Instant Pot Spanish Rice

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Instant Pot Spanish Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

Method

Heat the oil in pan over medium heat. Add the rice and onion; stir to coat. Saute until rice is starting to brown. Add the spices, stock, and tomato sauce; stir to combine.

Pour all ingredients in instant pot and close lid. Use the Manual/Pressure Cook button  to set it to cook on High Pressure for 5 minutes. After the pressure builds and it has cooked for 5 minutes, turn off the heat and do a 15-minute Natural Release. Release any remaining pressure and open the lid carefully.

Fluff the rice with a fork, then serve.

NOTES

None. Perfect as is. I finally have perfect Spanish rice again!!

Tostadas

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Tostadas

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef, venison, or turkey
  • 1 teaspoon each salt, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, ancho chile powder, and New Mexican chile powder
  • 1 cup (one-half of a 16-oz. can) refried beans
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 box tostada shells (I buy the El Paso 12-pack, but any 10- or 12-pack will do)
  • Topping options:
    • Shredded cheese
    • Shredded lettuce
    • Diced tomato
    • Diced onion
    • Jarred pickled jalapenos (usually called “nacho slices”)
    • Sour cream
    • Salsa or hot sauce

Method

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat (if using venison or turkey, I recommend adding a tablespoon of oil as well). Add the ground meat and cook, breaking into chunks with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the spices, refried beans, and water; stir to combine. Simmer until the water is just evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spread mixture over tostada shells and serve with desired toppings.

NOTES

I could eat these every week. The only reason I don’t is because the toppings can be a bit of a hassle to put together, especially for work leftovers. Still, I can’t go long without putting them on my menu.

Pro tip (although not shown this way in the photo above): if you want sour cream on your tostadas, smear the sour cream on the shell FIRST, then put the meat on and top with everything else. It’s virtually impossible to “spread” sour cream on after the fact, so this is a good alternative.

Garlic Beef and Vegetable Ramen

img_59571Garlic Beef and Vegetable Ramen
slightly adapted from Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil, separated
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 ounces snap peas
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cornstarch, separated
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium beef stock or broth
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced or grated
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 packages (3 ounces each) ramen noodles (discard seasoning packets), cooked, drained, and rinsed under cold water
  • Chopped scallions, for serving

Method

Place 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet or wok and add the mushrooms, snap peas, carrots, and red bell pepper. Cook over medium high heat until crisp tender; transfer to a bowl/plate.

Toss the meat to coat with 3 tablespoons cornstarch in a large plastic bag. Make sure all of the meat is well coated in cornstarch.

Add another 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan. Heat until the oil is shimmering and then add in 1/2 the beef in a single layer. Cook without moving until the beef is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Continue cooking while stirring until the beef is lightly cooked but still pink in spots, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate.

Add in the last remaining 1/2 tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat until shimmering. Add the remaining beef and cook without moving until the beef is well seared, about 1-1/2 minutes. Cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer the rest of the beef to the plate.

Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, beef stock or broth, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and red pepper flakes to the pan. Stir and cook over medium-high heat until sauce thickens a bit and reduces by about a third, about 5 minutes.

In a small dish, whisk together remaining 1 teaspoon cornstarch with 1 teaspoon water until smooth. Whisk into the sauce.

Add the cooked vegetables, cooked meat, and drained ramen noodles into the sauce. Toss to coat and top with the chopped scallions. Serve.

NOTES

I cannot tell you how many times in the last 18 months I saw this recipe in my Facebook feed/Tumblr dash before finally biting the bullet and making it, but I am so glad I did. The only changes I made to the original were to cut the oil in half and add a third package of ramen noodles. It was utterly delicious – and Steve went absolutely nuts for it, more of a rarity for him with a stir fry. Big win.

Broccoli Rice Casserole

 

img_8204img_8201Broccoli Rice Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces broccoli florets, steamed until tender
  • 3 cups cooked rice (yield from 1 cup dry)
  • 4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 (10 3/4 ounce) can cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup half and half

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a medium sized casserole dish with nonstick spray (or grease dish with butter).

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until just soft. Add remaining ingredients and stir until cheese is melted. Put mixture in casserole dish and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

 

Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad

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Greek Tortellini Pasta Salad
slightly adapted from Creme de la Crumb

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 lb. cheese tortellini pasta, fresh or dried, cooked per package instructions
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 1 (14-oz. can) quartered artichoke hearts, drained, roughly chopped
  • 4 oz. sliced kalamata olives
  • 4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Greek Dressing

  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • juice of 1/2 lemon

Method

Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar, cover and shake well.

In a large bowl combine tortellini, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, olives, feta cheese, and basil. Pour dressing over the top, then toss to combine.

Serve or refrigerate immediately. Best fresh but can stay good 4 to 5 days.

NOTES

I cannot. stop. making this. Best pasta salad I’ve ever made. Awesome contribution to a potluck, sure, but I keep making it over and over for lunches and dinners just for myself – and probably will keep doing so for years to come. SO GOOD.

American Lasagna

img_0159American Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 recipe homemade ragu bolognese
  • 8 oz. spinach, cooked, drained, chopped
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 15-oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 3 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

Method

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a medium skillet on medium low heat, combine ragu bolognese, spinach, tomato paste, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 5 minutes until well combined. Cool to at least room temperature before proceeding.

Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain. Gently transfer noodles to foil sprayed with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, mix ricotta cheese with egg, parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.

To assemble, spread a little bit of the meat sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish, then layer three times as follows:

  • 4 noodles lengthwise
  • one-third of the ricotta mixture spread over the noodles
  • 4 oz. mozzarella
  • 1 oz. parmesan
  • one-third of the remaining meat sauce

Cover with foil.  Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 30 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Top with a bit of grated parmesan and red pepper flake, as desired.

NOTES

I’ve made quite a few lasagnas over the years, but this is my favorite tried and true. And although I absolutely love Italian sausage in lasagna, and certainly you can make a sausage or sausage/beef sauce in place of the ragu here, I almost always have portions of bolognese in the freezer so it makes it even easier to crank this out whenever I’d like. Perfect, repeatable, delicious.

Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese

Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese
with thanks to Belly Full

Ingredients

  • 1 quart (4 cups) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 10 oz. mini pepperoni (or regular size, cut into quarters)
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cups dried macaroni pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Method

In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, tomato sauce, garlic powder, salt, basil, oregano, and thyme.

Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pepperoni. Cook for 2 minutes, until the pepperoni has started to release its oil into the pan, then add the onions. Saute the onions until soft, 3 to 4 minutes.

Pour the broth mixture into the pan. Bring to a boil and add the macaroni. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes, until the pasta is tender, stirring a few times to make sure the pasta isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.

When the macaroni is done, sprinkle the grated cheeses on top. Stir until melted and serve immediately.

NOTES

Even better than I imagined it would be when I first saw the recipe. I do not consider myself a pepperoni lover – honestly, it’s one of the last ingredients I will order on a pizza – but this was utterly delicious. Comfort food at its finest.