Sometimes the Little Victories Matter

I had such grand cooking plans for the recent 3-day weekend: a rack of Saint Louis style spareribs, a rack of pork back ribs, a supposed redemption at chicken wings, some artichoke, a package of carne asada, two packages of italian sausage, corn on the cob, an attempt at potato salad, plus hopefully another double-batch of yogurt… some of those came to pass, most of those did not.

Spoiler Alert: I did not redeem myself with the chicken wings. 🙁

Since it’s the last day of the month, and since I haven’t posted anything “of substance” for awhile, I should probably post something today.

So here’s the weekend report.

Pork Back Ribs

I have come to the ultimate conclusion that while I like IP ribs well enough, I really do not like leftover IP ribs. This poses a huge problem.  Either I’m just going to have to give up on them, or I’m going to have to start cutting the racks down and freezing them in smaller pieces.

I repeated the Dumpster Fire Pork Ribs recipe from a few weekends ago (aka Amy & Jacky’s Pressure Cooker Korean Ribs) — this time with a full rack instead of a half rack, and using two apples right out of the gate for the marinade, and wisely not tasting said marinade until after all the ingredients were blended together.

Good news: no Garlic Nosefire of Death this time around!

And marinading them for an entire day-and-a-half doesn’t seem to have caused any problems. I’ll be finishing-up the leftovers shortly, once I push Publish on this post.

ProTip: Remembering to add the green onions and sesame seeds was a big improvement. 

If you haven’t tried the original recipe yet (Amy & Jacky’s Pressure Cooker Korean Ribs) please do. Make sure you follow all the steps though. And remember that Jacky says that regular pears, apples, and even kiwi can be substituted for the Asian pear in the marinade.

Saint Louis style spareribs

The Saint Louis style spareribs were given the simple treatment detailed in Amy & Jacky’s Easy BBQ Instant Pot Ribs — just a generous rubdown with salt and pepper. But since my stove & my oven are dead to me, there was no brushing with BBQ sauce and finishing in the oven. Even so, just with the salt and pepper they were pretty damn tasty and I chowed down. Again, super yummy out of the pot, but I’m just not sure why I’m less thrilled with them as leftovers.  They just seem to loose their oomph once they cook down.

Also, I’ve decided no more racks of Saint Louis style spareribs. I really don’t like dealing with those weird-ass skinny white kinda-bones-kinda-cartilage that run along the bottom edge, and are pain in the ass to remove.

In both cases of ribs, I put them in for 16 minutes, with NPR, and they were still pretty much falling off the bone. So I still have yet to successfully achieve finger-lickin’ ribs. Only fork chompin’ ribs.

Artichoke

I used Hip Pressure Cooking’s Steamed Artichoke recipe. I’d used it before with success, so I tried it again. The first time I tried it, a few weeks ago, my artichokes were HUGE, requiring that I tilt them both inward so they could even fit side-by-side. But they came out perfect.

This time they were less huge, almost by half, and instead of being younger with tightly closed leaves, this time they were older with leaves already opening. That probably explains why they were on sale.

This time I also did some additional experimenting, compared to the first time where I just put them both in whole. This time, one of them I cut in half, then the other I cut in half and scooped out all the excess innards. The innards extraction while raw was easier than expected, but messier than expected compared to doing so post-cooking. I stuffed some lemon slices against the cut edges and cooked them face down for 10 minutes.

ProTip: Don’t use a rack that is more holes than metal bars when overcooking artichoke halves. They want to fall through.

Alas, they came out overcooked. 🙁 Edible. But overcooked.

The saving grace is the Dijon mayonnaise sauce that the recipe includes. Though I used a way bigger ratio of Dijon to mayo than is specified. But it’s totally yum.

Chicken Wings

I took a few photos while attempting chicken wings again using Amy & Jacky’s Honey Soy Chicken Wings. It may or may not turn into its own post.

Since it was Memorial Day Weekend, the grocery store last week had packages of “party wings”, from two different brands. So I got one of each, plus the regular tray of dinosaur arms. I semi-successfully hacked the dinosaur arms into wingettes and drumettes. It was a slimy, messy pain in the ass.

When it came time for cooking, and attempting to avoid Death Soup, marinading them for almost two days may or may not have made the little bastards even more slippery.

