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What do you make in your pressure cooker?

roxlet Oct 27, 2011 04:15 AM

I just ordered a Kuhn Rikon for my husband for his birthday, and I'm hoping that this will speed up the wait for dinner. Since he works and loves to cook, many weeknights we are still waiting for dinner to be done at 9PM. I'm hoping he'll use it for chili, various stews as well as sock making. I'm hoping to eat more artichokes that I can prepare at the last minute. I see many posts about slow cookers, but few about pressure cookers, so I am wondering who uses them and what their favorite things to make in a pressure cooker are.

  1. v
    Val Oct 27, 2011 06:01 AM

    Love my ancient Presto pressure cooker! My favorite is lamb shanks in Port with Garlic... and you can easily substitute a meaty beef shank bone (so much cheaper usually) for the lamb, and I use burgundy wine instead of port...there is also a delish curry pressure cooker soup at Epicurious:

    http://www.food.com/recipe/lamb-shanks-with-garlic-and-port-wine-pressure-cooker-193141

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Curried-Chicken-Coconut-Soup-108607

    Also, here's a thread that might help too:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585039

    1. m
      Miss Priss Oct 27, 2011 07:02 AM

      Great gift for your husband (and for yourself)! I don't have a "favorite" thing to make in my pressure cooker, but find it very handy for all sorts of quick weeknight cooking, often after coming home late from my more-than-full-time job. For example, this week I used it to make braised turkey breast (about 20 minutes under pressure); rotelle in tomato sauce with sausage and peppers (about 6 minutes); and steamed salmon filets (9 minutes, right from the freezer). It's also great for dried beans and whole grains, and for steaming fresh vegetables. Of course, it takes some additional time to prep the food and bring the pot up to pressure, and some recipes work best if you allow the pressure to drop on its own for 5-10 minutes after the cooking time is up rather than using a quick release method, but for many dishes there's still a significant time savings compared to other methods. I don't use it for things that cook quickly anyway, like fresh fish. You might want to take a look at some pressure-cooker cookbooks (I especially like Lorna Sass's), and there are plenty of recipes online at various websites. If you search this board and the Cookware board, you'll find info and links.

      1. m
        mandycat Oct 27, 2011 07:05 AM

        Here's the cookbook that is my go-to reference for pressure cooking: "Pressure Perfect" by Lorna Sass. You can read the reviews here.

        http://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Perfec...

        Lots of good recipes, many of them with alternative seasonings and accompaniments, and useful tips on making the best use from your cooker.

        The only recipe I've tried from this book and disliked was one for cheesecake. But then I should have known better than that in the first place.

        3 Replies
        1. re: mandycat
          AmyH Oct 27, 2011 09:30 AM

          Pressure Perfect is my favorite pressure-cooking cookbook, too! Everything I've tried from it has been great (but I haven't tried the cheesecake and I guess now I won't). I really like the pasta recipes in it. So quick and good, and no need to boil the pasta separately. And there are some recipes I love for chicken salads where you quick poach the breasts and then shred them for the salads. The Asian one is particularly good. And the Curry in a Hurry is great, and you can alter which curry pastes you use for different flavors.

          The other recipes I like that aren't in that book include sausage and peppers, Colombian beans, and Greek chicken with rice.

          1. re: AmyH
            d
            Dee S Oct 30, 2011 05:37 PM

            Add me to the Lorna Sass group! My favorite recipe is kale, sausage and potatoes. Takes about 5 minutes total cook time. There's also a really good recipe for mushroom barley soup.

            I do find that everything is better if you brown it, contrary to Ms. Sass' wisdom. Mushrooms do NOT do well in the PC. Cook (and season) them separately and add to the dish after cooking.

          2. re: mandycat
            roxlet Oct 30, 2011 07:11 PM

            It arrived yesterday, and I will add it to the birthday pile.

          3. r
            raisa Oct 27, 2011 07:28 AM

            Meat curry or stew. Dal. Boil dried beans, potato, etc. Steam veggie. lentil soup or any other bean soup, pea soup etc. Steam fish. Rice. Poached chicken. Cream caramel. Tomato reduction.

            1. s
              Splendid Spatula Oct 27, 2011 09:24 AM

              There's a great Madhur Jaffrey book, I think it is Quick Indian Cooking or something like that. Many recipes can be done in the pressure cooker, that's what makes it quick!

              7 Replies
              1. re: Splendid Spatula
                a
                avid_cook Nov 7, 2011 08:21 AM

                I second this recommendation, Splendid Spatula. I love this book and the pressure cooker recipes are terrific. My favorite is Smothered Lamb (Beef or Pork). So far I've just made Smothered Beef and it's been a big hit with guests. The first time I made it for guests I doubled the recipe thinking we'd have leftovers. Wrong! They all but licked their plates and all of it was gone.

                I'd also recommend this book to anyone who's just getting started with Indian cooking. Some Indian dishes can be pretty complex and time consuming to make. Not so for the recipes in this book. Not all recipes in this book require a pressure cooker.

                1. re: avid_cook
                  AmyH Jan 22, 2012 04:26 PM

                  Thank you Splendid Spatula and avid_cook for recommending this Madhur Jaffrey book. I got it a few days ago and tried the beef with spinach tonight. It was great! I only wish she had more pressure cooker recipes in the book, like for chicken or beans. But I'll enjoy working my way through the beef/lamb ones and will likely make many of the other recipes, too. I made the fresh tomato salad along with the beef with spinach tonight, but since it's winter I used chopped up tomatoes, cucumbers and baby spinach. Delicious!

