the white wine, mannnnn!!!! It is heaven in a bowl…or pot. And it takes 9 minutes cooking while you do other stuffs, like catching up with your series or just back to work..nah. 

All I did was, of course get all ingredients ready, remember chef Anne said mise en place is important 🤣🤣🤣.

Washed and sliced 1 packed of my baby bella mushroom, discard the stem.

Diced  1 yellow onion 

Finely chopped 5 cloves garlic

A stick of butter, now that makes me Paula Deen won’t it?

2 1/2 cups arborio rice

4 to 5 cups chicken broth, cartoon or homemade. I did homemade, which made in instant pot also.

1 cup white wine, drink the rest.

2 – 3  teaspoons dried thyme 

1 cup frozen peas

60 grams asiago cheese, grated

Salt

Pepper

Sautee the onion, mushroom, garlic with 1/2 stick of butter until onion translucent, add thyme, salt and pepper, then add 1/4 white wine to deglaze the pan.

Add arborio rice, stir until mix well with the mushroom and onion. Add the remaining of white wine, stir and add the 4 cups of broth. Turn of the pot,  closed the lid, and sealed the vent, press manual 9 minutes and walk away.

You can watch your movie or grate your cheese while waiting.
When it beeped, turn the pot off,release the pressure little by little so it won’t squirt,  remember starch and dairy  do that when pressure being release.

When all pressure down, open the lid, add 1 more cup of broth and the peas and asiago cheese. Stir and serve or leave them in the pot closed, it will keep them warm for hours.

See what I am talking about?

Oohh soooo good!

Instant love

Yes it was instant. I fell in love with my Instant Pot ever since we met. We have made a lot of wonderful meal together. So tasty and fast that we have so much time to get to know each other better, every second we spend together.

One of our favorite thing to make, besides millions on them, is spaghetti. The fact that it only takes 8 minutes cooking under pressure and for this wonderful plate of spaghetti, what can I say…just wonderful.

Some people complain that it was actually cook longer than 8 minutes. True! 8 minutes when it start cooking. Does not include the time doing the mis an place a.k.a. prepping the ingredients ready for cooking.

What do we need?

2 lbs ground beef that we open the package and dump in the pot.

Then chopped 1 small yellow onion and 5 cloves garlic and dump these 2 in the pot along with the beef.

Then peeled and diced 5 carrots, mine was skinny so I used 5. You can do 2 big ones.

Pour 2 tablespoons olive oil to the pot.

Other thing we need are, 3 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 big can of tomato puree, 1 cup red wine, I am using merlot. 1 cup of water to 2 cups if you want more sauce.  

And of course the spaghetti, 1 box. Not gonna be spaghetti without it. We will be just making bolognese won’t we.

The seasoning are 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 1 teaspoon white sugar.

See all in the pot, meat, onion, garlic and olive oil. Press sautee and cook until beef are cooked and the onion softened. Then add the diced carrots.

Stir the pot. Wow that does not sound nice lol. Add the tomato paste, seasoning and give it a stir to combine the whole thing.

See they are mingled at the party in the pot. Now it is safe to have the tomato puree entering the party.

Once the tomato puree and water dropped into the pot, turn the Instant pot off, add the spaghetti in and kind of push them down so they are covered with the sauce. 

Closed the lid, sealed the vent, press manual and adjust the time to 8 minutes. When it beeped, your food is done. QR, release the pressure by opening the vent. Give them a stir again and serve.

One pot got dirty, one chopping board, the house stays cool, I have time to catch up with tv series while spaghetti and the sauce cooking at the same time, my boys happy… why not making spaghetti in the Instant Pot??? why? why not?

Another parmesan mushroom risotto?

Why not. It was gloomy outside. I was gonna go to the store to get ribs but the crazy thunder and rains stopped me from going.

I know I bought a big pack of baby Bella mushroom and need to use that before it goes bad. And have leftover Arborio rice in the pantry. A little leftover white wine, I think it’s enough for making this. So 5 pm I started chopping my onion, half small onion, and 3 cloves of garlic. Sauteed in instant pot with a little olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter just until the onion translucent. Then added the mushroom, which I wash and dried, and 2 cups Arborio rice. Mix them until all mushroom kinda coated with the rice. Turn off the Instant pot. Add 1 cup white wine. I was right.  It was just enough for this risotto, emptied.  And 4 cups of chicken broth. Closed the lid and vent sealed. Then back to the couch and hang out with this lil stinker after I pressed manual 7 minutes.

I have been hanging out with him is at since 7:30. We played, we snuggled, and watched tv. And made breakfast for us, hard boiled egg in the you know…Instant Pot. I had mine with strawberries and sausage links while he had his eggs and strawberries. 

For lunch today I made ham and cheese french toast. Got the Italian bread at Wal-Mart for $0.68. Sliced them thick and filled with ham and white cheddar cheese. Then dipped them in a mixture of eggs, cream, salt, pepper, sugar and pan fry with butter. It was filling, my son said after his 1 sandwich and 4 strawberries.

Oh it is beeping…time to add my butter 2 tablespoons and seasoning (salt, pepper and thyme, dry parsley) and parmesan cheese a whole 6 oz pack. Stir and served.  Sprinkle more cheese and parsley.

Never thought I will be making risotto ever. Thanks to Instant Pot, definitely make cooking is a breeze.

