Insta-Pot Chicken Curry

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If you want to explore the use of your Insta-Pot, I’ve found that the Insta-Pot method of cooking makes a really delicious curry.  It lacks the heaviness of a slow-cooked curry, and so I’ve decided to document my recipe and share the goodness.  I cook the vegetable component separately because I like a perfectly cooked vegetable in my curry and the pressure of the Insta-Pot tends to over-cook the vegetables in this application.  Feel free to throw yours in if you don’t mind that though!

I’m going to save a video tutorial on instagram in my highlights, so for additional help you can request to follow me at @andreadugg.

Insta-Pot Chicken Curry

serves 4

Ingredients:

2 medium onions, diced

1 tbsp minced fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp of coconut oil (or ghee, or vegetable oil)

2 tsp ground garam masala (Indian spice mix, don’t panic if you don’t have it)

2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp ground cumin

3 tbsp Patak’s mild yellow curry paste (make sure it’s paste, not sauce)*

1/4 tsp red hot chili flakes (optional)

2 tbsp tomato paste

1.5 tsp salt

1 tsp ground pepper

2 cups water

1 lb. chicken breast or thighs, boneless, diced

1 14oz can coconut milk

additional vegetables (cooked separately)

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1.5 ” chunks

3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into 1.5 ” chunks –

to thicken: 

1/2 cup of water mixed with

2 tbsp corn starch

 

nice to have with it: fresh cilantro, mango chutney

serve with: basmati rice, naan bread

Directions:

Step 1

Prepare potatoes and carrots, place in a medium pot covered with water and cook for 15 minutes until just tender. Drain and keep aside.  Meanwhile…..

Step 2

Collect all of your needed ingredients and measure them out so your cooking experience is more pleasant and has good flow.

Step 3

With your Insta-Pot set to ‘saute’, add oil and onions. Stir fairly often, cooking them to a golden brown, being careful not to burn them.  Due to the lack of temperature control on the ‘saute’ function, you may need to turn it ‘off’ to allow the element to cool down a bit, then turn it back on to ‘saute’ until the desired doneness is achieved. You really need to spend that time cooking the onions down quite well, as with any Indian recipe.

Add ginger and garlic and saute for about 10 seconds. Add in your garam masala, cinnamon, cumin, curry paste, chili flakes (if using), tomato paste, salt and pepper. Again, if you find your Insta-Pot too hot, turn it off.  Sloosh that around for about 20 seconds.  Add your 2 cups of water and mix again, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot.  Throw in your chicken chunks and the coconut milk. Stir to combine.

Step 4 

Place lid on Insta-Pot and turn clockwise to lock. Turn the vent dial to “seal” — this is a really important step.  Next, press your timing to ‘Manual’, then using the – or + sign, adjust time to read 10 minutes, and the  pressure button should be adjusted to “High”.

Make sure the vent is not directly under the cupboard – leave room for the steam to release freely.

After the beep which indicates that your curry has completed it’s pressure cooking, stand back, and with a utensil, flick the vent dial to  release your vent.  Steam will shoot out and this is normal.  Once your pressure button is flush to the black part of the lid and there is no more steam coming out of the vent,  you are free to unlock and open your Insta-Pot.

Step 5

Remove lid.  Mix remaining water and cornstarch, and add to pot. Mix and allow to thicken. Add your cooked vegetables at this point.  Taste, and adjust salt if necessary.

Serve over rice, with cilantro (if available!) and mango chutney (if you have it).  We are smack in the middle of a global pandemic and it’s not easy to attain all ingredients.   I drizzled a parsley/garlic puree that I had on hand over top and found some PC naan in the freezer – perfect!

Bon apetit!!

*if you can’t find Patak’s yellow curry paste, you can use Vindaloo paste (hot), or Tikka Masala paste, or any curry paste you can find. Just ensure that it’s “paste” and not “sauce”.

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Big-gah Batch Bolognese Sauce

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I’m basing this recipe from a show called, “Gino’s Italy” or something like that.  I love that this meat sauce is not too tomato-y, and has layered, built up flavours.  You might as well make a big batch and freeze some.  I like to use a large, deep, cast iron pan, or a large ceramic coated cast iron pot. Use the best ingredients you can, pasture-raised local meat if possible.

Bolognese Sauce

2 lbs ground lean beef

2 lbs ground lean pork

1  cup onion, finely diced

1 cup carrot, finely diced

1 cup celery, finely diced

Olive oil, for the pan

1 cup good quality red wine

3/4 cup milk

1.5 cups crushed tomato

3 tbsp tomato paste

1.5 cups chicken stock

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

Directions:

Using a large (preferably cast iron or heavy-bottomed) pan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions, carrot and celery (known as “sofrito”).  Cook, stirring frequently, over medium-low, about 12 minutes, until softened. Break up meat and add to mixture in pan.  Add salt and pepper. Stir and break up meat and amalgamate with vegetable mixture.

