Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

You know when you think you’re grabbing the paprika but you grab the cayenne by mistake, dump a whole spoonful into the pot, stir it up, and then read the label? Anyone? 

I didn’t think so. But, um, it totally happened when I was first testing this soup. Maybe you have had a similar experience, but if you haven’t, let me spell it out for you: 

S.P.I.C.Y. 

At least thats what happened with this particular mistake. HA! 

But, I made it through that bowl of extra spicy soup and thought, hey, when you taste past the cayenne this is pretty dang good. Once your mouth stops burning and all. (I love spicy food, but this just was a bit too much, something even a half cup of heavy cream stirred in didn’t calm). 

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder
Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Assuming you can read the labels on your spice jars, this corn chowder is the stuff summer evenings are made of. At least it is for me, because it reminds me of sitting on the back patio at my mom’s house as a kid, slurping on corn chowder while the sun ducks down behind the mountains and the day’s heat finally gives way to a cool evening breeze. (Hi Mom, maybe you should send me that recipe?!) 

This version is lighter that the one of my childhood (and most chowders, really) — forgoing flour and bacon, it is full of fresh corn flavor and has creaminess from yukon gold potatoes and a splash of the good stuff (half and half). And really, when it’s this hot of a summer, light is what it’s alllll about. 

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Quick Instant Pot Corn Chowder

Published July 5, 2018 by
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Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 2 medium yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 16 ounces frozen corn kernels, thawed, reserve 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, minced plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1-3 dashes of cayenne, to taste
  • Dash of paprika for garnish
  • Optional: shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot (affiliate link!) on the sauté setting. Add the diced onion, minced garlic, carrot, and bell pepper until the onions are transparent.
    2. Add potatoes, corn kernels, 2 tablespoons minced parsley, salt, pepper, bay leaf, thyme, and broth. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to the Soup setting, setting the timer to 4 minutes with the vent in the sealed position.
    3. After the timer goes off, release the pressure. Remove the thyme and bay leaf. Using an immersion blender (like this one (affiliate link!)) purée the soup, leaving a few chunks according to you preference. Stir in the half and half, and add cayenne to taste.
    4. Serve soup hot in bowls, topped with a fresh fresh corn kernels, a dash of paprika, minced parsley, and optionally, shredded cheddar.

    Creamy Chana Masala

    Creamy Chana Masala

    Longtime readers of this blog are familiar with my stories from Northern India, a trip I made when I was sixteen (you can read about how the trip inspired my Indian Carrot Pudding recipe, or this Slow Cooker Kashmiri Braised Lamb). This year (2018) is exactly a decade after that trip, but moments from that adventure are stamped vividly forever in my memory: stepping in cow dung on the overwhelming and noisy streets of New Delhi; playing on the shores of the Chandrabhaga River, snapping pictures of the rocks and sand as if there was something special about sand in India versus Colorado; eating dinner on the rooftop of a hotel in Udaipur on New Years Eve, lights glimmering against the river below; knocking on a small door in an alleyway, with a little sign next to it that said “cooking school;” and many more.

    There is something about our brains at sixteen years old: they are pliable, receptive, and ready to learn. They are forming and reforming and reinforcing with every visual we take in. I was the perfect age for that trip. Open, ready, receiving. And my mind did just that. It formed connections that would never be broken, a passion for an older world, where roads are made of laid stone and brightly colored buildings are crammed together. A craving for chapati and mounds of spices and Chana Masala.

    Creamy Chana Masala
    Creamy Chana Masala

    When we passed through that small door in the alley, a short woman ushered us into her home. She got out paper and a pen, and asked what we would like to learn to cook. She made notes, and suggestions, and then told us when to come back for our lesson. 

