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
   Print This Recipe

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.

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Five miles in, and struggling to keep up with the boys, I still had a smile plastered over my face. It was Memorial Day weekend, and we were spending it up at Mount Evans. For the first time all week, the stress headache building at the back of my head had calmed itself.

    I went back to that moment in my head at mile nine, on our way back out. The hike to the Mount Evans climbing area is unique because you have to climb up and then down and then up again, which means that on the way back home you have to climb down and then up again before you get to go down again. You are exhausted and that last little stretch of climbing is a mental battle. It didn’t help that it was our first day in the alpine this season -- where the air is thin.

    Once back at home, we snuggled into the couch with plates of food, and binge watched the last few episodes of Atypical (which I recommend doing). 

    The next morning a feast was an order: a hearty breakfast with starches, carbs, and eggs with runny yolks. Revitalization! Fuel. That’s how this dish came to life. And oh, did it hit the spot.

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs
    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    If you’ve read Foraged Breakfast, you might be familiar with my story about Huevos Rancheros. My love of Tex-Mex breakfasts continues here: the potatoes have been spiced with chili powder, cumin, and paprika. The addition of avocado is a no-brainer for me; you might want to add some cheese two (we were out). 

    I also used a little hat trick, boiling the potatoes with a bit of baking soda before roasting them. This gives the outside edges of the potatoes a starchy slurry, which when roasted, turns into those super crispy bits we all love. 100% worth the extra step! It also means the potatoes need less time in the oven -- and since this weekend it was over 90°F (In May?!), keeping the oven use to a minimum is a huge bonus. 

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Tex-Mex Potatoes & Eggs

    Published June 7, 2018 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Serves: 4   |    Total Time: 60 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 4 cups diced Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 4-5 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil (avocado oil or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more for serving
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for serving
  • 4 eggs
  • Cilantro, minced, for serving
  • Optional: Avocado, for serving

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat over to 425°F.
    2. Place diced potatoes with water and baking soda in a pot and set on stove over medium-high heat. Water should complete cover potatoes -- if it does not, add more. Bring to a boil, and cook for 10 minutes.
    3. Pour potatoes into a strainer and discard of water. Place potatoes in a glass baking dish. Drizzle with cooking oil, and the sprinkle with spices: garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir potatoes with a spatula until all are equally covered in oil and spices. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes.
    4. Potatoes should be tender all the way through and starting to get crispy on the outside. Use a spoon to make four wells in the potatoes for the eggs. Crack an egg into each one, and then return the dish to the oven for 10-15 minutes, until egg whites are set and yolks are cooked to desired doneness.
    5. Sprinkle with minced cilantro and salt & pepper to taste, and serve hot with sliced avocado.

    Cinnamon Pecan Almond Butter

    Cinnamon Pecan Almond Butter

    Almonds, pecans, and a dash of cinnamon. That's it: three ingredients is all you need to make this lusciously smooth nut butter, one that is far superior than anything you'll find in a store. And it's not just superior because you're left with a victorious sense of "I made that!" ... it's seriously creamy, with a flavor that leaves you wanting the whole jar for dessert.

    Some almond butters are thick: they stick to the top of your mouth and clump up when spread on toast. This is not one of those almond butters. Thanks to the addition of pecans, which are naturally buttery, this almond butter is smooth and creamy.

    Pecans have a natural sweetness which sometimes tastes a bit like caramel to me. (If you're as big of a food nerd as I am, maybe you'll appreciate this report I found on different varieties of pecans and their tasting notes.) 

    Cinnamon Pecan Almond Butter
    Cinnamon Pecan Almond Butter

    That caramelly taste is paired perfectly with a touch of cinnamon -- which is also naturally sweet - and the whole trio goes amazing well on a sliced apple (the combo is reminiscent of apple pie), a banana (I have long had "caramel banana crepes" on my list of recipes to create, but spreading nut butter on a banana is far easier), toast, oatmeal...I could go on... and don't forget straight from a spoon!

    And the magic is all in those pecans. 

    So why even bother with adding almonds? Well, they're cheaper for one. And that texture we were talking about before actually helps out here: pecan butter can be a runny when it's just pecans. Almonds balance that out.

    So, there you have it: dreamy, creamy, caramelly cinnamon pecan almond butter. Eat up! 

    Cinnamon Pecan Almond Butter
    Cinnamon Pecan Almond Butter

    Cinnamon Pecan Almond Butter

    Published June 5, 2018 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Yields: ~1-1/2 cups nut butter   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 220g almonds 
  • 150g pecans 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread pecans and almonds out in a single layer on a sheet pan, and place in oven for about 5 minutes, until nuts are fragrant and golden. Side aside to cool for about 15 minutes.
    2. Place nuts and cinnamon in a high-powered blender. I use a Blendtec with the Twister Jar because the lid also scrapes the sides as you go (affiliate link). Place lid on blender and blend on high (or work your way up to speed 10), blending for a minute at a time, and then turning the blender off to scrape the sides. Repeat this process until the nut butter is smooth and velvety. Note: If you place the nuts in while they are still hot, they will get even hotter in the blender — you may see steam in the blender. If you do, let the nut butter cool off before you taste it to avoid burning your tongue!
    3. Scrape nut butter into a jar with an air-tight lid. Great on apples, bananas, toast, or by the spoonful!