Monday, April 30, 2018

Wild Violet Muffins with Wild Violet Sugar #MuffinMonday


Tender light muffins sweetened with wild violet syrup and sprinkled with wild violet sugar. Edible flowers baked into a Spring floral treat.


image of a plate of wild violet muffins topped with wild violet sugar



 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook



About the only thing worth foraging in my yard these days are violets.

The garlic has woken up from it's deep winter slumber though it's nowhere near harvesting. The chives and raspberry canes are just beginning to stir. Some red leaf lettuce and celery from the compost miraculously survived the winter and is peeping up from a raised bed--though I suspect bunnies might nibble it off.

photo of a wild violet bloom
My spouse took this bug's view of a violet in our front yard yesterday.
I'm pretty much over playing with the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve, and I'm sick of eating down the put up vegetables in the freezer and pantry before we move. I want to forage with something fresh.

Wild violets it is.


Monday, April 23, 2018

Weeknight Instant Pot Pork Chops with a Dijon Pan Sauce

Tender pork chops in a creamy Dijon sauce are ready in minutes using the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Four simple ingredients for the sauce, six minutes cook time under pressure, and an easy weeknight dinner is done!


image of a plate of Instant Pot Pork Chops with a Dijon pan sauce, served along with Instant Pot Spring Risotto



Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook



This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Board. They asked me to create a post for an easy weeknight dinner so I'm bringing you these tender pork chops in a Dijon pan sauce. I used the Instant Pot pressure cooker to make them in minutes--this recipe is definitely a weeknight keeper!


Tender pork chops in a creamy Dijon sauce are ready in minutes using the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Four simple ingredients for the sauce, six minutes cook time under pressure, and an easy weeknight dinner is done!


This recipe comes from the cookbook Weeknight Cooking with your Instant Pot by Kristy Bernardo. I've enjoyed her Wicked Noodle website for a while now, so when she asked her fellow food bloggers if we wanted to check out her new Instant Pot cookbook my hand shot right up in the air. [Then I put it down and started typing out my info for the publisher.] Finding an easy weeknight recipe, using a common cut of pork in an interesting and accessible variation, was total synergy and I knew I'd combine this cookbook with this sponsored post to make a terrific meal.


One of my favorite aspects of the Instant Pot, as you can see from my video below, is that I can walk into the kitchen, start the machine heating on the Sauté function, then gather my ingredients while it's getting hot. Like I showed in my Spring Risotto recipe video, you don't need to have your onion chopped before you plug in the Instant Pot. Just get it going and then you can get going!

image of ingredients used to make Weeknight Instant Pot Pork Chops with a Dijon Pan Sauce


I may not have a relationship with my local butcher, but I do have a relationship with my local hog farmer. To determine the best type of chop for this recipe I headed down to the farmer's market to ask Jean Mattis of KJB Farms her opinion. She suggested an inch thick center cut chop which would hold up well to pressure cooking. Jean is right--the chops turned out moist, tender, and fully cooked!

pic of a plate of Instant Pot pork chops with Spring Risotto and a Dijon pan sauce


The first time I made this recipe I substituted whiskey instead of white wine in the sauce. [I'm trying to use up booze before we move, and I'm not much of a whiskey drinker.] The sauce was terrific--anything with a stick of butter will taste good--but I figured I'd try it again with the white wine Kristy calls for and that also resulted in a yummy sauce. We used the rest of the sauce on roasted potatoes, and I think it would also be good with rotisserie chicken. If you don't have white wine or whiskey, try sherry or use additional chicken broth. For a similar technique and different flavor, maybe beer with stoneground mustard instead of the Dijon?



Note: my pork chops, in addition to being thick, were very large. This was great for feeding my hungry teenagers, but did mean that the browning took longer as I could only fit 1 chop at a time in my 6 qt pot. I was OK with that--I don't need a larger machine--but know that if you've got smaller chops or an 8 qt pot, you can brown the chops twice as fast by doing 2 at a time. Based on my raw footage, it took me about 17 minutes from turning on the Instant Pot to closing the lid to start pressure cooking.



a plate of Instant Pot Dijon Pork chop with Instant Pot Spring Risotto



For other pork chop recipes, may I tempt you with How to Grill the Perfect Pork Chop (recipe from the Runyan family of Oakview Farm Meats) or Smothered Pork Chops by Chef Matt of Colonel De's Spices?

image of a plate of perfectly grilled pork chops from an Ohio hog farming familyphoto of a tray of smothered pork chops



For more meaty recipes using the Instant Pot, how about Pickled Pork Sliders or Green Tomato Garlic Chili?

photo of a bowl of Instant Pot or Slow Cooker  Green Tomato Garlic Chili
image of a plate of Instant Pot Pickled Pork Sliders
























I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?



Thursday, April 19, 2018

Weeknight Instant Pot Risotto with Peas, Lemon, and Parmesan

A bright side dish with peas and lemon, this creamy risotto cooks up quick and easy in the pressure cooker. The parmesan flavor goes well with pork, chicken, or seafood or as a springtime meatless main course.


photo of a meatless springtime main dish of pressure cooked risotto with peas and parmesan, accented with lemon


Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook



As the weather turns warmer I crave lighter foods. When evenings are still cool, however, having a nice warm side dish makes for a cozy meal. This Spring Risotto from Kristy Bernardo's cookbook Weeknight Cooking with your Instant Pot is perfect for this time of year.


picture of Simon sniffing pea pods in the garden.


My spouse bought me an Instant Pot last summer, and I think it's a terrific tool to help me get a home-cooked meal on the table. I almost said "nutritious home-cooked meal" but if you've been here before (thanks for coming back!) you'll know my usual fare is nutritious home-cooked meals. I feel the IP is more than a gadget--the ease of making clear, beautiful chicken stock ahem chicken bone broth, dry beans to a meal in an hour, and easy to peel hard boiled eggs are big selling points--but it will not replace my rice cooker or my slow cooker. I don't think I'll ever throw dry spaghetti, sauce, and water into the IP. It's too easy to do on the stove top. Frozen meat? Maybe. We'll see.