Rice

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!

Just gotta utilize my Instant Pot

Yepp that title really said it all. That’s what I always think whenever I read a recipe or want to make something. How can I do that in Instant Pot. Not that I hate my stove,  no no no. Don’t want to let the stove heard that. I still need her for my baking, or baking. But she is a look hot, not in a good way I guess, that every time I turn her on my AC decided to work harder to compete with her.

So this Saturday, me and my friends decided to join a cooking class which were organized by the Indonesian Community of Dallas. There were 50 people came. The house was packed as all of us ladies gather around the kitchen island to watch how to make 3 Indonesian delicacies. 

We started with meatball known as baso sapi. Made of a mixture or ground beef, seasonings, tapioca starch,  egg white. They mix them by hand.  I, the lazy me, on the other hand, every time I make this I utilize my gadgets. So I am making the meatball today using my own way of making it. 

The only different I notice was I added nutmeg and fried garlic to my mixture.  

First started.

After a couple minutes 

See my tools in action.

Ready to be rolled 

You can squeeze it in between you thumb and fingers to form the ball before dropping them into hot water. Or use 2 teaspoons to form the balls. The last ia my preferred way. 

Here is the meatballs. It is done when it start to float, give it a couple more minutes before strained them. At this point, they can be serve with broth and noodles or freeze for later use.  Since I have made this last week, I am going to juat freeze them.

How do I use Instant Pot? Well I boiled the water in the pot and using sautee function.  All meatballs done is less than 1 hour. I used 2 lbs ground beef. 

The other dish I decided to make after class was kue lapis pepe or tapioca starch layer cake. My childhood sweets that I like. I used to eat them layer by layer, pulling each chewy layer until the last part. This delicacies are available in so many different names from each countries in Asia. I learned that Vietnames, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysian, Indonesian and some others have a very similar dishes. And this is one of them.

It is so pretty, translucent looking layer cake made of coconut milk, sugar, tapioca starch, rice flour, water and vanilla. 

I mix all ingredients in my vitamix so that I don’t have to whipped them by hand. And steamed them layer by layer in my Instant Pot. 3 minutes per layer. I tried using high pressure 3 minutes it was looking like a bubble when I open the lid. So I decided to use the steaming function, but changed to a sautee method and using a rack to put the pan and glass lid covered with kitchen towel so that nothing will drip on the cake. I made it in 3 colors, white, green and the top layer is red. Just like I remember this cake growing up.

It was so good, not too sweet, chewy and fun to eat.

The mixture

After steaming, cooling down.

Here is the cake.

My Instant pot or should I say pots? They are busy this weekend.  I also made chicken porridge for dinner. Another dumped and walked away kind of meal. 20 Minutes, done and keep warm until we were ready to eat. And had a little bowl leftover for my breakfast. 

Ready.

Minus the Chinese crullers, cakwe for the topping.

Well now I have to figure out what we are going to eat for lunch.  I better go and get busy with my kitchen tools and make a quick late lunch for my boys.

Spanish rice and chicken stew 

I wasn’t sure what to call it. I just whipped dinner in 30 minutes, 10 minutes prepping, 30 minutes thinking about what to cook the whole way home from work. That’s  pretty much my routine. I can’t  follow meal plan, I am more of oh I have this and that let’s make this 😂😂. Even recipe, I can’t  even follow a recipe as is. I have to always make my own twist. Sometimes when I cook, I just throw this and that to the pot and be done. My habit taking picture of my food did not help as I did not write down what I did. So I found myself staring at the pictures and try to figure out what I did. How to make that. 

Now I am better with adding what I do as I make something.  I use this blog as my journal of my cooking journey. 

This meal tonight ended up less than $10 … again. I have a whole young chicken that I bought for $6 and only uses the breast part in this recipe. The rest is just canned tomatoes, tomato paste, seasonings, onion, garlic, rice, frozen peas, chicken broth which I made in Instant pot and freeze tons of them.

Here is the list of ingredients:

  • 1 whole bone in chicken breast
  • 1 (14.5 oz) canned diced tomatoes 
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed 
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper

Dumped everything  in instant pot. Closed the lid, sealed the vent, press manual 30 minutes. Once it beeped,  let it sit for 10 minutes before release the little pressure left and shred the chicken,  take the bone  out. I use 2 forks and shred them in the pot.

