Tortilla Soup

This soup is a basic Tortilla Soup. You can use any kind of meat of choice such as shrimp, beef, or chicken. When I make this soup is it because I have some leftover meat that is just enough for the soup. That is about 8 to 16 ounces of meat. This soup has a really nice flavor that you can make hot by adding more jalapeno pepper or you can leave it mild and not add any pepper.
You can add bean or not add beans, however I do suggest that if you add beans that you rinse them very well before adding them.
In this recipe I use organic plain greek yogurt or if you want, you can use sour cream.
Like I said the recipe is very flexible which is nice because you can make this recipe fit most diets including Whole 30, Paleo, Gluten Free, Weight Watchers, or Slimming World just to name a few.
Based on your diet you can modify the ingredients to fit your needs.

Print Recipe
Tortilla Soup
This is a basic taco soup recipe that is very flexible. It is a base to creating a soup that will suit your palate.
Course Soups
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
bowls
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Meat of choice Shrimp, Chicken, or beef cooked and prepared then shred or cut into bit size chunks
  • 14 ounces Tomatoes (diced) If using canned tomatoes do not drain
  • 32 ounces Chicken broth I use low sodium organic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt Use more or less as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Jalapeno Pepper Deseeded and membrane removed depending on your choice of heat.
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Sweet Corn I like the frozen organic
  • 1 10 inch Zucchini Squash Chopped into bitesize chunks. This is optional and can be replaced with any choice of vegetable or beans.
  • 1 package Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded
  • 16 ounces Greek Yogurt (Plain) Optional replace with sour cream
  • 1 Avocado peeled, pit removed and cut in cubes
  • 1 package Corn Chips
  • 1 handful Cilantro Garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1 teaspoon or less to taste
Course Soups
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings
bowls
Ingredients
  • 1 pound Meat of choice Shrimp, Chicken, or beef cooked and prepared then shred or cut into bit size chunks
  • 14 ounces Tomatoes (diced) If using canned tomatoes do not drain
  • 32 ounces Chicken broth I use low sodium organic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt Use more or less as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 Jalapeno Pepper Deseeded and membrane removed depending on your choice of heat.
  • 1 medium Onion diced
  • 3 cloves Cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup Sweet Corn I like the frozen organic
  • 1 10 inch Zucchini Squash Chopped into bitesize chunks. This is optional and can be replaced with any choice of vegetable or beans.
  • 1 package Sharp Cheddar Cheese Shredded
  • 16 ounces Greek Yogurt (Plain) Optional replace with sour cream
  • 1 Avocado peeled, pit removed and cut in cubes
  • 1 package Corn Chips
  • 1 handful Cilantro Garnish
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper 1 teaspoon or less to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large stock pot over medium high heat add olive oil. When olive oil is heated to sizzle add onion and garlic. Saute until onions are slightly carmelized.
  2. Lower temperature to medium and add tomatoes, cumin salt, pepper, cayenne pepper.
  3. If you like you can add various vegetables here such as squash, corn, beans or other vegetables.
  4. Add Chicken broth and meat or choice. Bring to a light boil and lower to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Serve in a large bowl and add avocado, shredded cheese, yogurt and coarse crushed tortilla chips with a sprinkling of coarse chopped cilantro.
Recipe Notes

At the moment I don't have a picture but next time I make it I'll take photos.

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Maintaining Cast Iron Cookware – The Truth About It All

Have you read the long drawn out methods for "seasoning" your cast iron cookware?

I have and it's just overkill.

I read all the time where people post this long drawn out method for seasoning cast iron cookware.  Ya know, the one that says lather your cookware with oil and bake it in the oven at some temperature for over and hour then let it cool and wala!

Really? I have had cast iron pans for all my life. Sure, I had a while that I tried the nonstick cookware and it was really nice but it wore off and if it can ware off then I think I must be eating it in my food. Yuck. So I don't buy any kind of nonstick cookware.

