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Everything posted by Beebs

  1. Hmmm... my pork wasn't juicy for sure, not in the way that grilling that same shoulder (actually, blade steak) would be juicy. But it also wasn't sawdust-dry in my mouth either. I'd say as far as tenderness goes, it's comparable to a braise, but lacking a bit of that something-something braising gives the meat - a certain "mouth feel" I guess? Or maybe I'm braising wrong??? I have definitely over-stewed meat on the stove before, and it did turn out objectively dry (hasn't happened with oven-braising, that I recall). It's interesting how Weedy's results are so different, given similar cuts of meat and IP cooking methods. Or maybe our benchmarks for "dry" is really different.....
  2. Definitely not tough & hard. Was it as unctuous as slow braising? Probably not. But it certainly wasn't dried out, not by a long shot. In fact, it could probably do with a shorter cook time, as some of the smaller pieces were falling apart more than I would like. IIRC, it was a 25 min cook time, and a 20 min slow release.
  3. I've been eyeing the pressure cooker Pho Ga (chicken) recipe on Serious Eats. It's going on this week's cooking list! I recently made pork goulash which turned out only ok - but I think it was a recipe thing rather than a pressure cooker issue. I was aiming for a Czech style goulash, like what I had in Prague earlier this year. Anyway, the pork shoulder turned out great.
  4. Loved getting Glosettes chocolate raisins! Despised the peanut ones. Actually anything with whole peanuts. Except peanut M&Ms. Loved little boxes of raisins, too. Yeah, I was a weird kid. Never got apples or popcorn balls. When I was growing up, no parent in their right mind would let their kid eat them anyway - fear of hidden razor blades or rat poison. And really, unless one is a dentist, there is s special place in hell reserved just for people giving out toothbrushes!
  5. I've had candy corn for the first time as an adult. I'd heard about them as a kid, and had imagined they would be crunchy, kind of like corn nuts, but sweet. Sadly disappointed. Worst candy - Rockets. I believe they're called Smarties in the US. Powdery rolls of ick. Avoid the houses giving out Rockets. (Real Smarties in Canada, on the other hand, are delicious candy coated buttons of chocolate - eat the red ones last! They're naturally coloured now, but I rather miss the bright artificial colours.) Twizzlers - close 2nd for grossness. Also those orange wax paper-wrapped toffee things that are supposed to be soft, but never are, and only get stuck in your back teeth. I like Tootsie Rolls. Best treat - full-sized bar of Coffee Crisp!
  6. Poached eggs. I attempt poached eggs when I have a hankering for scrambled egg soup. Cutting up a whole chicken into parts. Chicken looks abused. Mind you, these are techniques I can probably improve with a lot of practice...but I just don't want to.
  7. Beebs

    Winter squash recipes

    Coincidentally, my mom just emailed me at work that a raccoon ate their fairly large kabocha pumpkin off the vine, leaving nothing but a pile of seeds, guts, and a bit of rind. Must be one happy, very fat trash panda.
  8. Beebs

    Winter squash recipes

    No trebuchet, but I might have a catapult lying around!
  9. Beebs

    Winter squash recipes

    I've always been curious about it, ever since reading about it in one of the Laura Ingalls books. Pa hacked it open with an axe and Ma baked it in the oven, to be scooped out and eaten with sugar & butter. Anyway, Googling around has people dropping hubbards on pavement to smash it open. I don't particularly relish this method - not big on road grit in my food. Will try the baking technique. I'll need something long & stabby - DH's power drill should do it, though he probably won't appreciate me repurposing it.
  10. Beebs

    Winter squash recipes

    I've never had a hubbard squash before. How does it compare to other squashes? Also, how does one open it up, short of using a band saw, axe, power tools, or dynamite? I've somewhat avoided them mostly because I understand they're quite an effort to prepare.
  11. Dredging up this thread from the really, really dead.... So this past spring I travelled to Prague. One of the many things I ate was Czech goulash and bread dumplings. It's been a few months, but now I have a hankering for those bread dumplings again. These dumplings are not like any dumplings I've ever had - they're fluffy and bread-like, with bits of old bread mixed in, and the whole lot is either steamed or boiled (not sure which). They're formed into logs, and thick slices are cut to accompany meat dishes. They're fabulous for soaking up the goulash gravy...mmmmm! They taste a lot like the plain Chinese steamed buns, man tou, but fluffier. I think it's a yeast flour dough, no potatoes in there. Anyway, noodling around on The Google for "Czech Bread Dumplings", there's quite a varied bunch of recipes & versions of bread dumplings. But I don't know what's a reliable recipe or one that's worth trying or where even to start. Any suggestions? Also, if anyone has a delicious Czech-style goulash recipe they're willing share, please do!
  12. Beebs

    Winter squash recipes

    Me too! I like pumpkin, especially kabocha squash/Japanese pumpkin. Prefer pumpkin & squash in savoury applications rather than sweet though.
  13. London Drugs has the 6-qt DUO60 on sale for $89.99 CAD this week! Enabling... In-store only, though.
  14. Weekend project - deviled eggs! Or maybe egg salad. Mmmmmm..... Yup, first time I vented the thing I screamed. Fortunately by myself, so nobody heard.
  15. Also, venting the steam for quick release scares the crap out of me! For all you experienced users out there, did you just get used to it after a time?? Right now, I am using a towel and any long cooking utensil to poke at it. Or am I the world's biggest wimp???
  16. I've been wondering about the Low Pressure setting on mine. What would you use it for?
  17. Still getting the hang of my IP, so I also made mashed potatoes last night. I used one of the recipes on the Instant Pot website as a starting point. Turned out great, done in no time at all! Pre-mashing, they were sitting in there about 20 mins; post-mashing another 40 mins. The Warm function doesn't keep them as hot as I'd normally like them (I my mash piping hot!), so I think taking a page out of Okanagancook's book is the way to go - mash them at the last minute. Made bolognaise earlier this week too. Turned out fine, but needed to adjust seasoning. Downside of the IP is that it's not simple to adjust seasoning. I like to adjust as it cooks, but I can't do that with the IP.
  18. Well, looking ahead to (Canadian) Thanksgiving next week - I think the IP would be really great, if not better, at making mashed potatoes ahead of time or last minute and keeping them warm. Not dry them out and free up oven/stove space, besides. Speculation, of course, not having tried it myself yet.
  19. Notte's Bon Ton! I love their Diplomat Cake! I think I need a Diplomat Cake right now.
  20. 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!
  21. 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.
  22. 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!
  23. Anna N & Mmmpomps, those meals look so good! I made plain white rice.
  24. 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!
  25. 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!
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