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Everything posted by Beebs

  1. Notte's Bon Ton! I love their Diplomat Cake! I think I need a Diplomat Cake right now.
  2. Brilliant, Tropicalsenior! There is quite a distinctive star anise & ginger flavour to it, but I think a beef barley soup would be really nice with the fat. Also throw a scoop into bolognaise, beans, fried rice, chow mein. And yorkshire puddings! Mmmmm... beef fat!
  3. Instant Pot Taiwanese beef noodles. Garnished with chopped sour pickled mustard and a bit of chili oil. Tasted way better than it looks. I used the Meat/Stew function (35 mins) with natural release, which I think was a tad too long for the beef rib finger meat. It fell apart a bit too much, as did the tendons. Thinking 30 mins might do it next time. Also the finger meat was rather too fatty. I skimmed an entire bowlful of fat and also removed a good amount the next day (which I used to saute bok choy - waste not, want not! I also highly recommend beef noodle fat-roasted potatoes....). Will do beef shank again next time. What I've learned so far: Use less liquid than in regular braising/stewing. OK, here's a stew question. If I want to make stew with carrots & potatoes, how do I get the veg cooked in there without it all going to mush? Do I pressure cook it twice - once till the meat is almost done, then chuck in the veg & pressure cook a second time? Or simmer it on the Saute function?? Next stop - probably bolognaise or ragu. Or potatoes. Or maybe I'll steam something. Steamed potatoes.
  4. Article in the Globe & Mail today "Instant Pot is a sizzling success thanks to home cooks – and Amazon logistics". I did not know the IP was designed in Canada, and also they didn't really advertise until about 2 yrs ago, relying on word of mouth. For my part, I impulse-bought mine, thanks to all you enablers here on eG!
  5. Anna N & Mmmpomps, those meals look so good! I made plain white rice.
  6. Beebs


    Yum! Love meatloaf! I like mine looser, not the packed, firm stuff. Half regular ground pork, half lean ground beef - I don't bother with veal, it's too mild & $$$ for simple ol' meatloaf. To keep it softer I use a fair amount of grated carrots, finely-chopped onions & celery, and bread soaked in milk. I also do free form, it's less greasy and the sides get a nicer crust. Essentially my version of a giant meatball in non-ball form. Best thing about meatloaf - meatloaf sandwiches the next day!
  7. Another benefit I can see of sauteing in the IP is that you can deglaze in the same cooking vessel. If I saute in a separate pan, I'd have to deglaze and then somehow get all the liquid into the IP still. Anyway, I've been gifted a pack of beef "finger" meat (kind of like short rib, but boneless). So this week I'll be doing red-cooked beef for Taiwanese beef noodle. DH is tasked with getting a pack of tendons & beef bones (for the soup part). Not sure how the timing would work out for the pressure cooking part, especially for the tendons to get soft enough. Guess I'll start with the Meat function and see what happens?? Is 30 mins enough time, plus natural release? Any other advice? I'd intended to try a few simpler things to get a better feel for the IP, like rice, chickpeas, and potatoes. But, well...free beef!
  8. That's really too bad that an adjustable saute function isn't available on the large pot. On the other hand, it worked great for simmering (my beans were a bit too liquidy). I will likely end up browning and sauteing on the stove anyway, given my space constraints. Oh well. I'd like to do some curries and beef rendang, but I think I should get a few more of those rubber rings. I'm pleased to discover Instant Pot's online store has free shipping - hooray!
  9. Hooray! Finally got around to using the IP for the first time, after sitting in its box for two months.... Did the initial test run with water, as recommended by the instruction manual. Couldn't figure out why it only spit out noisy steam and wouldn't come up to pressure...until I realized the steam valve was turned to the "venting" position. Anyway, made the Boston "baked" beans from the Hip Pressure Cooking website, which turned out nicely, other than a few minor tweaks for seasoning and measurements next time. Sauteing in the IP didn't work too well for me, though. The only place I can put the IP when in use is on the counter which has a cupboard directly over it, maybe about 1.5 ft of clearance. So there was a fair bit of maneuvering around to get my arm and spatula in there and saute. Also (maybe an operator error), I couldn't figure out how to adjust the temperature after the Saute function started, other than turning it off and starting it back up at a different temperature. Any solutions?
  10. Beebs

