Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi with Asparagus

I love Shrimp scampi. It is buttery, garlicky, lemony, and delicious. When done right, the shrimp pops with flavor and is perfectly cooked. Sometimes, I’ll take some crusty bread and sop up that delicious sauce.

Shrimp scampi is quick to make for a fast meal and is a home run with the kids. They recently started eating shrimp, which is another good way to get protein in their diet without them getting too tired of eating the same thing. Sometimes, you just gotta mix it up, even if they are picky eaters.

The other day, my husband accidentally grabbed my leftovers for lunch at work, assuming it was my 1950s Pot Roast. At first, he was disappointed, but after eating it, he immediately called and told me how good the combination of shrimp and asparagus was. Yes, you heard right, shrimp and asparagus in that buttery, garlicky, and lemony sauce tasted amazing.

Jump to the Equipment List. Jump to the Ingredient List. Jump to the Recipe Instructions.

As happens more frequently or not, Bay Area traffic robs me of precious time with my family. Right when I open the door, my kids come barrelling at me telling me that they’re starving and they can’t wait another moment to eat something, so can they please have a snack?? Gotta get them feed, so I go straight to the kitchen to give them something light to eat and get to work making dinner.

Most of the time, I’m scrambling. I’m scrambling to slap something together that I know they will eat, because I’m tired and I don’t want to fight them on dinner. They are tired, too. Their dad might have made them do a bunch of homework and read to him. They might have had a long day at school. Little kids, for all the energy they have, get tired easily. I will admit that there have been times when I’ve decided “it’s breakfast for dinner!” or “how about some cheese quesadillas?” It’s quick, easy, and I don’t have to think.

I’m working to break us of this habit. Not that breakfast for dinner or a cheese quesadilla is bad, but when it’s at least one weeknight a week, I have to question my planning skills.

You see, I’m the planner of the family. I have to have everything lined up, regimented, planned, with all the details, and almost exact. I don’t do so well flying by the seat of my pants on anything. I may or may not be a control freak in that aspect. My husband, on the other hand, wings it. I guess he’s the ying to my yang.

Meal planning, though, is tough. I, more than you know, understand that meal planning is a challenge. Plans are good until plans change and sometimes adapting to overcome is a life skill one has to attain and employ. So that night, when I sat in traffic for almost an hour and came home with no dinner after 6 pm, I had to think fast. What was I going to feed the kids?

I knew that my Instant Pot would come in handy to make something fairly quickly. What would I put in it was the question.

There are things that I always try to have handy in the house. As you look at what you and your family like to eat, think about the staples you should have in your pantry at all times to throw together a good meal. I keep a lot of spaghetti around. Mondays are usually spaghetti and meatball night for the kiddos. I also keep chicken stock, butter, fresh garlic, and frozen shrimp on hand.

So, that night, when the kids were pulling at my legs begging for food, I told myself to whip up something pretty quick. I texted my neighbor to see if she had a lemon, which she did.

Shrimp Scampi was a go!

The boys loved it. They really enjoyed the smooth, buttery, garlicky, lemony sauce that coated the noodles and the shrimp. It was so simple to put together that the boys were well into their meal within 30 minutes. And my husband and I were happy, because we could talk about our day without verbal interruptions from the boys.

Absolutely perfect. Read on for my recipe for my Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi!

Please note that this recipe comes together FAST! It’s critical you stick to the cooking times in this recipe so you don’t end up with overcooked, rubbery shrimp! This is also not the recipe to use your tiny, cooked, salad shrimp. This recipe specifically calls for “large” (31/35 count), raw shrimp. Different shrimp sizes may change the cook time.