                  1. re: avid_cook
                    AmyH Jan 23, 2012 04:00 PM

                    Have either of you made the recipe "The Most Delicious Beef Cubes" from Quick Indian Cooking? Did it work? I'm asking because it only calls for 2 Tablespoons of water. I'm surprised it can get up to pressure. I think my pressure cooker requires a minimum of a cup and a half of liquid.

                    1. re: AmyH
                      AmyH Feb 5, 2012 12:30 PM

                      Well, to answer my own question: yes it does work! Those beef cubes truly were delicious. I put in a bit more water because I didn't trust the recipe, probably 4 Tbsp. It came up to pressure very quickly and cooked with no problem. There was plenty of liquid when it was done, I guess all from the beef (the recipe actually calls for pork or lamb, but I don't eat either of those so I used beef). It didn't take long to cook the liquid off. Next time I'll just use the 2 Tbsp of water. I also made the browned potatoes and grilled tomatoes. Both were excellent.

                      1. re: AmyH
                        a
                        avid_cook Feb 5, 2012 02:26 PM

                        I think you were wise to use a little extra water, AmyH. It is true that different pressure cookers require different minimum amounts of liquid. The more familiar one gets with her pressure cooker, the more she learns about just how little water you will need. If there's too much liquid in a finished recipe letting the liquid cook down usually works just fine. If the food will overcook while reducing the liquid, take it out of the liquid before reducing the liquid and add it back to reheat if necessary, right before serving.

                        I also suspect as you get more familiar with Jaffrey's recipes, you will be able to convert some of them to pressure cooker cooking. Glad to know that The Most Delicious Beef Cubes were delicious. I haven't tried them yet.

                        1. re: avid_cook
                          AmyH Feb 6, 2012 09:05 AM

                          The recipe calls for cooking all the liquid off with the cubes still in the sauce, so a little extra water wasn't a problem. And overcooking certainly wasn't a problem since they were supposed to be very tender. The spices and juices made a great paste coating the meat. Delicious.

                          For converting other recipes to the pressure cooker, I've found Lorna Sass's Pressure Perfect to be very valuable. She gives a lot of options for various meats and other variations for each recipe as well as tables with cooking times for different beans, grains, vegetables, etc. Even if you don't convert an entire recipe to the PC, you can do parts of it to speed things up.

                      2. re: AmyH
                        s
                        Splendid Spatula Feb 7, 2012 09:31 AM

                        Just seeing this now. Gosh, I love those Most Delicious Cubes, esp. served with the Indian Mashed Potatoes. Now that I am reminded, I may make a double batch this weekend! Truth be told, however, I like them better NOT done in the pressure cooker. It was a long time ago, so I can't recall details, but I may have put too much liquid in. I found them too liquidy, and not quite as Delicious as when just done on the stove. So that has been my go-to method for these since. But that is a recipe that certainly earns its name!

                  2. todao Oct 27, 2011 09:32 AM

                    Cook chicken in pressure cooker then, when it's just fully cooked, remove and cool. Bread and deep fry ..... yummmm

                    1. m
                      mmmmmmmmmgood Oct 30, 2011 04:22 PM

                      I love my pressure cooker ... for soups, stews, grains, all kinds of beans, brown rice, boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes, and more. It lets me cook foods from scratch in a fraction of the time. Love it!

                      1. scubadoo97 Oct 30, 2011 04:28 PM

                        My most common items cooked in a PC are stock, beans and occasionally meat that would take a few hours to braise using traditional methods.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: scubadoo97
                          e
                          ellabee Nov 8, 2011 05:06 PM

                          This is almost exactly my answer: stock, beans, brown rice, and stews/braises that would otherwise be cooked at a low simmer for a long time. I haven't yet made it part of my meal-cooking itself, more a [hugely appreciated] way to cut down on time and energy during cooking-prep sessions.

                          But this thread has me inspired...

                        2. letsindulge Oct 30, 2011 05:07 PM

                          ♥ my Kuhn Rikon. One of my favorites is ham shank, red beans, and collard greens.

                           
                          1. s
                            soccermom13 Nov 8, 2011 03:04 AM

                            Hi Roxlet,

                            Some pc recipes we love:---

                            Alina's Black Beans Mami's--to die for!
                            http://www.cooksillustrated.com/ibb/posts.aspx?postID=293052

                            beef stock---so much faster in the pc

                            Lorna Sass' Borscht---Use the beef stock in this.

                            Other good Lorna Sass recipes (sorry, I am not sure which of her books these are from):
                            Chicken Stew with Spicy Sweet Potato
                            Chuck Wagon Beef Stew with Cheddar Smashed Potatoes

                            from the Kuhn Rikon recipe booklet:
                            Cajun Red Beans and Brown Rice

                            from America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook:
                            Chickpea and Tomato Stew

                            The following recipe for Black Bean Soup, which we love. It's essential (IMHO) to get top quality corn chips. We get some local chips from the co-op which are outstanding.

                            Pressure Cooker Thick Black Bean Soup with Tortilla Chips

                            Serve with sour cream mixed with minced jalapeno pepper, lime wedges, and the usual suspect condiments for Mexican food ---e.g. avocado, cilantro, cheese, etc.