Spoiler Alert: Death Soup, The Sequel

I could definitely tell which of the final pieces were mine, and which came from the store already hacked up. Mine had lots of bone shards. Boo. They’ll be dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow. And maybe dinner tomorrow too depending on how much bone shard I manage to get though.

I am pretty sure this is either my last time with chicken wings, or my last time bothering to try to brown them. As with before, I am not sure how much wing browning happened. But lots of pot browning happened. The first pot is still in the sink soaking. Just like before. Boo. Hiss.

Carne Asada

The package labeled “carne asada” is still in the fridge. It’s been there for a week now. I keep checking for green or shiny silver spots. So far, still not dead. I should probably use it tonight. Any recipe suggestions? I had originally thought it would make easy slicing for pho, since it’s already thin cut. But pho might be more effort than I’m willing to put forward at the moment.

Italian Sausage

The Italian Sausage is similarly still being moved from spot to spot in the fridge. I’m a little Zuppa Toscana‘d out at the moment, but it was on sale. I’m also spaghetti sauced out too. So I’m open to recipe suggestions for this as well. Otherwise I should probably toss it into the freezer tonight.

Yogurt

Nope, didn’t happen either. Though Fairlife milk was on sale for $3.00 per bottle the last time I was at the store, so I stocked up on four bottles: two non-fat, and two 2%, so I could do another experiment. (Last time I compared 2% to Whole, but didn’t strain either of them — so that experiment will need to be repeated. For me un-strained was too runny, based on all the slops down the fronts of my shirts for the past two weeks.)

Potato Salad

Also didn’t happen. 🙁

Maybe tonight. Maybe tomorrow. When it does happen, it will be Amy & Jacky’s new Potato Salad recipe. Though with white potatoes, since that’s what I have in the house.

Corn on the Cob

That leaves corn on the cob, for those of you who’ve made it this far in this extremely boring post. But it is the entire reason for this post, or at least for this post’s title — since at least I was able to do ONE thing right this weekend.

And as I go fetch the link for it out of my meal planner, I realize that this was another Amy & Jacky weekend. Because, yup, I used their Corn on the Cob recipe. And it worked.

I’d previously tried This Old Gal’s Corn on the Cob recipe, with the milk and everything right in the pot, but the curdled milk nestled between the kernels didn’t really do it for me. It was fine as long as I didn’t look at it, but the leftovers didn’t keep well in terms of appearance.

Amy & Jacky’s recipe of water, corn, 2 minutes was more my speed. And considering that the two ears of corn rotting in the bottom of my fridge still manged to turn out, I’m calling this one a win.

Conclusion

As the title of this post says: Sometimes the Little Victories Matter. Because without this one little victory, I’d be in a bigger funk than I am. Maybe the bloom is finally falling off the IP rose. Maybe I’m just feeling uninspired in terms of recipes.

(Maybe my body is just reacting negatively to the carcinogenic death soup sequel from last night.)

Maybe I just need to make Cheesecake #17 to cheer myself up. Or some Mini Molten Brownie Putting Cakes.

Either way, I’m in a funk and need some inspiration.

So here’s your challenge: Leave a comment below with a link to a recipe that you think that even I can’t Eff up — and why you think it will be a success for me.

Bonus points for Dump Recipes where I don’t have to risk Death Soup Part 3 trying to brown anything.

I’ve already done the following a whole bunch of times, so they’re off the table for now: Pulled Pork, Zuppa Toscana, Tuscan Chicken, Lasagna, Mac & Cheese, Chili (and Cornbread), Lemon Curd. And yes, I’ve also done Urvashi’s Butter Chicken, and Amy & Jacky’s pork chop variations, so let’s take a pass on those as well for now, along with “boiled” eggs (or egg loaf).

I’ve got nearly 700 IP recipes in my recipe manager — but I just don’t know where to go next to get my IP mojo back.

 


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11 comments

  • Beth Fuchs

    Ok, I’m game to be your first victim in terms of recipes. I’m hoping that this one is a success as I’m trying it for the first time tonight. Adventures of a Nurse’s One Pot Instant Pot Asiago Chicken with Mushroom Risotto. (cue the safe link here… http://www.adventuresofanurse.com/2016/12/13/one-pot-instant-pot-asiago-chicken-mushroom-risotto/) This has the potential for being a dumpster fire all on its own. Let me ‘splain.