In fact my cast iron is pretty much nonstick and it stays that way very easily. So, my intention of this post is to share my methods for maintaining my cast iron pans.

First there are a few rules like knowing what kind of foods and recipes tend to be reactive to the metal. I probably would not make a dish like a spaghetti sauce with tomatoes that are very acidic and have it simmering all day in cast iron. For that just break out the stainless steel sauce pan and let it simmer to your hearts content. Reactive metals such as aluminum, copper, iron, and steel (not stainless), are all reactive metals. If you are cooking food that is high acid or alkaline, the food may take on the taste of the metal but that is for another post.

All cast iron that you buy these days has already been "seasoned". In fact just to let you know all you really need to do is just clean the pan with some soapy water to get the industrial gunk off.  That is the only time that I absolutely insist you use soapy water to clean the cast iron. You want to make sure you clean the industrial oils off the outside of the pan. Then apply a nice think coating of a good oil or lard and heat it up right on the stove to sizzling hot. Once the pan has cooled then use my salt method to clean the pan and start cooking. Cast iron is a very porous metal and the best way to "season" it is to just use it. The key to having great cast iron cookware is how you care for it.

It is not a good idea to use soap. The only reason to not use soap is because it is difficult to get the soap completely off the pan. Once in a while does not cause any harm as long as you coat the pan with a fresh coat of oil for storing. My favorite way of cleaning my cast iron is with good old salt and a paper towel. In my 10 inch pan I put about 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of salt in the pan and using a paper towel I scrub the pan with the salt. The salt will scrub the surface to shinny clean. Just dispose of the salt when you are done. The advantage of using salt is that it has antiseptic properties and will keep the pan fresh and you probably won't need to oil the surface before storing.

If you have a situation where you just left that food in there too long and it burned to the bottom, all you have to do is while the pan is hot, remove the food or what is left of it and turn off the burner then add some water to the pan to deglaze the bottom. The "deglaze" from the burned food you probably won't want to keep. NOTE: Do not do this if you have standing hot oil in the pan.

Ok, here is my disclaimer. Be careful when putting water in a hot pan. No standing hot oil can be in the pan just the burned on food the you want to remove. Some oil coating the surface is OK. Do not stand too close and make sure that children and pets are not in close proximity. When you put water in a hot pan there is lots of steam and splattering. In fact if you can place the pan in the sink and then turn on the water over it that is a little less messy and a little safer. If there is a lot of oil in the pan then you will have to wait for the pan to cool down remove the oil and discard it. Then heat the pan and do the water cleaning thing.

Finally, if the deglazing method does not remove the food from the pan then you can still use the water cleaning method but this time you are going to put about 1 inch of water in the pan and literally cook the food off.  This cleaning would require oiling the pan before storing.

So that's how I treat my cast iron. Be sure to read my yearly conditioning that I do to keep them good as new.

Instant Pot Louisianna Style Spare Ribs

Spare ribs was the second thing that I learned to make in the Instant Pot. 

The first thing that I made was a 4 pound pork shoulder and it was absolutely delicious and I repeated that a few times. I had watched several videos showing people making spare ribs and I finally decided to make them.

Since then I have made them countless times and we (as in my husband and I) are now adjusting the pressure cooker time to get them cooked to the point that they are done and tender but stay on the bone enough to transfer them to the grill without them just falling off the bone. 

Just a quick point about adjusting time when using the Instant Pot. I first was adjusting the time in 10 minute or more increments. That does not work very well and I've had a few times where the ribs were not done. Since then our adjustments have been in one to 2 minute increments. We are getting it just about right with 2 racks of ribs. this time can change if you are getting baby back ribs or Louisiana style ribs or just standard trimmed spare ribs. Time will also be different if you are cutting the ribs apart individually or cooking them in slabs.

