Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

For our Mexican-themed dinner the other night, I made Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas, and my oldest son asked to have a rice dish to go along side. Wanting something quick and easy, I used my Instant Pot and came up with my version of a Mexican-style rice dish.

Cooking rice in a pressure cooker is super easy, and it’s definitely how I cook rice now. No more guessing how long to cook the rice or having to keep a close eye on it. Just add the rice and liquids, add the lid, and cook. It’s that simple.




I didn’t remember to take a separate picture of just the rice, but I did get one with the entire meal plated.

Feel free to experiment with variations of spice in this dish. My husband doesn’t like super spicy things while my kids do, so this is kind of middle-of-the-road as far as the spiciness goes.

Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice

2 cups white rice (I used jasmine)

3 cups beef or chicken stock, whichever you have on hand

1 package taco seasoning

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional depending how salty your taco seasoning is

1 can diced tomatoes, including juice

1 can Rotel tomatoes, including juice

Whisk together the stock (or water if not using stock) and the taco seasoning until the seasoning is completely dissolved. Add all ingredients to the pressure cooker, and stir everything to combine.

Add the pressure cooker lid, remembering to seal the vent. Select the manual setting, and cook on high pressure for 4 minutes. When the beeper sounds, turn off the pressure cooker, and let it set for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, do a quick release to release any remaining pressure. Serve warm.

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Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I love enchiladas, and I’ll eat them with whatever protein is available: beef, chicken, beans, or cheese. I hadn’t made any at home for a while, so I decided to make chicken enchiladas. Of course, since I’ve been on a kick of using my pressure cooker, I decided to use my Instant Pot to cook the chicken ahead of time, and then it was simply a matter of throwing all the ingredients together and baking in the oven.

You can definitely use leftover chicken or other precooked chicken you may have. I wanted to infuse my chicken with taco seasoning, and the pressure cooker is great way to do that. Plus the chicken is done after 10 minutes of cooking time, so if you are using raw chicken, the pressure cooker is a terrific time saver.




This recipe made a bunch of enchiladas — I ended up with 15 of them and had to use 2 baking dishes, but since there are 4 of us, and the guys have big appetites, this worked out fine for us. Feel free to adjust to how many people you are cooking for.

I served a quick version of Pressure Cooker Mexican Rice and refried beans – this was a super easy dinner to make, and the kids said I can make this anytime.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

1 package of chicken breast tenders (about 1-1/2 pounds)

1 package of taco seasoning

1 cup hot water

Salt and black pepper

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Tortilla shells

Enchilada sauce

2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar but use your favorite)

Shredded lettuce, optional

Sliced black olives, optional

Pico de gallo, optional

Sour cream, optional

 

Season your chicken with salt and black pepper, and place them in the pressure cooker. Whisk together the taco seasoning with the hot water, stirring until the seasoning has dissolved. Pour the mixture over the chicken. Place the lid on the pressure cooker, remembering to seal the vent, and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

When the beeper goes off, turn off the pressure cooker, and do a quick release to release the built-up pressure. Remove the chicken to a bowl, and shred the pieces with 2 forks. Set aside for a few minutes until the chicken is cool enough to work with but still warm.

To the bowl with the shredded chicken, add the softened cream cheese, and stir to completely combine.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Add some of the chicken and cream cheese mixture to each tortilla shell, and roll up, placing the seam side down in the baking dish. Once you’ve filled your tortilla shells, spoon the enchilada sauce over each tortilla. Top everything with shredded cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned.

To serve, top enchiladas with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, sliced black olives, and sour cream if desired.

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Crustless Chorizo Quiche

I like easy-to-make breakfasts on the weekend, and quiche is definitely something that is super easy to make. Pick a protein, some veggies, and eggs, and you’ve got a quick breakfast.

I had some chorizo in the refrigerator and some leftover pico de gallo (onions, peppers, and tomatoes) from when I made enchiladas for dinner, so I had the basics for a spicy-style quiche. I’ve made lots of different quiches over the years, usually with a ham or traditional breakfast sausage as a base, so I was ready to try something a little different and use up some leftovers.



It turned out to be very tasty and was on the table in 30 minutes – that’s a perfect, quick weekend breakfast in my book.