    Hubby only works part time and Wednesday is his day off work. Since I’m still full time (pending a layoff notice that is being appealed) it has fallen on hubby to do the grocery shopping. I know that there is no way he’ll complete a shopping list without it being a total cluster f***, so I “shop” for groceries from one of the local stores, submit my order on Tuesday night, and he only has to drive to the store, call the nice people to come out to the car, put the groceries inside and take his money. Easy, peasy. Well, not so fast.

    I’ve got the pot heating in order to give a quick, and I do mean quick, saute for the garlic. Before putting anything in the pot, I’m gathering my weapons to conquer the recipe.
    Chicken, check although it is thighs instead of breasts because I’m trying to use slightly less expensive cuts of meat.
    Flour, check, put into a baggie so I can dump some chickies in and shake them with the flour to within an inch of their lives. Put a bit of herbes de provance in for good measure since it was sitting on the counter after not getting put away from chicken and noodles last night.
    Garlic, that wonderful bottle of pre-minced stuff sitting in the fridge, check.
    The fancy rice for risotto, check. Got that several weeks ago with the plan of making rice pudding that never materialized.
    Shredded asiago cheese, check.
    Milk, check.
    List is looking pretty good and the pot is hot so I toss some olive oil into the pot for the quick saute of the garlic. Wait, it should have been butter? Ain’t got time for emptying out the pot, so olive oil it is.
    Hold the phone, where are the fresh sliced mushrooms? Oh dear? Did you put the mushrooms away or are they still out in the car? His response: mushrooms? You got mushrooms? I didn’t see any cans of mushrooms. Oh, crap. the oil is getting hot and I have no mushrooms for mushroom risotto. I guess it is time to break out the canned mushrooms. Problem one solved, now where did I put the white wine????
    Ok, no idea where the white wine is, I’ll just use some lemon juice instead and add a bit more chicken broth than needed. Got that one.
    Into the pot goes that lovely minced garlic for a quick stir around the pot. Now let’s add some chicken broth and grab the lemon juice from the fridge. Question–does anyone else have a husband that loves to put empty containers back in the fridge? Apparently mine put an empty container of lemon juice back in the fridge. Time for substitution game. Lemon pepper is kind of close, right? So in goes a sprinkle of lemon pepper. No time to measure because I’m a cooking fool right now.
    Open my cans of sliced mushrooms and fight off the cat that thinks I’m opening up cans of tuna for him, and into the pot goes the mushrooms. Looks good so in goes the rice for a quick stir and the floured chicken on top of that.
    Pot on for 10 minutes and now we get to see how successful I am. Back later after opening the pot, adding a bit of milk and cheese.

    • Beth Fuchs

      First taste test and I think we have a success. I don’t think I’ll have to break out the leftover hamburgers and hot dogs from Monday night.

    • Jen Neefer

      OMG you’re my Kitchen Sister! 😀

      I will add this recipe to the next shopping list. I love Asiago!

      • Beth Fuchs

        Yay! Always wanted a sister. Add more asiago than the recipe calls for. I definitely want more cheese!

        Hubby says that the recipe is a keeper.

      • Beth Fuchs

        I honestly can’t believe that no one else has taken you up on your challenge. I might have to see about coming up with something else that doesn’t run the risk of death soup 3.

        • Jen Neefer

          LOL 🙂 Well, page-read stats show yet again that people apparently only want to hear about me crashing and burning, and don’t give a rat’s patootie about my successes. (This one has only been viewed 25 times, and at least a few of those views are from ME doing post-publish proof-reading & corrections.)

    • Jen Neefer

      OK, Beth, you apparently have more faith in my kitchen skills than I actually deserve.

      I made chicken glue.

      Tasty, tasty, chicken glue.

  • Lisa Angermann

    I, too, love simple IP corn – no milk & sugar for me either! For me, my IP is still my standard for pot roast & beef stew… Sorry, no set recipe, just been making it the same for many years, starting with one of my 3 manual pressure cookers! I enjoy your stories!

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