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I love where I live. With Sonoma’s breathtaking beauty among her rolling hills, picturesque vineyards, and the close-knit community I am blessed to call home, it's easy to say I love what I do. As a real estate professional and food writer, Sonoma Dish endeavors to share with you my enthusiasm for living the wine country lifestyle.

 

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  • Therese Nugent

The Number One Reason I Still Love My Instant Pot

I rode the outrageous Instant Pot popularity wave with the rest of you. And

there was good reason to love it. Not just a glorified slow cooker, this smart

pressure cooker has been great for making a succulent beef stew, a silky risotto or creamy mac & cheese in remarkedly short periods of time. And with a cool change in the weather, I’m looking forward to making those delicious dishes again. But what do I love most about the Instant Pot? Artichokes steamed effortlessly.


Stove top steamed artichokes can take upwards of 45 minutes and therein lies the rub. It’s not the level of cooking difficulty that makes steaming artichokes a chore. It’s the time commitment and having to watch a pot to maintain enough heat to sufficiently generate enough steam and pressure to fully cook the vegetable. I’m a devotee of the Instant Pot just for the ease in preparing artichokes, a vegetable my family loves to devour.


Super simple to prepare, trim the artichokes and place upright in the Instant Pot on a steamer basket insert. Pour a cup of water into the pot. Secure the lid and turn the steam release valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and set the cook time to 10 minutes. When the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 8 minutes, then carefully switch the steam release valve to Venting. Voila! On the table in less than 20 minutes.


The second reason I still love my Instant Pot? Incredibly creamy mac &

cheese in less than 20 minutes. Check out my take on this traditional dish. I

substitute a smoky gouda for the average cheddar elevating this comfort food to the next level. Bring on autumn!

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Instant Pot Mac & Cheese

Serves 8


16 ounces dried elbow macaroni

4 cups chicken broth

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon salt

½ cup sour cream

12 ounces smoked gouda cheese, shredded

2 ounces mozzarella, shredded

dash cayenne pepper


1. In the stainless insert of the Instant Pot, combine the dried pasta, chicken

broth, butter, mustard, and salt.


2. Lock Instant Pot lid in place and close vent.


3. Use Manual mode to set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 4 minutes. Note:

Instant Pot will take 10-15 minutes to come to pressure, then it will count

down from 4 minutes.


4. Once the pot finishes 4-minute countdown, immediately turn pressure

release valve to venting and turn the pot completely off.


5. Once the pot has released all the pressure, turn lid to open, keeping lid

angled away from you to prevent steam burns.


6. Stir in sour cream, cheeses and dash of cayenne pepper. Continue stirring

until cheese is completed melted. Serve immediately.


Enjoy!

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