Crustless Chorizo Quiche

1 package of chorizo

1/2 cup pico de gallo (can also use 1 diced tomato, 1/2 a green pepper that has been finely diced, and about 1/4 cup diced onion)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

10 eggs

Milk

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Liberally grease a pie pan, and set aside.

In a skillet, brown the chorizo. When browned, add the pico de gallo, and cook for a few minutes until the veggies begin to soften. When the veggies are softened, evenly spread the meat and veggie mixture in the prepared pie pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of the shredded cheddar cheese over the meat mixture.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs with a splash of milk. Season with salt and black pepper to taste, and pour the eggs over the meat and cheese in the pie pan. Top the eggs with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the cheese is nicely browned, and the eggs are done when you test it with a knife. Let set for about 5 minutes before cutting, and serve warm.

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Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

 

I love BBQ, especially barbecue ribs. We grill year-round, and it doesn’t matter how cold it is outside. We prefer pork ribs over beef, but I’m sure I’m be trying out a short rib recipe in my Instant Pot soon. Today, though, the guys brought home a nice stack of baby back ribs for me to play with. Of course, I pulled out my Instant Pot (okay – it sits out on my counter every day because I use it every day) and tried a recipe I found at Our Best Bites that sounded really good. I basically followed that sauce recipe, but I did add some garlic powder and some molasses to the sauce, just to make it a little closer to the one I usually make.




The ribs had a cooking time of 30 minutes on high pressure, and then I let the pressure reduce naturally for 15 minutes. You could put the ribs on a baking sheet, slather on more of the sauce, and stick them under the broiler for a few minutes if you wish, but as my broiler is on the fritz, we just dove in and eat. Absolutely delicious.

For sides, I tried another new recipe from I Wash You Dry for Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower and also fixed some home-canned green beans. Not a bad dinner for a cold winter Iowa evening.

Pressure Cooker BBQ Ribs

Baby back ribs (3 to 4 pounds)

Spice Rub:

2 tablespoons smoked paprika

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1-1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Sauce:

1-1/2 cups ketchup

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon molasses

Other Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, finely minced

Cut the ribs into 2-rib sections, and set on a baking sheet or cutting board.

Combine the rub ingredients in a small bowl, and mix to completely combine. Use your hands to rub the mix into both sides of the meat; set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and set aside.

Select the Sauté function on the Instant Pot, and add the olive oil to the pan. Sauté the onions for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic, and sauté for another 30 seconds or so.

Add the sauce mixture to the pot, and stir to combine. Add the ribs a few pieces at a time, using tongs to coat them with the sauce. Arrange the ribs meat side out, standing them upright as best you can. When you’ve got all the ribs in the pot, spoon some of the sauce over them again.

Secure the lid, making sure the vent is sealed, and select the Manual function. Set the time to 30 minutes on high pressure.

When the beeper sounds, turn the cooker off. Let the pressure naturally release for 15 minutes and then manually release the pressure. Can place ribs with sauce in a foil-lined pan and broil for a few minutes if desired.

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Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles

I was in a hurry the other night and didn’t have much time to prepare dinner, so I went through what was available in the freezer and pantry and decided to make beef and noodles. I had some really nice Amish-made wide egg noodles, and I knew the stew meat I had would turn out super tender if I used the pressure cooker. But I didn’t have any beef stock in the house. I knew I wanted to have a tasty beef gravy to pour over the cooked noodles. A little more rummaging through the pantry found some home-canned tomato juice and a individual-sized bottle of Merlot, both of which are perfect to cook beef in.




I did cook the noodles separately from the stew meat. I have yet to cook pasta in my Instant Pot, and I’ll get there someday, but these were such nice noodles, and I didn’t want them to get all mushy by overcooking them under pressure along with the meat, which was still partially frozen. After cooking the noodles separately and finishing the gravy for the meat, everything went back into the Instant Pot to keep warm and let the noodles soak up some of the sauce. All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good meal.

Beef and Noodles

2 pounds beef stew meat

Olive oil

4 ounces Merlot or other dry red wine

1/4 cup tomato juice

1 cup water or beef stock

2 teaspoons garlic powder

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Salt to taste

One bay leaf

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Milk or cream

Cooked egg noodles

Drizzle some olive oil in the Instant Pot, and select the Sauté function. Season the stew meat with garlic powder and black pepper, and add the stew meat to the Instant Pot. Sauté on all sides until nicely browned. Add the wine, tomato juice, water or beef stock, and the bay leaf to the pot. Secure the lid, and select the Beef/Meat function, setting the cooking time to 40 minutes at high pressure. Make sure to close the vent.