Add red wine, and let simmer and absorb until almost all absorbed, stirring occasionally.  Add milk and stir, until it is well blended, absorbed but not dry.

Add tomato paste and crushed tomato and mix and stir.  Pour in chicken stock, enough to cover, but not drown your meat sauce.  Let simmer on very low heat, covered for about 2 or 3 hours, stirring and caring for it as you go along.

Skim any pooled fat (from the meat) from the top of your sauce and discard.

Serve with tagliatelle or pasta of your choice.  Buon Appetito!

Root Vegetable & Quinoa Rosti

 

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This is a really tasty recipe for this time of year, utilizing root vegetables.  It’s quite comforting with middle-eastern spices and works with your healthy diet plans. Feel free to  use what root veggies you have on hand – just be careful of your heat when cooking – the natural sugars can burn – so medium to medium-low heat and a sharp eye and nose is needed.

Root Vegetable & Quinoa Rosti

adapted from I Quit Sugar

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 small onion, chopped finely

1 large clove of garlic, minced

2 medium carrots, peeled and grated

1 small sweet potato (or 1/2 large), peeled and grated

1 medium parsnip, peeled and grated

1/2 cup ground almonds or almond meal (sub in 1/2 cup more cooked quinoa if you don’t have any)

1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup  gluten-free all-purpose flour (I’m using PC)

3/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground pepper

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp tahini

1 tbsp curry paste (I used Patak’s mild yellow curry paste)

2 eggs

cooking oil of our choice (I use ghee)

Directions:

In a small frying pan, with a bit of cooking oil or ghee, saute onion on medium heat until somewhat browned, about 5-7 mins. Add garlic and stir around for one minute. Remove from heat.

Combine all the ingredients, including the onion/garlic mixture, and mix well, until all the flavours are well incorporated.

You can make them into large burger shapes, or like a rosti, as I’ve done here.

In a 10 inch cast iron or non-stick skillet, melt one tablespoon of ghee or cooking oil of your choice over medium heat. Tip mixture into pan and using a spatula, press down and go around edge and tuck it in and press it down and make it tidy.

Cook slowly – being careful of your heat, remember not to let it get too hot  – these veggies have lots of natural sugars and will burn. After about 10 minutes, place a plate over the rosti. Flip the pan over, and the rosti should now be on the plate. Place pan back on heat and put another tablespoon of cooking oil or ghee in your pan. Once melted, slide the rosti back into the pan so the other side can cook.  Cook for an additional 6-8 mins, being careful of your heat. Slide out onto plate.

Cut into wedges and serve with a chunky raita.  Here’s how I make mine:

Raita:

1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup diced cucumber, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro.

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Asian Maple-Ginger Pork

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This recipe is an old standby that I’ve been making forever.  With  my kids all over the planet and cooking on their own, I thought I better put this one out into the world with them.  It’s great – easy, fast and delish – the tender pork just makes it so good.  It’s comfort food in our house. I prefer to use  ‘tamari’ over ‘soya sauce’.  It’s milder and available in gluten free – so try that if you aren’t a regular user of it – you’ll probably never use soya sauce again.  Cheers. Continue reading

Sausage and Sweet Potato Lasagna (Gluten Free)

Sausage and Sweet Potato Lasagna

Sausage and Sweet Potato Lasagna

It might not seem like it’s the time of year for lasagna, but since this recipe uses thinly sliced sweet potato in place of pasta noodles, it’s quite light and delicious tasting.  I developed this recipe after coming up with the bright idea to use Seed to Sausage caramelized onion and pepper sausages in place of meatballs or ground beef. What a great idea.  Seed to Sausage is a local artisanal sausage and cured meat producer in the Sharbot Lake area and a real “going concern”. I feel pretty lucky to have great access to  their products —  you can probably find their products near you…click on this link to find out.

Anyhoo…like any fine piece of work, it does take time and involves a little technique – and the results are totally worth it. So. If you’re in the mood, gather your ingredients, prep your layers and whip this up.  Even the lasagna haters in my house  were begging for more. I said, “no!” –more for me the next day.  The added ‘gluten free’ bonus makes this a perfect dinner party main course if you have a gluten free guest – trust me, everyone will be happy.  A crisp salad with a homemade vinaigrette and a simple, fresh dessert completes the picture. ‘Tis the season for fresh and seasonal ingredients! Yay! Continue reading