                            Saute in pressure cooker until soft:
                            1 tablespoon olive oil
                            1 cup chopped onions

                            Add and saute briefly:
                            1 tablespoon cumin
                            4 cloves garlic, minced

                            Add the following ingredients, then cover and lock pressure cooker, bring to high pressure and maintain high pressure for 30 minutes:
                            6 cups water
                            1.5 cups black beans (picked through for debris and rinsed
                            )bay leaf

                            After 30 minutes, remove from heat and reduce pressure naturally. Then add and simmer a few minutes over low heat:
                            .5-1 tsp. salt
                            1.5 teaspoon oregano
                            2 tablespoons chilies in adobo sauce (or less if you are spiciness-averse)

                            Then stir in and simmer a few minute over low heat:
                            8 cups tortilla chips (not crushed and not packed---loosely packed is good)
                            whole tomatoes from a 16 oz can---drained then chopped
                            The chips will soften as you stir.

                            Add more salt if necessary.

                            I have also made excellent risotto with dried mushrooms and brown rice pudding in my pc.

                            This recipe is on my "try this soon" list:
                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: soccermom13
                              roxlet Nov 8, 2011 04:22 AM

                              These sound awesome, soccermom13. I am actually looking for a black bean chili for a party in a week or so, and I wonder if this could somehow fill that gap. Is it very soupy, or could it be construed as a chili?

                              1. re: roxlet
                                s
                                soccermom13 Nov 8, 2011 04:53 AM

                                Hi Roxlet,

                                The BB Soup with Tortilla Chips is thick, not soupy. I generally like my soups so thick that you could almost stand a spoon upright in them. I usually think of a chili as being spicier than this soup---but I love spicy food, so this soup, which I think of as nicely spiced but not spicy, may be spicy by others' standards. But is surely is as thick as chili.

                                1. re: soccermom13
                                  roxlet Nov 8, 2011 05:22 AM

                                  Thanks!

                            2. c
                              CDouglas Nov 8, 2011 07:17 AM

                              Short ribs in the pressure cooker are probably my favorite. Here is a great recipe:
                              http://www.dadcooksdinner.com/2010/03/pressure-cooker-short-ribs.html

                              A close runner up would be carnitas. Recipe here:
                              http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pressure-cooker-carnitas/Detail.aspx

                              Be sure to season the pork before browning with a good spice mixture like this:
                              http://www.twin-tables.com/2011/08/sp...

                              Serve on corn tortillas with dice white onion, cilantro and your favorite hot sauce.

                              1. drongo Nov 8, 2011 03:42 PM

                                My favorite pressure cooker recipes are from the Toula Patsalis book -- the book has an uninformative nondescript name, but has an emphasis on Mediterranean (especially Greek) recipes. I like the lamb dishes in particular... if I had to pick a favorite, the Lamb Shanks with Orzo "Greek Village Style".

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: drongo
                                  oakjoan Nov 8, 2011 05:31 PM

                                  I have had a Cuisinart pressure cooker for many years and I also use Lorna Sass' book. Sass' book not only has good recipes, it has tips and info. It looks totally unassuming - no big color layouts, etc. Highly reccoed.

                                  My current favorite recipe for the pressure cooker isn't really a specifically pressure cooker deal. It's from Jamie At Home (Oliver) - a pork goulash. I use the COSTCO boneless pork ribs. It uses peppers, onion, garlic, tomatoes and is pretty easy to make. The seasonings are smoked paprika and a bunch of spices. My husband is Hungarian and loves this dish.

                                  It's so convenient to be able to make a stew-like dish that usually simmers for hours in a short time using the p.c.

                                  I just realized that most of you guys are talking about an ELECTRIC pressure cooker. When I looked up the Cuisinart to find out its price, I noticed that all of them were electric. Mine, however, is the old, steam rising, cook on top of the stove model. I'm soooo out of it, although I still love my old clunker.

                                  I've also often made pot roast, etc. Short ribs (as CDouglas says above) are great.

                                  I also use it for beans when I forget to soak and prep.

                                  1. re: oakjoan
                                    a
                                    avid_cook Jan 22, 2012 06:47 PM

                                    Not all of us are using electric pressure cookers, oakjoan. While I have a couple electrics, they're gathering dust on a shelf and I use and love my stovetops. You're not "out of it" at all if you're using a stovetop. While electrics have their fans, many of us prefer stovetops. The bottom line is to enjoy pressure cooking regardless of the pressure cooker you use.

                                    1. re: oakjoan
                                      m
                                      Miss Priss Feb 6, 2012 09:54 AM

                                      Oakjoan, I too am a stovetop PC devotee, and thanks to eBay, have somehow (!) accumulated quite a few units of different sizes, shapes, and valve types. In fact, my current go-to PC may be the same model you have. It's a Cuisinart from the 1980's, with a spring-type valve and a copper sandwich bottom. The shape is a little wider and shallower than the comparably-sized Kuhn Rikon, so it's nice for browning things and for cooking wider cuts of meat. It's also very well made and, in my opinion, quite good-looking. Old it may be, but I'd hardly call it a "clunker"!