Now while the chicken  cooking, I started my rice. Into the pot, all ingredients for the rice below. Closed the lid, sealed the vent, press manual 4 minutes then once it beeped let it sit for 6 minutes. Then fluff  the rice. 

  • 2 cups jasmine rice,  coz that’s  what I have and love
  • 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cups frozen peas
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Serve the chicken with the rice and topped with shredded cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice.

My 11 years old had second. He even finished his dinner before I finished mine. So I guess dinner was a truly winner winner chicken dinner.

Broccoli and chicken rice casserole


When you see rotisserie chicken on sale, I usually grabbed some and freeze them. It was $2.83 When I found it. Grabbed couples and using one today. Well I am using just the breast part today.

Diced up the chicken breast part, add them to the Instant pot along with 3 cups of water, a diced of 1/2 small onion and crushed 3 cloves garlic. Stir, closed the lid, sealed the vent, press rice. Once it beeped, you can release pressure immediately which known as QR ( Quick Release) or leave it for longer like I did today, which known as NPR (Natural Pressure Release).

Stir the rice, add 2 cans of creamed of Chicken soup and 1 can creamed of mushroom soup,  1 cup mayonnaise, juice from 1 lemon, 1/4 cup heavy cream, 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar, 1 can sliced mushroom, 1 pack of frozen broccoli florets. Mix well

Pout mixture in a pyrex pan 9×13, spread them. topped with Panko breadcrumb. Drizzle with melted 1 stick of butter. Baked in preheated 350°f oven for around 25 to 30.minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbly.

We don’t cook things like this often. My son and my husband, both said that it have been a looking time since I cooked this dish. 

When I have time, I make own roux for the chicken soup and mushroom soup. But cans are shortcut.

Chicken salsa Verde 

Well, I guess I keep everything on my Facebook album for all the stuffs I cook. I was looking for how I made this chicken salsa Verde and could not find it here. It is my son’s favorite. I usually serve them with cilantro lime rice. He does not really like rice plain, but this cilantro lime rice…boy he loves that.

Ok there’s 2 way of making this chicken salsa Verde, which also good with pork. The cheating way is using jar salsa Verde. If I do that, I usually use 1 jar with 2 bone in chicken breast. And that’s it. Put everything in, manual 15 minutes, done. Just have to shred the chicken breast and put them back into the sauce. Add 1 tablespoon fish sauce and you are super mom, at least for my son. 

The long way to make it, hahaha longer way because it is all from scratch and the preparation takes longer than open the jar. But it is so worth it. 

Into the pot:

1 onion sliced

3 garlic smashed

5 tomatillo quartered

2 Anaheim pepper seeded if you don’t like too much heat, this goes for all pepper below. 

3 seranno pepper

1 or 2 jalapeno

2 chicken breast bone in

2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper, I like white pepper 

1 to 2 teaspoon cumin 

Next ingredients for after it’s cooked:

Handful of cilantro

1 tablespoon fish sauce

All in the Pot, no water because the chicken and all peppers and onion will release the juices under pressure. Who doesn’t lol. 

Closed the lid and vent and press manual 15. 

When it beeped, let it sit until all pressure is gone, open the lid, take the chicken out and you can shred them. Before you put them back in the pot, add a handful of cilantro and a tablespoon of fish sauce. Use a hand blender or dump the sauce in a blender and blend until smooth. Put the chicken back in the sauce and serve with cilantro lime rice with sliced avocado, cheese.

For the cilantro lime rice, cook the rice of your choice as you would your rice.  I like jasmine rice equal mount of rice and water 12 minutes in Instant pot. Usually I do 2 cups rice with 2 cups water. Once it is cooked, add 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice, a pinch of salt and a handful of chopped cilantro. Toss them and serve with the chicken salsa Verde on top.

I think you can easily make this in the crock pot, though I highly suggest you get the Instant Pot. I am affiliated with Amazon so if you decided to purchase by clicking on the link I gave you, then I will get a little percentage,  not big, just enough to cover my blog maintenance fee.

Imagine cooking time 4 or 8 hours in crockpot being reduced to 15 minutes? Can’t beat that. And it is fresh ingredients. By using the pressure cooker, the nutrients is trapped inside the food and it is also packed with flavor.  Try it, you won’t regret it. It does take time to come to pressure and for you to get to know each other and how pressure cooker works. It is not a matter of wiggling your nose and it’s done. Think about ribs, my best one that my son love is the one I did in crockpot for 8 hours. He loves that and did not want ribs from restaurant anymore. He said they are not as tender and flavorful like mine. Then I made them in Instant Pot for 25 minutes and just brown under broiler, just to get the charred…finger licking good it was. Oh here is the ribs we just had couple nights ago.

