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Aug 8, 2005 11:59 AM

Alton Brown made me buy a pressure cooker

  • m

A recent episode of "Good Eats" persuaded me to invest in a Fagor Splendid 6 quart pressure cooker. (If you're curious, I've linked to the recipe below... be sure to check out his chili powder recipe at the bottom which is damn tasty stuff)

So now that Amazon will be delivering my new toy on Wednesday, what foodstuffs should I stock my pantry with to reap maximum benefit?

Thanks, hounds!

Mr. Taster


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  1. Mr. Taster, That's okay, Paris Hilton made me buy a George Foreman grill. (I never cooked hamburgers much at home before Paris'hamburger ad.) Along with making good burgers, it's great for scarification too.

    1. I use mine mostly for two things: beans (i.e., red beans & rice), and risotto. I actually have two pressure cookers -- I bought another, smaller one for risotto, because that big 6-quart size is kind of awkward since the risotto takes up only about the bottom 3" of the pot. Pressure cooker risotto comes out pretty darn good, and only takes about 6 or 7 minutes to cook. Check out the cookbooks by Lorna Sass on pressure cooking -- you'll find lots of usable recipes.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Sarah C

        Ditto on the Sass pressure cooker cookbook. Lots of good advice and good recipes - gourmetish, not happy homemakerish.

        I've found it an invaluable tool.

        1. re: oakjoan
          Hungry Celeste

          My mother cooks an awesome corned beef brisket in her pressure cooker...delicious.

      2. I cut a few minutes cooking time off of risotto recipes. I find most pressure cooker risottos (including Lorna's) tend to come out overcooked, so I like to undercook and finish off without the pressure.

        I use my pressure cooker for applesauce. Just quarter a bag of mixed apples (unpeeled, uncored) from a Farmer's market, throw in some lemon slices and a bit of apple cider (or water), high pressure cook for a minute. remove the lemon and put the apple mush through a Food mill.

        1. LOL! I've been on the fence about the pressure cooker myself... This episode made me consider it once again...

          I made the same recipe... but with a dutch oven and it turned out to be easier and even more wonderful (Even if I did use the scorned store bought chili powder!!!)

          Basically, you brown the meat in the dutch oven on the stove top and and then dump all the ingredients in the dutch oven and put in a 350 oven for about 6-24 hours...

          The only problems I had...

          Stewmeat at my Ralphs cost $13/lb!! So I just bought the meat that was on sale... new york strip... The cashier just about had a heart attack when I told him I was using the strips for chili, but then I yelled at him for pricing stew meat so pricy!!

          The Chips I used were REALLY salty... so be sure to taste before you salt... I hardly needed any...

          My dutch oven was a bit too big for this recipe (Le Cruset 7 quart) at about the 4 hour mark, I had to reintroduce some moisture to the chili (Via a can of beef broth), but I think the broth REALLY helped add even more beefiness to it. I was happy with the Chili at the 6 hour mark...

          The chili was GREAT with a nice cheddar cheese and onions... I froze half of it too for when I get a Chili jones! :)


          9 Replies
          1. re: Dommy!

            Hi Dommy!... nice to see you on the HC board.

            Thanks for your suggestions re this... this recipe was sort of a fun adventure field trip for me. I went down to grand central market (downtown LA) and perused all the dried chile and whole spice vendors. I got enough chiles and cumin for about 100 batches of chili for $2.50. Then you just whip it in the blender... it couldn't be easier to make... and the aroma is heavenly! I also like how the beer can make the chili highly variable. I'm using a flemish red ale with some really complicated flavors... it should be interesting to see how it turns out. Also, I'm using a combo of trader joe's chipotle salsa and their fire roasted salsa to get some smoky flavor in there (I tried but could not find AB's smoked paprika anywhere.... do you have any suggestions?)

            Mr. Taster

              1. re: Mr. Taster

                Yeah! That sounds like an adventure!! :) But as you saw by my stew meat rant... I'm a bit 'price sensitive' and want to use up all the chili powder I already have before tackling Alton's recipe...

                As for the beer, I used Sam Adams Summer Ale... Which is pretty much as middle of the road ale as you can get... LOL! But I can see how a nice red (My favorite is Crimson Voodoo) can add even more of a complex flavor..

                Like I mentioned, I used pretty cheap chips and Ortega Salsa I got a smart and final (I helped with a work picnic and had tons of left overs). I will warn you about TJ's jarred salsas, I've never found one that I liked... So be sure to taste them before dumping in. Further, the Chipotle peppers and adobo sauce the recipe calls for, really does add a Chipotle tone to the taste of the chili, not too strong (Which is good because I don't really care for Chipotle) but you can feel it...

                Finally, for the smoked Paprika... I've actually never seen it myself... I googled it and see it's a Spanish Spice... Hmmm... I have a little event to the La Espanola Deli this weekend... I'm sure they should have it there if you wish to join us!! :)


                1. re: Dommy!

                  Oh really....? Hmmmm........ send details to levbargatnospamcomcastdotnet :)

                  Mr. Taster

                  1. re: Dommy!
                    ChowFun (derek)

                    Smoked Paprika is called "Pimenton" comes hot or not..
                    I can get it easily here in S.F. if you're local..if you know its' official name so you can order it online or from a Latin store.

                    1. re: ChowFun (derek)

                      Hi Chowfun, where do you get it in SF?


                      1. re: TomG
                        ChowFun (derek)

                        "YUM" on Market (north side of street) near Valencia, across from DeLessios (you can stop in for a snack! I usually do!

                2. re: Dommy!

                  What does AB do regarding chilli pwder? Does he just grind whole dried chillis? and if so which kinds?


                  1. re: MV

                    He makes his own... with the mixture he uses, I'm sure it's much more complex than the standard Chili Powder... but I used Kroger Brand Chili Powder and along with the addition of the Chipotle Peppers, it provided more than enough heat for this Yucatecan girl to be happy... Here's a link to AB's chili powder...



                3. Well in another six months you can fill it with lead and use it as a boat anchor. I just don't find much use for mine.