Last week I was in Spokane for a 4-course, gourmet dinner with Chef Chad White that we cooked up entirely in Instant Pots. It was a whirlwind, because in addition to prepping and and executing the dinner, I had four other appearances while I was there in a little over two days! Phew. More on that later.
One recipe from my book The Instant Pot No-Pressure Cookbook that I served while in Spokane was Cranberry Apple Cider. It’s quick and easy and perfect for the holidays, and the recipe is below.
6 cups apple cider
4 cups cranberry juice cocktail
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1 orange, sliced
2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional)
1 handful fresh cranberries (optional)
Add the cider, cranberry juice, cinnamon sticks, cloves and orange to your Instant Pot. Secure the lid. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes and use a natural release. Remove the whole spices by straining or using a slotted spoon. Add brown sugar to taste and serve hot garnished with cranberries (if using).
Last month I spoke to a fun group at the Arcadia Public Library about the Care and Feeding of Your Instant Pot. We covered buying an Instant Pot (and if you should buy one at all), different models, set-up, tips and tricks, cleaning and maintenance, and more. I also demo’ed a rice pudding recipe which is available below!
Instant Pot Rice Pudding Serves 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes, plus cooling
1 cup short-grain white rice, rinsed well and drained 5 cups whole milk 2/3 cup sugar 1 pinch salt 2 large eggs beaten, at room temperature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the rice, milk, sugar, and salt in your Instant Pot. Whisk together and secure the lid.
Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes and use a natural release.
Whisk the cooked rice and milk mixture well. Temper the eggs by slowly adding 1 cup of the hot milky rice to the eggs while whisking constantly. Add that mixture to the Instant Pot slowly, whisking the whole time.
Turn on the Sauté function. Whisk until the mixture is simmering and starting to thicken up. Turn off the Sauté function.
Add the vanilla and mix well.
Allow the rice pudding to cool. It will thicken greatly as it sits. Serve warm or cold.
Flavor ideas (add after cooling)
Chocolate-covered cherry: mini semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped fresh cherries or dried cherries
Mango-lime: Diced ripe mango tossed in the juice and zest of 1-2 fresh limes
Cinnamon roll: 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Peach-almond: Fresh diced peaches, slivered almonds on top
Quinoa is a relatively quick-cooking grain, but the Instant Pot makes it even faster. It’s also a very hands-off, heat friendly method—I don’t turn on my stove or oven unless I have to in the hot, hot summer. The IP makes quick and easy work of healthy quinoa without heating up my kitchen. Score.
Instant Pot Quinoa
1 cup rinsed and drained quinoa (any color)
1 1/2 cups water or broth
1 teaspoon oil
1 big pinch salt
Combine all ingredients into the Instant Pot and shake the inner pot to level the quinoa and make sure it is all submerged. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure for 1 minute. Use a natural release and fluff with a fork.
Black rice (also known as forbidden rice) has come into vogue lately, and for good reason. It has a nice nutty flavor, a toothsome but tender texture, and it’s packed with nutrients. It also looks very, very cool.
Luckily, it’s also very easy to make in a pressure cooker (such as an Instant Pot). I have a recipe for Forbidden Rice With Grapefruit and Jalapeno in my new book (out May 1), but until then, here’s the basics of how to cook black rice:
Pressure Cooker Black (Forbidden) Rice makes about 3 cups
1 cup black rice, rinsed and drained
1 1/4 cup water or broth
1 teaspoon oil
1 pinch salt
For electric pressure cookers: Cook at high pressure for 23 minutes. Use a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release.
For stovetop pressure cookers: Cook at high pressure for 20 minutes. Use a 10-minute natural release followed by a quick release.