Instant Pot Turkey Chili

Don’t be a hater. This chili has beans.


  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 3  garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno minced
  • 14 oz can cannellini beans rinsed and drained
  • 14 oz can black beans rinses and drained
  • 2 tbsp chili powder 
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 6 oz can tomato paste 
  • Red onion, cilantro, cheese, tortilla chips (for toppings)


  • On 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot, press Sauté and let appliance preheat until display says Hot.
  • Swirl a bit of olive oil to coat, add ground turkey and cook for 4 minutes, breaking into small pieces with spatula often. Meat doesn’t have to cook through.
  • If you see bottom of the pot has stuck browned bits of meat, add 1/2 cup broth and deglaze the pot.
  • Press Cancel and add remaining 1/2 cup (if deglazed) or 1 cup broth.
  • Add onion, garlic, jalapeno, beans, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Do not stir to avoid Burn.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual for 15 minutes.
  • After release pressure using Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 2-3 minutes.
  • Open the lid, stir
  • Top with your favorite chili toppings

Chicken Paprikash

One of my pet peeves about recipes blogs is the long story about the journey to the recipe, so I promise to always keep it short, which likely defeats the purpose of a blog. But, hey, that’s me. People who know me, know that I am direct and to the point.

I found this recipe in the NY Times Cooking Section, but made modifications after cooking to accommodate my preferences. I also make some adjustments to ingredients which may ruin the traditional sense of the recipe. Sorry!

In this recipe, rather than serving over the traditional egg noodles, I chose to serve over a bed of Near East Couscous with a side of roasted Brussel Sprouts

Serving Size: 4 Adults


  • 4 chicken drumsticks and 4 chicken thighs
  •  Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 can crushed or whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • ¾ cup sour cream


  1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. The original recipe said to do so “aggressively” which I did not realize was a cooking term. I would say salt and pepper generously.
  2. Heat the oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large, heavy, oven-safe sauté pan or Dutch oven at a medium heat on the stovetop, until the butter is foaming. Sear the chicken in batches, skin-side down, until it is golden and crisp, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Then turn the chicken over, and repeat on the other side, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate to rest.
  3. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the accumulated fat in the pot. Return the pot to the stove, over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring frequently with a spoon to scrape off any browned bits of chicken skin, until the onion has softened and gone translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and stir again, cooking it until it has softened, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Pre-mix paprika and flour together in a small bowl. Add the paprika and the flour, and stir well to combine, then cook until the mixture is fragrant and the taste of the flour has been cooked out, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Watch carefully, so mixture does not burn.
  5. Add tomatoes and broth, whisk until smooth and then place the chicken back in the pan, skin-side up.
  6. Cook on stove top for an additional 20-25 minutes, with top on, over low heat.
  7. Remove chicken and plate separately
  8. Add sour cream to the sauce, stir to combine and ladle it over chicken

Brisket Enchiladas in Homemade Red Sauce

I made a brisket the other night and two people can not finish a brisket in one sitting. The creative juices began with ideas to finish up this monstrous piece of meat. Since it was Memorial Day, I thought I should be firing up the grill and reinventing the meat. BUT!!! It had been raining all day and the BBQ was out of the question. So, I thought what about Mexican food. I do love the brisket enchiladas at Mi Cocina.

I checked the pantry and had no enchilada sauce in stock. I usually like to use CASA CORONA MEDIUM RED ENCHILADA SAUCE that I buy from Central Market, but with COVID-19, running to the store was not an option. I’d have to resort to what I had in the pantry. FoodNetwork and Rhea Drummond to the rescue. I was off to the races.

I obviously went the homemade route here, but this can easily be made with all pre-made ingredients. All you will need is the either canned enchilada sauce or the one I mention above, shredded chicken or beef which can be found in the fresh meat section of a grocery store, and the prep ingredients to roll up the enchiladas. This can be a 15 minute prep.