Equipment List:

  • Instant Pot (I used my 6 quart)
  • Steamer basket
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring spoons and cup

Ingredient List:

  • 1 pound large (31/35 count) raw, peeled but tail-on (or unpeeled) shrimp
  • Asparagus (optional, but goes really well with the dish)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup butter
  • 2-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 5 cloves garlic (3 if you don’t want too much), diced or minced
  • Parsley for garnish
  • Cooked spaghetti noodles

Recipe Instructions:

  • Prepare your asparagus (if using).
  • Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile, pour 1 cup of water into the inner liner of your Instant Pot.
  • Pour raw shrimp and asparagus (if using) into the steamer basket and place basket inside your Instant Pot.
Shrimp and asparagus ready to go for Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi
Asparagus on the bottom and shrimp on the top.
  • Lock the lid and ensure the steam release valve is set to sealing.
  • Press the Manual or Pressure Cook button and set the timer to “0.” Yes, “0” minutes. Any more time and the shrimp will bounce like rubber balls.
  • While the Instant Pot is cooking, mix the garlic and 2 tablespoons (up to 1/4 cup) of lemon juice together.
  • After the Instant Pot finishes its cooking cycle, carefully quick release the pressure. This process can take up to 3 minutes.
  • At this point, your pasta should be ready. Drain and set aside.
  • Once the pin drops, carefully open the Instant Pot and remove the steamer basket.
  • Peel shrimp, if desired.
  • Dump out the cooking water and wipe the inner pot clean.
  • Turn off the keep warm mode by selecting the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button.
  • Press the saute button and using the adjust button, set the temp to normal (not low or high).
  • The pot should already be warmed. Drop the butter and olive oil into the pot. Swirl the fat until the butter is mostly melted.
  • Pour in the lemon and garlic mixture. Using a wooden spoon, move the minced garlic as you don’t want this to burn.
  • Pour in the chicken stock.
  • Allow to thicken for just a couple of minutes.
  • Serve shrimp and asparagus with a drizzle of sauce on top of spaghetti. Sprinkle some parsley on your dish.
  • Enjoy with some bread to sop up that tasty sauce!
The kids just opted for shrimp with the pasta. My bowl had asparagus. Yum!

Do you like shrimp scampi on pasta? What veggies do you like on the side? Tell me what you enjoy eating with this recipe and I’ll incorporate it into my meals.

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 74 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Dominican-Style Chicken Fricassee

I was born in New York City, daughter to Dominican parents. Our dinners mainly consisted of white rice, pinto beans, and some kind of meat with a green salad. Very simple, but very flavorful.  It’s a meal known as “La Bandera” (the flag).  

The rice was perfectly fluffy and salty.  The meat was juicy and tender.  The beans were a delicious sauce that brought it all together. I didn’t eat salad much growing up. I probably should have. I’m sure the coolness of the tomato and the lettuce works really well with the rest of the meal.

Chicken fricassee, also known as pollo guisado is the perfect recipe that hits all of these highlights.  It’s flavorful, forgiving for the average cook, and softens tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions just enough. Pollo guisado is generally done on the stove top and simmered until the chicken becomes fall off the bone tender. As soon as it was ready, you’d call your other half, kids, and the neighbor kids over for a nice meal and enjoy the deliciousness.

This recipe requires a little prep work, but you can skip searing the chicken to cut back on time when you need to get dinner on the table ASAP. Depending on how many batches of chicken you need to saute, you could save 6 minutes or more. When I made this recipe, I used nearly 4 pounds of chicken quarters which had to be seared one by one. Including the 25 minutes or so it took to do that, plus 10 minutes building pressure, 20 minutes at high pressure, and 15 minute natural pressure release, dinner was served in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Had I skipped searing, dinner would have been ready in 45 minutes.

Pollo guisado pairs nicely with my habichuelas guisadas, Jasmine rice, and a green salad. Read on for the recipe!

Equipment List:

  • 6 Quart Instant Pot (I have a Duo 7-in-1)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Medium mixing bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Plate to hold the browned chicken
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs (to transfer the chicken)
  • 2-gallon zip top bags

Ingredient List:

