For the time-challenged, a pressure cooker will be the best thing you’ve purchased. Not to mention, making real family-style meals with full flavor is a snap. The first cooker we had at Home and Living was a hand-me-down from our mother–an old fashioned model with a little rocker you placed on top that regulated the speed and, I guess you could say the “velocity” of the steam. One time we over-filled it when making beef stew and it exploded pushing stew sauce and meat onto the textured ceiling. What a mess! Had we not had a handheld steam cleaner, the ceiling would be brown today.
But it’s a new era. The particular steamer we have currently (and forever I hope) is the Wolfgang Puck model–a beautiful orange enamel that you can brown with, keep finished food warm in and cook up safely and with more precision.
To help you to learn what’s capable with a pressure cooker, there is a new book entitled: the pressure cooker cookbook: more than 50 recipes for homemade meals in minutes written by Laura Washburn and published by Ryland Peters & Small.
To begin, a pressure cooker is one of the best ways to tenderize meat–meaning you can purchase all different cuts, cheaper and less fatty cuts, and get excellent results. Our new book explains the process of steam cooking as a sealed environment where the steam circulates under extreme pressure–and how it keeps foods moist and more nutritionally sound.
Included in this book are instructions on safety, different types of equipment you can use, how to release the pressure, caring for your cooker and more. The book begins with soups and stocks, a perfect way to start. Some of the standards are here: onion soup, potato and leek, bean and bacon with garlic and fresh herbs and more. They have a lot of ingredients but most of them are seasonings and herbs. It’s the perfect venue for cooking dried beans, lentils and peas as well.
There is a meat section and the recipes are quite savory from: meatball in tomato, fennel and red pepper sauce, pot roast, sausage sauce and osso bucco and much more. They are either tomato-sauce based or have sauces that are created as a way of cooking (you thicken the liquid after removing the meat, then join them together again).
Poultry and seafood have their own section–we must admit to never having cooked seafood in a pressure cooker but a curry recipe may just pull us in for a try. Don’t be afraid to cook vegetables in a steam cooker–and the vegetarians will find much to love in here as well.
Finally, and the biggest surprise for us, is the deserts that can be created. We are super tempted to try a ricotta cheesecake, creme caramel and a rice pudding. Who knew?
There is a lot of love here in the pressure cooker cookbook, check it out.
the presser cooker cookbook: more than 50 recipes for homemade meals in minutes by Laura Washburn and published by Ryland Peters & Small ISBN: 978-1-84975-192-6