Miscellaneous

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 ūü§£ūü§£ūü§£.

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.

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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Happy new year! Welcome 2017!

Happy new year! Cheers to a better year!

Tradition ia we have to have some blacked eyed pea for the new year. So we went ti Walmart last night to grabbed some. Whilst we were there, B overheard a couple where the wife got pretty upset with her husband as they could not find any canned black eyed pea on the shelf. He could not believe that she got pretty mad about it. Not to worry when you have Instant Pot as your secret weapon. Who needs canned stuffs when you can make it from those hard raw beans fast. We grabbed a bag of the beans. I presoaked my beans since we have the time. Cooked them in with my ham, onion, oregano, bayleaf, salt, pepper for 30 minutes. Then let the pressure down naturally. Add carrots and kale, cook again for 3 minutes and we are done.

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So many traditions. We had one which I believe was passed on as my Chinese descent tradition. On December 22, which is mother’s day in indonesia, where I was born and raised, we have to eat these cute little balls made if glutinous rice flour boiled and them served with a lemon gingery syrup. It usually comes in white, red and green color. Though these days people are so crafty. What was told before not to play with your food is no longer apply. I saw people make this glutinous dough into fun animal shapes instead of just a simple little balls. Which what I decided to do. Been over 10 years since I moved to Texas, I have never try to even make this. But last year, 2016, I decided to give it a try. Thought my boys not gonna like it. I made just a little. I was wrong, ¬†they actually enjoyed that as well.

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Busy month December through February. Another thing that we always have for special days is the layer cake. We call it lapis legit. There’s also a three layers one, lapis surabaya. They both made of 30 to 45 egg yolks and tons of butter with very little flour and some sugar. The lapis legit has some spices added to it, speculas made of a mixture of cinnamon, clove, ¬†cardamom, ¬†nutmeg and allspice. It’s ¬†made by baking layer by layer, 2 -4 tablespoonfuls batter for each layer. The baking process could take 3 to 4 hours. Hideous it is. But it worth all the works. People sell this lapis legit a lot of bucks. The good one could sold for 2 million Indonesian rupiah or like $200 for an 8″ size cake. Since it is so rich, we served thin slices of this cake. Trust me, it is good. This kind of cake that taste even better after few days.

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The 3 layers one originally made by sandwiching the chocolate layer in between the vanilla. Though the creative bakers make so many different variance to this cake. There’s green tea or pandan flavor instead of chocolate, there’s the lapis legit in between the vanilla layers. There’s orange flavor. The sky is the limit actually. If it’s not because the amount of yolks being use to make this cake, I would be slaving in my kitchen making and testing different variations.

It is very common in Indonesia to use this 3 layers lapis surabaya as the base for birthday or wedding cake, like the birthday cake I made last night for one of my friend’s son.

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I love traditions. Don’t you?

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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Christmas is around the corner

Literally around the corner. I don’t know about you, but I am so not ready. Looking back..I was never ready for it. Work usually gets so busy around the holiday, where people place their orders a week before Christmas and expect that we are part of Santa’s crews that will make it happen for them. Glad that so far, been almost 15 years in this industry where I am working, we have been able to perform the magic.

Where do you shop for gifts? I personally try to avoid the crowd bu going online and use the fringe benefit of being able to purchase stuffs from where I work. Of course Like everyone else, Amazon had been a great help for my shopping source. A useful source.

This year, after my son, sadly not believing in Santa Claus anymore…yeah thanks to one of the teacher at school last year on his 4th grade who accidentally, loudly mentioned about Santa being not real. We were sad to learned that. Now, when we ask him, what he wants for Christmas. He said “Nothing, All these years I thought all that I asked for was from Santa and it was free. Now that I know you guys (me and his dad) paid for everything, I don’t want you to spend more money on getting toys.”. In a way it’s good but at the same time we are sad and proud to hear what he said. He is the best present I have ever gotten.

Now that I don’t have the clue anymore on what to get him, we have to think hard on what to get lol. Grrrrr… what do you give your 10 years old boy? Games? Gift Card? Books? Apparel? Gadgets? Drone? VR Goggle? I am not sure what to get.
Looking at this scenario, looks like I will be doing last minute shopping through Amazon for quick delivery…as always *sigh*.

 

Cold day saved by Instant Pot

You know..I got jealous when I heard it’s snowing somewhere else. I guess I just have to be happy that at least it is cooler now here in the Lonestar state.

I have been wanting to make chili but without the beans of course. My husband does not like beans at all.  While watching Limitless on Netflix this afternoon I started preparing my chili ingredients. Chopping my onion, garlic and seranno pepper, then rewinding my movie and then sautéing then in the instant pot, then rewinding my movie again.

After sautéing my onion ,  garlic, chopped seranno pepper and ground beef in the instant pot, I added the homemade chili spices, chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce and start my Instant Pot with the chili function for 30 minutes defaulted but I reduced to 25 minutes .

I will type the recipes tonight after the Walking Dead hehehee. I remember there’s garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, pepper and peppers, cumin, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and pepper.

And for dinner and to send meal for the meal train, I decided to make Soto Ayam, Indonesian chicken soup.

I blend the spices in my magic bullet and then sautee them in a little oil in instant pot with the Sautee function .