    Corn on Pizza

    Yum! I've used leftover thawed frozen corn as pizza topping. Didn't bother pre-cooking it, just chucked it on. I've also used leftover cooked corn on pizza. Can't recall it being noticeably different.
  11. Ok, so I've been doing smoothies in the spring/summer, but not really during the colder months. No blender - using an immersion blender & large measuring pitcher. It would be nice to have a blender but not too much space for another small appliance, after my recent Instant Pot purchase.... Anyway, my smoothies inevitably turn an unappetizing shade of blah after 15 mins or so, the time it takes for me to get to work. Today's smoothie was almond milk, bananas, blueberries, mango, bit of honey - blended into a lovely shade of lilac. Until I got to work. Tasted fine, but drinking a glass of blah grey for breakfast isn't ideal. What can I do to make it look less - blah? Is it the bananas? My choice of fruit?
  12. Beebs

    Celtuce and Its Tops

    Bought some A-choy on the weekend. 2 for $5, mix & match greens, at the neighbourhood greengrocer! So got one giant bunch of celtuce and another giant bunch of choy sum (propping up the A-choy). I used about two-thirds of the bunch. Because dinner was spinach & cheese ravioli, I decided to forego my usual fermented tofu/fuyu, and stir-fried it with garlic, anchovies, olive oil. A large pan of it shrinks down to practically nothing - it exudes a lot of water. No after picture. It was tasty, a bit like escarole.
  13. That's disappointing! Getting beef chuck & pork shoulders done faster is one of my major reasons for buying the IP. Someone's probably already mentioned it in an older post - but how does it work out for pressure cooking for a shorter amount of time, then switching to slow cook? How would it compare to traditional braising methods in terms of taste & cooking time? I have nothing against slow cooking, of course. Alas, my IP is still in its virgin state....
  14. Beebs

    Celtuce and Its Tops

    Heh! Just answered my own question - it's the same, Lactuca sativa, aka Taiwan lettuce. Courtesy of Google & Serious Eats.
  15. Beebs

    Celtuce and Its Tops

    The leafy part looks like what's usually labelled in the Asian markets here as A Choy / A Lettuce. Is it the same thing? Maybe the Taiwanese name? Very tasty stir-fried with fermented black bean or fermented tofu and loads of garlic.
  16. As always, thanks for the blast!
  17. Thanks, @rotuts! I know how I'll be spending my weekend!
  18. Well, I've finally opened my new IP purchased a couple weeks ago. It's bigger & heavier than I expected, so now it doesn't fit in the space I originally wanted it to rest. Haven't turned it on yet either. Anyway, question about pressure cooking. I've used a traditional pressure cooker maybe twice ever in my entire life, and this was in high school home economics. Approximately how much cooking time is reduced by pressure cooking? Half? More? Presumably it depends on what I'm cooking? Say a standard beef stew that takes a couple hours stove top. What about (soaked) beans? I think I'll have a go at the IP this long weekend. Thanks!
  19. Enjoyed your foodblog so much - thank you! I'll be coming back to your blog again when I start planning my own trip to HK. Cheers!
  20. Can you comment on the language? Working in HK, do you conduct most of your business in Cantonese and/or Mandarin? Did you have to take language classes? From your photos, it looks like English is still very prevalent, as far as signage, transportation is concerned. Do you find it fairly easy to navigate through daily life if you are not fluent in Cantonese/Mandarin? That supermarket - I bet I can spend an entire paycheque there!
  21. Bah! Mine is still resting comfortably in it's shipping box. Haven't had a chance to open it and read the manual.
  22. What a great appetizer to your HK trip! Looking at your meal photos when I've skipped breakfast is making me wish I hadn't. I am really looking forward to your adventures in HK, as I'm planning a trip there next year. Haven't been there in 30 yrs, so I'm eager to see what's changed (a whole lot, I'm sure!) and what you'll be eating. Will be taking notes!
  23. Always enjoyed your Asia foodblogs - this one was as awesome as the others! The crispy banh khoai and the banh beo look exceptionally tasty. I think you mentioned you are learning/have learned some Vietnamese. Did you learn it just from being immersed in the country, or books, or language courses? Did you end up speaking Vietnamese a lot or was any English spoken in the areas you visited?
  24. It arrived!! Sadly, I won't be able to bring it home till the weekend, as I don't have the car and I had it delivered to my office. It'll give me time to look up stuff to make in it. So far, DH has requested Taiwanese Beef Noodles. But I'll likely start with something simple like chickpeas or rice, to break it in. Still haven't found a spot for it, but DH wants to get rid of our rice cooker and put the IP in its spot, which I am loath to do. Rather fond and sentimental about it. Popular item - our postal carrier said she'd already delivered 3 IPs in this block alone!
  25. I also bought a Star Wars light saber heat colour-changing mug, the kind where you put hot liquid in it and the picture on the front changes. For the DH. Of course.
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