Depending on the trick, this old dog can be taught a new one. About 2 years ago, ads for the Instant Pot or it’s other brand variations were prevalent. I suggested to hubby that it would be a good birthday or Christmas gift (those events are only a month apart). He didn’t know what one was and I had a coupon for Bed, Bath, and Beyond that was about to expire, so we went looking. They had a different brand that I didn’t like all the features on it, and we had to go over to Target for something else and they did have two sizes of Instant Pot brand on sale. I didn’t get it for my birthday or Christmas, he told me to go on and get it right then as it wasn’t very expensive. It has totally changed the way I cook. To be able to cook dry beans in 40 minutes, stew, or brown rice in about the same amount of time was luxury. I have used it for making yogurt, but that is as easy in a cooler. I cooked a dozen eggs for deviled eggs, but a steamer works just as well. The Instant Pot gets used about 5 times each week. Now that I know it’s features and how long it takes to make a recipe, I have begun to experiment with other recipes.
One that I used to make for the family is Greek Stew. It takes hours to prepare, but is delicious and even better as left overs. The farmers market had green bell peppers and the last of the season’s eggplants today, both are ingredients necessary for the stew.
Because I needed the kitchen for one last soap session, but because I wanted to prepare the stew while the ingredients were fresh, I set about altering the recipe for the Instant Pot. The recipe starts by sauteing onion quarters until golden. It has a feature for that. Once the onions are spooned out, stew beef dredged in flour and cinnamon is browned, again the saute feature. The browned beef and onions are added back together with tomato sauce and beef broth and simmered for several hours to tenderize and cook the meat. Instead of hours, 40 minutes on the pressure setting will handle it. Then you add raw rice and cook til the rice is tender, the Instant Pot has a rice setting. Then you add cubed eggplant and cook for 20-30 minutes which can be done on the low saute setting and finally 10 minutes with large chunks of green bell peppers. Instead of more than 4-5 hours, this stew will be ready in just a little over an hour.
The beautiful pottery bowls are from a local pottery and friend, Dashing Dog Studio, the wooden ladle is from Chester P. Basil’s Wood, purchased at a craft fair at least a dozen years ago.
Sometimes, I don’t know how I cooked without it, but if necessary, I can still cook on the stove top, the top of the woodstove, or the gas grill when Mother Nature takes out our power.