Instant Pot – The beginning of a long relationship
Around Christmas, I began seeing all my friends on Facebook posting show they got Instant Pots for Christmas, and I was intrigued. Having never heard of the device before, my instinct was to dismiss the hype. But, when I was browsing Amazon, a recommended book was “Indian Instant Pot Cookbook” by Urvashi Pitre, and for 8 bucks, it jumped in my cart. A lark.
Reading the recipes more that piqued my interest. I love me some Indian food, and these recipes looked scrumptious.
A couple weeks ago, I got a spot bonus at work, $100 that I could choose as an Amazon gift card, so bam, into my cart went the Instant Pot, DUO 8 Qt.
Last Sunday it arrived to minimal fanfare. Unpacking it was uneventful, but I was impressed that there were some cool utensils, as well as detailed instructions.
Having a degree in physics, and knowing the reason behind pressure cooking, as well as the potential hazards, I did follow the instructions in a shakedown, a recommended test, and all went as expected.
My first recipe I chose to use was a complete, stacked meatloaf, mashed potatoes and carrots dish that I found by searching “instant pot first recipes”. Apparently a lot of people do something mundane like hard boil eggs, but I am a bit more adventurous, so I picked the recipe from “Confession of a fit foodie“, and was not disappointed. Well, I had to use russet potatoes instead of the firmer texture Yukon golds as specified in the recipe. A little less than excellent, but still satisfactory.
Yesterday, I test drove the Indian cuisine, picking the family favorite Murgh Makhani (aka Butter Chicken). The recipe is stupid simple. 1 can diced tomatoes with the juice, garlic, ginger, some yummy seasonings mixed in the cook pot, place the chicken on top, and then 10 minutes on high pressure. Remove the chicken, use an immersion blender to pureé the sauce, add a metric shit-ton of butter (seriously, a whole stick), and a half cup of whipping cream. Remove about 1/2 the sauce (as it makes too much), and add the chicken back, using the Sauté setting to warm thoroughly, and serve on rice.
I think I am going to love my new Instant Pot. I totally get the mania, and as a techie I like the combination of microcontroller, high pressure cooking, and the awesomeness that is the Instant Pot.
There is an app for my iphone/ipad with recipes, and, not surprising, Urvsashi Pitre, the author of the cookbook I bought, has many contributed recipes.
I will admit that I didn’t entirely follow Urvashi’s guidance, and make my own Garam Masala, but instead, I buy it pre-made from Penzey’s, as I have found it to be excellent. In fact, I buy almost all of my spices from Penzey’s.
I now totally get the Instant Pot phenomenon. I understand why people will have 2 or more of them (so you can do complex meals).