                                      1. re: Miss Priss
                                        iL Divo Feb 7, 2012 07:00 AM

                                        over all my years [thanks mom for instilling this crazy habit in your precious daughter :)] I've gone to yard sales or rummage sales or flea markets or charity shops. somewhere in this attic I have 5 PCers. all ages and sizes like you Miss Priss. I even have one that was on top of lid of my neighbors closed trash can. walking the dog one night, everyone's trash was out for the next days' pickup. I walked by wondering what 'that' was so walked back. it was a used Reverware PC with an attached pressure valve thing. to this day I am sure I don't know how to use it or make the pressure work or not work or bring down the pressure if there even is any [?] but I've used it for many things and it's the really perfect size for artichokes.

                                        probably my favorite is the one my MIL bought for me for Christmas one year. a stainless steel 6 quart Presto Pressure Cooker beauty. since I worked at Gemco in the housewares dept. I knew how much that gem cost and was soooo glad she bought it for me. she realized I'd not blow the house up since I'd watched her carefully for years, so figured it was time.

                                  2. Candy Nov 8, 2011 07:02 PM

                                    It is more like what I don't make in my PC. Mains, deserts like bread puds and cheese cakes. Made beef burgundy last week. Buy any of Lorna Sass' books if you are in the dark. Her timing charts are fabulous and you will be saving money, time and nutrition in no time.

                                    1. l
                                      LUV_TO_EAT Feb 5, 2012 01:09 PM

                                      Things I've recently made with the pressure cooker:

                                      Carnitas...cook till very tender and then I brown it off under a broiler or in a frying pan. I like bits of crispy bits on my carnitas.

                                      Pulled chicken and/or pork. I had some leftovers of both so after reading around the internet I found something. Pour a bottle of beer with the leftover meat and cook under pressure for around 15/20 min till pullable. Drain and add some BBQ sauce/rub/hot sauce/vinegar to taste.

                                      Porchetta - took a shoulder, opened it up and put on a herb mix. Tied it up and pressure cooked it till pretty tender (I think it was around 45 min). Take it out and broil it to crisp up the outside.

                                      Chinese Red Cooked beef.

                                      Lamb shanks.

                                      I'm finding that this pot/device is looking better everytime I think outside the box and look for a pressure cooker method to cook something.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                                        AmyH Feb 6, 2012 08:58 AM

                                        This thread has a recipe for delicious turkey carnitas made in the pressure cooker:
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/694633

                                      2. q
                                        Querencia Feb 5, 2012 02:12 PM

                                        Best thing I have ever done with a pressure cooker was take it on camping trips. It is lovely to be out in the middle of nowhere and, given a one-burner gas camp stove, be able to make a big fat beef stew for the whole gang in 20 minutes.

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Querencia
                                          paulj Feb 5, 2012 06:05 PM

                                          My camping gang numbers 2 - so my camping pressure cooker is the smallest possible 1.5L. Still it is nice to buy a small piece of beef check and turn it into a quick stew.

                                          1. re: paulj
                                            a
                                            avid_cook Feb 6, 2012 09:29 AM

                                            Wow paulj, I've never heard of a 1.5 liter pressure cooker. May I ask the brand name and where you purchased it? Sounds like a good size for camping and cooking for 2 when you want to minimize the weight of what you haul around.

                                            1. re: avid_cook
                                              paulj Feb 6, 2012 11:57 AM

                                              Indian Hawkins. At one time REI carried that model, though in more recent years I've only seen a GSI Outdoors hard anodized aluminum model in a 3.5L size.

                                              My preferred camping stove is a Swedish Trangia alcohol stove with integral windscreen. That tightly constrains my choice of pots. Fortunately this 1.5L has just the right diameter (about 6.5").

                                              1. re: paulj
                                                a
                                                avid_cook Feb 6, 2012 05:02 PM

                                                Thanks paulj. I wondered if you had an Indian-made PC. Now that I think about it, my new neighbor from India has a pc that looks like it could be about 1 qt and another about 2 quarts. Neither are hard anodized aluminum however -- they're just regular aluminum and thus not ones I'd like to use. Still if I were camping and was limited in what my stove could accommodate I'd use the aluminum model in those circumstances.

                                        2. Hank Hanover Feb 6, 2012 08:37 AM

                                          If you don't want to spend the money on Lorna Sass's latest pressure cooker book, you could buy "Cooking under Pressure" published in 1999 for about $2 used. http://www.amazon.com/Pressured-Cook-...

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: Hank Hanover
                                            m
                                            Miss Priss Feb 6, 2012 09:33 AM

                                            "Pressure Perfect" (Lorna Sass's latest PC book) is great; but of all her books--and I've used them all--"Cooking Under Pressure" is still the one I like best. It's full of simple but tasty recipes that always seem to turn out well, and it's an excellent primer for learning how to use a pressure cooker.

                                            1. re: Hank Hanover
                                              roxlet Feb 6, 2012 11:32 AM

                                              I bought the latest Lorna Sass book for my husband as part of his gift and he looked through it dismissed it out of hand as being of zero interest. Oh, well. I tried.

                                              1. re: roxlet
                                                a
                                                avid_cook Feb 6, 2012 04:58 PM

                                                How disappointing for you roxlet. We all have our preferences I suppose, but it's hard to understand why anyone would dismiss an entire book out of hand without being willing to try any recipes in it. What sort of recipes is your husband looking for that he wasn't able to find in this book? Lorna's books have an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. I'm curious, does your husband have a pc cookbook that he does like?