    Boldly I remember the simplicity of her kitchen. People talk about having a “minimalist kitchen” these days, but this was on a whole different level. The walls, the floor, the shelves, the cooking surface (the counter, if it could be called that), were all made of the same grey-ish stone material, solid and a bit bleak. A window behind us, with no glass pane, looked down on the street. There just enough room for the four of us: the teacher, my dad, myself, and our teacher's little daughter who must’ve been no more than three or four years old. She sat perched on the cooking surface in the corner, making flat bread.

    Chana Masala is one of the dishes we learned to make that day. It's simple, if you know what to do.

    This recipe is a bit different from the one we learned to make in Indian. For one, the grocery stores here in the United States have nothing on the markets of India when it comes to finding curry blends. But also, I've added coconut milk to the mix, which makes it nice and creamy. Coconut and curry go together so well, I highly recommend giving it a spin. 

    Creamy Chana Masala

    Creamy Chana Masala

    Published May 3, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 30 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 2 tablespoon coconut oil or ghee
    • 2 onions, diced
    • 7 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 inch ginger, minced
    • 1 serrano chili, minced
    • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground curry powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 2 14-ounce cans chickpeas, drained
    • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
    • 1 teaspoon lime juice
    • Fresh cilantro for serving

    Directions:

    1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet until it glistens (I use my 5-qt Le Creuset Braiser (affiliate link!), but if you don't have a pan this large you might want to make a half recipe). Add diced onion, garlic, and ginger to the pan, and sauté until onion is transparent. Add minced serrano chili, crushed tomatoes and water, and bring to a simmer.
    2. Add cumin, salt, curry powder, coriander, and water to the pan, and stir. Then, add the chickpeas and coconut milk. Place lid on pan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice, until chickpeas are warmed through and coconut milk is melted in.
    3. Finish by stirring in the lime juice and topping with cilantro. Serve hot over rice, cauliflower rice, etc.

    Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

    Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

    “Something warm," Oliver answers, when I ask him what he wants to eat on our way back down the canyon from climbing. This time of year, we get sunny winter days that are cool but not cold enough to keep us locked up in the house. When we’re done adventuring, we want something warm to eat, and fast. This Instant Pot Thai Coconut Curry always hits the spot. It helps that once you put all the ingredients in the pressure cooker and lock the lid, you set the timer for just 4 minutes and then you can eat! 

    Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Curry
    Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

    I don't know about you, but in this household curry is in our top ten favorite meals. Valentine's Day is just around the corner (um, tomorrow!!) and it's not a holiday we celebrate much, but making our favorite meal and sharing it together is something we might do. Curry isn't your typical Valentine's Day meal, but I find it's perfect: wholesome, spicy, red, and makes everyone in the house smile. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ That's all the counts. 

    Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

    Other Valentine's Day dishes to try: 

    Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Curry

    Published February 13, 2018 by
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    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 15 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon coconut oil 
    • 1 pound chicken breast, cubed
    • 1/2 white onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 cup cauliflower, chopped into bite-sized florets
    • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
    • 1 cup sugar snap peas
    • 1 cup zucchini, sliced
    • 2 tablespoons red curry paste (I used this brand (affiliate link!))
    • 1/2 cup broth
    • 1-1/2 can coconut milk 
    • For serving: rice/cauliflower rice, cilantro, minced Thai chiles or favorite hot sauce

    Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of your Instant Pot (affiliate link!) on the Sauté setting. Once oil glistens, place the cubed chicken in the pot, browning on each side for about 3 minutes.
    2. Place onion and garlic in the pot, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes.
    3. Add chopped cauliflower, sliced bell peppers, snap peas, zucchini to the pot along with the red curry paste, broth and coconut milk, and stir everything until incorporated.
    4. Close and lock lid on Instant Pot and change to “Soup” setting. Set timer for 4 minutes, with the vent in the sealed position.
    5. When the timer goes off, release the pressure and unlock the lid. Serve curry with your choice of rice or cauliflower rice, and garnish with cilantro. Top with minced Thai chiles or your favorite hot sauce for extra heat!

    Instant Pot Thai Coconut Chicken Curry