I acquired an Instant Pot a couple years ago for Christmas. When I first used it, I basically viewed it as a super fast Crock Pot and didn’t explore any of its unique functions. My parents would tell me about the dishes they used it to make – curry, fish, ribs, the list goes on – but I never experimented on my own. Its main use in my kitchen was to cook chicken at a high speed.
Clearly I’ve been under-utilizing the Instant Pot. I have a cookbook with 200 recipes, a Pinterest account, and access to the internet, so there’s reason to neglect this small appliance anymore.
My initial inspiration for dusting off my Instant Pot was a craving for Indian food. My dad’s made a couple Indian dishes in his Instant Pot that my mom’s raved about, which tempted me to read some recipes. I found a recipe for chicken tikka masala and decided I needed to try.
Cooking with the Instant Pot was simple. Seriously, it couldn’t be easier, and I can’t believe I didn’t try before. There are a variety of settings which makes it so versatile, but the settings are few enough that it isn’t overwhelming and hard to screw up if you follow the recipe. An added bonus is how easy clean up is, because there aren’t many pots and pans used. Many recipes only require the use of one pot. I’ll definitely be using the Instant Pot more often.
Other reasons I need to use the Instant Pot more often are to perfect this recipe, and be able identify potential flaws in other recipes. This dish lacked flavor, and I only used half the chicken called for. Had I used the correct amount, it would have been so bland. Next time I’ll add a little more spice. I’ll also add some vegetables. Potatoes or bell peppers would be a welcomed addition, bringing texture and flavor.
The dish wasn’t all bad, though. The chicken was tender and I got to eat basmati rice, which I love and don’t eat often enough. I’m excited to experiment more with the Instant Pot, and to make more Indian dishes.
Friday night I love to make pizza. When deciding what kind to make last night, I took to my kitchen for inspiration. Upon finding mozzarella cheese and sun dried tomatoes, I knew I wanted to do a spin on Margherita. The outcome was chicken Margherita, a fine example of the endless possibilities of pizza.
Using this recipe, I baked the dough for 15 minutes before adding the toppings. This helps eliminate the doughy center so it’s not too soft in the middle. Once pre-baked, I topped the dough with this sauce, fresh basil leaves, mozzarella slices, sun dried tomatoes, and shredded chicken. (I baked chicken breast while the sauce was simmering, but I just as easily could’ve used rotisserie chicken.) I baked it for 18 minutes more before feasting on my Friday night favorite.
This recipe needs some toying with. It’d be fantastic on a flatbread, and the chicken and tomatoes need to be under the cheese to prevent unnecessary charring. However, the flavors are bright and balanced and it’s a fun alternative to a classic Margherita. I’ll be trying it again soon.
In case I haven’t publicly professed my adoration for pasta enough, let me do so once more: I love pasta. Therefore, in my quest to amass an arsenal of recipes for one, I need a trove of pasta recipes. One with a lemon butter sauce and wilted spinach is of utmost importance to perfect.
To start, boil linguine in salt water. Use about 1/8-1/6 of the box. Cut up half a chicken breast into small cubes, salt and pepper, and cook in an oiled pan over medium heat. Melt 1/4 stick of butter in the pan and add 1/8 tsp of minced garlic and 1/8 tsp of parsley. While butter is melting, add 1/2 cup of spinach and the juice of 1 lemon. Add noodles once al dente. Toss to smother noodles in lemony, buttery deliciousness.
Making this dish couldn’t be simpler, and when portions are smaller, ingredients cook faster making time in the kitchen minimal. And, although it’s pasta, it’s pretty light, making it a great weeknight summer meal. Enjoy!