Sunday, December 4, 2016

Instant Pot: Zuppa Toscana

I first made this a long while ago in the crockpot and then stovetop. I've actually never eaten this soup before at Olive Garden but a friend brought for a party and it was such comfort food. Now that I have an Instant Pot I of course had to make this soup in it. It only took about 10 minutes prepping time to cut the veggies and bacon. Then 5 minutes to cook on the soup function, NPR (natural pressure release), and then to QR (quick release). Super quick dinner to make and it tasted just as good if not better than when done in the crockpot and stove top. Here's the recipe.

Instant Pot: Zuppa Toscana (Olive Garden Knockoff)

1 lb Italian sausage
3 russet potatoes, cubed
1/2 onion, diced
2 tbsp minced garlic 
1 pkg bacon (I used 2 pkgs, well because bacon 😝)
1 bunch kale, removed from stem and chopped
4 cups chicken broth (forgot to include in first pic and in the 4th pic it looks like gel because I used turkey broth I made in the IP a few days ago)
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream 

Sauté Italian sausage till no longer pink. Add onions and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add potatoes and broth. Hit cancel, cover with lid, hit soup, and adjust time to 5 minutes. Make sure valve is on sealing. While IP is going, I separately brown bacon and drain fat. Let NPR for 10 min, then QPR. Cancel keep warm button and hit sauté. Add heavy whipping cream, chopped kale, and bacon. Season with black pepper. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Instant Pot Kalua Pig

I keep forgetting to post about this and it's been sitting in my pending posts. Plus I got kinda lazy with blog posting and on the Facebook IP group. I ended up making this last night and figured I get it rolling again 😉. Bonus, I included a little vid with some island flavah 😆. 

Our normal 2 hour oven baked Kalua pig cooked in the IP for 25 minutes. Overall cooking time of prepping, quick sauté, pressurizing, and depressurizing in about 45 minutes. SAY WHAT 😳😃😱😉👍🏼! 

I just did what we normally do for our oven baked version and adjusted the measurements for the seasonings a bit. Just to account for the saltiness. You can always season more after cooking but during the cooking process you're pretty much outta luck. 

We've always cut our pork butt or shoulder into about 1 1/2-inch slices, laid into a 13"x9" baking pan, seasoned it with shoyu, Hawaiian salt, & liquid smoke (I've made this so many times that I don't even measure but will give an approximate), added some water, covered with foil, and baked at 400* for two hours. The slicing of the pork makes it cook faster and makes for easier shredding. 

Now today I converted that method to the IP and it worked like a charm. I kept going over other recipes for Kalua pig but just couldn't shake that it takes just as long in the IP as it does when I cook in the oven. Then my hubby told me why fix something that isn't broke and just do it the same oven way (ingredients wise) but cut the time for the IP. So I did and it went a little something like this...

PS - Thank goodness it worked as a trial run since I just scored 5 pork butts on a price cut for our son's bday party the next weekend. Used one of those for this experiment 😃😉👍🏼.



3 1/2 lb - 4lb boneless port butt or shoulder (if you have bone-in, it's fine. Just slice and cut around bone) sliced into 1 1/2-inch slices. 
Liquid smoke
Hawaiian salt
Coconut oil or preference. 


Slice pork into about 1 1/2 inch slices.  Hit sauté, add some oil, and brown slices a little on both sides. Cancel sauté. Sprinkle about 1 tbsp. Hawaiian salt.  Drizzle about 1/4 cup shoyu over pork.  Drizzle about 2 tbsp liquid smoke over pork.  Add 1 cup water.  Cover with lid and be sure valve is at sealing. Hit meat and adjust time to 25 minutes. When done let NPR for 10!minutes, then QR.  Remove lid and remove pork pieces from liquid to separate bowl for shedding. Reserve liquid if you want to keep meat less dry or use as broth for Kalua pig and cabbage. 


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Instant Pot Beef Luau Stew

I've had success with slowly converting all the local Hawaii dishes that I cook via stovetop to the Instant Pot. A few weeks ago I conquered a beef luau stew. It's Hawaiian beef stew made with luau leaves (taro leaves) and coconut milk. Normally this takes me a few hours to cook on the stove in order to get the meat tender and to cook the fresh leaves properly. Not cooking down the leaves properly results with you experiencing an itchy throat when eating it. Here's my mock up recipe that I just typed up 😉👍🏼. 


Luau leaves (taro leaves) stems & fibrous veins removed
8 cups water
Hawaiian salt
3 lb chuck roast 
1/2 onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth 
2 cans coconut milk
Salt & pepper to taste 



Cleaned and cut off stems of luau leaves. Chop leaves and add to pot with 8 cups water. Sprinkle some Hawaiian salt and push leaves into water. Cook on manual for 15 min. Let NPR for 10, then quick release. Drain leaves.  I ended up doing two cooking batches of the leaves since I didn't want to overflow the pot. 

Cut chuck roast into big chunks. Sauté meat with coconut oil. Add sliced onions, garlic, 4 cups chicken broth, and cooked luau leaves. Stir to incorporate. Cancel sauté and cook on Meat/Stew for 25 min. Let NPR for 10 min, then quick release. Cancel keep warm and hit sauté. Add two cans of coconut milk and stir.  Season to taste. Enjoy!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Instant Pot Pork & Tabungao (Opo Squash)

I make this Filipino dish all the time over the stove. It's such comfort food for us and we like it soup like. When a make the Filipino Port Guisantes (Pork & Peas) a few weeks back in the Instant Pot, I knew I could do the same with this dish too. This too took only seven minutes cooking time (after pressurizing) in the IP when it normally takes about an hour total over the stovetop. 

