Fresh Purple Hull Peas in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

So, I’ve been playing with the new gadget. Overall, the Instant Pot is pretty handy. While I think some recipes I have seen go overboard in trying to make it the end-all-be-all, “lets cook everything in it” wunderkind, I still can see using it a couple of times a week. Thus far, it’s worth the investment.

My awesome neighbor dropped by a couple of days ago with a big bag of freshly shelled purple hull peas from the farm. Score! Local food and purple hulls I didn’t have to shell myself? Can’t beat that with a stick. I knew these would work fairly well in the pressure cooker, so I tossed them in and ended up with perfectly cooked, delicious peas in record time. Here’s how I did it:

Fresh Purple Hull Peas in the Instant Pot/Pressure Cooker

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  • 6 cups shelled purple hull peas
  • 1 ham hock
  • 32 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/2 TBS plus 1/2 tsp. kosher salt (divided)
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • splash olive oil (supposedly this helps beans/peas not foam like crazy, so I added it as a precaution)

Place peas, ham hock, chicken broth, 1/2 TBS of salt, pepper, and olive oil in the Instant Pot/pressure cooker. Attach lid and set pot to “manual” for 20 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Taste peas for seasoning and add remaining salt if needed.

One thing I really appreciated about cooking the peas in the pressure cooker was that I did not steam up my kitchen by simmering them on the stove for hours. The heat index is 102 degrees today, so you can see how that also helps tip the scales onto the “it’s ok I splurged on a trendy thing” side. At least, that’s what I’ll keep telling myself.

Down the Rabbit Hole–Yes, I Bought an Instant Pot, Tell Me It Will Be Ok?

Y’all, I’m not an impulse buyer. I am also from the Alton Brown school of thought in that my kitchen has no room for “uni-tasker” gadgets. I don’t fall victim to infomercials, nor do I see the value in random items such as a perfect pancake silicone insert, countertop rotisserie, or even the microwave omelet cooker. I’m fairly old-school in that my electronic kitchen gadget staples include:

  • Kitchen Aid professional mixer (yes, it has to be a professional with the arms and clip-on bowls, not the screw-on bowls. If that’s what my grandmother and mother used, that’s what I’m using. My mom’s lasted 20+ years)
  • Cuisinart food processor
  • basic hand mixer
  • blender
  • immersion blender (for hot stuff, as I’m accident prone)
  • slow cooker (and even then, I have a Hamilton Beach model where you can put the metal pot insert on the stove top to sear meat then transfer directly to slow cooker so you aren’t dirtying up a separate pot/skillet)
  • a waffle maker (in which I waffle way more stuff in than waffle batter. Doughnut, ham, and cheese paninis anyone?)

As far as non-electric gadgets, the most eccentric I get is a slap-chop device which I need to finely mince stuff when my knife skills won’t cut it and the food processor can’t handle that small of an amount of garlic, jalapenos, or shallots consistently. It’s like the middle child between my knife skills and food processor. Ultimately, my drawers are full of multi-use basics with no “as seen on TV” foolishness to be had.

So, back to this whole Instant Pot craze (which we all know is a brand name for an electric pressure cooker). I’ve seen a ton of recipes using it on popular food blogs and Facebook. It was one of the most purchased Black Friday items last year. But surely, it’s just another gadget craze that shall pass, right?

Well, dang it if I didn’t get sucked in. I read recipes, reviews, applications, and kept shrugging it off as a splurge I don’t need. That is, until this weekend at the camp…oh this weekend…when a bad bout of heat stroke and plenty of time resting on the couch led me back down the Instant Pot rabbit hole. After two delirious and dehydrated hours scrolling through Google hits (while trying to keep my stomach from permanently exiting my body), I decided I just had to have it. And so, I bought it today, because those delirious conclusions hung on like a leech despite my recovery.

Now, what the heck am I supposed to do with this thing? I Pinterest-pinned a bunch of stuff, but I better put my shiny new Instant Pot to good, successful use fast in order to redeem my detour into random kitchen gadgetry.

Any ideas? Send help fast!

 

The Summer of the Fish

It’s no secret that we love to fish, and now that Bean is older and a wee bit more patient, we get to go a lot more often. Thus far this summer, we’ve fished the waterways of south Louisiana, a local lake, and down on the shores of Galveston. We still have plenty of side trips planned (assuming the brutal Louisiana heat doesn’t cook us to death), so I hereby declare this the Summer of the Fish!

Finished Knit–Straboy Sweater

My knitting opus is complete! I fell in love with this pattern a while back and  it took me nearly a year of on-and-off knitting, but I finished it for the husband (just in time for summer, right?). I probably will need a long break from cables and trinity stitch, but I could not be happier with how this turned out.

Pattern: Straboy from the book Contemporary Irish Knits

Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed in Orca Colorway

Needles: Size 7 and 8 circular needles and DPNs for parts of the sleeves

Size: 44-inch chest circumference

Notes and Mods: The only adjustments I made were to lengthen the sleeves by a couple of inches. The husband has abnormally long arms, so much so that I have to order his shirts online because stores typically don’t stock his sleeve length. I did have some issues with the instructions, but the pattern author is very active on Ravelry and answered my questions very quickly. This took way more yarn than I anticipated, and I had to reorder twice! Luckily, the yarn did not vary too much between dye lots, so it’s not noticeable. The husband loves it, and hopefully, we will have some semblance of a winter this year so he can wear it.

Also, this project was my first using the Knit Companion software for the iPad, and I am so glad I bought it and watched the tutorial. This software was invaluable in managing the charts, because me and paper charts do not get along so well.