Monday, December 21, 2015

Banana-Pecan Brûlée Oatmeal For Two (Pressure Cooker Style)

I finally did it! I bought a second pressure cooker on Amazon Black Friday. I bought the Instant Pot IP-DUO60 6Qt 7-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker.  I'm not new to pressure cooking, as I discovered this method about 15 years ago.  I've since  discovered the joy of braised meals in 2/3's less the time it takes to use the Dutch oven method-- though, don't get me wrong, I love my LeCreuset products and I'm a big fan of slow-braising.

There are so many advantages of owning an electric pressure cooker.  I doesn't take up stove space.  You don't have to worry about adjusting your stove heat to set the pressure level (love this).  There are a lot of pre-set cooking levels (such as stews, soups, rice etc.)  It's easy! I promise.

Must importantly-- there is absolutely no reason to fear today's pressure cookers!  They don't blow up! 

I've been working on adapting many of my recipes, such as my Classic Beef Stew and Braised Short Ribs to this Instant Pot, and so far so good great!

My husband loves Irish oatmeal (steel-cut oats). He loves the chewy texture.  I don't make it, often, because it takes a long time to cook on the stove.  I've seen methods where you can cook them overnight, refrigerate the pot, and then heat it up in the morning.  But, I don't think of things when I'm sleepy and want to go to bed.

So, Mr. Pressure Cooker to the rescue.  I added 1/2 cup of steel cut oats, 1 3/4 cups water, a pinch of salt and some oil.  Why oil, I wondered...  from what I read, it helps to reduce the foaming in the oats.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sausage and Potato Breakfast Casserole (with homemade cream of chicken soup)

For my last post, I shared how to make your own cream of chicken soup-- specifically for making recipes that lists "one can cream of chicken soup".  This version is so quick, and so simple to do. So what did I make with this? I made a sausage potato casserole. I sure did.  It was triggered by a company potluck, where someone made a  casserole similar to this, and I had to see if I could create my own recipe.

I finally did it, after two attempts to get the recipe tweaked to just the way I wanted it.  The first go-round, I didn't have canned cream of chicken soup, so I tried some other ingredient. It turned out watery, and while it tasted okay, it didn't rock my world.

On my next attempt, I made my own cream of chicken soup and decided to add sour cream.   I filled a large bowl with with frozen shredded potatoes.  On top of the potatoes, I piled some cooked Italian sausage (with a little red pepper flakes tossed in for some zip).

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

While fishing around in our freezer, looking for something specific, I found a package of Italian sausage that I had forgotten about. I use Italian sausage for making homemade pizza, in Lentil Soup, and (if I'm feeling ambitious) to make "Sardinian Sausage Tomato Sauce with Semolina Gnocchi".

Instead, I had breakfast on my mind. I had a hankering for a classic breakfast casserole. I had visions of making a hash brown casserole, with sausage, onions, bell peppers and cheese.  The only problem was,  I needed one can of cream of chicken soup. Deep sigh. I don't buy canned soups (with the exception of boxed chicken broth, from Trader Joe's). Phooey!

There had to be a way to make my own, so I used the internet to confirm my idea. Sure enough, there were oodles of recipes on Pinterest.

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