Thursday, January 10, 2008

Under Pressure

Here's my new favorite thing to play with...

Isn't she a beauty! My very own pressure cooker (thanks, Grandad and Grammy!)!!!!

I have memories of my grandmother cooking all sorts of yummy smelling stuff in her pressure cooker. But I also recall the rattling noise of that piece at the top giving us the impression it was gonna blow any moment! But it never did to my knowledge!

Anyway, a friend cooked us some chili in her pressure cooker when we first moved here and I've been thinking about getting one ever since. (Katie, William and I still think back to that meal!) What's not attractive about an appliance that's so versatile, easy to clean, cuts my cooking time in half, and cuts down on my mess?

Sooo, because I don't have any cookbooks on pressure cooking and there's not too much out there online, I've been experimenting... a lot. I've made rice, pasta, pork roast with apples, veggies, a Korean chicken dish, pinto beans, and today we're going for beef spare ribs with veggies.

I've debated over getting a rice steamer / cooker for awhile and never got one because of space. Anyway, now I don't have to! In a regular pot, my rice almost always would boil over. Too much going on to watch the pot like I should. But in the pressure cooker, William said the rice was extra fluffy. Score one!

My pork roast was easy to cook and the clean up was even better. No oven to preheat or keep on for hours. (Hey, aren't we all watching our gas and electric bills!) No splattering mess to clean up. Here are two pictures of my pork roast in process. Picture one is me browning the roast prior to locking on the lid. I should've browned it even more. Picture two is after the pressure cooking. Oh- the apples were WAY overcooked. I was gonna make homemade applesauce from it but they basically turned to mush. I'm still trying to get the hang of when to add things and how much liquid.

Regarding the other foods I've tried, the beans were a bit too firm (gotta add more liquid and look longer, I think), the pasta was fine but didn't save me a lot of time, veggies steam great, and my chicken literally fell off the bone.

So, anyone out there have any experience with pressure cooking? I'd love to get some recipes and tips!

1 comment:

Katie said...

If I happen to remember it, I'll bring you my 2 pressure cooker books to church and you can borrow them for a while. Some recipes are a bit over the top, but others aren't so slammed with weird ingredients and are really good. I'm just hoping to remember to de-thaw stuff from the freezer at this pressure cooker for me for a month or so.