And last night we did wings and drumstick with honey garlic sauce in 10 minutes.

And tonight, chicken tortilla soup in the menu. I think 15 minutes as well. We’ll see. And I will post the recipes for the ribs, wings and chicken tortilla soup later.

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

Ham and pineapple fried rice in Instant Pot

Second round of utilizing leftover ham. Simple, easy one pot dinner. I made fried rice in instant pot before but I can’t remember what or how I did it. I browse online, and found one recipe using brown rice and Multigrain function which take 40 minutes. I am using jasmine rice so I don’t think I should use that function.

So what I did was make the scrambled egg in the pot using the Sautee function. Sautee the chopped 3 cloves of garlic in a little olive oil and 2 tablespoons of butter, add the ham around 1 1/2 cups, sliced of 2 green onion. Then add 3 cups of rice with 3 cups of water. Seasoned with 1 teaspoon salt,1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/2  tablespoon fish sauce, 3 tablespoons sweet soy sauce. Stir and cook in the rice function, 12 minutes.

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Once it beeped, add a handful of  frozen veggies anf a handful of pineapple bits. Use the sautee function to warm the frozen veggies and pineapple through.

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Served warm…

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A little east meet west in a bowl

What to do with leftover ham or turkey after the celebration? That’s always a question. So many ideas out there for it.

I like to wing it as I cook. It depends on what I have and what I am craving on that moment.

Since last night I have the crave for bubur Ayam or chicken porridge. Well no chicken in the house. I do have the leftover ham from yesterday. I remember my mom made chicken porridge and then she made like an omelette with ham and served the chicken porridge with a slice of that ham omelette.  So I am thinking this morning to make those. But again no chicken in the house.  I do have the chicken broth in the freezer that I made in instant pot. There you go, wing it. Thawing the broth, cut up the ham, scoop 2 instant pot cup rice and add 12 cups broth. Add the ham in the pot with the rice and broth, add salt, white pepper, garlic powder. Close the lid and vent and press porridge,  it said 20 minutes. Done and time to binge on netflix again.When it finally beeped, I let it sit until lunch time.

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Scoop some of the porridge into my bowl, topped with cilantro, green onion,  dried raddish, chunk of ham. Remember I said I love spicy food. So I always add this sambal, spicy salsa sorta kind. Made of Thai chili, garlic, vinegar and sugar. So there half tablespoon of that and my lunch is completed. It was yummy and only 1 pot to wash. Can’t wait for my boys to try it. Yepp they are still asleep, I enjoy my quiet time though😉.

So there ham porridge for you..err me. Enjoy…!

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Korean ground beef with rice

Everyday I would take one of my meat from the freezer before I go to work. So I have a whole day to think about what and how to turn this frozen meat into dinner in a flash.

And today what I pulled out was 1 lbs ground beef. Then my brain started thinking what do I have in the fridge, what starch I have. I have made this before but I didn’t use any vegetable at that time. I am trying to have vegetable in every meal we have. So I thought I add some carrots and spinach to this dish. Another inexpensive meal under $10 for 3. When I cook rice, I always do more than we need. That way I can make fried rice the next day.

This is a cool simple dish. Flavorful. I like it a little spicy, so I add slices of Thai birds eye chili. If your whole family like a little kick, you can add some into the dish or use red pepper flakes. I am using ground beef to make it faster, however if you go to your asian store they usually have the thinly slice beef. That’d be very good.

I am also thinking maybe use the sauce mixture to marinade chicken or maybe salmon?  Maybe next time…

Here is what i do:

Korean Ground Beef with rice.

Steamed rice..you can use IP or rice cooker. I am using my rice cooker this time.

1 carrot, julienne
2 cups fresh spinach

Mix well the sauce:
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1″ fresh ginger, grated
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

sautee:
1 lbs ground beef
4 cloves crushed garlic

Cook the ground beef until it changed color. Add the sauce, mix well. Add carrots. Turn IP off. Closed the lid, manual 3 minutes, QR. turn off, switch back to sautee cook until the sauce reduced but not completely dry..then throw in the spinach, cook for 1 minute.

Serve the meet over rice, and topped with fry egg and garnish with green onion.

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