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What do you make in your pressure cooker?

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.

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  1. 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-shank...

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

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

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

    1. 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. 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

          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

            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

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

          3. 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. 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

                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

                  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

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

                        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!