Instant Pot/Mac & Cheese

I consider myself a pretty damn good cook. But let’s be honest, some days the leftovers go to the trash. I’m not perfect, but part of what makes me a decent cook it by trial and error. Lots of trial, some errors.

The big craze right now is the Instant Pot. Not InstaPot, but Instant Pot. Bottom line, it’s an electric pressure cooker that has other features to steam, saute, make yogurt, etc. The pressure cooker is nothing new. I inherited one from my Papa and Nana years ago. And I made killer stew and dog food that better that some people food I’ve made. And that was really it. Recipes on the internet were hard to come by, and Pinterest wasn’t a thing. So I experimented, I took some favorite recipes, mostly crockpot, and converted times and make them in the pressure cooker. The flavor was better. The time was faster.

Well fast forward to last year. I kept seeing posts, on Pinterest, on Facebook, about this Instant Pot. Finally put together that it’s a pressure cooker. And decided I kinda needed on. My pot became part of our family for Christmas last year.

In the last 6 months or so, I’ve learned that, as far as the IP (Instant Pot) goes: think about what YOU like, what your family eats…and start there. Take your favorites, figure out the times (use the book that comes with it), search Pinterest, but start with what’s familiar. I’ll cover this more later, but keep that in mind.

Last night, I made macaroni and cheese. There are about 2,037 recipes for IP mac and cheese. I like to just read over the recipes, note the ingredients and times, and then go from there. Time is the biggie with the IP.

This mac and cheese can me modified so many different ways, but here’s what happened here last night, and it was heaven on a plate.

Langostino Mac & Cheese

1 pound pasta (I used elbow, it’s what I had)

4 cups of water

1T salt

1t dry mustard

 

Using manual setting, adjust to 5 minutes. Once complete, quick release, open and stir. Most of the water will be gone, so you’re good. Switch pot to “saute.”

Here’s where you get to get creative. You need to add somewhere between 16-18 ounces of cheese.

While stirring, add:

1 cup evaporated milk

Cheese

Pepper (to taste)

Hot sauce (depends on your liking)

For langostino mac, I added: 8 ounces of white cheddar

6 ounces of swiss

4 ounces of gruyere (which is close to swiss)

Add cheese by the handfuls, one handful at a time. Let it melt, add the next.

Here’s the deal, USE BLOCK CHEESE AND SHRED IT. Packaged shredded cheeses are packaged with an anti-clumping product. I swear it hinders the melting. Hand shredded cheese will yield the best results.

While it’s still in the pot, add the langostino. We buy them at Costco, where they’re already cooked. I just had to thaw them. I added about a pound, give or take.

Then, pour that delicious mess into a baking dish, and top with panko breadcrumbs. Put it in the broiler, but keep an eye, they get dark quickly! And you down want to dry out your mac and cheese.

Don’t fear the pot. I adapted a plain mac and cheese recipe to be more what I wanted, and I only did it after I searched a baked lobster mac and cheese.

After this, here’s what I learned…pasta is: 1 pound of pasta, 4 cups of water, 5 min pressure, then QR. Now we can transfer that to other pasta recipes…see, it’s a start! 🙂