My grocer had pork tenderloins on sale this week buy-one-get-one-free (BOGO). Pork tenderloin, not to be confused with pork loin, is a lean and tender cut ideal for a Hasty Tasty Meal. It’s easily over cooked, which is why it’s crucial to distinguish tenderloin from loin. Yet it’s also difficult to pass up a BOGO, so I decided it was time to master pork tenderloin.
Baking or roasting pork tenderloin using a meat thermometer (internal temperature of 145°￼) is a foolproof cooking technique, yet I wanted to use my pressure cooker. Why? We’re campers and don’t travel with an oven or even a microwave oven. But I do have a 3 quart Instant Pot Duo Mini in my travel trailer. Even when “roughing it,” I like to prepare good meals.
I experimented with steaming the tenderloin on a trivet over the liquid as well as braising in the cooking liquid. I tried chicken broth, water, and apple juice for the cooking liquid. All techniques produced edible meat, but here’s my favorite and most successful recipe.
Hasty Tasty Pork Tenderloin Roast
- 1 pork tenderloin, approximately 1.5 pound
- 2 tsp. Canola oil or your choice vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 apple (gala or Granny Smith works well), sliced
- 1/2 onion, sliced
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat multi cooker on sauté mode.
- When heated, add oil and brown all sides of the tenderloin.
- Remove tenderloin to a plate. Add fennel, apple, and onion to the pot and sauté approximately 5 minutes. Salt and pepper. Turn off heat.
- While vegetables sauté, use a sharp paring knife and make slits evenly throughout the meat to insert the garlic pieces.
- Pour water slowly into the pot. Using a wooden spoon, deglaze the pot of any cooked-on bits.
- Return tenderloin to the cooker and place atop the fennel, apple, and onion slices.
- Seal cooker and set pressure cooking time for zero minutes (or lowest time setting available).
- After cooking time completes, hit cancel. Do not allow cooker to “keep warm.” Allow pressure to drop on its own one minute and then vent.
- Open cooker, remove meat to a plate, and pour cooking liquid into a heavy duty blender (I use a Vitamix) to purée.* Return liquid to pot, and hit sauté.
- While liquid reduces, allow tenderloin to rest. Tent with foil to keep warm. After the cooking liquid boils down to desired thickness, turn off cooker and add butter. Salt and pepper sauce to taste. Slice the tenderloin and serve drizzled with the sauce.
Browned tenderloins cook quickly.
Whisk in butter right before serving.
Serve with sauce and side dishes of your choice.
*For a chunkier sauce, mash the cooked apple, fennel, and onion mixture with a potato masher.
We often eat beans. We like them, they’re good for us, and they are inexpensive. Today’s pintos (made in my Instant Pot) are made zesty with the addition of hot Hatch Chilies.
We discovered Hatch Chilies in Texas one summer. Although next to impossible to find fresh in my area, Hatch Chilies in cans are usually found in my pantry.
Here’s my recipe:
Zesty Pinto Beans
- 1 cup Dried Pinto Beans
- 1 cup Chopped Onion
- 1/2 cup Diced Sweet Pepper
- 1/2 cup Hatch Chilies (we like hot, but choose your heat level)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Water or Broth
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Soak beans overnight or do a 1-hour Quick Soak in a Pressure Cooker.*
- Rinse beans and set aside. Wipe the pressure cooker dry and preheat (Sauté Mode).
- When pot is hot, add 1 Tbsp. oil. Allow oil to heat.
- Sauté chopped onions for 2 minutes before adding peppers.
- Sauté peppers 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat (or hit Cancel).
- Stir in garlic.
- Add presoaked beans. Add liquid just to cover beans. Set cooker for 30 minutes.
- Seal and bring to pressure. After cooking, allow pressure to drop on its own.
- Open cooker, stir, and serve.
*For the 1-hour Quick Presoak, place beans in a pressure cooker. Add water to completely cover the beans. Add 1 Tbsp salt. Pressure cook for one minute, cancel, and then allow beans to soak undisturbed for one hour. Rinse and drain before cooking.
I had fun using several of my kitchen gadgets to make my healthier version of taco bowls. First, I “fried” the taco shells in my new Power Air Fryer oven. I cooked my chicken breast in my Instant Pot Duo Mini 3-quart, shredded it using my Cuisinart, and heated my cheese sauce in my microwave oven. The payoff was a delicious and filling meal that counts only 3 Weight Watchers SmartPoints.
HASTY TASTY TACO BOWLS
- OLE tortillas
- ½ pound chicken breasts (Fresh or frozen)
- 1 can Ro*Tel (you pick heat level)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can corn kernels, rinsed and drained
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 jar Tostitos Queso con Salsa (or similar brand)
- Fresh cilantro (optional)
- Form each tortilla into a bowl using a mold or oven-proof bowl.
- Air-fry at 370°F for 12 minutes.
- Place chicken breasts and contents of a can of Ro*Tel into the pot of a pressure cooker. Cook under pressure 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow pressure to drop on its own.
- While chicken cooks, prep beans, corn, onions, and cilantro and combine.
- Carefully open pressure cooker and remove the chicken (replace lid to trap in the heat). Shred chicken and return to cooker.
- Stir in beans, corn, onions, and cilantro mixture with the shredded chicken. Cover and allow residual heat to warm the beans and corn.
- Pour Queso con Salsa into a heatproof measuring pitcher and heat 2-3 minutes in the microwave oven, stirring occasionally.
- Place taco bowl shell on a plate, fill with 1/4 of the mixture, and then drizzle with 2 Tbsp. of the queso con salsa. Serve immediately.
Happy New Year!
Do you know the difference between brown rice and white? White rice is refined. It’s had the brown coating removed. So brown rice is actually rice. White rice is refined rice, like whole wheat flour and refined flour. Because I try to keep my carbs complex, I prefer brown rice to white. It also has more taste. But it takes a lot longer to cook than regular rice.
There are a number of recipes available for cooking brown rice. There are a number of recipes available for cooking brown rice in the pressure cooker. I’ve tried most of them. But it annoys me that my new Instant Pot comes with a rice setting that works only for white (refined) rice. The Power Pressure Cooker XL and a few other models have settings for brown rice, but many don’t. Here’s my work around:
Take 1 cup brown rice and rinse. Cover with 1 1/4 cups water and soak for one hour. Set a timer. Do other stuff. Check Facebook. Whatever. After an hour, add salt or other flavorings, seal the Instant Pot (or other brand multi-cooker you use), and select Rice. (Soaking brown rice also shortens cooking time in a stovetop pressure cooker, too. ) At the end of the cooking time, hit cancel and allow pressure to drop on its own 10 minutes. Release any remaining pressure. Carefully open the pot and fluff rice with a fork. You have 4 servings of perfectly cooked brown rice.
This has worked every time for me. If it’s too much trouble to soak ahead of time, just cook the rice for 22 minutes followed by the 10 minute pressure release. (For stovetop, I cook 15 minutes under pressure followed by 10 minutes before releasing pressure.)
I like using the special rice cooking setting because it’s convenient. However, if you use the manual method, you have the opportunity to sauté the brown rice a couple of minutes first to develop flavor. It’s up to you.
Add more whole grains to your diet as you begin the new year. You’ll be healthier for it!