                                                1. re: avid_cook
                                                  roxlet Feb 7, 2012 04:26 AM

                                                  My husband is a fantastic cook who frequently makes extremely complex recipes -- when he uses them. When he uses recipes, the recipes he typically uses are unusual and difficult. For other cooking, he has a very deep base of knowledge, and he relies on that as he creates. I think that he found the Sass book too elementary for his taste.

                                                  1. re: roxlet
                                                    AmyH Feb 7, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                    Your husband might prefer this book:
                                                    http://www.amazon.com/Pressure-Cooker...
                                                    Most of the negative reviews complain about it being too frou-frou. A few do say there are mistakes in it, but with your husband's cooking knowledge he should be able to work around them.

                                                    1. re: AmyH
                                                      a
                                                      avid_cook Feb 7, 2012 10:30 AM

                                                      roxlet, there's a pressure cooking blogger that regularly "pushes the envelope" so to speak in terms of what can be done in a pressure cooker. The website is called Hip Pressure Cooking and can be found here: http://www.hippressurecooking.com/.

                                                      Photos that accompany the recipes and techniques are exceptional. Scroll through the posts in this blog and see what you think.

                                                      1. re: avid_cook
                                                        h
                                                        Helen F Oct 11, 2012 03:29 PM

                                                        I'm nerdily going through the CH posts to supply the corrected URL to the "Hip" site: http://www.hip-cooking.com/

                                                        1. re: Helen F
                                                          a
                                                          avid_cook Oct 11, 2012 05:05 PM

                                                          That's very kind of you Helen F. I hope Laura appreciates this.

                                                    2. re: roxlet
                                                      a
                                                      avid_cook Feb 7, 2012 10:24 AM

                                                      roxlet, your husband does indeed sound like a fabulous cook. Lucky you! Set an extra plate at your table, I'm on my way over :-).

                                                      I'm not sure which Sass book you purchased for your husband. Her "latest" book is Cooking Under Pressure but that is a 20th anniversary edition of a much earlier book. While it has some changes it's essentially like the original publication. Pressure Perfect is her actual latest pc cookbook. What's interesting about that is along with the original recipe Sass suggests many ways to change it into a different recipe entirely. That too might be too simple for your husband.

                                                      Let me make a few suggestions for other PC cookbooks for you to consider. One is Pressure Cooker by Rachael Lane. Amazon says this is yet to be published, but I own a copy so I don't know why one seemingly can't order it yet. Examples of recipes in this book: Pork Belly with Chilli-Caramel Sauce, Persian Lamb with Pumpkin and Pomegranate Sauce, Rabbit with Orange, Juniper and Thyme. Another title to consider: The Pressure Cooker Recipe Book by Suzanne Gibbs. Example recipes: Salmon Bread Souffle, Terrine or Pate Maison, Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon, Lamb with Wine and Anchovy Sauce. A third book to consider: Pressure Cooking by the Australian Women's Weekly. Sample recipes include: Steak and Kidney Pie, Osso Buco with Olives, Basil and Anchovies, Persian Lamb with Roasted Rhubarb, Steamed Plum Pudding. I had to have a friend in Australia purchase the Australian Women's Weekly (AWW) book as it is not available in the US. It's a 200 page hardback. What is available in the US on Amazon is one called Pressure Cooker by the AWW. It's a 120 page paperback that includes SOME of the recipes in the hardback. I also noticed that there'a another book called Pressure Cooking but the AWW that is to be published in June of 2012. I don't know anything more about that book.

                                                      I'm not suggesting that any of these recipes are some you'd like to try, but I think you'll agree that they're not the standard pressure cooker recipes found in many pressure cooker cookbooks and I wanted you to get an idea of other PC cookbooks with not-so traditional recipes. One or more of these books might better appeal to your creative husband.

                                                      1. re: avid_cook
                                                        roxlet Feb 7, 2012 11:56 AM

                                                        Thank you so much avid_cook. I will suggest these to my husband. He has been making quite a few terrines lately, and I hadn't considered the possiblity that these could be made in the pressure cooker. I doubt he had either. Do you put an actual terrine in the PC? I will have to investigate!

                                                      2. re: roxlet
                                                        gingershelley Feb 7, 2012 07:37 PM

                                                        Wow, so sorry the gift seemed unappreciated roxlet; from the conversation here about the book, I went to amazon and checked it out (love the 'look inside feature"!).

                                                        I would think even an advanced cook as I, humbly, think I am(not to say much, but 40 years of experience, and 15 of it in proffessional kitchens), would find the technical info and general timing charts of great use for a base for this type of cookery.

                                                        Perhaps he will come back around to it, with his own idea of what to make in the cooker, and only use the background advice.

                                                        I tend to roll like that alot, as I am not super keen on recipes per-se, but am more of a person who goes to my library - and today, the internet of course - does research, puts that all aside, and starts in.
                                                        I hope he checks it out again! I think your gifts were thoughtful, and great:)
                                                        LOVE avid cooks suggestions as well, and for me, am taking them to heart. This winter I am determined to get to know the limits of my awesome PC which is a Fagor 8qt. stovetop.

                                                        I just got a new pressure ring for it; I want to make more grains, quick deeply-flavored braised dishes, and save money and time with my cooking.

                                                        1. re: gingershelley
                                                          roxlet Feb 8, 2012 08:01 AM

                                                          Actually, the gift as a whole was really appreciated, and my husband is now wondering why he never had a pressure cooker before. It's funny, but he's been off cookbooks lately -- even at Christmas when the fun part was looking at the new cookbooks after all the gifts are opened, I find him less likely to bury his nose in a new book. And the irony is that he's cooking more and more, and making more and more complex dishes, as well as his standard great creations. I may well explore the Sass book myself, though I haven't touched the PC yet except to put it away after it's been used!

