Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking with Janet Zimmerman's Super-Easy Instant Pot Cookbook


Smithy
 Share

Recommended Posts

One place to consider starting, for those of you trying to decide, is with the Cumin-Scented Carrots. It's ridiculously easy and very, very good. I'm not a big fan of carrots but these I'd eat any day. Here they are, finished but still in the pot:

 

20220411_174731.jpg

 

I wrote more about the recipe here. My only cautionary notes are to use good ingredients (as always) and to cook them shortly before you want to eat. I held them in a warm oven for several hours, and the poor things were shriveled by dinner time. They were still tasty, but I wouldn't want to show you what they looked like then.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/24/2022 at 10:07 PM, Smithy said:

I'm going to move to a dish that's a bit of a head-scratcher: Cheesy Smashed Red Potatoes. I ask you: what's not to love about potatoes, cheese and cream? We loved the flavor but not the texture.

 

The recipe notes that red potatoes aren't really suited for mashing because they can easily become gluey, but with light smashing into cream and cheese they make an "easy rustic accompaniment" to grilled or roasted meats. The ingredients are red potatoes, cut into 1" chunks; heavy cream; shredded cheddar; salt, pepper, water (for the pressure-cooking step) and sliced scallions.

 

I can see a few places this recipe may have gone wrong for me.

  1. I didn't have heavy cream; I used half-and-half instead. 
  2. I used the entire recipe in a 3-quart pot, possibly crowding the ingredients, rather than halving the ingredients. Hey, the spuds seemed to fit comfortably into a steamer basket in that pot. Why cut the recipe down?
  3. I don't have a potato masher. I used the up-and-down action of an X-bar intended to break up sausage as it cooks in a skillet.

The flavors were delightful, but the potatoes were without question gummy/gluey. Did I use too much stuff so it couldn't be broken gently in my little 3-quart pot? Did I use the wrong smashing implement? Was it a problem to use half-and-half rather than heavy cream? I hope to hear from @JAZ or @Dave the Cook as to what might have gone wrong.

 

I think the larger question is: why bother doing this with red potatoes? Would other potatoes have done a better job with this sort of flavor combination? This is an especially important question in light of a casserole I'd like to reproduce.

 

 

Sorry for the failure! I think the half-and-half may have played a role -- as I understand it, the fat in the cream helps to coat the starch molecules so they don't get so gummy. But from the photo, it seems that you smashed the potatoes into smaller pieces than I do, and than I intended in my instructions. I probably should have been more clear, but I what I meant is that they should just be lightly crushed into chunks. Maybe the problem is the recipe title -- "smashed" seems to indicate more, well, smashing, than I do. 

 

Other potato types could certainly stand in -- I like using reds because they don't need peeling, but Yukon golds could be worked more without getting the gluey texture. 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/24/2022 at 10:07 PM, Smithy said:

I'm going to move to a dish that's a bit of a head-scratcher: Cheesy Smashed Red Potatoes. I ask you: what's not to love about potatoes, cheese and cream? We loved the flavor but not the texture.

 

 

To start, there is not one damn thing wrong with potatoes, cheese and cream.

 

I believe you have oversmashed. The recipe in Janet's book is based on a dish I invented for a blog back in 2005. The recipe there says to "crush the potatoes slightly" (RecipeGullet version here). They looked like this:

 

gallery_6393_1560_23692.jpg

 

Contrast that with yours: 

 

20220422_184014-1.jpg

 

I suspect the additional smashing is responsible for the gluiness. It could be starch, as Janet suggests, or protein, which is more abundant in waxy potatoes. (All I know for sure is that it's not gluten, which potatoes don't have.) Although we've never smashed the potatoes as much as you did, we definitely smash them more these days than the original blog photograph shows. So I also think there might be a small case of what I call "Ten Half-Steps to Hell" going on here. We've been making that dish for so long, and possibly smashing the potatoes a little smaller each time (also, Janet usually makes it, and it's kind of become "her" dish. She smashes more than I do. Just sayin'.) Meanwhile, the potatoes were getting more and more gluey, but we got used to it, deciding that this was just the way the dish was. We didn't notice because the change happened a little bit at a time -- by ten half-steps, as it were. 

