Chili Cranberry Meatballs for the Instant Pot or Crock Pot

I needed some inspiration for some snacks for my New Year’s Eve party. Meatballs in the slow cooker have always been my go to. What could be better than cranberries with a kick of chili? I raided my cupboards and found some spicy chili jelly and leftover cranberries. Then there was that huge bottle of sweet chili sauce my Mom bought last summer sitting in the fridge door. Condiments never spoil, right? Also, I always keep a pack of frozen meatballs in my freezer. This time I used Compliments lean turkey meatballs.

I used my Google-fu and found a recipe that I could use, although it was for a crock pot. Who needs a crock pot when I have two Instant Pots? One for the meatballs and the other for the hot mulled cider. We’re good to go!

The meatballs were a hit. A wall of spice tempered by the tartness of the cranberries. I used the fresh cranberries with 1/3 cup of sugar. Next time, I will dial down the sugar as I prefer my cranberries a little tart. I should have added the leftover orange juice from making orange zested cranberry sauce earlier in the week. That would have been divine.

Chili cranberry meatballs in the Instant Pot
Chili cranberry meatballs in the Instant Pot

Print Recipe
Chili Cranberry Meatballs
Prep Time 10-15 minutes
Cook Time 5-20 minutes attended
Passive Time 10-360 minutes
Servings
people as an appetizer
Ingredients
Main
Choice of:
Or
Prep Time 10-15 minutes
Cook Time 5-20 minutes attended
Passive Time 10-360 minutes
Servings
people as an appetizer
Ingredients
Main
Choice of:
Or
Instructions
Instant Pot
  1. Add 1 cup water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Place a steamer basket in the Instant Pot and add frozen meatballs.
  3. Pressure cook for 5 minutes on high pressure.
  4. * When timer beeps, release the pressure with a quick pressure release.
  5. Remove steamer basket and meatballs from the Instant Pot.
Sauce (Instant Pot)
  1. Discard cooking water and add all the sauce ingredients to the cooking pot.
  2. If using cranberries, select Sauté and cook, stirring frequently, until cranberries have fallen apart and the sauce is heated through.
  3. If using cranberry sauce only, cook until sauce is combined and heated through. Add heated meatballs and stir to combine.
  4. Switch to keep warm setting until ready to serve.
  5. *It will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure in addition to the 5 minutes cook time. Also 10-15 minutes to cook cranberries
Crock Pot
  1. Add all the sauce ingredients to a sauce pan or stove top friendly crock pot liner.
  2. Cook on stove top, stirring frequently, until cranberries have fallen apart and the sauce is heated through.
  3. Add meatballs and stir to coat them well. Put in crock pot on LOW for 6-8 hours or HIGH for 2-2 1/2 hours.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from: https://spicysouthernkitchen.com/crock-pot-cranberry-meatballs-2/

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Instant Pot Hot Mulled Apple Cider

I find that hot mulled apple cider is a great alternative to alcoholic beverages at a holiday party. It also adds a delectable aroma to the air. It’s no fuss and definitely irresistible.  I’ve provided two options – traditional stovetop and Instant Pot or slow cooker. I prefer unsweetened apple juice. The spices more than compensate for the additional sugar.

You may ask why would I make this in the Instant Pot if it takes over 30 minutes longer? The answer is, less liquid tends to evaporate using the lockable lid, and I don’t have to watch the stove to see if the heat needs to be adjusted. I can also plug the IP into the room downstairs where I am hosting the party rather than leaving it on the stovetop in the kitchen.

Also note that for the Instant Pot, the slow cooker function is being used, not the pressure cooking function. If you don’t have an Instant Pot, it works well in a standard slow cooker too.

