Paula Shoyer, a kosher cookbook author, was late to the Instant Pot game.
Washington DC-based kosher kitchen refused to buy an electronic multicooker because she didn’t have the space for it in her cramped kitchen.
Shoyer was thrilled to finally give in and discover the revolutionary combined pressure cooker/slow cooker. Shoyer’s latest cookbook, “Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook”, was inspired by the device and its use.
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Shoyer had made only three recipes, pea soup, and rice, before he discovered the many benefits of the Canadian-made multicooker. It cooks meals quickly, much like a pressure cooker.
Paula Shoyer’s fifth book focuses on kosher cooking with the Instant Pot. (Courtesy Bill Milne
Shoyer stated that the meat was tender, even though it takes two and half hours. “I cook everything with four buttons.” There are six buttons in an instant pot. Everyone is an expert after just one use.
Shoyer found the Kosher Instant Pot Facebook Group (now with 14,600 members), and began commenting on Instant Pot recipes. She knew that there was an audience for a kosher Instant Pot book.
Shoyer stated, “There are so many cookbooks out there that I didn’t want to write one unless people actually needed it.” “The kosher marketplace is also pretty saturated.”
However, she was clearly able to find a new niche. The first print of the Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook sold out quickly, and a second edition was just completed.
Shoyer said that the 100 new recipes in her book are based on Israeli and traditional kosher standards. She is thinking about offering a new version of the book that offers stove alternatives to each recipe for those without instant pots.
In 2009, the multicooker was launched. It swept kitchens for the next decade. Amazon sold approximately 215,000 multicookers on Black Friday 2016, giving the device cult status. It is still a top seller on Amazon. Most instant pots sold there are to Israelis, who must pay import taxes depending upon the model.
Robert Wang, an Ottowa-based computer scientist and home cook, created the multicooker. Wang used the opportunity to downsize his high-tech job to create a smarter, healthier multicooker that was more efficient than the ones already on the marketplace.
The pot combines pressure cooking with slow cooking. It offers home cooks a new way of cooking rice, making yogurt, browning vegetables for stews, and steaming vegetables all in one vessel. Instant Pot’s high-tech sensors regulate the temperature, a testimony to its popularity among instant pot fans.
Shoyer stated, “This pot gives you an entirely different burner and replaces many pots and pans to a 25-year old who lives in an apartment with small kitchen.”
Instant pot cooking is revolutionizing family meals for busy home chefs, especially during the pandemic’s final year.
The Israeli Wonder Pot is a bundt-shaped pot in which nearly everything can be cooked over the stove. (courtesy Yoninah / Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Shoyer said that the Instant Pot’s ability to cook traditional kosher dishes is similar to the experience of Jewish immigrants who came to America or Israel without the necessary pots and pans. They had to learn how to use the appliance to make their favorite dishes, which they did in their new countries.
The Israelis used the Wonder Pot, an ingenious pan-shaped Bundt Pot that could be used for cooking rice, chicken, and other foods on the stove. This was a viable option during the difficult years of the 1950s, 1960s when many people didn’t have an oven. It is still possible to find the three-piece aluminum pot in certain areas.
Shoyer explained that the Instant Pot is a blessing for today’s kosher chefs. It speeds up the cooking process and is ideal for those who make the Thanksgiving dinner equivalent every Friday night.
She stated that our culture must expand its food options. You can take small amounts of meat and make it into a meal that feeds a lot of people. This is a good thing, because we cook with volume.
Shoyer stated that the electronic pot’s core is ideal for making soups and stews. Many of these recipes are prepared by kosher home chefs all year, particularly for Shabbat.
Paula Shoyer published her fifth cookbook about kosher cooking in the Instant Pot. (Courtesy Bill Milne
“Who else makes soup 52 week a year?” she inquired, referring specifically to the first course at Shabbat dinners.
Shoyer says their Instant Pot Chicken Soup, rich and complex made from chicken and browned veggies, is a Friday night favorite.
The book’s cover recipe is a beet and Quinoa salad. This salad can be used as a main course or side dish and is gluten-free.
She said, “It’s pink and beautiful. You put the beets, quinoa, and pressurize it and then let it go naturally. It’s done.”
Instant Pot is capable of cooking desserts. Shoyer had several recipes that were made in a double boiler. These included a malabi flan, and a cheesecake topped with an orange-caramel sauce.
Shoyer’s favourite Instant Pot recipe is Spaghetti With Flank Bolognese. This weekday meal includes everything except spaghetti, which can be prepared in an electric stove.
She explained that with every recipe she makes, she tries to put myself in someone’s shoes, to see how long they can stand in the kitchen. “I respect the house cook.”
Spaghetti with flank Bolognese
Paula Shoyer, Cookbook author, makes spaghetti with Bolognese flanks using her Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook. (Courtesy Bill Milne
Punctuality takes 21 minutes
Printing time: 15 Minutes
Cooking time is 15 minutes
Useful tips: Sauteing and Pressure
Type of trigger: Quick release
Pre-preparation can be done up to 2 days before the event
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped into ½ inch pieces
4 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
Ground Beef 1 lb
½ pound boned flanks or short ribs, cut into 1/3-inch pieces
½ cup of white wine
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 lb of spaghetti
24 ounces marinara sauce
You can add water to the sauce glasses
Salt to taste
Taste black pepper
Press sauté and add 2 tablespoons of oil, onions and garlic to the inner pot when the display shows “Hot”Place in a bowl. Cook for 3 minutes stirring occasionally. Add the ground beef, flanks, and cook for 5 minutes. Press the meat into a bottom-heavy pan and stir occasionally. To boil the wine, add it to the pan and let it cook for 3 minutes. Add the pepper. Enter the pepper.
Half of the spaghetti should be taken and the remaining strands broken in half. Put each handful under cold water, and then place them in a saucepan. Add the rest of the spaghetti to the saucepan. The remaining oil can be drizzled onto the spaghetti strands. The sauce should be poured over the pasta. Add water to the glass and pour it on top of the pasta. Salt if desired.
Attach the lid, and ensure that the steam release handle remains in the sealing position. The push button will allow you to set the timer for 15 minutes.
Turn the steam release lever to the vent position after the cooking time has expired. This will relieve any pressure remaining. To remove the cover, press Cancel.
To separate the spaghetti into strands, use two forks. Also, you can use the forks to combine the pasta and the meat. You can now make the pasta. If the pasta is a bit difficult, place the lid back on the pot and heat it for 5 minutes. Stir once more and then serve. If necessary, add more salt or pepper.
© Paula Shoyer, reprinted with permission from The Instant Pot Kosher Cookbook (Sterling Epicure 2021)
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