Thursday, February 21, 2019

Southwestern Beef and Rice Skillet

Southwestern Beef and Rice Skillet (2/21/19) *****

1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups uncooked instant rice
2 cans (10 ounces each) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
2 cups beef broth
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend


Set Instant Pot to sauté, cook beef, onion, green pepper and jalapeno until meat is no longer pink and vegetables are tender, breaking up beef into crumbles, 8-10 minutes. 

Add rice, tomatoes, broth and seasonings.  Set pressure cook to 10 minutes.  

After the 10 minutes, let pressure out naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release. 

Fluff with a fork. Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese. Let stand, covered, until cheese is melted.


Saturday, February 16, 2019

Ropa Vieja

Ropa Vieja (2/16/19) *****


2 lb. beef flank steak

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt & pepper to taste

1 medium onion, sliced

4-5 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup beef or chicken broth

one 15 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 cups sliced mild/sweet peppers of your choice (my favorite for this recipe are cubanelles, but anaheims or bells work well too)

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 bay leaf

1/2 to 1 teaspoon Goya Sazon or Adobo seasoning (optional, to taste - or substitute a blend of your own)

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons vinegar (top choices: white wine, distilled, apple cider)

1/2 cup chopped green olives


Season the flank steak generously on both sides with salt and pepper. 

Add the olive oil to the pressure cooker to cook over medium heat (press the 'Saute' button to begin cooking at medium saute heat). 

When the oil is hot, place the meat into the cooker, taking care to ensure a large flat surface is in contact with the bottom of the pot. 

Brown the meat well on both sides, then transfer it to a plate to rest.

Add the onions and garlic to the pot, and continue to cook over medium saute heat, stirring frequently, until the onions begin to soften. 

Add the broth and deglaze: take a moment to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. 

Add the canned tomatoes, sliced peppers, oregano, cumin, and bay leaf (and seasoning blend, if using); stir to combine, then nestle the browned flank steak into the stew.

Cover the pressure cooker with the lid, ensuring that the valve is in sealing position. 

Cook under high pressure for 40 minutes (with Instant Pot, press ‘Cancel’ to stop saute mode before closing the lid, then press ‘Manual’ and "+" to select 40 minutes).

When the cooking time is up, allow at least 10 minutes for the pressure to release naturally. 

Open the lid and carefully shred the meat by pulling it apart into long fibers with two forks. 

Discard the bay leaf, then mix in the parsley, vinegar and green olives. 

Season to taste, and serve with rice and your favorite Cuban-style accompaniments.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Bean Mac & Cheese

Bean Mac & Cheese (2/15/19) *****


1 Medium Onion, chopped

1 cup Celery, chopped

2 Tbsp Chili Powder, mild

2 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Oregano, dried

1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder (optional, or cayenne pepper)

1 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

8 Cloves of Garlic, minced

32 oz Chicken Broth

(1) 4oz Can of Green Chiles (mild, fire roasted are good)

(1) 15.5oz Can of Pink Kidney Beans (rinsed & drained)

(1) 15.5oz Can of Red Kidney Beans (rinsed & drained)

(1) 15.5oz Can of White Kidney Beans (rinsed & drained)

16 oz Elbow Pasta (macaroni)

(1) 14.5oz Can of Diced Tomatoes (juice and all)

(1) 15oz Can of Tomato Sauce

2 1/2 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded


Press the Sauté (Normal) button on the Instant Pot. Add onion and celery. Sauté until almost translucent, stirring occasionally. 

Make sure to scrape up any brown bits on the bottom of the pot (deglaze).

Add garlic and the spices. Stir.

Add in the broth, chiles, and beans Stir to combine. Let the contents come to a simmer.

Add the pasta, stir and submerge it.

Press the Cancel/Keep Warm button to cancel the sauté mode.

Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce, and let them stay on top. DO NOT STIR (this helps alleviate the potential burning that can happen with tomatoes).

To Pressure Cook

Put the lid on the pot and set the steam release knob to “Sealing” position.

Press the Manual (or Pressure Cook) button and the + or - button to select 4 minutes* (or 1/2 of the time on the pasta package directions), and make sure that High Pressure is also selected.

When cooking time ends and the unit beeps, do a Controlled Quick Release (QR) (slowly at first, in small bursts so sauce doesn't spew out of the knob) of the steam.

When the steam is all out and the pin in the lid drops, carefully open the lid, facing away from your face. Stir contents.

Add cheese and stir. Let sit a minute until melted.

Season with more salt & pepper to taste, if desired.

Garnish as desired. Serve it right away!  Serves 6-8.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Arroz con Pollo con Cerveza

Rice with Chicken and Beer (2/3/19)


4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons olive oil, separated

1 cup onion, finely chopped

2 cups of peas and carrots (canned)

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups white rice

3 cups of beer

1 packet of seasoning with saffron



Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste.

Turn on the Instant Pot ON and select "sauté".

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the chicken and cook for 5 - 8 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned and no longer pink.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the Instant Pot. Sauté onion, garlic, peas and carrots for 3-5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. 

Add the rice, beer, and saffron seasoning. Mix to combine. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary. 

Press "cancel". Secure the lid to the Instant Pot. Close pressure release valve. Select "manual", or "pressure cook", and adjust cooking time to 10 minutes.

When the time is over, let the pressure release on its own for 10 minutes. Then, carefully turn the valve to "Venting," to release any extra pressure that might still be in there. Then remove the lid. Press "cancel".

Mix and fluff with a fork and serve hot.