  • 2 pounds of skin-on, bone-in chicken pieces (I used chicken quarters)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Adobo seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 small white onion sliced into strips
  • 4 plum tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced and seeded
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced and seeded
  • 1/4 cup pitted olives cut into halves with its juice (optional)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 lime
  • Cilantro leaves chopped for garnish
Cast of characters for tonight’s recipe. Not pictured: olive oil and lime.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Mix the seasonings and set aside. (Note: the Adobo seasoning has plenty of salt, so no need for any in this recipe!)
  • Add the onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, olives with their juice, and garlic to a 2-gallon zip top bag. Set aside.
  • Prepare the chicken.  I wash my chicken, but you don’t have to.  Just be sure to pat it dry.
  • Add the chicken to the vegetable mix, include the seasoning and two tablespoons of olive oil and close the bag.
  • Thoroughly massage the bag to incorporate the chicken, vegetables, olive oil, and seasonings. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  • Decon all areas within ten feet of the raw chicken. Salmonella is no joke.
  • Set your Instant Pot to the sauté mode and press the adjust button to medium heat.  When the screen reads “HOT,” add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot.  (You may have to take the pot out and swirl the oil around due to the slightly curved bottom of the pot.)  Add the sugar and cook until caramelized – about two minutes. Watch to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn!
  • After a minute, brown the chicken on each side for about three minutes.  (Reserve the marinade.) After browning, place the chicken on another plate.
This is the color you’re looking for when searing the chicken.
  • Pour two tablespoons of water plus some of the marinade juice. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pot, scraping up the browned bits to incorporate into the liquid.
  • Pour the remainder of the marinade into inner lining of the Instant Pot. Add the chicken on top, ensuring it’s in an even layer. 
  • Juice the like and pour it all over.
Look at that bed of delicious veggies and marinade!
The chicken, nestled on top of the veggie layer.
  • Lock the lid in place.  Set the knob to sealing.  Press the poultry button and set to 13 minutes at high pressure, if one layer, 20 minutes if you had to overlap meaty pieces.
  • After the Instant Pot completes the cooking cycle, let the pressure come down naturally for about 15 minutes then release any remaining pressure after that. 
  • Carefully remove the lid (make sure you keep away from the steam escaping!) and set aside. 
  • If you want, carefully remove the chicken and switch to saute mode to thicken the sauce.
  • Serve chicken over rice with a small bowl of stewed beans on the side.  I personally like the beans on the same plate, so I can get that perfect bite easily and every time!
  • Enjoy the savory flavors!
The finished plate. I smothered the chicken in the veggies, which added a nice pop of flavor.

What do you think of this recipe? I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did! Give it a like, so I know to make more recipes like this.

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Instant Pot 1950s Sunday Pot Roast

“Sam, the 1950s want their pot roast back” – my husband after eating my old-fashioned pot roast that I made in the Instant Pot.

It’s just that good. A warm, flavorful, comforting meal of beef chuck roast, potatoes, and sweet, buttery carrots with delicious gravy in every bite. I made this pot roast for the first time last year and my husband has raved about it ever since. I could tell that he liked it because he kept going up for more even though he was full.

Yup, it’s just that good.

Jump to the Equipment List. Jump to the Ingredient List. Jump to the Recipe Instructions.

Although pot roast was never a thing for me growing up, I associate it with Sunday afternoon dinners after church services. Several years ago, when visiting family in Phoenix, my mother-in-law made one for after worship supper that was delicious. The delicious and savory smell greeted us when we came home after socializing with the other congregants. It was a smell that makes me think of a warm and happy home. I wanted to do that for my family.

Despite my desire, I was never good at making pot roast in the oven, old-fashioned or not. I could never get it fall-apart tender and I didn’t have an hour per pound or the patience to spare to get the job done. I tried everything when making it in the oven, resulting in fail, after fail, after fail.

On a number of occasions I have done a great pot roast in the slow cooker, but that involves searing the meat on a separate pan on the stove, then transferring the contents to the slow cooker. In the morning. Before work. With two rambunctious, demanding-my-attention-all-the-time boys that I have to get ready and fed before school lest I want to have the meltdown to end all meltdowns from either or both of them. (Despite that description of them, I love them dearly and can’t picture my life without them.)

My slow cooker pot roast is nothing short of fantastic. I endeavored to convert it into an Instant Pot version, because, why not?

A good pot roast starts with chuck roast. A chuck roast is a cheap cut of meat that’s tough and stringy with all of that fat running through it. Because of this, a chuck roast only becomes tender from low and slow cooking temperatures and long cooking times. So the slow cooker is the only way to get it done, especially if I can’t hack it the oven. Right?

