Friday, January 15, 2016

Where have I been?

Well, it has been 8 years since I started this little blog.  I wrote my first entry on the same day that was my last day of work at Coors.  Time flies, eh?

Well, I took a little break from writing but now it's time to get caught up a bit.

I haven't been that busy, unless you call playing cards, cooking in my wonderful electric pressure cooker, reading and watching football busy.

To start with, I love this electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot brand, and am having fun coming up with delicious and easy things to cook.

Here's an example of one of my successful meals.  A whole frozen chicken from Aldi.  I just took it out of the freezer, peeled off the plastic packaging and set it in The Pot, on the trivet, with a cup of water.

This took longer than expected to cook but the end result was great and I was not waiting to eat it as most of this chicken was going into another recipe.

Of course no browning of skin, but that makes it even easier to peel the skin off, that crispy skin is always tempting, this soft fatty skin, not so much.

A nice container of chicken after I cleaned the meat off the bones.

Next, the bones and skin and all go back in the pot, in a metal steamer basket, then I cook on high pressure for quite a while and then let it stew all night long.

The resulting broth is really good, strained it and cooled it and then skimmed off the fat.
Pretty good output for a $5 whole chicken!


Next up, chicken green chili!
This one was too easy and so yummy.

Rough chopped peppers, a couple of jalapenos and several Anaheim peppers.  I left most of the seeds in the Anaheims, took a few out of the jalapenos...I wasn't trying to make jet fuel!  Tomatillos, tomatoes, garlic, and onions rounded out the flavors.
The recipe also called for fish sauce, to deepen the umami flavors, and I added that as well.

The recipe said you didn't have to add any liquid as the veggies would provide the liquid as they cooked, but I was chicken and added about 1/2 cup of water to be sure the pot could make steam.
I don't think it needed it, but it didn't hurt either.

Also skinless, boneless chicken thighs.
Next time I'd put the chicken on top, easier to retrieve after cooking.

 After cooking I retrieved the chicken and then used my immersion blender to make finish the breakdown of the veggies, added the shredded chicken back in and I have a wonderful spicy, chicken chili.  I often crave green chili and this is really good and so easy.  Now I'm going to be on the lookout for good peppers when I get to the bigger grocery stores.

I forgot to take a photo of the end product, but it was really really good, and I have 4 servings in the freezer, ready for that craving to hit again!


Today I tried caramelizing onions in The Pot.
There are a bunch of websites that offer Pressure Cooker tips and a very active page on Facebook too.
So, when I saw this tip, I thought I'd try it.  Eventually I want to make french onion soup this way, but today I was just testing the technique.
I added the chopped onions to a little melted butter, added 1/2 tsp of baking soda (which speeds the Malliard reaction of browning, and closed the lid.

The end result was impressive.
I used the onions in a big pot of chicken veggie soup that is right now cooking in The Pot.

So, that's part of what I have been doing,
I'm off to basketball tonight and tomorrow there is another tournament, so lots of bleacher time. 
I'll be anxious to get home to my soup!

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