Red Enchilada Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped red bell peppers

1/4 cup finely chopped onions

1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic 

2 teaspoons chili powder 

1 teaspoon ground cumin 

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper 

1 beef, chicken or tomato bouillon cube

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 

1/2 cup chicken stock 

One 15-ounce can tomato sauce ( I was out and used crushed tomatoes)


  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the peppers, onions and garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cayenne, bouillon cube and some salt and pepper and cook until the spices darken and their flavors are released, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, stir to combine and cook it for another minute. Add the stock and stir to combine, then allow the liquid to thicken. Add the tomato sauce, bullion cube, 1 1/2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is nice and thick and reduced by about a third ,10-12 minutes.
  2. Allow the sauce to cool slightly, then use an immersion blender to completely puree the sauce until smooth. (Alternatively, you can transfer it to a blender to puree it; just make sure the sauce is cooled, as blending hot liquids is dangerous!)

When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.

Brisket Enchiladas (Can sub beef for chicken)


  • 6 flour tortillas (can use corn)
  • 2 lbs brisket meat, shredded
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 bag Mexican cheese, shredded (I think the Kraft mix)
  • Red Enchilada Sauce (recipe above or canned)
  • Jalapeno, for garnish (optional)
  • Cilantro, for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Using a 9 x 13 dish, coat the bottom with enchilada sauce
  3. You will need two plates for preparation. The first plate will be used for the coating of the tortilla. Cover the bottom of the plate with enchilada sauce. The second plate will be used for preparation/roll up
  4. Place flour tortilla, one at a time, on either stove burner or microwave to heat, so it is pliable for rolling
  5. When tortilla is slightly heated, place on plate with enchilada sauce and generously coat both sides. Remove and place on preparation plate
  6. Add about 1/4 cup of shredded brisket down the middle of the tortilla.
  7. Sprinkle chopped onions and a small amount of cheese on top the meat. You don’t want to make the tortilla too thick with filling because you will need to roll it up.
  8. Roll the tortilla up and place into dish with seam side facing down
  9. Repeat until dish is full
  10. Pour remaining enchilada sauce and generally sprinkle with cheese
  11. Garnish with jalapenos (optional)
  12. Place in oven, uncovered for 18-20 minutes
  13. Garnish with cilantro, diced tomatoes and sour cream (optional)

Roasted Chicken & Potatoes (Bubbie’s Chicken)

I can smell my Bubbie’s (Yiddish for Grandmother) kitchen as I write out this recipe. There is really nothing special about it except this was a specialty at her house growing up. It may seem a little overcooked to some, but it was always perfectly falling off the bone, melt in your mouth, chicken. Even the white meat was worth eating.

I swear the trick to all of this is the basting every 15 minutes mentioned below. Everything in the pan stays moist, the skin on the chicken gets nice and crisp and the chicken really does taste amazing.

This can be made with a whole chicken or just the pieces you want to eat. Bear with me on this recipe because it has no measurements. I make it solely on the blend of colors of the spices.


  • 4 Leg Quarters or Whole Chicken
  • 4 Medium Russet Potatoes, sliced into quarters
  • 1/2 carton of mushrooms, slices
  • 1/2 onion, sliced into rings
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • Paprika
  • Minced onion
  • Parsley
  • Chicken Broth

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place sliced potatoes, mushrooms and onion rings, in that order, at bottom of a roasting pan.

Generously season with salt, pepper, garlic power, paprika, and minced onion.

On a cutting board, season chicken, on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and minced onion. Place on top of the vegetables in roasting pan.

Top chicken with parsley. Add chicken broth to pan until 1 inch deep. You will need more chicken broth later as the broth evaporates.

Cook chicken for 30 minutes uncovered. Remove to baste and add broth as needed. Cook another 15 minutes and baste. Repeat until chicken has cooked for 1 hr. If cooking a whole chicken, it may take up to 1 hour 15 minutes.

Serve with potatoes plated with chicken. Fill gravy boat with bottom drippings.

Crispy Tofu with Stir Fry Vegetables

I was so proud of myself making this recipe. This was a huge cooking milestone for me. I mastered tofu! This is after many failed attempts with tofu. The trick is really patience and the extraction of water out of the tofu. It is seriously amazing how much water is within that block of tofu.

