What’s for supper? Vol. 109: When bad things happen to good pots

After years of training, self-discipline, and habit of forcing my will do to things that make no sense, are utterly uncalled-for, and should be shot in the face, I went shopping for more food on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Then I cooked it. But I didn’t like it!

Little did I know, the post-Thanksgiving malaise was a mere nothing compared to the stark onslaught of tragedy ahead. [The following post contains images that may be disturbing to some viewers.]

Here’s what happened:

SATURDAY
Pepperoncini beef sandwiches and chips

A delicious meal, and so fast. If you are on the fence about buying an Instant Pot for Christmas, listen to this:

I got home from shopping at 5:00. About seven minutes later, I had chopped a four-pound round roast in half, put it in the pot, and dumped in a jar of pepperoncini with the juice, and set it to cook. By 6:28, the meat was tender and ready to shred with forks.

I served it on crusty rolls with sliced provolone and horseradish sauce. No dishes except the one pot. Didn’t turn on the oven or the stove. Pressed some buttons and went to lie down until supper was ready. Everyone liked it. I was practically wriggling in delight to be using my IP again! It had been out of commission for a few weeks because I lost the steam release handle, and the replacement took forever to come. But it finally came!

Little did I know how quickly that spicy beef would turn bittersweet in my memories. Or something. You see, my friends, I didn’t put my Instant Pot away. I left it, in fact, on the stovetop. The child who cleaned the stove somehow bumped the stove dial. It turned on. We all wondered what that burning smell was. We thought maybe it was the lamp in the living room.

It was not.

Yep, that’s the base of my beloved Instant Pot. I know it’s real life, but I haven’t processed it yet. Meat cooks quickly, but grief comes slow.

But I know you’re not gonna say, “That’s why you should never leave appliances on the stove top.” I know you’re not gonna say it.

***

SUNDAY
Hamburgers and chips

Damien made the burgers. They were good.

***

MONDAY
Mismatched chicken salad

Without my Instant Pot, I was forced to roast the chicken in the oven like a brute cave-dweller. I had some pomegranates I forgot to serve at Thanksgiving, so I thought they’d make a nice salad topping, along with the leftover walnuts I’d been hoarding. But then I got some overripe tomatoes involved, so I don’t know what kind of salad this was.

We had cucumbers and some kind of raspberry vinaigrette dressing, which gave me a mild allergic reaction, much to the kid’s amusement. Well, I guess they were partly laughing at me for going ahead and finishing the salad anyway. There were walnuts at the bottom!

***

TUESDAY
Bagel, egg, and sausage sandwiches

Always a crowd pleaser. Fried eggs, round sausages, everything bagels, and cheese if you can find it. I didn’t burn the bagels, either, which means that Cardinal Burke was right.

***

WEDNESDAY
Filipino pork adobo on rice; roasted balsamic Brussels sprouts and carrots

Two new recipes on Wednesday; two!! One was a bit of a disappointment, one was a pleasant surprise. The punch line is, even if they had both turned out well, they didn’t belong in the same meal together. Oh, well.

I tried this Filipino pork adobo recipe from Salu Salo. It was certainly easy, fast, and cheap, but the sauce turned out gray and soupy, rather than a rich, glossy chestnut, like in the picture; and the flavor was a mite harsh. I might actually make it again, but maybe adding vegetables in to mitigate the strong flavor of the sauce. I ended up cooking the meat in the slow cooker at the end, it was quite tender.

Oh, I happened to grab some sriracha-flavored toasted sesame seeds (I’m just linking because I’m an Amazon hound. I did not pay $11.99 for 3.5 oz. of sesame seeds!) so I sprinkled those on top of the meat and rice. I’m not crazy about sriracha in general, but these little crunchy kicks of heat were a nice addition to the meal, and would do a lot to perk up, say, plain steamed broccoli.

My post-Thanksgiving funk prevented me from planning a suitable side dish. Brussels sprouts were on sale, and we had a lot of baby carrots which I keep buying so I will eat them instead of fruit snacks. So I did a quick ingredient search and found this recipe from Damn Delicious. It was so good! Sweet, with tons of flavor. I didn’t have cranberries, but I may buy some to make this recipe again. It would definitely make a better side dish for something not southeast asian.

Not a ravishing photo, but you get the idea. Sweet, charred veggies with a little crunch left in them. Mmwah.