When the cooker beeps, turn off the Instant Pot. Let it naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, do a quick release to let out the rest of the pressure.

Remove the bay leaf and the beef with a slotted spoon; set aside and keep warm.

Select the Sauté function. In a coffee cup, add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch and enough milk or cream to completely dissolve the cornstarch and make a slurry. Stir to completely combine. Add the slurry to the liquid still in the Instant Pot, and cook until it reaches a gravy consistency. Carefully taste the gravy (it will be hot!), and add additional salt and/or pepper if needed. Add the beef pieces back to the pot along with the cooked egg noodles. Stir everything to combine well. Can select the Keep Warm function if you like or serve immediately.

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Baked Coconut Shrimp

I absolutely love shrimp however it’s prepared, and for a while now I’ve been wanting to try making coconut shrimp at home. I’ve had it when eating out, and you get these huge shrimp that have been butterflied and have this nice crispy coating—delicious stuff. Living in Iowa, however, I don’t always have access to those huge shrimp, or if they are available, they are outside my food budget, so I just drool and dream. That said, Hy-Vee will have occasional sales on seafood, especially around the holidays, so I usually stock up. While my go-to recipe for shrimp is shrimp scampi, I decided to try my hand at coconut shrimp, and my family thought the results were great. I used roughly 2 pounds of shrimp in my recipe (we’re big eaters and absolutely love shrimp), but you can definitely pare this back and use only 1 pound.

Some coconut shrimp is fried, but I wanted to keep my recipe as healthy as possible, so I baked mine. I also made this recipe gluten-free, so here is one more recipe for those of you who have celiac disease or wheat sensitivities. Of course, if you don’t have these medical problems, feel free to use regular all-purpose flour in place of the coconut flour.




A lot of recipes I looked at for coconut shrimp had a fruity and/or spicy dipping sauce that accompanies the shrimp. I saw one that had pineapple marmalade and one that used apricot preserves. I had neither of these items in my pantry, but I did have a bunch of homemade peach jam sitting on the shelves, so that was the inspiration for my dipping sauce. Feel free to experiment with whatever jams and preserves you may have. We each tried the shrimp first by itself and then with the dipping sauce, and we all agreed that the dipping sauce made the dish perfect.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

2 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined

Batter:

1/2 cup coconut flour

1 can coconut milk (or enough to make a thick batter)

1 egg, beaten

Coating:

1/2 cup gluten-free Panko breadcrumbs

1-1/2 cups coconut flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Peachy Dipping Sauce

8 ounces peach jam

2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar (or to taste)

2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

Instructions:

Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl, combining thoroughly. Refrigerate to let flavors marry together until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside (for my 2 pounds of shrimp, I needed 2 baking sheets).

In one bowl, combine all the batter ingredients, whisking them together to thoroughly combine. You’re looking for a pancake batter consistency, so keep adding the coconut milk until you reach a thick batter. You may or may not need a full can of coconut milk.

In a separate bowl, combine all the coating ingredients, and thoroughly mix.

Dip the prepared shrimp in the batter and then into the coconut/breadcrumb mixture. Shake off excess coating, and place the shrimp on the prepared baking sheets. Bake shrimp for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with the dipping sauce.

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Pressure Cooker Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

I’ll admit I’ve been on a rice pudding kick ever since I got my Instant Pot. It’s just too dang easy to make it in the pressure cooker. Plus I found a good deal on bulk Arborio rice on Amazon, so a couple of clicks and 2 days later, I was stocked up on rice for a while. While the plain old-fashioned recipe is delicious, I wanted to add some spice to it for a change. There are so many different flavors you could add to rice pudding, but this one has just a hint of the cinnamon and nutmeg without it being overpowering.

Rum Raisin Rice Pudding

Follow the instructions for my Old-Fashioned Rice Pudding, but after cooking the rice, add the following to the egg/milk mixture:

1 to 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (to taste)

Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste

3 tablespoons good rum

Continue to follow the above recipe for the old-fashioned rice pudding. Serve either hot or cold.

