updates re: the Instant Pot

Friends, So many of you have been veerry enthused about my Instant Pot experiences so far, so I thought I’d share some new recipes and one new accessory that I highly recommend.

Several people waxed rhapsodic about making hardboiled eggs in the IP. Oliver and Tom can clear through a dozen HB eggs in no time flat, but I don’t love boiling them because of shell-cracking and the ridiculously frustrating experience of attempting to peel seemingly super-glue-adhered shells from the egg itself without losing approximately a third of the white. With hope, I bought this stainless stackable egg-steaming rack which can accommodate 14 eggs and fits perfectly in the 6-quart IP.

After four minutes in low pressure, we had gloriously light and fluffy hard-”boiled” eggs whose shells released easily. This is a game changer, y’all.

Secondly, I have, since last writing, made two additional recipes from the Melissa Clark book, Comfort in an Instant, that I recommend to you enthusiastically, the first especially.

  1. Red Wine Brisket with Prunes

  2. Chocolate-Bourbon Lava Cakes

Prunes, wine, bay leaves, cinnamon, and beef are a mighty fine combination of flavors, y’all. That brisket was tender as can be and the carrots were like my Nanny’s used to be in the roasts she’d cook: they still looked like carrots in terms of holding shape, but they could almost be spread by a knife, so tender were they. I don’t think I’ve made the boys brisket before, and they are now huge fans. Plus, the leftovers are great.

For Valentine’s Day dessert, I made the chocolate lava cakes, long one of Tom’s favorite treats. They were really easy to put together and took just 9 minutes to cook and 3 to rest. Oliver thought they were heavenly; Jack didn’t like them, but he generally doesn’t like cake or oozy stuff so I wasn’t surprised. The texture was vaguely rubbery but, oddly, not really in a bad way. None of us could taste the bourbon, but that’s fine.

And just to get my non-IP cooking life on, I also made a gumbo. It’s always a good time for gumbo, and this one was superb.

Just look at that roux as it browns. Et voilà!


Holy Peace and Quiet, Batman!

Ol made it back to school today. I know he's bushed but also really happy to see his friends and be there; a quick email from his teacher confirmed just that. I was certain he'd need to come home early so have been sticking close to my phone but so far haven't heard a peep. I have taken advantage of these few hours to catch up on many a pleasurable task here at home: more holiday card addressing; lots of cooking (pecan-oatmeal pie, gumbo, granola, and roasted pumpkin so far) some of which is for a Southern Feast I'm catering tomorrow; laundry; etc. Let me tell you, I am relishing the hell out of the silence and feeling grateful that my little guy is on the up and up. If you missed the roux tutorial video I posted previously, click here to watch! www.em-i-lis.com

I was also thankful for a glorious evening with J last night. Yesterday was his last day of after school comic book drawing, and he was ebullient the whole way home. T gave him a haircut, I gave him his spelling quiz, he showered, we read, and then, after Ol was asleep, J wandered downstairs - decked in the now-standard PJ get up of undies and giant, fuzzy reindeer socks- and pronounced that he was hungry again. Y'all, the amount that boys eat continues to astound me. Literally, I am astounded by what Jack eats for dinner each day. T and I had ordered Indian food, and J asked to pull up a chair and join us for some. Swear to god, I fell in love with him anew. He is so earnest and dear, and any kid that will chow down on channa curry, rice and onion kulcha is welcome at my table any time.  He told us a story about a gal he knows who described herself as quiet and shy. His response was "I didn't so much go with that, but I just went on with it because I didn't want to hurt her feelings or anything." Hah! Then he said, "it's really nice to sit here and eat with you guys. I love you." What a pumpkin.


Happy Friday, readers. I hope you're having a wonderful, delicious day!