Right?

WRONG! The Instant Pot can get you a spoon tender, melt-in-your mouth result just as well – or better – than the traditional methods.

My pot roast recipe which fools people into thinking I spent three hours alone just cooking the thing. Maybe I’m the Hispanic June Cleaver, it’s so good.

Don’t let me sway you away from the slow cooker version of this dish. It certainly has its place. There is something about the smell of delicious meal welcoming you home after a long day’s work. I love that about my slow cooker. My Instant Pot will never replace my slow cooker. But my slow cooker does not do anything fast. It wasn’t build for that.

Now, before I jump in, I need you to be aware of something. In this exact form, this isn’t a weeknight friendly recipe. However, you employ a few shortcuts if you want to have this meal the same day.

For example, you could skip the sauteing of ingredients and just dump and go and be eating in about 1 1/2 hours. And that’s fine. BUT, meals like pot roast, chili, and beans are always better the next day because the flavors have had a chance to meld.

I made this recipe and had it the same evening and it was phenomenal. But the next day, my boss who cannot eat meat due to dietary concerns asked me where I got my lunch. This old-fashioned pot roast recipe upset the balance in the world.

Ever see Once Upon a Time in Mexico (AKA Desperado 2)? There’s this side story about Sheldon Sands, a CIA agent who eats the same pork dish at every Mexican restaurant he ends up at. In one particular scene, he meets with El Mariachi and remarks that the slow cooked pork he’s eating is the best he’s ever had. And because it’s the best he’s ever had, it upsets the balance in the world. In order to reset the balance, he has no choice but to kill the cook.

My pot roast upsets the balance in the world. It is the pot roast of pot roasts, the recipe to end all recipes of this sort. Try it and you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t shoot the chef after you eat it.

For my 1950’s Sunday Pot Roast, read the recipe below.

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart Instant Pot
  • Cutting board
  • Chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup
  • Tongs
  • Ladle to scoop the deliciousness
  • Wooden spoon
  • Veggie chopper (optional)
  • Plate
  • Aluminum foil

Ingredient List:

  • 3-4 pound chuck roast, cut into two even sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried or ground oregano
  • 2 teaspoons salt (cut down to 1 teaspoon if you’re sensitive to sodium)
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil (I used bacon grease)
  • 2 cups of beef stock
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 ribs of celery
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme (optional)
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)
  • baby carrots (your choice how much)
  • creamer potatoes (your choice how much)
  • 4 tablespoons of salted butter, divided
  • Au jus seasoning packet (I used Lawry’s)
  • Dried parsley for garnish, if desired
Ingredients for an instant pot old-fashioned pot roast.
Cast of characters for tonight’s recipe.