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Perfectly Cooked Prime Rib Roast

Do you love prime rib? Does the thought of cooking prime rib yourself make you go all primal and start beating your chest like a caveman? That’s pretty much what happens when my husband decides he’s going to make prime rib for the family during the holidays.

Over the years, we’ve tried several different recipes in search of making the perfect prime rib. One recipe that my folks raved about was from a now-closed small restaurant in northern Missouri. We waited with anticipation when we tried that one because it had such good reviews, but alas, it just didn’t do it for us, and we felt like we had wasted a good piece of meat.

We eaten prime rib in restaurants lots of times, and there you can find it prepared in any number of ways—garlic crusted, rosemary crusted, so on and so forth. But to cook a rib roast at home, we wanted to get back to basics and do a simple yet tasty recipe. Once you know that we don’t even like to use steak sauce with a sirloin (we think it covers up the taste of perfectly delicious beef), you’ll understand why we think this recipe is the best we’ve come across. It’s super simple, and there were no complaints at the dinner table when this was on the menu.




I found all kinds of tips and tricks on how to fix a rib roast on the What’s Cooking America website, including cooking time instructions based on the weight of your roast, and I’ve provided a link to it here. Be forewarned: if you go to print out the recipe, you may end up with pages and pages of instructions.

I admit that the picture of the sliced prime rib is not mine. While I remembered to take a picture of the rib roast when we took it out of the oven, I got busy getting everything else ready for the meal, and then we dove in—with no picture of how delicious it looked when sliced. I used one from the Internet, but you get the idea of what it looked like. We did have garlic mashed potatoes with our prime rib, though, which were also delicious.

We’ve used this recipe to roast a huge 14-pound rib roast, and we’ve used it for a smaller 7-pound prime rib. Just adjust your roasting time based on the size of your roast, and you’ll do just fine. Enjoy going primal!

 

 

Perfectly Cooked Prime Rib Roast

Prime rib roast

Butter

Several hours before you plan to cook your beef roast, take it out of the refrigerator, and let the roast come to room temperature, anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. This is necessary so that the roast cooks evenly.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pat the room temperature roast dry, and liberally smear softened butter on the ends of the roast. Do NOT salt your rib roast (this will dry it out).

Place the rib roast in a large roasting pan fat side up, on a rack if you have one is preferable. If you’re using a bone-in rib roast, you can omit the cooking rack.

Sear the rib roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Then turn down the oven temperature to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for the remainder of the cooking time. Do NOT cover the roast. Every half-hour or so, baste the roast from the juices that accumulate in the pan.

Cook roast until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit (for rare) or your desired level of doneness. Remove roast from the oven, and lightly cover it with aluminum foil. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Remember that the internal temperature will continue to rise as it rests, so take that into consideration before you remove the roast from the oven. After roughly 20 minutes, the internal temperature will be around 125 degrees Fahrenheit if you removed it from the oven at 120 degrees. For us, this is perfectly done (rare), but you may wish to cook your roast longer. You can find cooking times for level of doneness and sizes of prime rib roasts on the What’s Cooking America link I posted above. Enjoy!

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Pressure Cooker Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

Chicken is probably one of the most fun proteins to cook with because you can do anything with it. Whatever cuisine you’re hungry for, there’s a recipe out there to satisfy your craving. Since I’m still in the honeymoon stage with my new Instant Pot, I’m on the lookout for different ways of making everything, and I was inspired by a couple of different recipes I’d seen on Pinterest about making chicken breasts in the Instant Pot. After looking through my pantry and refrigerator to see what ingredients I had on hand, I came up with the following recipe.

You can cook your chicken breasts in the Instant Pot if they are still frozen, but mine were thawed, so that helped speed up the process a little bit. Feel free to use whatever seasoning your family likes—Italian seasoning would be good, as would some herbs de Provence if you’re feeling a little bit French. I stuck to the basics—salt and freshly ground black pepper—to season my chicken breasts as I knew I’d be adding different flavors in the cream sauce.




You’re really simply poaching the chicken in some cooking liquid. After the chicken is cooked, you can top it with whatever sauce you wish. I had mushrooms, spinach, and heavy cream on hand, so that was my inspiration.