Add in the bone in chicken breast, 2 stalk of lemongrass, galangal, kafir lime leaves, water up to the 10 cups line. Closed and press manual 25 minutes. After it beeped, quick release the pressure and take the chicken out to shred. Add the cut up golden potatoes, closed and press manual 5 minutes. While in the other instant pot, I cook my hard boiled egg for 5 minutes then NPR 5 minutes. And then use that pot to cook my rice 6 cups with almost 7 cups water and closed the lid, press manual 3 minutes and NPR 7 minutes. Last one, boil water and soaked the glass noodle in it to softened the noodle.

I serve the Soto in a bowl…arrange the rice, glass noodle , ¬†shredded chicken, shredded cabbage, sliced tomato, hard boiled egg and pour the broth over it with the potatoes ¬†Garnish with parsley and a wedge of lime to be squeezed into the soup.

The spices I blend was :

5 roasted candle nuts

1/4 onion

5 cloves garlic

2″ turmeric or yellow ginger

1″ ginger

2 teaspoons Salt

1 teaspoon White pepper

You can add more salt and pepper to your taste once it was done cooking.

My rice cooker was broke and since then I make my rice in the instant pot. The proportion is 2 cups rice with 2 1/2 cups water or chicken broth. Works fine for my Asian taste.

Oh my lord Neegan you are making me nervous. Wonder what is he gonna do now. That guy scares me.

Now dessert for me tonight is the cheesecake I made in instant pot the other night. It was perfect even though I used a regular 8″ pan instead of the springform pan. Took 30 minutes. Before that, I made cheesecake in the oven for over 1 hour. I haf to do it in the oven as it is a 9″ pan for the cheesecake and also made pumpkin cake. This was a dessert for my husband’s Christmas Luncheon at his office. So the cheesecake is

sandwiched in  between the pumpkin cake and covered with cream cheese frosting .  Yes it was deliciously loaded with calories but so worth to eat it. Once a year at least.

There was my day with Instant Pot. And ended my Sunday with Walking Dead and my cheesecake. Just perfect! Hope you all have a nice weekend and easy Monday ahead.

 

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. ūüėČ

Charsiu in Instant Pot without red food coloring

sawAfter our day out to the Asian shopping center yesterday to check out the new bakery in town, 85c bakery. Grab some breads well a lot. And stopped by the Japanese Dollar Store next door, Daiso and out with nothing. Ended our time at the grocery store and grabbed few things. Among the few things are pork butt, pork feet, noodles, baby broccoli.

So I am thinking to make Charsiu noodle for our dinner today. I checked my pantry and I can’t find honey. See the other ingredients are ready..

I need something for the sweetness in place of my honey. I decided to make my own version by using lite brown sugar.

I ended up using half of the pork butt. So it’s around 1 lbs pork.

I blend all the marinade ingredients in my magic bullet jar. This is another kitchen warrior that has been helping me a lot in cooking. Bought them back in 2007 it was a buy 1 get 1 free. I left one at work to make smoothie. And so far it has been good to me. So the marinade are ready and pour it into the pork. Covered with plastic wrap and marinade in the fridge for couple hours.

Whilst the pork marinade, I have time..plenty of time to enjoy my chocolate croissant from the bakery and my coffee. And binged on Netflix with my Penny Dreadful. I stayed up until 4 am last night watching..ugh. Me and binge! The croissant was ok. I prefer my starbucks or La Madelaine chocolate croissant better.

By 4:45 I started to take the pork out from the fridge. Move it on the pyrex bowl. I am doing PIP – Pot in Pot method in the Instant Pot, put the bowl on the rack in the liner with 2 cups of water. Close the lid and vent and press manual 18 minutes.

Once it beeped, I let it sit for another 18 minutes.
This is what it looked like after I took it out. After the bowl is out I add the chinese broccoli into the rack and cook in manual 1 minute. However, for the next time, I think 0 – zero minute is enough.

I heat up 1 tablespoon oil in the pan to fry my pork, just to get the charred on it. And reduce the sauce after I fry the pork.

I decided to add 2-3 tablespoons sugar to the sauce as it’s reducing.
It was so tender and juicy. We were snacking on the pork as I boil my water to cook the noodle. It was so good.

Well noodle is ready and toss in the bowl with a little oil, soy sauce, white pepper and just a little sugar to balance the flavor. Dinner is ready in less than 1 hour. I had to add my spicy garlic chili on mine, while hubby always add hoisin sauce on his.

I like this version better I think. It’s not overly sweet. Just perfect sweetness and saltiness. And the most important thing….no red food coloring. It was a success.
Ingredients for the sauce, which I put all in magic bullet jar:

3 tablespoons cooking oil

1 tablespoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon red yeast rice

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon chinese five spice

1 teaspoon pink himalayan salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2-3 tablespoons white sugar when you reducing the sauce in the pan.

1 lbs pork butt

The process:

Blend all ingredients except the white sugar and pork butt.

Marinade the pork with the sauce, covered with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.

Cook the pork in Instant pot with 2  cups of water in Pot in Pot method for 18 minutes manual. NPR 18 minutes.

Pan fry with 1 tablespoon oil to get the charred.

Set aside,.

Reduce the sauce in the pan with 2-3 tablespoons sugar in medium heat. until thicken. Keep stirring.

Serve the sliced pork with the sauce over noodle or steamed rice.

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