It’s a lot of ingredients. But they all work together to produce a delicious pot roast. Trust me when I say it’s all worth it.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Slice the onion into half-rounds. Set aside.
  • Using the veggie chopper or your chef’s knife, dice the celery and garlic. Set aside.
  • If using, wash and pat dry the rosemary and thyme sprigs. This is optional, but I have these herbs growing in my garden and I wanted to use them here.
  • Mix together your dried seasonings. Do not include the fresh rosemary and thyme here. Reserve those for later.
  • Place the potatoes and carrots on separate pieces of aluminum foil. Add salt and pepper to taste and drop in one tablespoon of butter in each. Wrap up the foil and set aside.
Buttered creamer potatoes for my instant pot old-fashioned pot roast recipe.
I did the same with the carrots. I also decided to season each in their own packets for added flavor.
  • Cut your roast into two or three uniform-sized pieces. You will want each piece to fit in the bottom of your inner liner.
  • Season each piece of meat with the dry seasonings. Don’t be stingy with the seasoning here. You should use it all up.
Cut and seasoned chuck roast for my instant pot old-fashioned pot roast.
This is how your roast should look prior to searing. Feel free to add more seasoning if you want.
  • Push the Saute button and adjust the heat level to more. When the display reads “HOT,” put in the cooking fat and swirl it around the bottom of the pot.
  • After about a minute, brown the pieces of meat for about two to three minutes a side. Flip using tongs. Do not disturb the meat while it’s browning and make sure to not crowd the bottom of the pot.
  • While the meat is cooking, mix your wet ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup.
Seared chuck roast for my old-fashioned instant pot pot roast.
This is the color you’re looking for on the roast. Those browned bits equal delicious flavor that will blow your mind.
  • Once the meat is seared, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate.
  • Meanwhile, pour in about a 1/4 cup of liquid mixture and the remaining butter and deglaze the bottom of the pot using your wooden spoon. Make sure to get as many of those browned bits up as possible since this will add depth of flavor to the finished dish and will prevent the pot from displaying a burn notice during the pressure cooking process.
  • Saute the onions for a few minutes, then add the celery and garlic. Saute the vegetables until they become translucent. Take care in this step to not burn the garlic.
  • Pour in the remaining liquid mixture and mix well. The browned bits will infuse with the liquid.
  • Place the roast back into the pot. If you cut it, be sure to nestle the pieces in evenly.
  • If using, place the rosemary and thyme on top. of the roast.
Prepared ingredients for instant pot old fashioned pot roast.
I know this is going to be goooooooooood eating!
  • Press the “Cancel/Keep Warm” button to stop the saute function.
  • Place the foil packets on top of the roast.

Now, you might be wondering, why put the veggies in now? It’s going to be a long cook time and they’ll turn to mush! True if potatoes and carrots are going straight in to the pot. But something about putting them above the rest of the ingredients and wrapped in foil keeps them from disintegrating. They certainly get cooked, but they don’t fall apart when you stick in a fork.

Almost there. I promise.
  • Seal and lock the lid. Place the pressure valve to sealing.
  • Press the manual or pressure cook button (I used the meat button. Note that there is no difference here) and using the +/- buttons, set the time to 60 minutes.
  • After the cooking cycle is over, let the pot naturally pressure release for about 15 minutes. Carefully release any remaining pressure by moving the pressure valve to venting.
  • Carefully remove the lid.
  • Remove the foil packets and set aside.
  • Remove and dispose the herb sprigs.
  • Remove the roast and set aside on a plate. The roast may fall apart at this point, so take care to not have hot liquid splashing on you!
  • Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button again.
  • Press the “Saute” button and adjust the heat to more.
  • Pour in the au jus seasoning and stir with a wooden spoon to incorporate. Allow the mixture to bubble for a couple of minutes to thicken to the desired consistency.
  • Slice meat.
  • Serve with the thickened sauce, potatoes, and carrots.
  • Enjoy!
Look at it. Just look at it. It needed a hunk of bread!

Bread hack: wrap in plastic and freeze your bread in medium sized hunks so you can heat up when the mood strikes! Warm in a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes and slice to desired sized pieces. Crusty bread is great for sopping up that delicious sauce!

Let me know how you like your pot roast and when you usually have it. There isn’t one “right” way. I usually know it’s a hit when my husband goes for a second serving on a full stomach! I hope you enjoyed this recipe as much as we did!

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 74 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Instant Pot Pulled Pork

Ah, the pig. It is a great animal for all sorts of meals. Think about whole pigs cooked in a pit, Kahlua pig, ham steaks for breakfast, ham hocks for baked beans, and – of course – bacon! You can have pork products for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Some parts are succulent like bacon or fat back. Others are really lean like loin. When done well, a meal featuring pork is a meal to write home about.

Pork seems to be very popular in the summer. However, you can have pork any time of year. You don’t have to wait for an end-of-summer barbecue to have a delicious pulled pork slider!

Jump to the Equipment List. Jump to the Ingredient List. Jump to the Recipe Instructions.

Pork shoulder is a tough cut of meat. Also known as pork butt, Boston shoulder, butt, or Boston butt (because it was transported in barrels known as “butts” back in the day), it has lots of fat that running through the fibers of meat. This cut benefits from low and slow cooking because the fat renders out through those fibers, adding flavor and making the end result tender.