Hot mulled apple cider
Hot mulled apple cider
Cider in Instant Pot
All ready to slow cook. Lid shown for serving
Hot mulled apple cider
Hot mulled apple cider

 

Print Recipe
Hot Mulled Cider
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 60 to 90 minutes
Passive Time 60 to 90 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 60 to 90 minutes
Passive Time 60 to 90 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
Stovetop
  1. Slice oranges crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds. Cut slices into quarters with peels and juice.
  2. Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat for an hour.
  3. Pour into mugs and serve.
Instructions for Instant Pot
  1. Slice oranges crosswise into 1/2 inch rounds. Cut slices into quarters with peels and juice
  2. Add all ingredients, close and lock lid.
  3. Set valve to venting.
  4. Press "slow cook" and adjust to less.
  5. Set time to 1 hour and 30 minutes.
  6. Retain on keep warm setting while serving. Substituting a 9 inch standard pot lid will make it easier for the guests to serve themselves.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/hot-mulled-cider-recipe-1914496

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Boiled Eggs in the Instant Pot

I’ve only recently started using my Instant Pot to boil eggs. I thought stovetop was less hassle until I discovered that every egg I made in the IP peels perfectly. That is pure gold.

Before reading any further, this only works with the Duo IPs as the Lux models only have a high pressure setting. One reason to get the Duo!

Here is my unscientific experiment. The pros, Amy+Jacky have rigorously tested their method here. Their definition of a medium boiled egg is 9 minutes on low pressure. Mine is 4 minutes on low. Perhaps that is the difference being at altitude makes? I live at about 3,500 ft above sea level.

Hard boiled eggs

Pour one cup of water into the pot. Place eggs on rack that came with the pot, or use a steamer basket. 5 minutes on high then vent. Rinse with cold water so I could handle them and voila! Perfect eggs.

Medium boiled eggs

Pour one cup of water into the pot. Place eggs on rack that came with the pot, or use a steamer basket. 4 minutes on low then vent. Dump into a bowl filled with cold water and wait about a minute. Dump the water and cover with cold water for about 5 minutes. Do a third cycle if the water is still warm.

Tried 1 minute on low. White done but yolk is very runny.

Tried 2 minutes on low. Edge of yolk is medium but middle is still very runny. (nice soft boiled egg)

Tried 3 minutes on low. Edge of yolk is medium  but middle is a little runny.

Tried 4 minutes on low. Edge of yolk is medium and middle is just set. Perfect!

For fun, tried 8 minutes on low. Still hard boiled but on the softer side.

Hard boiled eggs
Hard boiled eggs

Instant Pot Cassoulet

Cassoulet is a hearty French stew of meat and beans. Perfect comfort food for Canadian fall and winter. Made easier with the Instant Pot. This recipe is modified from one no longer on the web, but it’s original remains. A classic from Thomas Keller. I’ve made it a couple of times and I quite enjoy it. I find it hard to procure chicken garlic sausage, you could use chicken sausage or even mild Italian sausage. I wouldn’t call this a traditional cassoulet but it is pretty darn tasty.

Instant Pot IP-DUO60

Cassoulet
Cassoulet

Print Recipe
Instant Pot Cassoulet with lots of Veggies
Adapted from Thomas Keller (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/thomas-kellers-slow-cooker-cassoulet.html)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes including venting
Passive Time 50 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes including venting
Passive Time 50 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Season the pork ribs generously with salt and pepper; set aside.
  2. Set pressure cooker to Sauté to heat up the insert. Add the bacon to the insert and cook until crisp on both sides, about 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Reserve the bacon fat in the insert.
  3. Add half of the pork to the insert and brown on all sides, 7 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a platter. Repeat with the remaining pork.
  4. Add the onions, carrot, celery, zucchini, kale and 1 teaspoon salt to the insert and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and broth. Turn off the Sauté feature. Add the pork, sausage, beans, rosemary, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, kombu and garlic. Stir everything to combine.
  5. Place the lid on the pressure and lock into place. Press the Meat/Stew Button. When done, release pressure naturally. If pressed for time, NPR for 10 minutes then open the vent. Remove lid, skim off the fat, and remove and discard the bay leaf and piece of kombu. Adjust the seasonings with kosher salt and pepper.
  6. Ladle cassoulet into individual serving bowls, top with reserved bacon and fresh minced parsley. Serve with crusty rolls on the side.
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Turkey Congee in the Instant Pot

After Christmas dinner was done, the remains of an 18 lb turkey were begging for some inspiration. Being a little lazy and needing a meal that could cope with frozen leftovers, turkey congee seemed like a suitable choice. I sort of defrosted the turkey carcass in the oven (at the same time roasting it) and it turned out beautifully.