  • Like 4
  • Haha 4

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Dave the Cook, that post took me down memory lane. Thanks for the link to the 2005 blog and the recipe! Great fun to review. So...I can't help "laughing" in my response, but I wish I could also have given a "thanks". Here it is, in verbal rather than emoji form.

 

Less mashing next time, check. Different masher next time (neither of you mentioned that equipment), check.

 

"10 Half-steps to Hell", well, I'll try to stick to the path.

  • Like 2
  • Haha 2

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, Tropicalsenior said:

Just recently, I have been able to download most of

@Jazz's cookbooks for the instant pot and I am really enjoying reading them. Although I have been using my knock off instant pot for about 3 years, it seems that every page I turn, I learn something new or a new way to do something.

Her directions are so precise and so easy to follow that you feel like you have an instructor right at your elbow.

I particularly like the way that they are written to be used in the computer format. The links within the chapters are invaluable. They are the easiest ebooks to navigate that I have ever seen.

Now I just have to go from reading to executing. There are so many that I want to try that I just don't know where to start.

That's good to know. I've not tried digital versions of cookbooks because I've been afraid they would be difficult to use/follow. I will have to try it!

Deb

Liberty, MO

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My copy of the book came today.  I leafed through it and there are definitely some recipes I'm going to be making.  I'll post results here.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ronnie was hungry for steaks, so last night seemed the perfect night to try a couple of recipes.

 

I always seem to have Brussels sprouts around, so the Honey Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts on pg. 46 was the first recipe that jumped at me.  Very easy and very good.  The only change I made was to steam the sprouts for 2 minutes instead of 1...we like ours more on the softer side.  

 

thumbnail_IMG_2266.jpg.eaafe601b9ad4f9ad894c25374a90005.jpg

 

 

I put them in a bowl and kept them warm in the CSO while I moved on to pg. 42 Cheesy Smashed Red Potatoes.

 

@Smithy's looked so good and Ronnie never met a potato that he didn't like.

 

I only have what the bag says are Yellow Potatoes.  The skin is thin like red potatoes so I figured it would work and it did.  I was trying to be mindful and not take the path to hell, but I probably still over smashed a bit?  They were absolutely delicious and not gluey at all though.

 

thumbnail_IMG_2267.jpg.5b16b82c8c8d1b367fb74162e5ae86d9.jpg

 

Definitely keeper recipes.  Quick.  Easy.  Only dirtied the IP....and, while Ronnie grilled, I sat down and enjoyed wine!

 

 

  • Like 9
  • Delicious 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Based on the photo, it appears that you smashed more than I do. However, typical

gold/yellow potatoes are lower in protein/higher in starch than reds, and that might have helped you avoid hell.

 

Best part:

23 minutes ago, Shelby said:

while Ronnie grilled, I sat down and enjoyed wine!

 

  • Like 3
  • Haha 1

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I want to encourage anyone who likes chicken and smoky flavors to try the Basque-Inspired Chicken (Chicken Piperade). This photo collage is from when I wrote about it here. What made me try this recipe first was the book's cover: how delicious that looks! Well, as you can see...mine didn't come out with the same look. :blush: It still tasted very, very good.

 

20220323_120131.jpg

 

There are a few reasons it didn't come out looking right, I think, mostly related to my not scaling the recipe down properly for a 3-quart IP. You'll note that the skin is not beautifully browned as it had been on the book cover, and there's more sauce. I also wondered why it was necessary to brown the skin, then pressure cook the chicken, then add more ingredients and pressure cook it all again. Janet told me in an emailed answer was that it was done that way to satisfy the food stylists but that it's easier to pick boneless skinless chicken thighs, load everything into the pot at once, and cook it all together! That's written up as the "Even easier" version at the end of the recipe. Next time I have the opportunity, I'm going to try it that way.

 

I recommend this recipe. Do the "even easier" version.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1
  • Delicious 2

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, ElsieD said:

I wondered about the "skin on" part also.  Doesn't it come out flabby?

 

It doesn't look that way in the cover photo. It did for me, but I never got it to brown and crisp up in the first place. Perhaps @JAZ will weigh in on its texture.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Smithy said:

 

It doesn't look that way in the cover photo. It did for me, but I never got it to brown and crisp up in the first place. Perhaps @JAZ will weigh in on its texture.

