Quick, Easy and Oh-So-Cheesy: Instant Pot Round 2
There’s nothing better than rounding out the week (or ramping it up) with an easy dinner. Don’t even get us started on how excited we are to post up on our porches at the grill and soak up warmth and sunshine. But, let’s not kid ourselves: We’re not there just yet. So what are we to do during this in-between seasonal phase when sitting outside is still a bit too nippy for good southern people? Bust out the Instant Pot for a one dish wonder that saves you time and energy, and packs a punch of nutrients and flavor. We tested a blue ribbon winner: Food Network’s Instant Pot Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar Sauce.
Now, we love a good recipe, but we’re also not afraid to go rogue, and put our own spin on it when we’re feeling a little sassy. Our rebellious streaks almost took over when we surmised that we could kill two birds with one stone by cooking the bacon and broccoli (the jury’s still out on the broccoli, although this step was lightning fast and not worth debating) outside of the Instant Pot and save time. This would have been a colossal mistake because the bacon provided the base flavor for the delicious cheese sauce that will surely rock your world. So, while we may have started out of the gate questioning why the Food Network exclusively prepared each step of this recipe in the Instant Pot, we quickly fell in line at the first taste and it all made sense.
Sure, we come from a long line of great cooks. But, we don’t pretend to know it all, and this meal kept us humble. Take our word for it that following the proper steps on this one makes the outcome well worth it. And, let us know just how fantastic that cheese sauce is. AND, when you hit the grocery store for this economical meal, throw in some chocolate for fondue (and the fixings’ — see recipe below) to tickle your sweet tooth. By the way, this meal was super cheap for five of us — less than $20. It’s the perfect indoor meal during transitional seasons that will put the Spring in your soul and step!
Made With Instant Love,
Instant Pot Baked Potatoes with Broccoli and Cheddar
We're still building a level of confidence with this contraption, so we followed this recipe from the Food Network to a T. And, while we were making it, we complained that all the steps didn't have to be followed in the Instant Pot. That is, UNTIL we got to the cheese sauce. The drippings from the bacon added a rich flavor (and color) to the cheese sauce. In other words, take the Food Network's advice and follow the steps. The delicious cheese sauce is so stinking good, you'll think you've surely died and gone straight to heaven!
- 4 medium russet potatoes about 3 pounds 12 ounces
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head broccoli about 1 pound, cut into small florets
- 4 strips thick-cut bacon cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 8 ounces mild Cheddar shredded (about 2 cups)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Prick the potatoes all over with a fork. Rub them with the oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Pour 1 cup of water in the bottom of a 6-quart Instant Pot® and add a trivet. Place the potatoes on top of the trivet. Follow the manufacturer's guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set the pot to pressure cook on high for 20 minutes (see Cook's Note). After the pressure cook cycle is complete, follow the manufacturer's guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Be careful of any remaining steam and unlock and remove the lid. Transfer the potatoes to a baking sheet and bake until the skin is golden and crispy, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside. Clean out the pot and place back in the base.
Put a trivet in the bottom of the pot and add 1 cup water. Place the broccoli in the steamer basket and put the basket in the pot. Follow the manufacturer's guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set the pot to pressure cook on high for 3 minutes. After the pressure cook cycle is complete, follow the manufacturer's guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Be careful of any remaining steam and unlock and remove the lid. Transfer the broccoli to a bowl and toss with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover and set aside. Drain the water from the bottom of the pot, wipe it dry and place back in the base.
Set the pot to saute on medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and the fat has rendered, 7 to 9 minutes. Remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Pour out the drippings (or reserve for another use). Wipe out the pot and place it back in the base.
Set the pot to saute on medium heat. Add the butter and melt, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn, about 1 minute. Add the flour and whisk into the butter, then continue to whisk until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in the milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt and whisk continuously until the sauce has thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the cheese and stir until melted and the sauce is smooth, 1 to 2 minutes.
Cut the potatoes open and season with some salt and black pepper. Top with the broccoli and bacon and pour over the cheese sauce.
Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Fondue
We had fun pairing fruit, marshmallows and angel food cake with this liquid gold.
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces Ghirardelli dark chocolate finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Place all of the ingredients in a medium saucepan. Over medium-high heat, stir constantly until the mixture is smooth. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove if chocolate hardens too quickly.