Prior to roasting the turkey, I dried brined it for a few days and threw some kosher salt, black pepper and lemons into the cavity. I didn’t have to season the congee much after it was done cooking, as all the wonderful flavours from inside the carcass and the umami from roasting the bones did the job.

It seems to be, like all congee that I’ve made in the Instant Pot, a little thick. To make it less thick, add some hot water prior to serving or cold water before reheating in the microwave or on the stovetop.

My toddlers were begging for seconds. I knew then, it was a winner!

IMG_20161225_135408_907
Roasted turkey
Roasted turkey congee
Roasted turkey congee

 

Print Recipe
Turkey Congee in the Instant Pot
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 90 minutes
Passive Time 75 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Add rice to pot.
  2. Roast turkey carcass in the oven at 400 F for 30 minutes or until aroma develops. Let cool and break it up into pieces to fit the pot. Add to pot.
  3. Peel and julienne ginger. Add to pot.
  4. Add water and sesame oil.
  5. Cover and set to porridge for 40 minutes. 15 minutes NPR and then vent if preferred or NPR until float drops.
  6. Remove the carcass. Peel the meat off and add back to pot if desired. Stir in the extra turkey meat. Add salt to taste. Mind the bones that might be left!
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Instant Pot Recipes and Tips

Update: Originally posted on November 30, 2016. Edited to help my many friends new to the Instant Pot.

So Amazon.ca had a Black Friday deal for the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 7-in-1 multifunction cooker. I bought one of these way back in July on Prime Day. For my new round of soon to be Instant Pot lovers, here are some of my more successful recipes. I live in Calgary, Alberta and there is a small adjustment for altitude with some of my recipes.

Here are some tips.

  1. Read the instructions. The control panel is not that intuitive. But if you read the instructions, you won’t get any surprises.
  2. Amy and Jacky’s website is a great resource for pressure cooking. Check out their tips for beginners. Go over the acronyms before reading the rest of this post.
  3. The steam from the vent is very hot. I would not set the cooker underneath your kitchen cupboards. I might add, if you prefer to QR, set the pot under the hood fan prior to cooking.
  4. Here are some more tips on venting. It’s a pressure cooker. Which means that contents are under pressure.  The pressure must be released before the lid is opened. If you are really in a hurry then you can QR right after the cooking time is done. To do this, cover the vent with a proper tea towel. I wouldn’t recommend a small dish towel. Use a wooden spoon to slowly nudge the vent open. Close it if the water and steam come out too fast. Repeat this step a couple of times until the pressure eases enough that the vent can be left fully open.
  5. My preferred venting method is 10 minutes NPR, followed by a QR. Under the hood fan if the pot is at least two thirds full.
  6. It says that it only takes xx minutes to cook? Really!?!
    No. Not really. It takes between 5-15 minutes to warm up. Depending on how full the pot is.  Then I usually wait 10 minutes after it’s done so I don’t get scalded when trying to open the vent. How full the pot is determines how long it will take for the pressure to drop. I would add at least another 15 minutes using the 10 min NPR and vent method. Longer on the back end if the pot is close to full.
  7. It’s a very safe pressure cooker. I’ve tried opening it (by accident) when the float was still up and it wouldn’t let me do it. Having said that, I have had a few mishaps. It’s not the Instant Pot, it’s just me.
  8. Don’t close the lid while sauteing.
  9. If you are slow cooking, you don’t need to completely cover your meat with liquid.
  10. If you like to slow cook and serve say, mulled apple cider at a party, I would use a regular pot lid that fits the inner pot. Leave the pot on keep warm and let the guests serve themselves. The regular lid is awkward for beginners to use.
  11. If you are steaming, put at least 1 cup of water in the bottom. Then add a trivet.
  12. Most recipes on the web don’t adjust for altitude. This might matter in some cases. I’ve found, for example, I need more water for steel cut oats. Also more time.
  13. Here’s some fail safe rice recipes. I haven’t tried any of them. I’m sure they are fine at sea level.
  14. Burning question (Literally!) Have I had any cooking accidents? Yes! One time I got distracted and accidentally put 1/2 a cup of rice into the pot without the inner pot. Then I dumped the other 1/2 into the inner pot, put the pot on the element, added water and turned it on. Oops! Cue burning smell. And another Instant Pot. I also managed to steam veggies on low in 1/2 cup of water. That didn’t work so I tried it again on high. By then all the water was gone and all I heard were some clunking noises. Of the trivet vibrating on the bottom of the pot. Moral of the story: add 1 cup of water. I’ve also dropped a pot liner and made a dent in it. I contacted customer service and they said it was A-ok to use!