 

Print Recipe
Louisianna Ribs
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Beef or chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Sage
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cloves Crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Dry mustard
  • 2 Racks Louisianna Style Spare Ribs
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 70 minutes
Passive Time 20 minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Beef or chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoons Sage
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 cloves Crushed garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon Dry mustard
  • 2 Racks Louisianna Style Spare Ribs
Instructions
  1. Rinse ribs and cut them apart between the rib bones and separate.
  2. Keep the rack that comes with the unit in the bottom of the pot. Stack the ribs standing on end. Place the larger meatier side of the rib toward the bottom of the pot.
  3. I filled the pot completely then I add broth, sage, salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, dry mustard.
  4. I had two racks of ribs and so I really filled up the pot. This is too full so I have to take a few out but I did not get a picture of that. Make sure the food is not higher then the rim of the pot.
  5. Plug in the unit, place the lid on the unit and rotate the lid to the closed and locked position.
  6. Then close the steam vent by rotating it clockwise to the pressure lock.
  7. Press the Meat/Stew button and then adjust the time to 60 minutes for two racks. I suggest 35 minutes if you are cooking 1 rack. (Note: depending on your altitude you may have to adjust the time in the future but start with the above for your first time) Once the time is set if you do not touch the controls for 10 seconds the display will change to "On".
  8. 7. As the liquid heats and steams the pressure will build up in the pot and eventually the silver plug will engage and plug the pot. This is when the cooking starts and the timer will change from on and begin counting down from your setting.
  9. Wait for the timer to count down completely and DO NOT ATTEMPT to remove the lid of open the steam vent during the cooking process.
  10. Once the timer sounds, the internal temperature of the pot will automatically go to low. You can release the steam or you can leave the ribs in the pot and the steam will slowly release as the temperature cools inside the pot. I chose to release the steam by moving the steam vent to the Venting position. If you are a little afraid to do this use a utensil or put on a hot mitt to release the steam vent.
  11. Once the silver plug drops you can then remove the lid by rotating counter clockwise and then remove the lid from the pot. Take care to not lean over the pot and to keep you hands clear because the food inside is hot and there is still a lot of steam.
  12. This is what the ribs look like in the pot once they are cooked. They are a little pale and need to have some barbeque sauce brushed on them.
  13. You can place them on the grill, like I did, or you can place them on a cookie sheet and put them under the broiler in the oven for about 5 minutes. Just long enough to firm up the sauce and get a little carmelizing on them.
Recipe Notes

That's it! Takes about 1 Hour to cook two racks to perfection and because they are under pressure a lot of the flavor is contained. I used to par-boil ribs and then put them on the grill. Now with the Instant Pot I have perfect ribs and most of the cooking is done while I am watching some TV or on the internet.

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My Rack Accessory That I Use With My Instant Pot

I am always wanting to figure out how to cook different things in my Instant Pot.

I will say I have found a few that I just don't really prefer to cook under pressure. One of those being meat loaf. While you can cook meatloaf in the instant pot the time it saves it minimal and really not worth it. It still takes 30 minutes cook time in the Instant Pot and that is not counting the 20 minutes it takes to come up to pressure. As opposed to baking it in the oven that takes 1 hour and 30 minutes but enough of that.

The point is that there are foods that when you cook them you don't want them in a lot of water and the moisture or water is necessary for the Instant Pot to build up enough steam to seal and pressurize.

With this in mind, I have been regularly checking on Amazon for some kind of rack to elevate a pot. That way I can for example cook meat in the bottom of the pot and then in an elevated bowl cook potatoes without having them be submerged in the liquid that always occurs in the bottom.

My search on Amazon produced a couple of different choices. One of them being a simple rack to elevate food or a bowl. Here it is.

I stumbled across another rack that I though would be of good use and be able to serve two purposes. This rack is a hard boiled egg rack or soft boiled egg rack which ever you fancy. It still provides elevation but it also has the spots to place eggs in for hard boil. Here is what they look like.

