slow-cooker

Unboxing Instant Pot DUO 7-1

The latest new cooking gadget Instant Pot, is conquering a growing number of kitchen counters literally all over the world. Raving reviews from very happy home cooks, enthusiastically cooking up a storm of dishes done within 30-45 minutes.

It piqued my interest to join the newsfeed of a thriving FB Instant Pot® Community, where members enthusiastically swap recipes, share experience, find advice or search for answers. Even name their Instant Pot to rank themselves among the growing number of ‘Pothead’ owners.

One pot dinners across the oceans have never been so popular as with this latest Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker. All kinds of dishes nothing seems to be impossible. Lots of talking on braised and stewed dinners, nutritious broths and test cooking of soft or hard boiled eggs.

Perfectly done with a runny yolk inside on steam for 3 minutes, added bonus easy peelable. The Instant Pot fans are going wild :-p

Unboxing Instant Pot DUO 7-1 multi electric pressure cooker

“One kitchen appliance to rule them all!” Instant Pot is a seven in one kitchen gadget that does an outstanding job. As a Pressure cooker, Slow cooker, Rice Cooker/Porridge Maker, Steamer, Sauté/Browning, Yogurt  Maker & Warmer.

“It speeds up cooking by 2~6 times using up to 70% less energy, and, above all, produces nutritious healthy food in a convenient and consistent fashion.”

 

User-friendly with 14 Micro-Processor controlled programs: Soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented Rice (Jiu Niang) typical Chinese delicacy.

Instant Pot Duo 7-1 display

Instant Pot Duo 7-1 Multi-Use electrical high-pressure cooker

When Black Friday deal popped up for the Instant Pot DUO 7-1 electric pressure cooker I clicked to order. A large box within a box arrived swiftly, time for hands-on experience whether the Instant Pot DUO 7-1 truly is a real deal. Ok, right after unboxing the manual advised conducting a technical test first. Yup! it works.

Showtime had presoaked pulses at hand. During the water test, I browsed through the manual booklets and found a recipe for Black Beans soup. Followed the instructions and pushed the bean/chilli program. The display blinked the automatic time of 30 minutes, I have never cooked Black beans soup this quick from start to finish apart from lentils.

Moving on to the other pre-set programs, opted to prepare aromatic beef broth for classic Chinese noodle soup. Wow! Less than an hour. The next morning Chinese plain rice porridge under 30 minutes, niiice.

Yesterday I prepared Italian Ragu Bolognese sauce and made a rookie mistake or more an oversight. Mine almost drowned but had a good save. Food if prepared using high-pressure cooking, does not require a high volume of liquid it is closed off in a sealed pot. Therefore less evaporation than conventional stovetop cooking. To understand high-pressure cooking you can find more information by clicking this link here.

Outside the temperature is dropping and nothing can soothe the soul and tummy as homemade Chicken soup. I filled the Instant Pot DUO with the chicken carcass and beef shank bones to make a healthy Chicken broth. If you do not blanch the bones you have to brown them to bring out the flavour.

The sauté function is really an advantage great to use, browning means caramelising and that makes all the difference, without changing pans. Sauteeing the spices and bones first before filling it with water and other savourings using the Soup button (high-pressure cooking program) to cook the broth.

At the end of this program, the vegetables were added followed by vermicelli noodles then the manual slow cook button for Chicken Vermicelli Soup. Oh happy days, the Vermicelli soup sure warmed and filled our tummy’s with every slurp.

Throughout the week on a roll, testing changed into a discovery cooking tour. Trying another pulse, cooked chickpeas with the bean function for the hummus and chickpeas salad. Defrosted oxtail for a Chinese style braised recipe, which normally will take hours whether prepared in a slow cooker or in a braiser pan finished in the oven.

Nothing wrong with my slow-cooker (oval shaped ceramic pot), works perfect and doubles as serve ware. This utensil does what it says ‘slow’, speeding or fast is not required here.

slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Morphy Richardson

Back to my braised oxtail recipe, filled the Instant Pot late afternoon and the automatic stew program button with high-pressure cooking said 30 minutes, “thirty minutes?” yeah, right. Will see.

After 30 minutes the beep sounded marking the end of the program, according to the manual wait for natural pressure release then open the lid. Shut the front door! Whaddayaknow, the meat falls off the bones 🙂 Click on the link for the recipe Chinese style braised oxtail bones.

Chinese braised oxtail

Chinese Braised Oxtail bones

Darling husband requested Dutch “Erwtensoep” Pea soup made with smoked bacon and smoked sausage aka ‘rookworst’. Again pushed the soup program button, thirty minutes later after the beep. Wait for natural pressure release (NPR) do not attempt the quick pressure release (QPR) because you will have a bursting fountain which will make you cry if you just thought how clean your kitchen was.