The shoulder is my favorite cut of pork for my Cuban-Inspired Slow Cooker Mojo Pork. My husband has used the lower part of the shoulder, known as the picnic, for his own pork recipes in the cast iron dutch oven. When cooked for a long period of time at low temps, the shoulder becomes tender, succulent, and delicious.

So, expect to spend hours if you want to do anything with the shoulder. While the shoulder benefits from long cook times, the Instant Pot cuts down on that time and still produces that delicious, succulent, tender result you get from low and slow cooking. You read that right. Instant Pot to the rescue!

You will be making delicious pulled pork whenever the mood strikes. Read on for the recipe.

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart Instant Pot* (*See Note below)
  • Chef’s knife
  • Cutting board
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons

*Note: I used a 3-pound pork shoulder in this recipe. You may be able to go up to about 6 pounds in the 6-quart. Keep in mind that you will have to cut the meat so that it fits evenly in the inner liner of the pressure cooker. If you have a larger roast – Let me know, I’ll be right over – then consider sizing up to an 8-quart (plus an additional 1/2 cup of water) or freeze half the roast for another day.

Ingredient List:

  • 3-pound pork shoulder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garlic powder (optional)
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 4 tablespoons of cooking oil, divided
  • Two bottles barbecue sauce of choice (I used what I had on hand)
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • Cole slaw mix with pre-made dressing (or you can make your own)
Ingredients for my Instant Pot Pulled Pork recipe!
Cast of characters for tonight’s meal.

Recipe Instructions:

  • Slice up the onion and set aside.
  • Slice the pork shoulder into two or three even cuts. You want to be able to fit each piece independently into the bottom of the pot for searing.
  • Season the pork shoulder pieces with salt, pepper, and garlic (if using)
  • On your Instant Pot, select “Sauté” mode and adjust to high heat.
  • When the display reads “HOT” pour in two tablespoons of your cooking oil. Swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom of the inner pot. It’s natural for the oil to collect along the edges of the pot due to its design.
  • After about a minute, sear each side of the pork pieces for about two minutes per side. This may have to be done in batches, which is OK.*
Pork shoulder cooking in an Instant Pot
I was able to sear only one piece at a time. More than that, and the meat would have been sweating instead of searing.

*Note: Crowding the pieces causes them to sweat instead of sear. You want that maillard reaction to deepen the flavor profile of the meat and resulting sauce. Trust me on this. “Dump and go” cooking has its place in busy lives, but if you can spend the time searing your meat and incorporating those burned bits into your dish, the result will be that much better.

Seasoned and seared pork shoulder
This is the color you’re looking for when searing the pork.
  • Remove the shoulder pieces and reserve on a plate. Cover with foil in the meantime.
  • Add a little bit of the water to the pot. Begin deglazing the bottom by scraping with a wooden spoon.
Browned bits in the Instant Pot
That deliciousness will add depth of flavor to your dish.
  • When the pot is mostly cleaned, add the onions and sauté. The onions will release moisture and help deglaze any remaining bits.
  • Sauté until the onions turn translucent.
  • Pour in the rest of the water and nestle the pork pieces in one even layer on top of the onions.
  • Pour one container of barbecue sauce on top of the pork. Do not mix.*

*Note: Thick sauces have a tendency to cause a burn notice with the Instant Pot. Thick sauces on the bottom of the pot will scorch and not allow the pot to come to pressure. Not to mention that the burned flavor is something the dish can’t recover from no matter what you do.

Repeat after me: thick sauces on top, do not stir.
  • Turn off the “Sauté” mode by pressing “Keep Warm/Cancel.”
  • Place the lid on and lock it into place. Turn the steam valve to sealing.
  • Press manual or pressure cook (I use the meat button) and set the timer to 45 minutes under high pressure.
  • Meanwhile, make your cole slaw and marinate in the fridge until you’re ready to eat.
  • When the cook cycle is complete, let the pot rest for 15 minutes. Then, release any remaining pressure by turning the valve to venting.
  • Toast your buns, if using.
  • Remove the pork roast from the pot. It may fall apart here, and that’s fine.
  • Shred the pork with two forks.
  • Press the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button and then “Sauté.” Stir the sauce with your wooden spoon until it’s reduced to your liking.
  • Return the shredded pork to the sauce or keep it on the side and spoon a little sauce over to keep it moist.
  • Serve with a side of the remaining barbecue sauce. I like my pulled pork with a heaping spoonful of slaw in a lightly toasted bun.
Yassssssss

How do you like your pulled pork? What’s your favorite barbecue sauce? Let me know what sides you enjoy with your sandwiches! If you liked this recipe, please let me know by liking this post.

