What else can I cook in a pressure cooker?
I just got one too and haven't much had time to play with it, but:
beans, especially the larger and harder ones that take forever to cook. Excellent texture? No. But they taste good and take 1/2 to 1/3 the time.
dal (Indian split lentils) but really, these cook so quickly there's not much point in dragging the pot out if it's not easily accessible
brown rice - which I don't like, but cooks in no more than 20 minutes, if you do
risotto! No, it's not "perfect" but more importantly than going quickly, you don't have to stand over it. Unless the risotto is your main dish for a chow-ish meal, you won't mind the slight difference in texture.
Apparently it can do roast sized things, so pork shoulder is also on my sooner-rather-than-later list. Lamb shanks are another good candidate. I got mine because it was on really good sale, and settled for the 5L - a larger pot would give you more flexibility - brisket supposedly cooks in an hour, but mine is kind of small for anything but a little corner.
Apparently you can do polenta in it, but there are other "no stir" methods, too.
Stews and chili are things I almost always purposely make ahead, so real speed isn't much of an issue and I think they do come out "better" with slow cooking. But sometimes speed is more important.
The cookbook mine came with has recipes for the likes of cheesecake, etc., though I'm kind of dubious about that stuff. The Kuhn Rikon website has a lot of recipes if you dig a little (www.kuhnrikon.com).
PS: Another general thing that I hadn't given much thought before I got it and read through the material was that it'll make a number of things more palatable to cook during the Summer with much shorter cooking times and a sealed pot.
Between the high cost of cooking fuel and the high average temperatures, it's no wonder they flooded India once they became aaffordable to the middle classes! Even for shorter-cooking things, it can make a difference on that account.
My SO requested tender, off-the-bone BBQ beef ribs for his mid-week birthday dinner. We both work, so slow-cooking wasn't an option. I washed and separated the ribs the night before, rubbed them down with a nice spice mix, and tucked 'em in a covered pan overnight and all day to absorb the flavor. Home from work, I put the ribs, a portion of a bottle of good BBQ sauce, a little wine, and some beef broth into the pressure cooker and let it rock a half hour. Finished in the oven in a baking pan at high heat with another dollop of BBQ sauce and a broil to finish, they were tender and full of flavor. Had to be careful lifting up so the bones didn't just pull away from the meat. Delicious and easy.
Red beans and rice:
1 pound dry red kidney beans (Camellia brand if you can find them)
water to cover
3 large ham hocks
2 1/2 cups chopped celery
2 cups finely chopped onions
2 cups finely chopped green bell peppers
5 bay leaves
2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp dried thyme leaves
5 or 6 garlic cloves, finely diced
1 1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 T Tabasco
1 lb andouille sausage
Cover beans with water and soak overnight.
Place ham hocks, vegetables and seasonings in pressure cooker. Cover with water and cook under pressure about 45 minutes. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Add enough water to make 4 cups and return to pot with vegetables; remove ham hocks and let cool. Add beans and cook under pressure for 15 minutes. Chop meat from ham hocks fine; add with sliced sausage and cook under pressure for another 5 minutes.
Serve with cooked white rice.
If you don't have time to pre-soak the beans, you can do a quick soak: Put beans in the pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and put the lid on (no need to seal). Boil for about a minute, then turn off the heat and let them sit for an hour, then proceed with recipe.
And here's a recipe for pressure cooker risotto. This one uses mushrooms, but you can substitute just about anything you'd put in a risotto. I once taught a cooking class in which we made one recipe in the pressure cooker and one by the normal method and we could only discern a slight difference in the two, although you don't have as much control over the texture of the rice when you use the pressure cooker.
3/4 to 1 cup dried mushrooms (or use
part or all fresh mushrooms, or mix the two)
1 T olive oil
1 T butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
salt and pepper
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 T chopped parsley
Cover dried mushrooms with boiling water and let soak for 15 minutes. Drain, straining liquid into measuring cup. Chop mushrooms.
Bring chicken stock to boil in saucepan.
Heat butter and oil in pressure cooker. Add onion, 1/2 t salt and fresh pepper and cook, stirring until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat grains, about 1 minute. Add enough stock to mushroom liquid to equal 2-1/4 cups; add to rice along with wine and chopped mushrooms.
Fasten pressure cooker lid and bring to full pressure. Cook for 5 minutes. Release steam and remove lid and stir until risotto is desired consistency. Add parmesan. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
I fell in love with my girlfriend's pressure cooker when I realized that I could have corned beef and cabbage in about an hour. I cooked the brisket for about 45 minutes, the cabbage and potatoes for 7. It wound up being more flavorful, moist and tender than any corned beef I've cooked before. I highly recommend it.
Pressure cooking is great on many things - beans, lentils (traditional they'd take at least 30 min), grains, and slower cooking vegetables like cabbage and root vegetables. And soups and broth - Butternut soup is ridiculously fast (after all the work of chopping and peeling). BTW I find beans from pressure cooker have excellent texture, though slight timing different can make quite a difference.
Also maybe things like rice pudding, apple sauce, etc..
And ditto Lorna Sass cookbooks.