Needless to say I purchased the egg racks and you can see me using them for the first time when I make BBQ Chicken and Wild Rice in the Instant Pot.

The racks come in two height one is 3 inches and the shorter is 2 inches. I used the 2 inch rack when I made the BBQ Chicken and Wild Rice.

Anyway, I thought I would add that to my blog. Just in case anybody ever decides to read something I have posted.

Sunday Afternoon Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs and Wild Rice

OMG, its late Sunday afternoon. About 4pm to be exact. I'm trying to think of something for dinner and I don't want to run to the grocery store.

When I was very poor I had the talent of looking in the fridge and the cupboard and figuring something out. I always managed to just come up with something that would pass as a good meal. It seems like nowadays I'm not as poor and so I don't have to work as hard at being so frugal because I don't have money. Now that I'm thinking about it I really need to return to my use of figuring out great meals with what I have on hand and I'm going to do it today.

First I need to check the deep freezer which I always keep stocked with "something". <gone to check the freezer>....

OK, I'm back and I found a 2.3 pound package of frozen skinless chicken thighs and now I need something to go with it. Checking the pantry I have some wild rice, I have a can of artichokes, I have a can of pumpkin, cans of diced tomatoes. Hmm.

I'll check the refrigerator freezer...I have some frozen vegetables, frozen potatoes. On the counter I have some fresh potatoes.

Jeez, I have plenty to make a good dinner I just have to decide what to make. It is now about 4:16 so whatever I make it needs to take about 30 minutes or less.

I would like to make it in the Instant Pot and I've been wanting to try making rice in the Instant Pot so that's what it will be BBQ chicken thighs and wild rice in the Instant Pot all at the same time.

I don't know if this will be successful but at least I can figure this out. I want to make the wild rice in a separate dish in the Instant Pot. I recently got these racks that I can use to stack something in the cookpot. My idea is to put the chicken thighs in the BBQ sauce in the bottom then a small rack and then a dish containing the water and dried rice. The goal is to cook it all at the same time.

It's not over the top amazing but its good and something that I would make again. Here is my recipe. Oh and here is a link to the racks that I had purchased.

Print Recipe
Instant Pot BBQ Chicken Thighs and Wild Rice
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds Skinless Chicken thighs
  • 1/2cup Cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Catsup
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds Skinless Chicken thighs
  • 1/2cup Cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup Catsup
  • 2 Tablespoons Honey
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
Instructions
  1. Place the olive oil in the Instant Pot and select saute.
  2. Place the chicken thighs in the pot and brown then on both sides.
  3. While the chicken is browning combine BBQ sauce, catsup, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and honey in a small mixing bowl.
  4. Once chicken is browned on both sides use about 1/4 cup of water to just deglaze the bottom of the cooking pot. I could have used cooking sherry that would have been really good.
  5. Place chicken back in the pot and pour the BBQ sauce concoction over it.
  6. Prepare your favorite uncooked wild rice in a separate bowl. Add the rice, water, salt and optional butter.
  7. Place the lift rack in the pot that will be used to hold up the bowl of rice.
  8. Place the bowl of uncooked rice on the rack.
  9. Be sure to take a paper towel and wipe the rim of the cooking pot so that the seal seal if good when you place the lid on the Instant Pot.
  10. I first selected the Rice setting on the Instant Pot. That setting was 12 minute on Low Pressure. I figured the worst would be about 20 minutes I would lose and I could find out if that setting would work. However, after the Rice setting was done the rice was not done. I think with the combination of having the chicken and the rice together in the same pot was just not enough to cook the rice. I started the Instant Pot again and this time I used the Meat setting and I had it cook for 12 minutes. This time it worked.
  11. I removed the rice and the rack.
  12. At this point I moved the chicken to a oven safe pan which was my cast iron pan and placed it in the oven under the broiler for about 5 to 10 minutes to firm up the BBQ sauce.
  13. We had a nice side salad to go with the chicken and rice. It was just a good meal.
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Creamy and Rich Butternut Squash Soup

So, many of my recipes that I post I am thinking about my Grandmother. I think about what she would think about the dish, about the taste, would she be proud to serve it in her restaurant?