Thank you for sharing some of your screen time with me! If you liked this recipe, please hit the like button so I know to make more content like this. Tell me what you want me to try making next in the comments below. Also, check out my Facebook and Instagram (tag me at @cookwithsamib) for more photos and my Pinterest for what inspires me. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for updates when I hang new posts!

Join 74 other followers

Buen provecho! – Sami B.

Instant Pot Sweet Corn Spoon Bread Bites

Inspiration struck as I was looking at the pantry. I was thinking about a baby shower I was going to the next day. I wasn’t cooking anything for it but I was wondering what I would make. I saw a box of corn meal and it dawned on me that I love and miss sweet corn spoon bread.

I thought to myself, why not try and make some? So, I got to experimenting. This experiment resulted in way too many corn spoon bread bites and a recipe that I’m happy to share with you.

Jump to the Equipment List. Jump to the Ingredient List. Jump to the Recipe Instructions.

Spoon bread is ooey, gooey, and sweet. It’s cooked all the way through to a safe temperature, but very soft and delicious. I would add this to the comfort foods list. This would go well for end-of-summer barbecues or potlucks that focus on “small bite” fare. This can be easily consumed with your hands, or you can use a fork and knife instead.

I’ve had spoon bread at Thanksgiving, too. It replaced the sweet potato casserole as the sweet dessert-before-dessert. Sometimes I prefer spoon bread to sweet potato casserole because it isn’t too sweet.

Spoon bread is the kind of side that my kids enjoy and will ask for continually. Some Mexican restaurants serve a similar side dish called sweet corn cake. It’s got the consistency of a cake and is slightly sweet. Whenever we go to El Torito, we make sure to grab a larger bowl of it to share between me and the kids.

Equipment List:

  • 6-quart Instant Pot
  • Trivet with legs
  • Egg bite mold (I use this one)
  • Paper towel to cover the mold
  • Aluminum foil to cover the mold
  • Two medium-sized mixing bowls
  • Wire whisk
  • Measuring spoons and cup
  • Plate larger than the mold to pop out the bites

Ingredient List:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup corn meal
  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons white sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sweet corn (drained if from a can)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/2 cup creamed corn (about 1/3 of a can)
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter, melted and at room temperature
  • Cooking spray or melted butter to grease the egg bite molds
  • 1 cup water for cooking
Cast of characters for this experiment. I definitely ended up making a lot that night! I was also making dinner in my other 6-quart and my 3-quart Instant Pots. Let’s talk about multitasking!

Recipe Instructions:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just incorporated. Little lumps are OK, but you don’t want to activate the gluten in the flour.
  • Grease your egg bite mold. This will help the bites pop out when done cooking.
  • Pour the batter into the mold.
  • Cover the mold with a paper towel to collect any condensation that may occur.
  • Cover the mold and paper towel with aluminum foil.
  • Pour one cup of water into the inner liner of your Instant Pot.
  • Place the trivet inside.
  • Carefully place the mold on top of the trivet.
  • Seal and lock in the lid and set the sealing knob to the seal position.
  • Press manual (or pressure cook, depending on your model) and using the +/- buttons, set it for seven minutes’ cook time.
  • After the cooking cycle is complete, carefully turn the knob to the venting position for a quick release.
  • Carefully remove the lid and the mold. The mold will be hot!
  • Place a plate upside down over the mold and flip.
  • The bites should pop out easily. If not, run a knife around the edges of each bite.
The finished product.

If you enjoyed this, like this recipe. What occasion do you make these bites for?

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Buen provecho! – Sami B.