                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                            gingershelley Feb 8, 2012 08:08 AM

                                                            Well cooking/exploring with the PC is at least safe these days, and you run nearly no risk of beans, confit, or what have you all over the ceiling and room, so if no guidbook is helping the show so far, so be it!
                                                            As long as he is having fun, I am sure you are too.

                                                2. iL Divo Feb 6, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                  MIL always used hers -and I watched fervently-before she bought one for me.
                                                  She used it for something at every dinner we had there. Veggies- potatoes - meat.
                                                  I use mine for fried chicken, pork or beef roast, corn on the cob, artichokes and corned beef.

                                                  16 Replies
                                                  1. re: iL Divo
                                                    roxlet Feb 6, 2012 11:30 AM

                                                    How do you make fried chicken in a pressure cooker? We make ours in a cast iron skillet. Surely you mean something else?

                                                    1. re: roxlet
                                                      l
                                                      LUV_TO_EAT Feb 6, 2012 08:42 PM

                                                      some cookers can be used as pressure fryers....that's how KFC makes their fried chicken.

                                                      Seems scary to me to pressure fry...hot spewing oil doesn't sound funny.

                                                      1. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                                                        paulj Feb 6, 2012 10:13 PM

                                                        Modernist Cuisine (the big 6 vol set) has a section on pressure fryers, complete with a cross section. What they showed is not just an adaptation of a home style pressure cooker. Better to think of it as a specialized deep fat fryer (restaurant style), with a pressure lid.

                                                        1. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                                                          roxlet Feb 7, 2012 04:27 AM

                                                          But are pressure fryers the same as pressure cookers?

                                                          1. re: roxlet
                                                            cowboyardee Feb 7, 2012 05:13 AM

                                                            Absolutely not

                                                            Fagor makes a model capable of pressure frying. It costs upwards of $250 though. It would be quite dangerous to attempt pressure frying in a normal, unmodified PC.
                                                            http://www.pro-selections.com/product...

                                                            1. re: cowboyardee
                                                              roxlet Feb 7, 2012 07:00 AM

                                                              That's what I thought.

                                                              1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                a
                                                                avid_cook Feb 7, 2012 09:42 AM

                                                                cowboyardee is absolutely correct. "Regular/traditional pressure cookers" CANNOT be used for pressure frying and it would be very dangerous to attempt to do so. Be careful also when reading about various PCs. For example it might appear that the Fissler Blue Point 4-Quart Pressure Cooker/Frying Pan 4-Piece Set is a pressure cooker that can be used for pressure frying, but while it functions beautifully as a traditional frying pan (I own this set), it CANNOT be used for PRESSURE frying.

                                                                Also while I don't think cowboyardee was saying that price is an indicator of whether or not a unit is capable of pressure frying, I wanted to note that some traditional pressure cookers are just as expensive as pressure fryers. For example the Fissler just mentioned above sells for $265 on Amazon.

                                                                1. re: avid_cook
                                                                  cowboyardee Feb 7, 2012 11:39 AM

                                                                  "Also while I don't think cowboyardee was saying that price is an indicator of whether or not a unit is capable of pressure frying, I wanted to note that some traditional pressure cookers are just as expensive as pressure fryers. For example the Fissler just mentioned above sells for $265 on Amazon."
                                                                  ________
                                                                  Good point. To clarify myself: spending a lot of money on a PC doesn't mean it can pressure fry. You need a unit that is specifically made for the job.

                                                            2. re: LUV_TO_EAT
                                                              c
                                                              chilihead Oct 11, 2012 03:59 PM

                                                              Huh. I've actually fried chicken in a pressure cooker, a SEB from France, and it came out fine.
                                                              And yes it was scary the first time.

                                                            3. re: roxlet
                                                              iL Divo Feb 7, 2012 07:53 AM

                                                              I do the chicken in the skillet first while the oil is heating up in the PC and when lite brown it gets put in the PC for 5 minutes and take off pressure immediately, lid off chicken out on paper towels.

                                                              I also do chicken two ways in the oven after first frying depends on how easy it is to get to the PC ;:+\

                                                              1. re: iL Divo
                                                                roxlet Feb 7, 2012 09:18 AM

                                                                I'm not sure it would be worth it to me in terms of any time saved. Plus, a skillet and a PC to clean!

                                                                1. re: roxlet
                                                                  iL Divo Feb 7, 2012 06:16 PM

                                                                  roxlet I'm not suggesting you do this, I'm only saying what I use my PC's for.
                                                                  for instance tomorrow I'll be doing lentil soup with kilbasa like Ina did today on her show. she didn't use a PC though

                                                              2. re: roxlet
                                                                iL Divo Oct 11, 2012 08:45 PM

                                                                no didn't word it wrong.

                                                                1. re: iL Divo
                                                                  cowboyardee Oct 12, 2012 01:41 AM

                                                                  What kind/model of PC do you have?