Again, the ingredient amounts are approximate, so feel free to experiment. I usually cook without recipes, so it’s a little of this and a little of that—taste and adjust seasonings and ingredients accordingly.

 

Creamy Chicken with Spinach and Mushrooms

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 cup good chicken stock

Salt and black pepper

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

1/2 stick butter (not margarine)

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

2 cups fresh spinach

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Liberally season the chicken breasts with salt and freshly ground black pepper and place them in the Instant Pot. Add the cup of chicken stock and the smashed garlic cloves. Place the lid on the cooker, remembering to set the valve to seal, and select the Manual setting. Cook for 10 minutes on high pressure.

When the cooker beeps, turn off the Instant Pot, and do a quick release to bring down the pressure. Remove the chicken breasts from the cooking pot, and set aside, keeping them warm. Pour out the chicken stock and save for another use if desired.

Select the saute function, and melt the butter in the cooking pot. Add the sliced mushrooms, and saute for approximately 5 minutes or until they start to soften. Add the white wine, and scrape to remove any browned goodies at the bottom of the pot. Add the fresh spinach, and continue to saute for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

In a small bowl, combine the heavy cream and the grated Parmesan cheese. Add this to the cooking pot, and cook for a few minutes more until the sauce thickens to your desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if needed.

Serve sauce over poached chicken breasts.
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Baked Scallops

I love scallops, but here in Iowa, we just don’t have access to fresh seafood, so we have to make do with the frozen section and hope we come across some good stuff. I’d stopped in our local locker the other day looking for soup bones to make bone broth, and I noticed they’ve started to carry some seafood. So, of course, I started browsing and found they had some really nice-looking scallops. Nice big ones that were actually more than an appetizer bite size. Of course, I came home with a couple of packages lol.

I wanted to make those scallops tonight, but I wanted to try something different. I usually make scallops in a large skillet, browning them and then using my shrimp scampi sauce. They are really good that way, but these were really nice scallops, so I wanted to do something that would “wow” my family. The fact that even my husband said I had to blog about this recipe “right now” must mean I accomplished my mission lol.

That said, this is one of those off-the-top-of-my-head recipes. I didn’t measure anything. I knew what ingredients I wanted to use, and I went strictly by taste. I’ve tried to approximate the ingredients below, but do yourself a favor and just taste the sauce as you make it. My family likes garlic, so I probably use more garlic than most families would like, so feel free to experiment to find the level of garlic you like. The wine is optional, but it really adds a nice layer of flavor to the sauce.




I topped the scallops and the sauce with a simple bread crumb mixture. Since I’m trying to go Paleo, I used gluten-free Panko, but you could easily substitute regular bread crumbs, regular Panko, or even seasoned varieties of the two to add another layer of flavor. This really is a simple recipe, but the end result was absolutely delicious.

 

 

Baked Scallops

2 pounds large scallops (I worked with 22 – 5 each plus 2 for the boys to fight over)

1/2 stick butter, melted

About 1/3 cup dry white wine

Garlic salt

Freshly ground black pepper (or use a coarser/restaurant-style black pepper)

Gluten-free Panko (or your favorite bread crumbs)

Parsley

Extra-virgin olive oil

 

Heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine the melted butter, white wine, about 2 to 3 teaspoons of garlic salt, and several grinds of black pepper in a small bowl. Stir to combine.

Dip each scallop in the melted butter mixture to completely coat. Place the scallops in a medium-sized casserole dish or on a large rimmed baking sheet (I used a jelly roll pan). Once all the scallops have been dipped in the butter mixture and are on the baking dish, pour the remaining butter sauce over the scallops.

In another small bowl, combine about 3/4 cup to 1 cup bread crumbs, about 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic salt, more freshly ground black pepper, and about 2 to 3 tablespoons parsley. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bread crumb mixture, and combine until the mixture starts to clump together. Once everything is mixed, sprinkle the bread crumb/Panko mixture on top of the scallops. (The bread crumbs will soak up any extra butter sauce as it bakes.)

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for roughly 15 to 20 minutes, depending how big your scallops are, until the fish is nice and flaky. Serve with veggies or a green salad and homemade bread, and you’ve good a great meal that will impress your family and friends.

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