Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap

Instant Cooking: A Blessing for Our Busy Kitchen

By Adam & Kristin Kleinert

Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap

Pork Carnitas Lettuce Wrap

If you’ve read our column before in the now-tabled Extol Sports (Extol Magazine’s sister publication), you’ve probably heard about our enthusiasm for our Instant Cooker. It’s worked its way into our dynamic and is quickly becoming a dear family member. This month, we wanted to share a handful of our go- to recipes.

    While handy in a multitude of ways, the Instant Pot is a game-changer for our household due to the sheer amount of time it saves us. In the past, crockpot meals have been a staple, but the Instant Cooker allows for almost zero advanced planning. We can throw something in at 4 or 5 p.m. and enjoy a dish that would previously have needed to cook all day long. Even frozen foods can be ready (and delicious) in less than half an hour. Overall, this handy gadget is one more way to save precious amounts of time and, for our crew, that’s always a blessing.

PORK CARNITAS (SHREDDED PORK LOIN)

We do two of these loins at once and store the leftovers in the fridge for a day or two to eat in tons of ways: lettuce wraps, tacos, sandwiches, over salads. It’s lean, flavorful protein that our whole family loves…and it’s FAST.

RECIPE FOR ONE LOIN:

(again, we just double this and do two):

RUB:

    2 lbs boneless pork loin, cubed

    1 1/2 T Olive Oil

    1 t salt

    1 t ground chipotle chili pepper

    1/2 t black pepper

Cooking Juice:

    1 cup orange juice

    1/3 cup lime juice

    2 t dried oregano

    1 1/2 t cinnamon

    4 garlic cloves, minced

    1 onion, peeled and quartered

   Mix rub ingredients and rub cubed meat into it. If you have time and want let this sit, it’s extra yummy, but not a must. Turn Instant Pot to the saute mode and drizzle a bit of olive oil into pot. Add the rubbed meat, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides. Add the juice to the pot and secure the lid. Cook on high pressure: 17 minutes for one loin, 23 for two loins. Quick release the pressure and shred the meat. (Use a whisk or a potato masher for this). Enjoy!


Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes

So it’s more of a splurge than a healthy, family recipe, but it’s a favorite comfort food at our house and we’ve found it soothes the soul after a busy week. Besides, who can resist trying it out when it cooks together, in one pot, in just 25 minutes.

Recipe:

    1 lb ground beef

    1 lb ground sausage

    1 small onion, chopped small

    1 egg, beaten

    3/4 cup bread crumbs

    Splash of worcestershire sauce

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/2 tsp pepper

    1/4 tsp cajun spice, old bay, or italian seasoning

    (your preference!)

    *3 or 4 strips of microwavable bacon, if desired

For Topping

    1 cup ketchup

    1 1/2 tsp brown sugar

    1 tsp hot sauce

For Potatoes

    3 1/2 to 4 lbs of potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered

    1 1/4 cups of chicken broth (butter, milk, broth…

    whatever you like to add to mashed potatoes)

Layer the cut potatoes in the bottom of the instant pot and pour the broth over top. Lay the rack that came with the cooker on top of the potatoes so that it lays pretty flat. Combine meatloaf ingredients (minus topping ingredients) and shape into a rounded loaf. Place on a piece of tinfoil, large enough to shape the sides up as if meatloaf is in a pocket. *If you are using bacon, lay strips over top of loaf. Place on top of rack and secure lid. With the steam release closed, use manual mode on high pressure and set for 23 minutes. When finished, quick release steam.

Lift meatloaf out of cooker and place on a baking sheet. Mix topping ingredients, spread over top and place under broiler for 3-4 minutes, until topping is caramelized.

Meanwhile, add your desired ingredients to the potatoes (we use a heaping spoonful of butter, a little chicken broth and some salt and pepper) and mash until smooth.

Serve sliced meatloaf together with potatoes. Enjoy!


Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

Weeknight Chicken

    Like the pork, this chicken is so versatile that it’s an invaluable staple in our meal cycle. Here’s the kicker (and thus, the beauty of an Instant Cooker): It’s a bag of frozen chicken. And it’s ready to serve or add to another recipe in less than half an hour!

Recipe:

    1 bag of frozen chicken breasts

    (about 3 lbs)

    1 can of salsa verde, OR 1 jar of

    any Asian sauce or chicken broth

    and spices of your choice

   Mix rub ingredients and rub cubed meat into it. If you have time and want let this sit, it’s extra yummy, but not a must. Turn Instant Pot to the saute mode and drizzle a bit of olive oil into pot. Add the rubbed meat, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides. Add the juice to the pot and secure the lid. Cook on high pressure: 17 minutes for one loin, 23 for two loins. Quick release the pressure and shred the meat. (Use a whisk or a potato masher for this). Enjoy!


Hard Boiled Eggs

Hard Boiled Eggs

FAST Hard-Boiled Eggs

Quick, wholesome sources of protein are key for our busy tribe and the Instant Pot delivers perfectly cooked hard-boiled eggs with amazing efficiency. It’s so easy our kids can do it themselves. We cook a batch in record time and have go-to snacks on hand for several days. Bonus: this method causes the shells to slide off so easily!

5-5-5 Recipe:

    8 to 12 fresh eggs (a friend swears she

    does 18 at a time but we’ve never tried

    more than a dozen at once)

    1 cup water

   Using the rack that came with the Instant Pot, sit the eggs gently inside on the rack. Pour in one cup water and slide lid into place. Set to high pressure for just 5 minutes. Natural pressure release (which just means to leave them alone) for 5 minutes, then release rest of steam and put eggs into an ice bath for 5 minutes. Enjoy!(Use a whisk or a potato masher for this). Enjoy!

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