Sunday was/is family dinner night. I start the meal usually on Friday in some small way, certainly thinking about it, shopping maybe, going out to the Greek store of pick up feta cheese, for instance. Going a little more aggressively into the meal planning by Saturday, say, making dough for bread. And then Sunday morning it’s full steam ahead.
I’d been influenced, as I often am, by YouTube videos of one sort or another and decided on Greek food. I actually did go out to the Greek Store and bought olives, feta, and plakis gigantes, the giant white beans that are the basis for a really popular Greek dish with lemon, rosemary, cinnamon and tomatoes. (Recipe here) Akis Petretzikis is the (Greek, in case that is not clear) guy I watch from time to time and he made these beans which I’d had in Frankfurt and have never forgotten (obviously).
“Soak the beans from 12 to 24 hours.” Yeah, OK, that’s sort of loosey-goosey but fine. I did the entire 24, not wanting these bad boys to be crunchy. I followed the recipe exactly. Made the, uh, sauce, maybe, that the beans go in. I put the whole mess into a casserole as he instructs. And into the oven. An hour and 45 minutes later, just around dinner time, the beans . . . crunchy.
Instantpot saved the day. And the plakis gigantes were delicious.
Although he mercilessly mocked my Instant Pot risotto effort, I received this pic from the Royal Indian mounted Police yesterday. He admitted that it was good. You have no idea how hard it is for him to admit he was wrong.
First of all it’s Instant Pot risotto. So, if you’re a snob like some people I could mention looking down his nose perched on the saddle on a horse, you may not want to try it. When I told him I’d made risotto and that I’d used an Instant Pot, he shrieked “THAT’S NOT RISOTTO!!!”
But if you have an Instant Pot and want some pretty damn good risotto-like dish this one is sure fire. And not only was it delicious it was amazingly fast and easy. Sauté your mushrooms and onions in the pot, add your stock and rice and pressure cook it for 6 minutes. Add the peas, butter and cheese. That’s it. It was awesome. Of course, I had this hideously expensive carnarolli rice that I’ve had for a decade and had never been opened (rice improves with age) and my stock was good enough to eat by itself. Those things do make a difference.
Of course if you had an envelope of turkey gravy you could probably use that. Just don’t tell certain royal mounted police, if you know what’s good for you.
This was a weekday dinner suggestion that got emailed to me from Martha Stewart (herself). An Easy-Breezy recipe that called for a rotisserie chicken, canned stock and ho-made dumplings. There are easy-breezy things I do but chicken and dumplings ain’t gonna be one of them. I went to Kettle Range, got a real chicken, stuffed it with lemon, sage and garlic and roasted it (at 500 degrees for an hour), removed the meat, browned the bones and made real stock in my Instant Pot.
The rest of it, the soup, the dumplings was a trip to the park compared to that rigmarole (not that I minded a minute of it). I put green beans in it because Martha said to. Normally I would not. And now, having done it, I will still normally not.
It was great though and my nephew forgot to take the leftovers home so I had them for lunch, green beans and all.