What’s for Dinner Tonight: Shrimp scampi, cooked in an Instant Pot, pasta and all

Of all the breakthroughs I’ve had in the Instant Pot this summer, the best might be bonding over the device with my mom.

She’s been getting creative with that 6-quarter multicooker I gave her a few weeks ago, cooking lots of beans dishes for her and my dad and swapping recipes with her neighbors, both of whom had Instant Pots in their kitchens, but hadn’t yet used them.

Now, all three of them are pressure cooking meat, rice, legumes and more in their multicookers, and I couldn’t be happier to hear reports about their progress over the phone.

RELATED: Stepping up your Instant Pot game with scampi, curry and cheesecake

One of the dishes I told my mom you could make in an multicooker was shrimp scampi. She was as excited as I was to learn that you could cook the spaghetti in the white wine butter garlic sauce under pressure. You do have to get the amount of liquid right, which I’ve explained in the note below. This version is a hybrid of two recipes from “Dinner in an Instant” by Melissa Clark and “The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook” by Laurel Randolph.

Shrimp Scampi With White Wine

In this version of shrimp scampi, a convergence of two similar recipes from Melissa Clark and Laurel Randolph, the shrimp are cooked in garlic and white wine for just 1 minute under pressure; then you’ll remove them from the pot but leave the liquid. It’s a little tricky to strain the liquid into a measuring cup to add just enough water to have 1 1/2 cups, but it’s worth the effort when you taste thin spaghetti cooked under pressure in that savory sauce. This dish comes together quickly, and the pasta absorbs all that flavor after just a few minutes in the multicooker.

Don’t forget to use quick or manual release when letting the steam out of the multicooker in this recipe. Unlike natural release, which allows the steam to slowly let out over 10 or 15 minutes, quick release requires a hand towel or a long utensil to flip the vent open and release the steam in a steady (sometimes loud and spattering) burst.

— Addie Broyles

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced fennel (optional)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine or stock
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined
8 ounces thin spaghetti, broken in half
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Using the saute function, melt the butter and oil in the pressure cooker. Stir in the fennel, if using, and garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the wine or stock, salt, red pepper flakes, black pepper and shrimp. Select manual and cook at high pressure for 1 minute. Use a quick release once the shrimp have finished cooking and remove the shrimp from the pot with a slotted spoon. Reserve.

Pour the remaining liquid in a large measuring cup. Add enough water so that the total quantity is 1 1/2 cups. Return the liquid to the pot and add the pasta, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Stir the pasta to separate the pieces and coat them with liquid.

Place the lid on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 6 minutes. Release the pressure manually. Add the shrimp back to the pasta and stir. Season to taste. Serves 4.

— Adapted from recipes in “Dinner in an Instant” by Melissa Clark and “The Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook” by Laurel Randolph

Austin-based company is selling Instagram-friendly cookware for a new generation of cooks

Not every cook loves to spend hours in Bed Bath and Beyond picking out pots and pans.

An Austin-based company is taking a millennial-minded, direct-to-consumer approach to selling the tools you need to make dinner.

Made In selling pots and pans that are shipped to your house. Many shoppers buy them in bundles that include several different types of cookware. Contributed by Made In.

By selling online only, Made In founders Jake Kalick and Chip Malt knew that they could appeal to customers who were already buying eyeglasses, razors and underwear through the internet.

But why pots and pans?

The easy answer is that Kalick grew up in the cookware industry. His grandparents started Harbour, a Boston-based commercial foodservice company, in the 1920s. He and Malt have known each other since they were 5 years old and growing up in Boston, but they stayed in touch as they started their careers.

Kalick worked in food, first in restaurants and then for his family’s business. Malt was working for a direct-to-consumer apparel company and had millennials’ buying habits on his mind.

“Have you ever thought about kitchen tools?” he asked Kalick one day a few years ago.

That was the start of what became Made In. Over two years, the friends-turned-business-partners dug into the supply chain to find U.S. manufacturers to produce the sauce and saute pans they wanted to sell. Kalick knew the markups that were built into the price of familiar brands, such as All-Clad, so he knew they could increase the quality — and keep manufacturing in the U.S. — by selling to customers directly. Pots and pans might be heavy, but they are relatively easy to ship.