Parmesan mushroom risotto in Instant Pot + shrimp 

Risotto, that dish somehow scares me. Not that I don’t like it, but it is a dish that always been broadcast and finicky, hard to make, hard to get the right consistency. And that was on food network, every time I watch someone making them, the chefs always make that comment and critics. So when I heard people make risotto in Instant Pot, I wasn’t jump into it right away.  7 minutes, really? in instant pot? I personally doubted that. My friend been telling me how good it is when she made it. And I wasn’t convinced still. I have bought the Arborio rice, sitting in my pantry, staring at me every time I open the pantry. I bought the ingredients and ended up using it to make something else, over and over again. 

One day, I bought a big jumbo shrimp at a very good price and was delivered to my house, 10 lbs of them. And I have baby Bella mushroom in the fridge. So I thought heck..why not trying it. So there I went to the kitchen,  open the pantry and face my nemesis, the Arborio rice.

In the pot, 3 tablespoon butter and 2 tablespoon olive oil, 1 shallots and 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped. Saute until shallot translucent, then add a whole pack of baby bella, 3 cups Arborio rice until all covered in the butter and shallots garlic mixture. Add 1/2 cup white wine, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper cook for couple minutes. Turn the pot off. Add 6 cups chicken broth. Covered and press manual 7 minutes.

Once it beeped, QR, switch to sautee function, stir and add 2 cups broth and +/- 2 cups shredded parmesan cheese (Asiago would be good too). Stir just until cheese melted, serve warm with the shrimp. If you don’t want to use the shrimp, this is just as good..mushroom risotto.

For the shrimp, I just saute 2 tablespoon of butter with a tablespoon garlic with a little salt and pepper and add a splash of white wine towards the end.

Ohemgee, it was a perfection on a plate. My picky water actually had second then third. And it made the gave list to make for him.

NOTE: I have 2 big boys who eats a lot LOL this only left us 1 cup leftover

8 minutes Spaghetti

Ever Since I tried to cook spaghetti in Instant Pot, I never go back to the stove method anymore. I mean why using 2 pots when you can use just 1 pot? There was time I was thrilled to be able to cook my spaghetti in the microwave using my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker, until I the microwave gave up on me. I guess I use them too much. Well no more 2 pots needed when making my spaghetti. Whether you are using the jar sauce or your homemade sauce, the way to do it is the same. All you need is a jar of pasta sauce like 32 oz, a jar of water 32 oz (after you dumped the sauce, fill the jar with water or broth), 1 cup of red wine (optional), 2 lbs ground beef, chopped onion like 1/2 small onion and 5 glove garlic finely chopped, 1 lbs spaghetti (1 box). You can add mushroom if you like. Or if you don’t want to do ground beef, you can use homemade or frozen meatballs.

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So first, browned the ground beef in the pot using saute function, and add the onion and garlic, stir or mix until beef is browned and onion translucent.

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Then add seasoning if you like (salt, pepper, oregano, nutmeg, I always add nutmeg to mine, i just love the flavor with nutmeg). Then pour in the 1 cup red wine if you are using to deglazed the bottom. Pour the sauce, the water or broth, stir and then dump the spaghetti.

I found the one they call it pot size spaghetti, so we don’t have to break it in half. Kinda pat it down and then closed the lid and vent.

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Press manual 8 minutes and just wait for it. While typing on your blog and watch the Golden Girls. I named my Instant Pot : Dorothy, Blanche, Rose and Sophia :)). Dorothy is doing the spaghetti. I am using Rose for dessert and yogurt only.

Yes I have 4 Instant Pots. And it just beeped on me. Spaghetti is done. I am leaving it NPR.

See how easy it is? 1 pot 8 minutes and my son loves the spaghetti ini Instant Pot. I agree with him it’s more flavorful.

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Zuppa de Toscana in Instant Pot

It started to get cooler here in Texas. It’s perfect for soup and stew.

One of my son’s, well my family’s, favorite is zuppa de toscana. We love it so much that we can eat this anytime. That actually comes out from the mouth of my 10 years old. He literally doesn’t mind eating this everyday lol.

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I was going to make beef stew tonight but my kale had been calling my name. So, zuppa de toscana it is for dinner.

It is one of the easiest soup to make. Specially when making them in instant pot. One pot to clean and 3 bowls and 3 spoons.

The ingredients are

1 lbs regular or Italian sausage

3 slices bacon ,  cut into small pieces

1/2 medium onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

6 small red potatoes, sliced into 1/4″ thickness

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1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoons black pepper

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

4 cups beef or chicken broth

1/2 bags of chopped kale

Parmesan cheese

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

This is how I make them in instant pot.

With the Sautee function on, sautee the bacon, onion and garlic until the onions are translucent, the bacon cooked through.

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Add the sausage, break them apart. Cook until it changed color.

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Add in the broth a little first to deglaze the bottom of the pan, then add the seasonings. Throw in the potatoes. Closed the lid and the vent, press manual 10 minutes.

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Once beeped,  release the pressure, open the lid once the metal button is down.

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Press cancel, then press sautee. Pour in 9the heavy cream, stir. Last, add in the kale, continue stirring for 5 minutes just until the kale is cooked through.

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Served warm with parmesan cheese on top. 

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Everytime we make this, my son always have second or third. Never a leftover. And everytime, he’d say that he can eat this soup everyday. 😉