Time for Cooking

When I was working, I usually got home after 6:00 so I saved any time-intensive cooking for weekends.  Now I have time to cook any day of the week.  I’ve had an Instant Pot for about six months, so I’ve been trying to figure out what it makes best.  Here are a few things I’ve tried.

Connor sent me this recipe for Italian Chickpea Soup.   My local Safeway didn’t have dried chickpeas, so I used two cans and reduced the cooking time to 5 minutes.  Connor mentioned the soup was a bit watery, so I mashed the chickpeas a bit.  We don’t have fresh basil yet, so I used pesto from Costo.   The soup is very good in its vegetarian form, but we made the leftovers even better a few days later by adding some of the Italian sausage that Shawn made in his butchery class.

On one of our colder Spring evenings, I made this pot of split pea soup in an hour.  Shawn had smoked a pork shoulder the day before, so I used the leftovers in the soup.  I looked online for recipes to figure out how long to cook in the Instant Pot.  The recipes ranged from 8-20 minutes.  I went for 15 and I felt it was overcooked and a little mushy, but very tasty.

For the first meal with our homegrown, non-GMO, antibiotic-free chicken, I made Chicken Adobo in the Instant Pot.  I used these recipes as guidelines.

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/instant-pot-chicken-adobo-3649636

https://www.manilaspoon.com/2017/04/instant-pot-chicken-adobo.html

I used the thighs and drumsticks and it was very good.

We’ve been eating a lot of granola for breakfast.  It goes very well with the raw milk from our local dairy.  I decided to try making my own granola and I found this article on Epicurious that gives you the ratio of wet to dry ingredients (6:1) and cooking time.  I like using a formula where I get to pick the ingredients.  I’ve made a couple batches trying out different nuts, seeds, and sweeteners.

2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans (or almonds)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 T sunflower seeds
2T flax seeds
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup maple syrup (or agave)
1 egg white (optional)

The egg white was supposed to make it shinier and clump more, but the second batch I made without was better so I will leave it out in the future.

First batch of granola with pecans and maple syrup

The weather has been beautiful the last two weeks, so I had to get a BBQ.  Shawn was nice enough to put it together for me the day it arrived even though he had already spent a full day working in the yard.  After some research, I decided to get a Lion BBQ, and I like it better than the Flame BBQ I had in California.  The Lion gets hotter than the Flame and it made some nice burgers on its inaugural cook.

To satisfy our sweet tooth, I’ve made bread pudding (got a free loaf of French bread from Safeway) and banana bread.

Shawn has been doing some cooking and baking too.  He has a sourdough starter, so he’s made bread and pancakes a few times.

Sourdough wheat loaf, we tore into before taking a picture

He has also prepared pork jowls and cheeks and pork belly from the meat he brought home from his butchery class.  They were fantastic, but I’m trying to only eat these delicacies in moderation.

Asian braised pork belly over rice

I guess I’ll never make a career as a food blogger because I don’t take multiple photos of the same dish and I don’t style my food.

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