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Everything posted by Beebs

  1. 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.
  2. Beebs

    Winter squash recipes

    No trebuchet, but I might have a catapult lying around!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!
  6. Beebs

    Winter squash recipes

    Me too! I like pumpkin, especially kabocha squash/Japanese pumpkin. Prefer pumpkin & squash in savoury applications rather than sweet though.
  7. London Drugs has the 6-qt DUO60 on sale for $89.99 CAD this week! Enabling... In-store only, though.
  8. Weekend project - deviled eggs! Or maybe egg salad. Mmmmmm..... Yup, first time I vented the thing I screamed. Fortunately by myself, so nobody heard.
  9. 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???
  10. I've been wondering about the Low Pressure setting on mine. What would you use it for?
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Notte's Bon Ton! I love their Diplomat Cake! I think I need a Diplomat Cake right now.
  14. 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!
  15. 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.
  16. 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!
  17. Anna N & Mmmpomps, those meals look so good! I made plain white rice.
  18. 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!
  19. 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!
  20. 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!
  21. 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?
  22. 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.
  23. 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?
  24. 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.
  25. 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....
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