I have never made squash soup or pumpkin soup,

Print Recipe
Creamy and Rich Butternut Squash Soup
Course Soups
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
  • 1 or 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium Onion finely, chopped or about 1 cup finely chopped leek
  • 1 2 to 4 pound Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground Nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 to 3 cups Chicken broth For vegetarian use Vegetable stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Dry sherry plus more for garnish
  • 6 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Heavy Cream plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces Sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
Course Soups
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
Servings
Ingredients
  • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
  • 1 or 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium Onion finely, chopped or about 1 cup finely chopped leek
  • 1 2 to 4 pound Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon Freshly ground Nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 to 3 cups Chicken broth For vegetarian use Vegetable stock
  • 3 Tablespoons Dry sherry plus more for garnish
  • 6 slices Bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 to 1 cup Heavy Cream plus more for garnish
  • 4 ounces Sour cream
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
Instructions
  1. Melt the butter in a medium stockpot or dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the leeks, carrots and garlic, sweat, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the butternut squash, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the sherry to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until reduced slightly, then add enough stock to just cover the vegetables. If 3 cups isn't sufficient, make up the difference with water.
  4. Turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat to simmer, and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender.
  5. Add heavy cream and sour cream blend until smooth, either using an immersion blender or by carefully transferring to a blender.
  6. Transfer back to sauce pan and return to heat, add bacon and parmesan cheese reserving some for garnish. Add more chicken broth if necessary to reach desired consistence. Heat to desired temperature.
  7. Ladle into bowls and drizzle with sherry, cream and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
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so this was a first. I studied a few recipes I found online and then I combined what I thought were the best parts of each recipe.

I liked the idea of using heavy cream and sour cream. The recipes I found used more than what I used but I figured if I’m using both I need to cut back a bit on both.

This soup came out surprisingly great! I could hardly believe it. Usually when experimenting with a recipe, I would make the dish and then decide if I liked it enough to make it again. If I am going to make it again I decide how I’m going to tweek the recipe to get it as delicious as possible.

This one, there was no doubt, I will make it again and as far as tweeking. Its done. Yum.

Oh, and one last thing. I made it in my crockpot. I’m sure it can be made in the Instant Pot and if anybody wants to try feel free to share.

 


Gluten Free Dressing/Stuffing

My daughter has found that she is gluten sensitive and I have a brother that also has removed gluten from his diet. They both claim to feel much better as a result.
I have also cut back on gluten and I am now trying to avoid it where I can do it easily. I figure sooner or later I'll probably figure our how to completely eliminate gluten.
As far as turkey goes I have stopped stuffing my turkey. I think if you "stuff" your turkey it is called "stuffing" and if you cook your "stuffing" separate it is called "dressing". Feel free to correct me on this.
Over the past four years I have been experimenting with a gluten free dressing that is as delicious as the regular version that contains wheat.
It took 4 years and this year I finally got it right. Here it is for you to try.

Print Recipe
Gluten Free Stuffing/Dressing
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 16 ounce pkg Pork Sausage I look for a nitrate and MSG free
  • 12 ounces bacon Nitrate and MSG free
  • 2 cups Celery, Chopped
  • 1 cup Onion finely, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, coarse chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 cup Turkey or Chicken Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 4 cups cubed gluten free bread You do not have to dry this bread out but if you have dried bread you will need to add more broth to the dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 1 16 ounce pkg Pork Sausage I look for a nitrate and MSG free
  • 12 ounces bacon Nitrate and MSG free
  • 2 cups Celery, Chopped
  • 1 cup Onion finely, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Fresh Parsley, coarse chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Poultry Seasoning
  • 2 Eggs Beaten
  • 1 cup Turkey or Chicken Broth
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 4 cups cubed gluten free bread You do not have to dry this bread out but if you have dried bread you will need to add more broth to the dish.
Instructions
  1. Directions: Preheat oven 325 degrees. Have a very large bowl set aside for combining all ingredients. In a large skillet brown sausage, drain and add to large mixing bowl. Cut bacon into pieces and brown in skillet until crispy. Drain and add to large mixing bowl. Pour drippings from skillet leaving any bits add butter, onion and celery to skillet over medium heat. Cook until the onion is semi-transparent then add poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Combine well, remove from heat and set aside. In large mixing bowl add cubed bread and butter, onion and celery from skillet. Stir together to combine ingredients. In a separate mixing bowl conbine wet ingredients of beaten eggs and broth. Pour egg and broth mixture over the entire contents in the large mixing bowl and mix them thoroughly. The bread should be slightly wet but not soggy. Place everything in a greased oven safe shallow 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for 45 minutes covered. Optional ingredients: 1/2 c. Pecans chopped 1/4 c. raisins and 1/4 c. apple cut up 1/4 c. craisins and 1/4 c. pecans
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Instant Pot Turkey Drumsticks and Stuffing

I have a recipe that I have made countless times in a crockpot. This recipe is in fact perfect for a crockpot. I decided to try it in the Instant Pot to see how it would come out. Basically, this is turkey and dressing for 2 to 4 people without cooking the whole turkey.

I first saw this idea years ago in the early years of Stovetop Stuffing. Obviously, you can make this with Stovetop Stuffing which calls for 1 1/2 cups of water per envelope. When using Stovetop Stuffing for this recipe you reduce the water to 3/4 cup.

Over the years I stopped using Stovetop Stuffing and decided to just make my own stuffing for the dish, which is below. If you decide to make this in your crockpot or in your Instant Pot they both come out great and is a favorite when the cooler temperatures come in the fall.

When I make this dish I use my pot in a pot method so that the stuffing is not real soggy.

Print Recipe
Instant Pot Turkey Drumsticks and Stuffing
This is a great comfort food meal that is great when cooler temperatures and fall starts.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 medium Onion fine chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery fine chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 3 cups Bread cubed fresh or frozon
  • 2/3 cup Turkey or Chicken Broth
  • 4 Fresh Turkey Drumsticks
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 60 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 medium Onion fine chopped
  • 2 stalks Celery fine chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Pepper
  • 3 cups Bread cubed fresh or frozon
  • 2/3 cup Turkey or Chicken Broth
  • 4 Fresh Turkey Drumsticks
Instructions
  1. In a large 10 inch or more frying pan melt butter.
  2. Add onion, celery, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper and saute until onion is translucent.
  3. Add cubed bread and half the broth. Incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Transfer the prepared stuffing to a bowl that will fit inside the instant pot liner on top of the trivet.
  5. In the Instant Pot liner with the trivet in the bottom add 2 cups of water.
  6. Place the bowl of prepared stuffing on the trivet and make sure there is plenty of space around the bowl to allow steam to rise.
  7. Next place the 4 turkey legs on top making sure that they are inside the Instant Pot liner. Season the drumsticks with some salt, pepper and poultry seasoning.
  8. Place the Instant pot liner with the drumsticks and stuffing in the Instant Pot pressure cooker. Plug in the unit. (Off will show in the display)
  9. Place the lid on the Instant Pot pressure cooker and rotate the lid to the closed postion.
  10. Move the pressure valve to the Sealing postion.
  11. Select Poultry on the Instant Pot control panel and adjust the time to 60 minutes cook time. As long as you don't touch another setting the Instant Pot will begin the cooking process after 10 seconds.
  12. You will know when the Instant Pot cooking has completed when it beeps and goes to a warm cycle. The display will show and L with the time it has been in a warming state.
  13. Once the cooking cycle is complete you can release the steam by moving the Steam Release to the Venting postion or you can let the Instant Pot release the steam naturally. (Important: do not attempt to remove the lid until the float valve has dropped indicating that the pressure has dropped to a safe level)
  14. Once the steam has escaped you can remove the lid and you will have turkey drumsticks and stuffing hot and ready for dinner.
Recipe Notes

[recipe]This same recipe can be used in a crockpot but since you are not needing to build to pressure you don't need an inner bowl for the stuffing.

My only suggestion would be to spray the crockpot liner with a cooking spray to make cleanup easier and then put the drumsticks in the crockpot with the stuffing on top.

Put the lid on the crockpot and cook for at least 6 hours on low.

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Instant Pot Cooking Using a Pot in a Pot

So, if you have read any of my blog posts on cooking you know that I own a Instant Pot. This is the one that I have.

It is capable of 7 different functions which includes, soup, Meat/Stew, Bean/Chili, Poultry, Sauté, Steam, Rice, Porridge, Multigrain, Slow Cook, Keep-Warm, Yogurt, Pasteurize and Fermented Rice (Jiu Niang).
I will be making dishes using all of the functions above so make sure you check back.
This post is about using an inner pot inside the Instant Pot stainless steel liner pot. This is useful for making things that you may not want to have a lot of water added to the dish.

The first time I did this I was making meat loaf. I wasn't sure how well it would work placing the meat in the Instant Pot inner liner without enough water to pressurize the unit. I didn't want to add water to the meat loaf so I needed to kind of create a double boiler type of setup. Bear in mind that the pressure cooker relies on building up enough steam to push the float in the lid into place causing the inside to pressurize.
After turning it over in my mind of a while and trying out a few different bowls to see the best fit I settled for a 2 1/2 quart stainless steel bowl that sits nicely inside the unit. Take a look at these pictures.

20160905_03360320160905_033706Notice how there is space between the Instant Pot liner and my 2 1/2 qt. bowl. This is important because the steam has to be able to circulate.

20160831_173538

Once I found bowls that would fit nicely, I then proceeded to make my meatloaf. I added 2 cups of water to the Instant Pot liner and placed the trivet in the bottom.

Then I placed my 2 1/2 quart bowl on top of that and proceeded to cook my meatloaf.

It was then that I decided to check the internet for others doing the same thing. I found where others had done the same thing using a pyrex glass dish.

The important thing is to make sure that you have the room between the inner liner and whatever food bowl you use so the steam builds up and is not impeded.

About My Grandma

My Grandmother was an amazing cook. I don’t say this without having some testimonial type of information. Let me give you a little bit of background about my Grandma.

My Grandfather was a hemophiliac. He was a “Christmas Hemophiliac” also called “Hemophilia B”. Because of this incurable disease my Grandfather could not be fully insured for complications resulting from the hemophilia. It was not unusual for him to be hospitalized for bleeding and my Grandmother knew how to control it and would work with the doctors to keep him well. I can even remember a few times when they would be traveling and he would have a bleed and she would have to hospitalize him away from home. There were times that the doctors were not listening to her and she would check him out of the hospital and transfer him to a facility where they would listen to her experience and suggestions.  It sounds bad but because of her knowledge and planning for unexpected he had a very full life and lived to 82 years old and they were always able to pay cash for his hospitalization and when they bought a new car.

Anyways, I’m getting off base but I just wanted to help you to understand why it was important that my Grandmother be entrepreneurial.  I have always admired my Grandmothers entrepreneurial spirit and discipline. For example, when my Mom was a child she grew up in a Victorian house and my Grandmother always rented out the upstairs rooms  to people coming into our small tourist town, East Tawas, Michigan.

Additionally, when my Mom was young, my Grandmother decided to buy a restaurant. She told my Grandfather about it when he got home from work. It was called “Ossie’s Fine Food”. See my Grandfathers name was Osmand Ostrander. Here is a picture of it. Ossies Fine Foods with Sign

Grandma was the one that knew how to make things work and Grandpa was the brawn, and a social butterfly. I was probably about 5 or 6 years old when my Grandparents sold their restaurant. My grandmother made Ossie’s a rather nice restaurant sometimes with white linen tablecloths and napkins and other times it was closer to being just a diner. Each table had matching crystal salt, pepper, and a sugar bowl filled with sugar cubes.

The restaurant sat right on the beach of Lake Huron in Michigan. As you can see from the picture there were glass windows from ceiling to floor all the way around. A really cool fountain was inside in one area and the walls were all knotty pine. Heres another picture of Grandma holding my older sister as a baby. Notice the walls.

Grandma O holding grandchild

Growing up I heard stories for years from my Mom about waiting tables, cooking, doing dishes and all the rest of the duties that go with owning and running a restaurant. I remember my Grandfather would wander around the restaurant and talk to everyone. He knew everybody in town and would greet people at the door get them all seated and if he wanted to talk to them again he would go and sit down with them once they had eaten and were enjoying a nice cup of after dinner coffee and those bowls of sugar cubes were right there on the table for people to add sugar to their coffee.  Here is a picture of my Mom and her cousin in uniform. They both worked at the restaurant and all the waitresses wore uniforms. Notice my Grandma’s picture above, she is also wearing a uniform.

Gayla and Sally at Restaurant

As a child the memories are fabulous about this restaurant. They had a sucker tree on the glass counter and there was always excitement at the restaurant. My sister and I used to get in trouble for going around to the tables and eating sugar cubes from the sugarbowls. I guess I’m trying to draw a picture for you and give you and idea how imprinted this place is in my memory even though I was very young.

So when it comes to cooking, you bet, my Grandmother had mastered it to the point of running a successful restaurant for years. Many times I remember growing up and watching her cook with nothing but a bowl and ingredients.

My Mom and I managed to get a few of her recipes by watching her cook and making an educated guess as to the amount of the ingredients. Unfortunately we have very few recipes to show but we got some of the best ones like, “Brown Sugar Cookies” and her “Homemade Oatmeal Bread”. Many times I imagine her standing next to me watching me cook. She is there for the new stuff and is always there when I make the traditional stuff.

This part of Work at Home Boomer is my cooking part and is dedicated to my Grandma, Mildred Ostrander who I try to model my entrepreneurial spirit and my cooking after.

Love and miss you Grandma.

One more picture of our Easter surprise displayed proudly on a table in “Ossie’s Fine Foods”

Easter at Restaurant

Instant Pot

I Got An Instant Pot

The big cooking craze lately is all about electric pressure cooker. I got the "Instant Pot". I researched this device after my daughter bought one and came over and cooked a 4 pound pork shoulder to fall apart tenderness in 90 minutes. Really...90 minutes.

I had seen similar devices advertised on television. One called the XL Pressure Cooker.  However the XL Pressure Cooker has a non-stick surface and in my research I found where a few people complained that the non-stick surface was peeling.

The Instant Pot has a stainless steel insert which I think is essential and it comes in several sizes and a multitude of features including fully programmable and even a Bluetooth one that can be controlled using your cell phone. Take a look at a few of these.

I called my daughter back and asked if she could confirm if the insert of her "Instant Pot" had a stainless steel liner and it did. This is the one that she got. It can do the following, 6-In-1 multi-functional cooker (pressure cooker, sauté/browning, slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer & warmer).

This is the one that I got. It is a 7-in-1. I figured that if I'm going to spend the money I may as well get the next one up. The price difference was not that much and I am kind of looking forward to making yogurt with it. (That is the additional function). In short the one I got is 1 quart larger and has 7 functions.

I've already made some pretty amazing dishes in this appliance and I will be posting those recipes online. If you are interested please let me know or if you would like for me to try making something...well if it sounds good I'll be happy to give it a try.