                                                                  I have heard of people deep frying in an unmodified PC. I have also heard very stern warnings against this practice as unsafe from both cookware manufacturers and laypersons. Doesn't necessarily mean they're right, but the warnings make a kind of intuitive sense to me - I'm not convinced that a normal pressure cooker would regulate its temperature well when filled with oil (since the temperature is normally moderated by the boiling point of water at the pressure in the pot), and I'm also not convinced that some of the vital parts in some models of pressure cooker are designed to stand up to possible exposure to oil in the 300-400+ degree range.

                                                                  Offhand, it seems to me that attempting to fry in a PC that is not modified for the job probably works for some people, but even a slim chance that it doesn't work (meaning - worst case scenario - that you more or less detonate a bomb filled with napalm on your stove top) is bad enough that it doesn't seem worth experimenting with, IMO.

                                                                  All that said, I haven't tried pressure frying myself.

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                    iL Divo Oct 12, 2012 10:52 AM

                                                                    cowboy

                                                                    "What kind/model of PC do you have?"
                                                                    presto
                                                                    mirro
                                                                    wear-ever
                                                                    revere ware

                                                                    1. re: iL Divo
                                                                      a
                                                                      avid_cook Oct 12, 2012 01:26 PM

                                                                      My PCs are as follows:
                                                                      Kuhn-Rikon Model 3918 7.35 qt.
                                                                      Fissler Blue Point Model 21 672 04 015, 4.2 qt, pressure cooker/frying pan (note this cannot be used as a pressure fryer)
                                                                      B/R/K Alpha Set 8" Diameter - includes 5.5 qt and 3 qt pots and 1 pressure lid.

                                                            4. r
                                                              Rella Feb 6, 2012 02:58 PM

                                                              I've made and like: Dilled Cabbage Soup with Rice (or quinoa as a variation).
                                                              Lorna J. Sass - "Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure" p. 55.
                                                              Brown onions first - 5 minutes under high presure.

                                                              There are about 13 soup recipes in the book that do not include beans.

                                                              1. cowboyardee Feb 7, 2012 02:47 AM

                                                                I use mine first and foremost for making stocks. I also often use it for beans, and sometimes for braising cuts of meat.

                                                                Some recent experiments:

                                                                Caramelized Carrot or Squash Soup
                                                                ____________
                                                                Some of you have probably heard of the Modernist Cuisine recipe for carrot soup. Here is the principle - if you alkalize the environment inside the pressure cooker (raise the pH), you can lower the temperature at which browning and caramelization reactions take place. So rather than traditional carrot and squash soup preparations where you brown the surface of the carrots or squash (etc) in the oven before making soup, you can add a very small amount of baking soda (which is alkaline) to said ingredients inside the pressure cooker and brown them not only on their surface but ALL the way through.

                                                                For every two pounds of carrots, squash, etc, add 1/2 cup of water and a scant 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Cook at full pressure for 20 minutes (I'm not sure that this will work at altitude, btw - sorry Denver hounds). Finally add spices, liquid and other ingredients as desired and puree for the soup (or leave thick for a puree). The end result will be deeply caramelized and complex, very tasty and nicely warming for winter. Very nice.

                                                                10 Minute Caramelized Onion Stock
                                                                _____________
                                                                Taking this principle as a jumping off point, I decided to see whether I could make caramelized onions quickly in a pressure cooker. The end result was one that I should have foreseen - the onions came out of the pot cooked to mush. BUT... I found that I could make deeply flavored caramelized onion broth in almost no time or effort at all.

                                                                For every sliced medium onion, add 1/2 cup water and about 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda. Bring up to full pressure for 10-15 minutes (I tried it after 10 minutes, and then for the sake of experiment brought it back to pressure for another 10 minutes, finding surprisingly little difference between the two). Strain the onion solids for about 3/4 cup yield of stock per onion. Season with salt and a tiny dash of vinegar.

                                                                This is great for onion soup, seems like it would work for consomme (with further clarification), and is excellent as a cooking liquid in general. A friend already made some seitan sausages using the liquid. It would be lovely for a risotto or a polenta. I could probably think of a few hundred other uses for it - wherever you want to inject a base flavor of deeply caramelized onions.

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                  cowboyardee Feb 7, 2012 05:31 AM

                                                                  Forgot to add - I've also made things like a pine nut 'risotto,' where a PC can soften pine nuts to a texture quite similar to risotto. Here is a sample recipe:
                                                                  http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/br...

                                                                  1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                    gingershelley Feb 7, 2012 07:49 PM

                                                                    Cowboyardee, wow! You seem to have a whole dance around how your pressure cooker works, and the mysterious (to me) of when to add baking soda or no; fascinating!

                                                                    Can you talk a bit about when you add this 'accelorator" to the mix in your PC? Any guidelines?

                                                                    1. re: gingershelley
                                                                      cowboyardee Feb 7, 2012 08:15 PM

                                                                      Truth is I have taken a few cues from Modernist Cuisine, and done just a little bit of extrapolation on my own from there. I am not 100% certain where it works and where it does not, so you or anyone else can join in on the experimenting and maybe discover the next circumstance where the baking soda trick works wonders.

                                                                      That said, I have some theories about what makes for a good candidate for PC browning:

                                                                      - I suspect it's more the caramelization reaction that takes place than maillard reactions. If so, it works best when whatever you're cooking has a decent amount of natural sugars in it. Onions, carrots, squash, parsnips, etc.