Here's the recipe!

Instant Pot Pork & Tabungao (Opo Squash)

3 lbs chopped pork butt or shoulder
1/2 onion sliced
2 tbsp minced garlic
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 medium sized tabungao (Opo squash), peeled and sliced
1/4 cup patis (fish sauce), 
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups chichiron (fried pork rinds), optional
1 cup dried shrimp, optional 
Black pepper to season 

Sauté pork, onion, garlic, and oil in the Instant Pot for about 5 minutes. Cancel sauté. Add chicken broth, patis, and squash. Mix well. Seal lid and be sure valve is on sealing. Hit meat button and adjust time to 7 minutes. When done let it NPR (normal pressure release) for 10 minutes, then do a QR (quick release) of the valve. Remove lid, turn off IP, and hit sauté. Add tomatoes, dried shrimp, chichiron, and black pepper. Mix well and let cook till last remaining ingredients are soft. Taste broth and add more patis if needed to your preference. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Instant Pot Shoyu Chicken

About a month ago my brother came in from Seattle for a visit be had been curious on how my Instant Pot works since I had been posting about it on Facebook. He was pretty amazed that I could cook a local Hawaii favorite is Shoyu Chicken in less than half the time over the stove. This batch I made in the IP took only 8 minutes since it was a mixture of bone in chicken thighs and drumsticks. I had thought I had grabbed a tray of all bone in thighs at the store but this worked out really well. I later cooked a tray of all bone in thighs for a different dish and found I had to cook it in the IP for 12 minutes. 

So depending on what cut of chicken you are using, you will have to adjust the cooking time. This recipe will be based on what I have done so far. 

Here's the recipe. 


1 tray of chicken thighs and drumsticks
1 cup shoyu (Aloha Brand preferred)
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
Few slices of ginger 
Coconut oil or preference
Chopped green onion
Cornstarch and water for slurry


Sautéed chicken thighs and drumsticks in coconut oil and set aside. Deglazed the bits with water, shoyu, added sliced ginger, and brown sugar. Added the chicken, cancel sauté, and hit chicken for 8 minutes. NPR 8 minutes and then QR. I removed chicken, hit sauté to thicken sauce with cornstarch and water and added chopped green onion. Placed chicken back to pot. Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Instant Pot Pork Adobo

Made another favorite Filipino dish in the IP the other night called Pork Adobo. Which is pork simmered in vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic. It turned out so yummy! Yummier than when I cook it over the stove top. My own adapted recipe as follows:

3-4 lb. pork butt or shoulder cut into large cubes
1 cup soy sauce 
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
3-4 bay leaves 
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano (optional, hubby just likes to add this) 
Coconut oil or your preference

Sauté pork with some oil for about 5 minutes. Add remainder of ingredients and mix. Cancel sauté and hit meat adjust time to 25 minutes. Be sure valve is at sealing. Let NPR for 10 minutes and then QR. Serve over hot rice. Enjoy!

**I failed to mention that since I did use a pork butt that was kinda fatty, there was lots of oil after it was done. I just used a slotted spoon to drain the fat upon eating. When I stored the leftovers overnight, I just scraped out the solidified fat in the morning and it was less oily.**

Instant Pot Pork and Peas

Ever since I got my new Instant Pot, I've been on a mission to convert local favorites done over the stovetop. So far they have been a success and it's allowing me to get the wheels turning in my head on how to adapt to the IP. 

I can't tell you how much faster it takes to cook and about the tenderness of the meat in the IP. The faster cooking time is what really helps me when we're shuffling in between multiple activities for the family. 

Sometime last week I managed to cook Filipino pork and peas (guisantes) in the IP. This turned out as another keeper in the IP rotation menu. Here is the recipe as follows. 


Another stove top to IP conversion a success! I made a Filipino dish called Pork Guisantes (Pork and Peas) which is pork in a tomato base sauce with frozen peas and pimientos. I just winged it based on my recent IP practice cooking and it went a little something like this...

2 lbs chopped pork (I used pork shoulder)
1 can chicken broth
1/2 onion chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic 
1-12oz can tomato paste 
1 bag frozen sweet peas
2 small jars diced pimientos
1/3 cup Patis (fish sauce)
3-4 bay leaves (I didn't out any since I didn't realize I was out of them)
Salt and pepper 

Sauté pork, onions, and garlic for about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth, tomato paste, and patis. Stir to incorporate. Cancel sauté and hit meat. Adjust time to 7 minutes. NPR for 10 min, then QR. Remove lid. Add frozen peas, pimientos, and S&P to season. Stir. 

Now for this part you could let it simmer on sauté at low temp to let the frozen peas to cook through OR pressure cook for 1 minute. I chose the latter just to experiment since this was my first time make this particular dish in the IP. I placed the lid back on and set it for 1 minute on manual. Then did about 8 min NPR and QR. It ended up working out perfectly! Season more if you like to your preference and enjoy over hot rice. MANGAN TAYON (Let's Eat!)!