 

You can get chicken skin that's kinda crisp if you run it under the broiler after pressure cooking (that is, sear it, then pressure cook, then broil). I've used that technique in past books, and it's not a bad compromise. For this book, the editor didn't want to require any cooking outside the Instant Pot, so I couldn't use it. As Nancy mentioned, I didn't originally call for using bone-in, skin on thighs, but they wanted to use the recipe for the cover photo so asked me to change it. I wish now I'd argued against it, because it really only made the recipe more complicated. My compromise was to add the "even easier" note and hope that people would make that version. It's not "sexy" but is quite good and has an excellent reward to effort ratio. Oh well. (Now you know what authors go through; maybe if I was Ina Garten I'd have more control!)

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/24/2022 at 3:25 PM, TdeV said:

I ordered from Bookshop.org but I only paid for slow delivery (4 to 10 days). No idea when delivery will actually occur.

 

Book arrived this morning = 6 days. Very enticing Introduction. I shall report . . .

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/29/2022 at 7:33 PM, Smithy said:

I want to encourage anyone who likes chicken and smoky flavors to try the Basque-Inspired Chicken (Chicken Piperade). This photo collage is from when I wrote about it here. What made me try this recipe first was the book's cover: how delicious that looks! Well, as you can see...mine didn't come out with the same look. :blush: It still tasted very, very good.

 

20220323_120131.jpg

 

There are a few reasons it didn't come out looking right, I think, mostly related to my not scaling the recipe down properly for a 3-quart IP. You'll note that the skin is not beautifully browned as it had been on the book cover, and there's more sauce. I also wondered why it was necessary to brown the skin, then pressure cook the chicken, then add more ingredients and pressure cook it all again. Janet told me in an emailed answer was that it was done that way to satisfy the food stylists but that it's easier to pick boneless skinless chicken thighs, load everything into the pot at once, and cook it all together! That's written up as the "Even easier" version at the end of the recipe. Next time I have the opportunity, I'm going to try it that way.

 

I recommend this recipe. Do the "even easier" version.

I seem to be copying @Smithy all the time here lol.  

 

Dinner time was fast approaching and I was (as usual) scrambling to think of something to make.  I was hungry for pasta.  Ronnie was hungry for chicken.  Boom.  This post popped into my mind.

 

I was going to do the "even easier" version, but I only had bone-in, skin-on thighs.  So, I opted for the same version Smithy did.

 

One of the few times that my browned chicken didn't stick to the pot lol.

 

thumbnail_IMG_2297.jpg.31d4fee76d385e1be2a3dae7ed6d7dde.jpg

 

I was really glad there was a picture of the finished dish on the cookbook cover because I have a lot of different kinds of egg noodles and I wasn't sure which to use.....

 

thumbnail_IMG_2295.jpg.f27ca24e8cf3aa6a2aabbfd8230204f8.jpg

 

thumbnail_IMG_2296.jpg.b9055b6e2af652c1ac0b30ff0cf77adf.jpg

 

I finally settled on these because they looked most like the pictured ones.

 

thumbnail_IMG_2294.jpg.a71fc86f9c099d840330171e6022f363.jpg

 

I don't think I've ever done any type of pasta in the IP so I wasn't sure how each noodle would cook...or if they would cook differently or if it just didn't matter at all.

 

Anyway, in the pot on top of the noodles with the broth and tomatoes.  I used my canned tomatoes.

 

thumbnail_IMG_2298.jpg.b832ff808dbf3c3a632945ee03bbea31.jpg

 

Peppers and onions on top.  I only had some peppers that I had frozen from Misfits a while ago and no frozen onions.  I opted to cook the fresh onions for a bit in a skillet (wasn't thinking, should have done that first in the IP to save washing another dish).

 

thumbnail_IMG_2299.jpg.348ee9dc48db8f61ada29d7c1efc0a92.jpg

 

After cooking

 

thumbnail_IMG_2300.jpg.9870a2b39db0a3d4b4b15aa2b20ddc83.jpg

 

Dished up in a shallow bowl

 

thumbnail_IMG_2301.jpg.116c336bb5a2d62982eca9ba74d9072e.jpg

 

REALLY good.  Another keeper recipe for sure.  Nice and spicy--I used smoked paprika.  Hit my spot for pasta without subjecting Ronnie to another spaghetti and meatball meal lol.