Erwtensoep, Dutch Pea Soup

Original name “Hollandse Erwtensoep met spek & Gelderse rookworst” in English, Dutch Pea soup with smoked bacon & typical Dutch sausage “Gelderse rooksworst”

The image was taken right after the lid was removed, showing the good part of high-pressure cooking with vegetables as the main ingredients. You clearly notice that the cubes of carrots, potatoes, and celeriac (turnip-rooted celery) hold their shape while very tender and flavorous.

For me also, a first to observe green peas being very plump before turned to mush. The whole pot with ingredients was so soft, that just by turning around the spatula I could mash the soup.

The last step is to slice up the sausage and add into the pot, gave the soup a few good stirs and closed the lid back for 2 hours of slow cooking/keep warm. Not for long or hungry mouths will find their way to the pot.

The whole pot with ingredients was so soft, that just by turning around the spatula I could mash the soup. The last step is to slice up the sausage and add into the pot, gave the soup a few good stirs and closed the lid back for 2 hours of slow cooking/keep warm. Not for long or hungry mouths will find their way to the pot.

Another alluring Instant Pot feature is the yoghurt setting function to make easy and effortlessly your own homemade yoghurt. Directly in the inner port or use the rack accessory and vessels as ramekins or canning (weck) pots to make single portions.

One of the reasons why yoghurt fails to set is the undisturbed right incubation temperature, it needs to have an insulated environment like a thermos bottle or container. Now I have my appetite and eye set on to try the Instant Pot yoghurt function next to making a British Christmas pudding in 50 minutes only.

Before I would have said; “Have to see it before I believe it”. Now without a second thought saved the link to bring a merry, merry desert on the table next.

 

Conclusion:

Unboxing the Instant Pot, after a week using the multi electric high-pressure cooker, I am definitely an Instant Pot DUO fan. So far an outstanding performance by demonstrating its versatility to tackle an array of multi cuisine recipes. From start to finish really cutting down using high-pressure cooking time table. The dishes show moist ingredients, retaining intense flavour without losing nutrients. With a big grin, ho! ho! my last Black Friday deal is value for money.

Note: For beginners and stovetop pressure cook users, use the available Pressure Cooking Time Charts (including water ratio for grains) as a guide to prevent failures or disappointments. Possibilities are endless but not all meals are intended to be cooked with high pressure.

Update: 20th June 2017 previous resources are no longer available or maintained by Miss Vicki’s website till further notice.

For your information and more insight an overview with pressure cooking time chart links:

My Instant pot cooking journey continues on, watch for another test adventure to follow up soon.

 

Please read my disclaimer and disclosure on affiliated links and copyright notice for links and information in this post

Butter Beans simple Italian style recipe

Pulses have found their way regularly in our weekly dinners and compared to our childhood boring brown and white beans, cooking with spices and herbs sure brightens our palate and lifts up the taste for more. Recycling in the house by reusing various glass jars filled with all kinds of dried beans in plain sight, in stead of storing in the cupboard makes it invisible and forgotten easily. Now I am in the habit of quickly grabbing a bean variety and letting it soak overnight to a maximum of two days if cooking plans changes or I prepare them and store them in the fridge or freezer. For example making re-fried beans recipe for breakfast burrito’s, dip, salads or as a side dish.

I’ve just re-stocked buying soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black-eyed beans and while at it, brought home a bag of butter beans as new addition. Haven’t prepared these creamy whites in a long time, the butter bean is a well-rounded source of nutrition, rich in protein, fiber, iron and B vitamins. Hardly any fat and all these nutrients combined will provide you with everything you need to lose weight, build muscle and feel energetic.

“Lima beans are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, as are most other legumes. In addition to lowering cholesterol, lima beans’ high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal, making these beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia. When combined with whole grains such as rice, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. You may already be familiar with beans’ fiber and protein, but this is far from all lima beans have to offer.” (source:whfoods.org)

Butter Beans aka Lima beans

Dried butter beans or Lima beans

For dried beans how-to cooking instructions click on the link for instructions.

Style variations:

With the Italian style recipe here you can easily vary by using Chinese cooking wine, Chinese (or Thai) soybean sauce, Chinese mushroom soy sauce, fresh or dried peppers or other oriental spices as garam masala the variations are endless. Garnish with coriander, spring onion instead for an Asian finish.

Butter Beans Italian style

Butter bean simple Italian style recipe

More Butter Beans nutritional information and links: