Instant Pot Loving + White Bean and Smoked Sausage Stew

Happiest of Fridays, My Friends! Life has been put on hold here in Michigan. We’re in the middle of a snowstorm and what better than a post about hot, steamy stew? We’re having this for dinner tonight, because you can’t beat SEVEN ingredients and a pot that does all the work for you in no-time.

Did I tell you I’m over-the-moon infatuated with my Instant Pot? Meals that would have used a skillet, slow cooker, or a pot come out of the stainless steel pressure cooker prepared to perfection with a fraction of the mess and time. Is your cupboard boasting this treasure yet? I’m sure we’ll share the same love : )

Nothing speaks family like the pleasures of gathering our loved ones, carefully ladleling stew into deep bowls, holding little hands, and saying grace – a prayer of thanksgiving to God for the day. Next, we all load a spoon and blow gently until it is just cool enough to eat.

I am confident that the best dishes emanate from the freshest ingredients prepared in the simplest way, and this stew attests to that. Using dried white beans, quality canned tomatoes, and full-flavored smoked sausage will deliver a rewarding, aromatic, hearty stew. Everything goes into the electric pressure cooker at once, and if prepared days in advance, this stew tastes even better.

When you serve this white bean and smoked sausage stew hot in generous portions with fresh crusty bread, you’ll enjoy the most soul-warming rustic stew! Do tell me you’ll try it?

White Bean and Smoked Sausage Stew

  • 3 cups of dried white beans (navy, canellini, any will do)

  • 2 (12 oz.) smoked sausages, sliced

  • 8 cups chicken stock

  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped

  • 2 (15oz.) diced tomato cans (stewed, crushed, whole-all work well)

  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary (crushing it in the palm of your hand gives it a little more life)

  • handfulls of fresh spinach leaves or kale for throwing in after cooking or directly upon dishing (optional)

Add all the ingredients to the electric pressure cooker. Cover and set on pressure cooking function for 45 minutes. Allow to slow release for a set-it-and-forget-it approach. The Instant Pot takes between 20-40 minutes to reach high pressure and will slow release for another 20-40 minutes. Enjoy the ease and comfort of this satisfying stew any night of the week! Makes fabulous leftovers and freezes great.

with love. Damaris

Rice Pudding (Arroz Con Leche): Instant Pot Simplified

Fun news! We were featured in the food blog EatLikeNoOneElse: A Foodie’s State Of Mind last week!! Our Zuppa Toscana recipe has been a big hit. Go check out Eric’s very comprehensive content on every ingredient you could ever think of. When I visit his site, I start by searching for a recipe and end up learning about the history of a Topaz apple! I think you’ll enjoy it too.

My memories of Arroz Con Leche stem from growing up in Spain, where it is one of the core desserts that graces every high-end and home cook’s table alike. My Yaya (mom’s mom) and my mom made it often, and it was my passion. Whenever I helped my Yaya with any cleaning or spent the day with her, she generously asked what could she make for me. I always asked for Arroz Con Leche (literally means rice with milk- or rice pudding). Turning her recipe into an Instant Pot success took many bowl-fulls served as breakfasts, snacks and desserts. All turned out good, except one try when Nathan said it tasted like macaroni and cheese- Hmmm.

This version of rice pudding is very simple with the basic ingredients that make Spanish Arroz Con Leche.

Simple Rice Pudding In the Instant Pot

  • 6 cups of whole milk (your choice of non-dairy works too)

  • 2 cups of water

  • 2 cups white short grain rice (long works fine too)

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 2 sticks of cinnamon

  • 1 lemon peel (not the peel of a whole lemon, only a 3 or 4 inch piece), optional

Add all the ingredients to the electric pressure cooker and whisk until sugar seems dissolved. Cover and set on Porridge function (or 20 minutes on high pressure if using another brand of electric pressure cooker). The Instant Pot takes a few minutes to reach pressure and automatically cooks for 20 minutes. Allow 20 minutes on low (after pressure cooking is complete), for delicious rice. We like it soft, so I allow it to slow release which takes about 40 minutes. Stir the rice pudding in the cooker before serving for more even texture and sweetness. If it seems dry for your liking, incorporate more milk when serving. This recipe can be cut in half with great results.

with love. Damaris

Did You Order An Instant Pot Recently?

Shortly after we were married, we received a quesadilla maker, and it never came out of the box. Sorry gifter! We don’t have a roaster, rice cooker, donut maker, toaster oven, electric griddle, panini maker, nor a microwave which tells you that it took a long time for me to grow increasingly intrigued by this of-the-moment appliance. I’m late to the party, but I’m in and I’m stayin’. It’s easy! It works! It’s delicious! -were all my expressions after using the Instant Pot for the first couple of weeks. I’m growing confident in the results and soon will join the amazing proficient Instat Pot users society. Some cooks are making close to magic in these, and I hope to at least have a growing collection of Instat Pot simple dinners on here. Fluffy cakes and crème brulee may still required a little more seasoning than I have. Today we’ll start with a quick and easy favorite recipe that you must make tonight, please! Don’t miss it at the end of this post.

It came as a surprise to me that Nathan ordered an Instant Pot before Christmas. The next day, we began with fresh French beans and then cubed potatoes. In the next couple of days, we tried several soups and rice puddings. Lentils and all dry beans are the best in the Instat Pot! I will never, not ever, simmer dry beans on the stove top for 4 hours checking on them every 40 minutes to makes sure they’re still submerged in water. Not to mention the residue of steam and stink- ha! The time saver and hands-off approach to cooking legumes is amazing. By the way, I have the Duo 8 quart.

This post is mainly a compilation of links and resources that I have used and hope both you and I can easily come back to for reference right here. As the Instant Pot recipe collection grows, I will link all the recipes to this post.

Here’s the official Instant Pot site. They have videos and information related to all the different models that they offer. Therecipe databaseit very helpful to gain confidence in using your old recipes and converting them.

Here are some of my favorite links for recipe inspiration: Most popular Instant Pot recipes from 2017 (The Kitchn) and Heidi Swanson’s Instant Pot Recipes (101 Cookbooks). I know there are countless more, but these are the two I have used so far. The soup we keep coming back to is Zuppa Toscana. Even if it isn’t a frigid winter where you live, you must make it. So, so good.

Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana

1lb. ground mild Italian sausage

1/2 lb. bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced

10 cups of chicken broth or stock

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 cup heavy cream or half and half

2 cups kale or spinach, for kale remove the stem and chop

Cook the Italian sausage and the bacon in the Instant Pot using the sauté function until crumbly and browned. Stir in the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the broth, potatoes and red pepper flakes. Select steam and set it to 4 minutes. Close the lid. Steam handle closed too. When the pressure cooking is done, allow 5-10 minutes of cooling and lay a folded towel over the steam handle. Turn the steam handl. When all the steam has been released, open the pot. Add the kale or spinach right away and it will wilt as you stir. Add the heavy cream or half and half. Enjoy again and again!

with love, Damaris