I will say I had the luxury of time to prepare the tofu and highly encourage you to start the water drainage process at least two (2) hours in advance of meal preparation. Take it one step further and prep in the morning, refrigerate during the day, and take it out when ready for the cooking.

For the stir fry, it is really up to your liking on the vegetables. It can be as simple as a bag of frozen stir fry mix from Trader Joe’s, what is left in your produce drawer or an all out produce trip at the grocery store. I personally go for crunch and color with my selection

As for the sauce, depending on my time and flavor desire, I will either make from scratch of just use House Of Tsang Szechuan Spicy Sauce, Stir-Fry.

Tofu Preparation

  • 1 box firm tofu
  • 2-3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Set up a cutting board with one layer of paper towel (a plate works too)
  • Remove tofu from box and set on a cutting board
  • Place an additional 2-3 layers of paper towel on top of the tofu
  • Place a heavy item on top of the tofu. I used a cast iron skillet.
  • Leave for minimum two (2) hours

The heavier the object, the better to reduce the amount of liquid in the tofu.

When ready to prepare the tofu, remove the heavy object and paper towels. Cube tofu into about 1 inch pieces. Place tofu in a Ziplock bag with cornstarch and shake until well covered. The cornstarch coating is really the trick to getting the crispy tofu that you get in the restaurants.

Heat a saucepan on medium heat and add oil. Add tofu and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Remove from pan, and set on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Reserve until stirfry is prepared

Stir Fry Recipe

  • 1 tsp minced garlic cloves
  • 1 broccoli crown
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced at an angle
  • 1/2 cup snow peas
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can bamboo shoots
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • Handful of cashews, optional

Stir Fry Sauce

  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp cold water
  • 1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth (substitute for vegetable or paerve to make meat free)
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (Tamari for gluten free)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or small squirt of Sricacha


  • In a medium size bowl, whisk together corn starch and water. Add remaining ingredients (chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, and toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes) and whisk to combine. Set aside.
  • Add one tablespoon of olive oil to a large skillet or wok and heat over medium high heat.
  • Add garlic cloves and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Don’t over toast
  • Add vegetables and saute for 4-5 minutes. Reserve green onions and cashews for the end
  • Add stir sauce and stir for an additional minute
  • Add crispy tofu to the mix, along with green onions and cashews
  • Lower heat and cook for additional 2 minutes, but don’t overcook to the point the vegetables get soggy
  • Garnish with sesame seeds

Cauliflower Fried Rice

I don’t have anything against real rice. I have ever type of rice that you can imagine in my pantry: White, Brown, Basmati, Jasmine, Rice-O-Roni. Sometimes, I just want to be a little different, be a little healthy, clean out the produce drawer. I actually thought grating my own cauliflower would be terrible and painstaking…and it was after a one minute attempt.

I got out my handy Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor. May have taken a few batches, but it was the consistency I wanted.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I like to just get to the punch of the recipe. I know there is a journey to the creation, but I want to see the ingredients, the steps and the end product.

So here we go:


  • 1 medium head, about 24 oz cauliflower, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 small onion, diced fine
  • 1/2 cup edamame, pre-cooked
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce, or more to taste (Tamari for Gluten Free)
  • 3 to 4 scallions, chopped
  • Sriracha or chili paste (optional)


  • Remove the core and let the cauliflower dry completely.
  • Chop cauliflower into small florets, then place in small batches in a food processor; pulse until the cauliflower is small and has the texture of rice or couscous – don’t over process or it will get mushy. Set aside in a medium bowl and repeat with the remaining cauliflower.
  • Heat a large saute pan or wok over medium heat and both oils. I like to do one of each oil for flavor, but don’t want the sesame oil to overpower the taste
  • Saute onions, carrots and garlic about 3 minutes, or until soft.
  • Add pre-cooked edamame and saute for additional minute
  • Raise the heat to medium-high.
  • Add the cauliflower to the saute pan along with soy sauce. Mix and cook approximately 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently
  • Push cauliflower fried rice to the side to create a well; crack two eggs in center to fry
  •  Once the eggs is fried; mix together for an additional minute
  • Remove from heat and add scallions
  • Optional: Top with a ribbon of Sriracha or chili paste for the extra kick