Welcome to Down Home, San Luis Obispo Classical Academy’s blog! We are a classical school offering options to make education work for families. We have a full hybrid program for grades pre-12, which means part-time classroom and part-time home instruction with a 4 day option for middle school and a university model high school. This blog is meant to support and encourage on the home front because in so many ways, the heart of what happens at SLO Classical Academy happens down home.

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Instant Pot Recipes

Today, we’re bringing back another blog series favorite! Our What’s for Dinner? series is where we post quick and easy recipes you can make for your family on a busy weeknight. And from all the buzz we’ve been hearing, it can’t get any easier than the Instant Pot.

We read somewhere that the Instant Pot is the most talked about kitchen appliance since the slow cooker. It is also the best selling item on Amazon and reviews has it, this appliance is here to stay. We know several of our families not only use them but love them! So for our first What’s for Dinner? post of the year, we found a couple of 5-star reviewed recipes that you and the children can enjoy. Recipes below yield 4 servings so make sure to adjust accordingly.


Chicken Adobo

This traditional Filipino comfort food has been simplified and what would normally take a couple of hours to cook will only take about 30 minutes in the Instant Pot.

{photo by Heather Ramsdell}
  • 4 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks separated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  1. Season the chicken legs generously with salt and pepper. Turn the Instant Pot® (see Cook’s Note) to the high saute setting. Add the oil and once it’s shimmering, but not smoking, add half the chicken pieces and brown on both sides, about 7 minutes. Remove with tongs to a plate and brown the remaining chicken pieces. Return all the chicken to the multi-cooker and add the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves, onion and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook, on high, for 8 minutes. After the pressure cook cycle is complete follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid and turn the Instant Pot® back to the high saute setting. Let the sauce come to a boil and reduce it until dark brown and very fragrant, about 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
  3. Transfer the chicken and sauce to a serving platter, sprinkle with scallions and serve with rice.

Salmon with Garlic Potatoes and Greens

Yes, you can make this complete meal in just one pot!

{photo by Ryan Dausch}
  • 1 1/4 pounds small red-skinned potatoes, halved or quartered
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 5- to 6-ounce skin-on center-cut salmon fillets (3/4 to 1 inch thick)
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus wedges for serving
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups packed mixed baby spinach and arugula (about 31/2 ounces)
  1. Put the potatoes in the bottom of an Instant Pot. Add 1 cup water, 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Place the pot’s steam rack over the potatoes.
  2. Rub the top and sides of the salmon fillets with the paprika and lemon zest and season generously with salt and pepper. Place skin-side down on the rack. Put on the lid, making sure the steam valve is in the sealing position, and set the cooker to high pressure for 3 minutes. When finished, carefully turn the steam valve to the venting position to release the pressure.
  3. Remove the salmon and rack and set the cooker to sauté at normal heat. When the potatoes start sizzling, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 1 to 2 minutes; stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and season generously with salt and pepper. Smash the potatoes with a fork or wooden spoon until chunky.
  4. Turn off the cooker. Add the mixed greens to the potatoes and stir until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Divide the salmon and potato mixture among plates. Serve with lemon wedges.

5-ingredient Mac and Cheese

A creamy, kid-friendly recipe that cooks up in no time!

{photo by Armando Rafael}
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • Kosher salt
  • One 12-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups shredded mild or medium Cheddar
  1. Combine the macaroni, 4 cups water and 1 tablespoon salt in an Instant Pot® (see Cook’s Note). Follow the manufacturer’s guide for locking the lid and preparing to cook. Set to pressure cook on high for 4 minutes.
  2. After the pressure cook cycle is complete follow the manufacturer’s guide for quick release and wait until the quick release cycle is complete. Careful of any remaining steam, unlock and remove the lid and switch to low sauté setting.
  3. Stir in the evaporated milk, butter and 1/4 cup water. Then add the Cheddar, a little at time, while constantly stirring, until the cheese is completely melted. Serve hot.

Let us know if you try any of these recipes and as always, if you have your own that you’d like to share, please send them our way!  Happy eating!

 

 

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