NAMED ONE OF THE BEST COOKBOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Atlanta Journal-Constitution • The Washington Post • Country Living • The Post and Courier
From jambalaya to deviled eggs and praline cheesecake, in Instantly Southern you’ll find 85 ways to get fresh, delicious, and soulful breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on the table with less fuss than ever. Featuring supermarket staples such as winter squash, beef chuck roast, pork shoulder, and sweet potatoes, as well as signature Southern ingredients like okra, greens, beans, and Bourbon, these dishes are easy to make and easier to love.
• Breakfasts: Shrimp and Stoneground Grits; Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding; Hummingbird Coffee Cake with Pineapple Cream Cheese Glaze
• Hearty mains: Holiday Ham with Ginger-Peach Glaze; Chicken and Fluffy Dumplings; Bourbon and Cola Beef Short Ribs
• Soups, salads, and healthy sides: Winter Squash Soup with Apple Butter Cream; Barley, Peach, and Cherry Salad with Sweet Tea Vinaigrette; Quick Greens
• Dessert: Red Velvet Cheesecake; Salted Caramel Banana Pudding; Pineapple-Upside Down
Whether you're cooking for company or your family on a hectic night, there are plenty of tempting options for every meal of the day.
Praise for Instantly Southern
“This IP title shines a bit brighter than the rest of its ilk because the author is fun to read, and this cuisine takes to the appliance like butter on a biscuit.”—The Washington Post
“If Sheri Castle gives me a kitchen tip, I take it seriously. She has completely convinced me that I can’t cook another day without my own Instant Pot.”—Vivian Howard, award winning chef, author, and host of A Chef’s Life
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
I believe in multicookers because I believe in home cooking. It’s why I wrote this book.
I wasn’t an early adopter of multicookers. For months I listened to friends and colleagues rave about their pots, eager to tell me all about how easy they are to use and how recipes were turning out quicker and better than ever. I read the magazine articles and viral social media posts. And yet I didn’t buy one right away—I wasn’t sure I needed one. I didn’t understand that a multicooker isn’t just another appliance; it’s a whole new way to cook.
Curiosity got the better of me, and I bought one. By the end of the first week, I was a devoted convert. I embraced (and rejoiced!) that I can use my pot to make fabulous Southern recipes and have them turn out as good as, if not better than, the way I’d always done them, not to mention faster and often easier.
I wrote Instantly Southern to share my enthusiasm with fellow cooks (at all skill levels) who are cooking in a variety of circumstances. A multicooker is a smart addition to a large, well-stocked kitchen, as well as a brilliant solution for cooks with modest kitchens, or no kitchen at all, perhaps while traveling or living in a studio apartment, dorm room, or temporary housing. With nothing more than simple groceries and access to an outlet, people can use a multicooker to prepare complete meals, and delicious ones at that. That’s a godsend.
Now let’s talk about some Southern recipes for your multicooker. When deciding what to include in Instantly Southern, I aimed for a mix of classic and brand new recipes that reveal the range of dishes and ingredients that work well in a multicooker. I made classic dishes such as Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya (page 19), Texas Bowl of Red (page 79), and Chicken and Fluffy Dumplings (page 85 and in the photo opposite). I gave fresh twists to familiar favorites, such as Salted Caramel Banana Pudding (page 158), and Granola Porridge (page 49). I used the speed of pressure-cooking to make things more quickly and easily, such as Quick Greens (page 132), and 5-Minute Mac and Cheese (page 95). I embraced the slow-cooking option for dishes such as Pulled Chicken Sandwiches in Cheerwine Barbecue Sauce (page 101) and Meaty Cowboy Beans (page 37). I marveled at the automation that let me make things with the press of a button, such as Fresh Cottage Cheese (page 125) and Buttermilk Ricotta (page 47). There are meals for all occasions, from school-night casual (Cheeseburger Casserole, page 87) to a dinner party (Bourbon and Cola Beef Short Ribs, page 105) to dessert (Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, page 153). Most of the recipes can be made entirely in the pot, but some require an oven (to melt a cheesy casserole topping or bake a pie shell) or another small appliance (such as a blender, to finish a sauce).
Instantly Southern reflects my many eye-opening successes. I had fabulous aha moments that made me snap photos to send to my friends and post online. Every success made me more eager and confident about experimenting with new things and love my pot even more. I’ll admit that some things I tried didn’t work. The pots work wonders, but they cannot crank out crisp or crusty browned food. There will be no fried chicken, skillet cornbread, or hot biscuits from a multicooker, at least not yet.
I encourage everyone who uses Instantly Southern to follow the instructions—not to be tedious, but rather to be successful. I included plenty of tips, hints, and insights to help others avoid the mistakes and pitfalls that I faced when I was learning to make the best use of my pot and adapt my favorite recipes. Each of us continues to learn more about our pots each time we use them and try something new, and it’s fun to share information and recipes with my fellow multicooker enthusiasts.
Southern food is broad, diverse, intensely local, and evolving. There are many delicious, authentic, creative ways to stir a Southern pot, including electric ones. Despite that, some people think that if a dish or recipe didn’t originate on their granny’s table, then it can’t possibly be Southern, and they dismiss it. That’s a shame. If my version of a classic is different from yours, rather than be critical, why not try it? Make the recipe as I’ve written it, and then adapt it to reflect your preferences and family recipes. Before you know it, you’ll know exactly how to prepare many of your heirloom recipes, and create new ones to pass along.
Yes, a multicooker is new to many of us, but there’s nothing new about curious Southern cooks’ eagerness and willingness to embrace new techniques, conveniences, and ingredients—even new ways of thinking. Storied food, world-class cooking, and sharing meals in fellowship with friends and family are among the most enjoyable and treasured Southern traditions. A multicooker will help, so let it.