Instant Pot IP-DUO60

Recipes

Here is a selection of mostly my own recipes that I have used successfully in Calgary. Your mileage may vary. Comment on my Facebook page if you would like more recipe suggestions. I’m currently working on converting my Bengali Daal recipe. I’ve tried Lu rou fan (Taiwanese beef stew), Bo kho  (Vietnamese beef stew), pho, chili, congee, see yau kai (soy sauce chicken), beef and barley soup, pulled pork, baked beans, spaghetti bolognese, Mexican carnitas, beef stroganoff, BBQ ribs, barbacoa de cordero (lamb Mexican style), and cassoulet. There, I just went through my whole recipe binder.

I’ve also included my butter chicken recipe, a twist on an all time favorite of mine. Warning – it is a fusion style recipe. Scroll way to the bottom for this one.

Grains
Steel cut oats
Jasmine rice
Wild rice blend
Bulgur

Beans
French lentils

Vegetables
Carrots
Cauliflower
Potatoes

Protein
Hard boiled eggs
Pulled pork

Soup Style
Turkey congee
Cassoulet

Steel cut oats

I eat steel cut oats for breakfast every morning. Once a week, I whip up a large batch and store it in the fridge. I like mine creamy/chunky and definitely not dry.

1 1/3 cups oats                       2 1/3 cups oats
2.5 cups water                         7.5 cups water (1775 ml)

Manual low pressure for 10 minutes, natural release 12 minutes then vent

Carrots for kids
Use large square glass dish with trivet & 1 C of water in the pot
6 min manual, high pressure, natural release

Potatoes
14 min. steam on high

Cauliflower
3 min manual, high, quick release

Jasmine rice
1 C rice to 1.25 C water
Rice setting, 10 min natural release

Wild rice blend

I whipped up some wild rice pilaf this past Thanksgiving. Last year it took me over an hour on the stovetop. Of constant watching and stirring.

1 cups wild rice
1 cups wild rice blend
4 cups water

Manual low pressure for 30 minutes, natural release 10 minutes then vent

French lentils
1 C lentils
2 C water 15 minutes manual high pressure, natural release 10 minutes then vent

Bulgur
1 C bulgur (wheat berries)
3 C water 25-30 minutes manual high pressure, natural release 10 minutes then vent

Hard boiled eggs
Pour one cup of water into the pot. Place eggs on rack that came with the pot, or use a steamer basket. 5 minutes on high then vent. Rinse with cold water so I could handle them and voila! Perfect eggs.

Pulled pork

I really liked this  root beer pulled pork. recipe  It has a hint of root beer flavour with a vanilla aftertaste. It sounds strange but it works.

Print Recipe
Fusion Butter Chicken for Instant Pot
Butter chicken is a lovely dish, but time consuming to cook it properly. This recipe works well with the Instant Pot. The original version takes me about an hour on the stovetop.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 55 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Passive Time 55 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Cut chicken into 1 inch pieces. Put into a bowl and add ginger, garlic, red chili powder, turmeric, tandoori powder and salt. Mix well and let sit in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, or overnight.
  2. Before cooking, take out the chicken and let it stand for 10 minutes to come to room temperature. In the Instant Pot, turn on saute and melt 2 tbs of the ghee. Add the crispy fried onions and the chicken. Saute until the chicken is golden brown, just a few minutes. Add one cup of warm water.
  3. Turn off the saute and pressure cook manually on low for 10 minutes.
  4. Natural pressure release for 5 minutes, then open vent.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the raisins and the blanched almonds and saute for 1 minute, then set aside.
  6. When the float has dropped on the Instant Pot, open the lid and add one cup of cream to the chicken, then Worchestershire sauce, sugar, cardamom and nutmeg. Stir.
  7. Stir in the reserved raisins and almonds. Serve.
Recipe Notes

Serve with basmati rice. Done in the rice cooker, of course.

Adapted from Simply More Indian & Patrick Dunn

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