                                                                      - I suspect the pH of the food you're working with matters. Apples have plenty of their own sugars but are also acidic, and you'd probably have to add enough baking soda for the taste to be unpleasant in order to get them to brown well

                                                                      - Is suspect that a little bulk and complex flavor in the original product is important in order to mask the taste of baking soda - you don't really want it to be detectable in your final product. I hypothesize that you can create a sort of caramelized water just by adding sugar and baking soda to water in a PC, but that the baking soda will probably be more noticeable in this type of situation. Also, adding a touch of acid (vinegar, citrus juice, etc) AFTER cooking can seem to help neutralize a little of the baking soda and further bury its flavor.

                                                                      That's my thinking right now. But by no means have I fully experimented with the technique yet. If it interests you, please try out a few things yourself and let me know how it turns out for you.

                                                                      1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                        gingershelley Feb 8, 2012 08:10 AM

                                                                        I will give it a try! The caramelized onion water sounds interesting to make and keep on hand.
                                                                        Thanks CBYD for your observations and comments:) I shall report back!

                                                                        1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                          a
                                                                          avid_cook Feb 8, 2012 11:49 AM

                                                                          Interesting approach cowboy. I just read the Modernist Cuisine recipe for carrot soup. I think I may try your approach but I'll guarantee I won't be de-coring the carrots before I use them. That's just more work than I want to engage in.

                                                                          1. re: avid_cook
                                                                            cowboyardee Feb 8, 2012 12:03 PM

                                                                            Far as I know, you don't have to de-core the carrots to get the effect. I suspect that de-coring makes a relatively minor difference to the end product.

                                                                            If you want to be lame (and lord knows that I am sometimes), you can just buy a bag of peeled 'baby' carrots and throw that in the PC with the water or carrot juice, spices, and baking soda. Prep time: maybe a minute.

                                                                            1. re: cowboyardee
                                                                              a
                                                                              avid_cook Feb 8, 2012 01:00 PM

                                                                              I'm sure not the effect would be the same. Supposedly carrot cores "tend to carry a bitter aftertaste." I haven't ever found that be be true. Ideally one is supposed to use young carrots. I don't know where these folks shop, but we're pretty much limited to whatever the supermarket is selling. On occasion one sees young carrots though some shoppers are fooled by the supposed "baby carrots" often for sale. All those are are older fatter carrots that have been trimmed down to seem like baby carrots.

                                                                              1. re: avid_cook
                                                                                cowboyardee Feb 8, 2012 01:05 PM

                                                                                I didn't say it made no difference - I said the difference would be subtle. Also depends on how you season the final product. If you salt and season liberally, subtle bitterness can be buried in the mix and hardly noticeable. Seasoned with a minimalist touch, no cream added, etc, and little factors like that make more of a difference. The caramelization trick will work either way, I'm quite sure.

                                                                                Or you can always just go with squash.

                                                                                "some shoppers are fooled by the supposed "baby carrots" often for sale. All those are are older fatter carrots that have been trimmed down to seem like baby carrots."
                                                                                _______
                                                                                Very true (though that's why i put 'baby' in quotes)

                                                                      2. re: cowboyardee
                                                                        r
                                                                        reptilegrrl Nov 26, 2012 01:55 AM

                                                                        Adding baking soda to cooking vegetables basically strips them of all nutrition.

                                                                        1. re: reptilegrrl
                                                                          cowboyardee Nov 26, 2012 06:24 AM

                                                                          To the best of my knowledge, that's a huge overstatement. Alkalizing vegetables diminishes vitamin C, thiamin, and possibly some other B vitamins. There are many other nutrients in vegetables.

                                                                      3. mrbigshotno.1 Feb 7, 2012 05:17 AM

                                                                        If you know how, with a few added parts and grains, you can make "spirits" with a pressure cooker.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: mrbigshotno.1
                                                                          coll Feb 7, 2012 07:24 AM

                                                                          I was curious and googled (in case the world ends or something) and also found a recipe for pressure cooker hash...and not the kind with potatoes! You learn something new every day.

                                                                        2. missmasala Feb 8, 2012 06:21 AM

                                                                          surprised that no one so far has mentioned risotto. it's one of my fave things to cook in a pressure cooker--very fast, and the texture comes out better to me than when done regularly. In fact, i think italian restaurant kitchens must often use PCs to make risotto, as that's what the texture is like to me.
                                                                          http://missmasalanyc.blogspot.com/201...

                                                                          Also it's my go-to way of cooking dal and curry. And posole. Any stew, really.

                                                                          I've never used a pressure cooker cookbook, I just tend to cook things in it that are a little forgiving and look up some cooking times (like for brown rice) on the internet, Made coq au vin in it the other night. It is seriously the best new kitchen device i've bought in years. great for grains and beans of all kinds.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: missmasala
                                                                            coll Feb 8, 2012 07:27 AM

                                                                            I just made the pork for posole in the pressure cooker, and the goat for Jamaican curry too. Just the meat though and then added to a regular pot. Guess I should just throw it all in together, duh. . I will definitely try risotto in the near future, never occurred to me. Also made coq au vin for the first time and the pressure cooker never occured to me either. At least I have it out now.

                                                                            1. re: missmasala
                                                                              m
                                                                              Miss Priss Feb 8, 2012 08:53 AM

                                                                              Missmasala, pressure cooking is my preferred method for risotto also. Purists might say it's not "real" risotto, just a risotto-like dish; but according to Laura Pazzaglia of Hip Pressure Cooking (http://www.hippressurecooking.com/), it's perfectly acceptable in Italy.

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