***

THURSDAY
Pizza

And we had to cut it with scissors. Everybody’s against me.

***

FRIDAY
I guess pasta. 

Now tell me something good.

10 thoughts on “What’s for supper? Vol. 109: When bad things happen to good pots”

  1. I’m so sorry about your IP, Simcha. I just bought a new food processor and first time out dropped one piece – the plastic one – and it broke. I felt terrible. My husband was great, as usual, reminding me that he is much klutzier than I am. (Not true, but it made me feel better). I hope you can get a replacement. God bless you.

  2. Mainly commenting to say, Fr. Leo Patalinghug has an AMAZING Filipino pork adobo recipe in his cookbook Spicing Up Married Life. It’s one we return to again and again and again. Plus his sticky rice. So so good.

  3. NYC actually has a bad baked goods scene, believe it or not. The best place for donuts are the 7-11 stores. I long for the suburban in-store bakeries that yield lovely, fresh donuts each morning. So, I came across a fancy new donut store (Wylie Dufresne’s shop) yesterday and I celebrated my name day by getting a donut. A single donut was $3.84, they don’t take cash, and the ipad register had a whole screen to input the tip. St. Andrew must love me, because the store clerk said that, since I was purchasing the last carrot cake donut, I could also have the one in the display case for free. So, now my cost per donut was halved and I had nice extra to give a friend who was celebrating her birthday (she’s from Manchester, GB and is Irish and Scottish–so St. Andrew looks after his own).

    The donut was OK.

  4. I want an IP, but made the mistake of signing up for the IP recipe group on FaceBook. Yeah, I know it’s a scourge, but hey, I thought I’d get ideas. What a den of vipers! Gee. You’d think there was a million bucks at stake. Constant refrains of “you
    re doing it wrong!” and the ever present argument over whether the price at the Walmart in Canada is that much better then braving your local Walmart.
    I too, am loathe to spend any money on myself. But they sound wonderful.

  5. Is an IP the same thing as a pressure cooker? –Cause those things can explode. I just use a good heavy iron pot (Dutch oven) in the stove at high heat–that is until my own little kitchen elf brought the lid to a very sorry end. It was one of those situations, when you see the whole debacle going down right before your eyes slow ‘mo–Classic story of a kid staggering with a stack of pans that is too high, because TWO TRIPS would be too soul crushing for him to perform when there are video games that could be played. It goes like this:
    “You’re carrying too many pans! You’ll drop one!”
    “It’s fine”
    “No it isn’t!”
    (struggling)
    “It’s going to….. !!!!! Fall. Noooooooooooooooooo.”

    My screech of despair and the lid cracked in half on the Saltillos sent him running to the orchard. But all the king’s horses, a note of apology, and me throwing it again like a Frisbee (no, not at him) to punctuate my ardent distaste, wouldn’t put it back together again.

    I just want to know how an iron lid can crack like it was clay. Le Creuset frauds.

    p.s. Cardinal Burke needs the Rick Steves Teutonic Spanking to bolster his circulation.

    1. OMgosh, I tried to find a link to the Rick Steves episode when he gets spanked in a German spa by this giant lady in a toga but it didn’t come up in my Google search. Other offerings that aren’t funny did 🙁 Ew.

  6. Aw…that is tragic. I don’t yet have one either. They always go on sale at Christmas time when I can’t really spend that much on myself…humph. but it lives on my wishlist anyway. I’m disappointed to hear that the Adobo chicken wasn’t that good. Someone brought some to a potluck recently and it was so so good. I’d love to find a good recipe.

  7. I’m sorry for your loss. Or, as the Vulcans say, “I grieve with thee.” I’ve never had an Instant Pot, probably never will (I told my husband about it, and how much it costs, and he said, “I don’t see the point,” so there you are), but I have enjoyed greatly reading about your IP adventures and living vicariously through them.

    Something good–we finally got our closing date for the selling of the house from hell (a house that it is entirely my fault that we bought, and which has been causing us trouble for over 10 years). We will have to bring money to closing to sell it, but we will be DONE owning homes. Forever. Renting is my new favorite.

    1. Our husbands must have been related in a past life. I’ve (finally) trained myself to think ahead, so a slow cooker works well for us. I did buy a discounted IP for my single, working daughter; she loves it. So, I guess, I can justify it for a gift, but not for myself.

      Yes on renting! And having great landlords!

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