But before they started designing the product line, the company surveyed 100 cooks about what they knew and didn’t know about pots and pans. “Nobody had brand affinity and everyone was waiting until they were married” to buy them, Kalick says. Customers didn’t want the handles to get hot and they didn’t like the current handles on the market, so they engineered slightly slimmer handles that don’t get so hot.

With bright colors and thoughtful design, Made In is trying to capture the millennial market of cooks who need kitchen gear. Contributed by Made In.

The founders say it was an easy decision to base their company in Austin. They looked at Los Angeles and Miami, but Kalick says the thriving start-up and food communities in Austin — “the Brooklyn of America,” he says — was just the right fit. They moved here in early 2017 and, by September, they were shipping pots and pans across the country.

Having spent so much time in the cookware industry, Kalick puts an emphasis on transparency around what the pans are made of and where the materials come from. “Transparency is a big thing for direct to consumer in general, which is why we explain why we source 430 stainless steel from Kentucky or 304 (stainless steel) from Pennsylvania that has nickel that helps resist corrosion.”

Kalick might have the background in cookware, but Malt says he considers himself the target demographic: He cooks three times a week and doesn’t shy away from calling himself a “foodie.” He still eats at restaurants but also entertains at home.

But selling cookware to millennials is quite different than selling clothing. “In the apparel world, our primary problem was to have people trade away from brands they already love. In this space, it’s a completely different challenge. You go to a 23-year-old and say ‘All-Clad,’ they give you a blank stare.”

Some of the pots and pans from Made In have a traditional look, but they are designed to compete with the high-end brands on the market. Contributed by Made In.

Millennials might not be buying homes as fast as generations before them, but they are investing in the stuff in their homes, Malt says, and they are always looking for an excuse to get together. When the founders both lived in New York City after college, they hosted monthly dinner parties for their friends. Food was how they kept their friendship going as they both worked for other companies.

“One of our big missions is bringing back the dinner party,” says Kalick. “We want to encourage people to host get-togethers. Some of the most fun nights are going to a dinner party to eat and drink with someone who does it right.”

That’s when the pots and pans come in. Although experienced cooks like Malt and Kalick can differentiate between high-end and low-end cookware, many beginning cooks can’t. But having good gear “helps you look like you know what you’re doing,” Kalick says.

Twenty- and thirty-something cooks aren’t the only shoppers who need new pots and pans, of course. Even if the prices might seem high to first-time buyers ($79 for a 10-inch non-stick frying pan, $155 for an 8-quart stock pot), Baby Boomers who already have some high-end gear in their kitchen see value in Made In’s induction-capable product line, Malt says.

A nice set of pots and pans is something that many people used to wait until they got married to buy, but millennials are changing American buying habits, including cookware. Contributed by Made In.

Within the general categories of stock pot, saute pans, saucier, sauce pan and frying pan, the company sells about 30 different products in various colors, sizes and finishes, and the majority of sales come from the kits that bundle several pans together.

One question they often get is about the safety of non-stick pans. Malt says the fear of nonstick coating is outdated. Decades ago, American consumers heard a lot about a Teflon as a possible carcinogen, but the specific chemical that was of concern — PFOA — is no longer used in Teflon, he says.

However, the concern over Teflon helped the industry find better ways to create a nonstick surface that doesn’t chip or scratch as easily. Made In works with a company in Pennsylvania, which applies three coats of an FDA-approved PTFE, which creates a durable nonstick surface that won’t easily scratch or chip.

Because Malt and Kalick are making Instagram-worthy cooking gear for an Instagram-loving generation, the pans come in several colors on the outside, and on the nonstick pans, you can choose between blue and graphite. They’ll eventually sell chef’s knives and other kitchen gear, but for now, look out for a specialty cookware line this fall featuring designs from Austin-based illustrator Will Bryant.

Each Made In pan comes with a recipe etched onto the bottom. Contributed by Made In.

All Made In pots and pans come with a recipe on the bottom. It might seem like an odd place to put a recipe that you would need to reference while you’re cooking, but Malt says it becomes a talking point for cooks.

“I can’t remember when I looked at the bottom of the pan and had any feeling at all,” Malt says. “It sparks conversation. We just wanted to do something different. We didn’t start this business to do things the way people have always done it.”