Classics, Comfort food, Meat, Mexican, Savory, Soups

Instapot Beef Chili

It is that time of the year when the weather is cold and raw and the only thing that will soothe the soul, is warm bowl of soup (or stew or stoup). Beef chili can take a while to make, but not if you have an Instapot. I was shocked at how quickly (about 40 minutes) the chili came together and it tasted like it had been cooked for hours!! This is the recipe, that really convinced me that the Instapot was a great investment (although, I got mine from my in-laws, so kudos to them!). Everyone, has a preference for chili, but this is how I make mine.

Ingredients:
2 medium onions, chopped

2 medium green pepper, chopped

2 medium jalapenos (or more if you like it spicy) sliced into rings

1.5 pounds of ground beef

1, 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

1 cup of chicken stock

1 can of kidney beans

4 tsp of minced garlic

2 Tbsp of cumin

3 tsp of chili powder

1 tsp of cayenne powder

2 tsp of salt

1 tsp of ground black pepper

1/4 tsp of cinnamon

2 tsp of olive oil

Method:

Turn the Instapot ON to the saute setting.

Add olive oil and ground meat to the pot. Saute till brown. Drain off any excess fat (this will depend on the fat content of the ground beef. I used 90/10 and there was very little fat to drain).

Add the onions, peppers, and jalapenos to the pot and saute till the veggies soften.

Add all the spices and continue to saute for an additional 7-10 minutes.

Turn off the sautee setting and add in the stock, beans, and the crushed tomato.

Cook the chili using the “Pressure Cook” setting on “High” for 30 mintues.

Your chili is ready

Serve with your choice of fixings. We like to keep it simple and eat the chili with corn chips.

Mexican, Poultry, Savory, Soups, Stew

Chicken Chili

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Last Christmas my in-laws gave us an Instant Pot and it has been a game-changer! To be able to make a “slow-cooked” meal in 1 hour was mind-blowing and the best part is that it actually tastes like it has been cooking all day!!  So far, I have made chicken stew and beef chili with my Instant Pot and they both came out great.  I promise to share those recipes sometime in the future.  Today, I will show you how I made Chicken Chili.  I used to make this on a regular basis when I was in school but stopped making it since my husband prefers beef chili.  You can find the older version of the recipe here.  This time around, I use ground chicken (which is often on sale) instead of pulled chicken,  and store-bought Salsa Verde as a shortcut.  It is a hearty, yet light meal that is perfect for Spring.

Ingredients:

1 pound ground chicken

2 medium onions, chopped

2 poblano peppers, chopped

1 tbsp of minced garlic

2 tsp of chili powder

2 tsp of cumin

1/2 tbsp of olive oil

1 cup of chicken stock

1/3 cup of jarred Salsa Verde

1 can of cannellini beans

Salt and Pepper to taste ( this depends on how much salt your stock and salsa have)

Ingredients:

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Set you Instant Pot to the saute setting and heat oil in the pot.  While the oil heats up, chop the onions and peppers.

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Once the oil is heated add chicken, peppers, onions, garlic, cumin and chili powder to the pot.  stir frequently to break up the chicken into small granules.

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Saute till peppers and onions are soft and fragrant, and the chicken is pale brown.  Make sure you scrap the bottom of the pot frequently to lift up the crispy brown bits–that is all flavor.

 

Finally, add the beans, broth, and salsa and stir for 1-2 minutes to incorporate all the ingredients.  I used chicken bullion so I had to wait for about 3-5 minutes for all the ingredients to marry together.  You can do this after you “cancel” the saute setting.  Once everything is mixed, taste and adjust for salt and pepper.

 

Set you Instant Pot to “Pressure Cook” on “high” and cook for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, let the steam escape naturally or if you are impatient like I am, you can use a towel to spin the steam release valve–do this carefully !! Steam burns are the worst!

At this point, the chili is ready.  You can adjust for salt and pepper again.  I added a little more chili powder (because we like it spicy) and left the lid off on the “keep warm” setting.  It allows for some of the liquid to evaporate, making for a thicker chili.

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Serve piping hot with the usual fixings.  We had it with chips and pickled jalapenos!

Asian, Comfort food, Gluten-free, Soups

Thai style Hot and Sour Soup

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I have an obsession with Asian style soups.  I think I get it from my dad.  I remember as a child downing a chicken egg drop soup and my dad and I would compete to see who had the longest egg-drop! Whenever I get a hankering for Asian soups, I would order take out.  Then I realized the amount of junk I was putting in my system, so I did some research and found this recipe.  It is easy, healthy and hits the spot ! I hope you like it.

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You will need:

Canned goods: Bamboo shoots, baby corn and straw mushrooms

Fresh stuff: Cilantro, scallions, juice of two limes and ginger paste

Carton stuff: Chicken stock and Liquid Eggs

Asian sauces: Sambal and fish sauce.

Spices: White pepper, salt.

This is where the recipe gets super complicated.  Dump everything in a pot and boil away.  OK, but here are a few tips.  I add 2 tbsp of fish sauce to every 32 Fl Oz chicken stock carton.  I like to add two heaping tablespoons of crushed ginger.  I added juice of four limes–that makes it nice and tart, but stick with two if you don’t like sour.  Add as much Sambal as you like.  White pepper is a must ! It tastes spicier than regular black pepper.  I use a whole bunch of scallions and a lot of cilantro.

 

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Once your soup is ready, stream in eggs and gently stir to create the egg drops.IMG_0986

Serve piping hot !

Comfort food, Soups, Stew

Winter Minestrone

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Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions

1 can of peas and carrots

2 cups (1/2-inch) diced celery (3 stalks)

1 acorn squash, roasted, peeled, chopped

1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

2-3 Tbsp thyme, rosemary and sage

2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice

4 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth

1 bay leaf

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 tsp of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 15 oz can of red kidney beans, drained

1 package of Swiss chard.

 

Directions:

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the onions, carrots, peas, celery, garlic, red pepper flakes and herbs and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.

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Meanwhile, in an oven preheated to 375F, roast 1 acorn squash

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Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, the bay leaf, 1 Tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

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Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and Swiss chard and roasted, cubed squash. Continue to cook till the chard wilts and soup comes to desired consistency.

Serve hot with crusty, buttery bread !

 

Comfort food, Savory, Soups

A Refreshing Spring Soup

I am not a fan of cold soups. But I REALLY love soups, so I try to make very light, refreshing soups for the warmers months.  Like most of my recipes, you can doctor it up to you and your family’s taste.  I was clearing out my pantry and I all I had were my emergency can of mixed vegetables and a two chicken breasts.  So I made this lovely, light soup—perfect for a relaxing spring evening.

Ingredients:

1 medium onion chopped

2 cans of mixed vegetables ( feel free to use fresh seasonal vegetables here)

cubed, chicken breast

Chicken stock enough to cover all the ingredients

1 Bay leaf

salt, pepper, rosemary (fresh or dried) and a splash of lemon juice (all according to your taste)

Method:

Saute all the onions and vegetables in a few drops of olive oil, enough to soften the veggies and give them a little light coating–remember the key to this soup is light !

Then add the chicken pieces along with salt, pepper, lemon juice and rosemary and saute till the chicken is lightly cooked.

Fill the pot with chicken stock to cover all the goodies and simmer on low till the chicken is cooked through.

You could add some rice/orzo or other short cut pasta at this point to add more body to the soup, but I did not.

Serve hot or warm with a crusty slice of bread !