Instant Gratification

I am a chef. That’s what I went to school for, that’s what I worked my butt off for (and got my butt kicked by). I graduated culinary school (with honors, don’t forget that part!) and I have been trained and taught how to make everything from Duck l’orange to laminated doughs like puff pastry from scratch. I can make quick meals, but I also know that great food can’t be rushed. You need patience, not shortcuts.

Why then, did I get an instant pot. Any why do I love it?

I had looked into these for a while but ultimately decided that I didn’t need one, didn’t have room to store one, etc…. I love my Dutch oven, it’s my workhorse of the kitchen and anything I needed to make, I could do with it. …. but I started looking into bone broth, and how a pressure cooker would really cut the cooking time down. A moment of weakness hit, my mom was asking me about ideas for Christmas when amazon sent me a “deal of the day” message. So I forwarded it to her and told her it was a damn good price. It was. And Christmas morning I opened my brand new pressure cooker.

I still love my Dutch oven. I do. But I took my instant pot out of the box, read up on her, and started playing.

The first thing I made was just dumping things in. Frozen chicken, diced tomatoes, some seasoning… and started it up. I got messages to my phone letting me know what was going on with it, but it killed me to not be able to see it’s progression. In the end, it came out…. good. The chicken, which was frozen solid 20 mins before was done, it was tender, and had good flavor. My husband and son ate on it for several meals.

Next, I tried rice and it was pretty good! Then, I tried a recipe for black eyed peas for New Year’s Day that was outstanding. So I got confidant. Too confident. I made orange chicken and rice in it. At the same time. It was mostly ok, but I should have doubled up on the sauce because the rice absorbed a lot. I tried another pork dish that was ok, but not perfect. I should also mention that all these meals were well received by my husband and son, even my daughter liked the pork!

All this being said, I’m really digging the new pressure cooker. I know what mistakes I need to fix, and how to fix them, it’s easy to clean up, and I don’t have to plan ahead so much for meals. Which, let’s face it, dinner prep around here usually resembles an episode of chopped and I never remember to get meat out of the deep freeze.

She needs a name though, I’m thinking Erma. Partly because Erma Instant Pot sounds good, and also because I want to be Erma Bombeck when I grow up.

What do y’all think?

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