 

 

  • Like 7
  • Delicious 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forgot that @Shelby had just finished doing this dish! In any case, I offered my husband a choice among several recipes I want to try in the near future, and the Chicken Piperade was his preference.

 

I planned for the "Even easier" option, but this time I had a full-sized Instant Pot. We were out and about earlier today, so I picked up a package of boneless and skiness chicken thighs. Here's the setup and the initial cooking stage:

 

20220504_215327.jpg

 

We were a bit alarmed at first at the apparent amount of sauce compared to solids (see upper left of collage below). After stirring it all together, I realized that it was all pretty well balanced for sauce vs. solids (see upper right of collage below). The served dinner bowls are in the bottom half of the collage below.

 

20220504_215444.jpg

 

The flavors are wonderful, and this recipe is a keeper. We have three changes we'll make next time: 

  • cut the chicken into bite-sized chunks, so that some of every ingredient gets into the same spoonful;
  • add a bit more pasta: 8 ounces, instead of 6?
  • pressure cook it for less time (yes, even though the chicken got pressure-cooked only once). I confess that I set the timer for 6 minutes of pressure-cooking instead of the prescribed 5 minutes, because I simply couldn't believe that 5 minutes would be enough when the original recipe calls for 10. I was wrong: 5 minutes would have been enough. If we cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces beforehand, I think that 4 minutes -- or maybe only 3 -- will be appropriate.

I'm sure everyone's preferences are different, but part of the fun of topics like this is comparing notes. We have the luxury of talking to the recipe's originator! 

  • Like 6
  • Delicious 2

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'm making either the Chicken Piperade or the Greek-Inspired Chicken and Quinoa for dinner tonight. If I make the piperade, I would like to use Espelette pepper since I have some. Would I use 1 3/4 teaspoons to replace the amount of the two paprikas called for?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, ElsieD said:

 

I'm making either the Chicken Piperade or the Greek-Inspired Chicken and Quinoa for dinner tonight. If I make the piperade, I would like to use Espelette pepper since I have some. Would I use 1 3/4 teaspoons to replace the amount of the two paprikas called for?

 

Yes, substitute the same amount total of paprika and cayenne if using Espelette -- so 1 3/4 teaspoons.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/28/2022 at 2:39 PM, Shelby said:

 

I always seem to have Brussels sprouts around, so the Honey Mustard-Glazed Brussels Sprouts on pg. 46 was the first recipe that jumped at me.  Very easy and very good.  The only change I made was to steam the sprouts for 2 minutes instead of 1...we like ours more on the softer side.  

 

thumbnail_IMG_2266.jpg.eaafe601b9ad4f9ad894c25374a90005.jpg

 

 

I tried the same recipe tonight, and am amused at the difference in our results! Shelby's Brussels sprouts still look so green and fresh, although tender. Mine, which also cooked for 2 minutes, were a bit more...soft...well, mushy. They weren't as pale as my bottom photo suggests, but neither were they as green as Shelby's.

 

Still, the flavor of those Brussels sprouts is great. I'm not always crazy about the combination of honey and mustard; it seems too often they fight for dominance. Here, they harmonized beautifully and enhanced the sprouts.

 

20220508_205137.jpg

 

The sprouts had to share plates with the last of some barbecued beef brisket from Texas, and we thought they might get lost in the shuffle. Nope. They held their own. Definitely a keeper recipe.

  • Like 5
  • Delicious 2

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I made the chicken piperade for dinner the other night.  For us, this was not a keeper.  In fairness, I may have been my own worst enemy because I halved the recipe, but used 4 ounces of noodles.  I did not have hot paprika (just the empty jar) so used some aleppo pepper.  The boneless chicken thighs were perfect.  

20220506_182314.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I took another crack at the Cheesy Smashed Red Potatoes (page 42) using all the correct ingredients, and being careful not to oversmash. It still doesn't look anything like Dave's photo from the recipe's original version up here, but it also wasn't gluey. The flavors are great. This dish is going into our regular rotation.

 

Delicious!

 

20220721_192001.jpg

  • Like 4
  • Delicious 3

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...