Delicious gourmet recipes with a strong European influence. Surprisingly quick and easy. Why did I wait so long to get a pressure cooker? Read on for my review of The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook. My thanks to Great News! Cookware and Cooking School for providing this book to review and give away. We are giving away this book on Friday. If you are local to San Diego, the folks at Great News! are happy to answer any questions you have about pressure cookers.
Diane Phillips, local to San Diego, is the author of 14 cookbooks, a traveling cooking teacher, and a food and beverage consultant. She teaches here in San Diego at Great News! and in Italy, France, and Mexico. Her rich expertise of ingredients, methods, and flavor combinations made every recipe I have tried so far outstanding.
The first recipe that caught my eye was the sun-dried tomato and wild mushroom risotto. Here are my notes: Very yummy. We both had seconds. I rinsed the rice very well first, and used Earth Balance in place of butter and Trader Joe’s vegan shredded cheese in place of the parmigiano-reggiano. Can imagine it would be great with the butter and parm.
Next I made the rigatoni alla Norma. I was curious to try this, because the other pressure cooking cookbook I have been testing said not to cook pasta in a pressure cooker. It was: Easy to overcook the pasta, needed SALT. I used peeled smaller regular eggplants (as I couldn’t find Japanese eggplant), brown rice penne, vegetable stock instead of chicken stock, and Trader Joe’s shredded vegan cheese. It’s entirely possible that with real pasta it would have worked fine. But in the future I would simply cook the pasta properly and make the sauce in the pressure cooker.
Finally I made her beans and greens soup: Very easy and delish. Beans were super tender. Might suggest kale in place of chard, as it holds up better to cooking. Definitely needs salt if using low-sodium stock.
What I liked about this book:
Clear, simple introduction to pressure cooking and safety. Love the European influence in her recipes. Really like the design and layout, with big bold headers and a beautiful cover. The book is divided into the following chapters: pantry, soups & chilies, vegetables, legumes, poultry, pork, lamb, veal & beef, seafood, pasta & rice, whole grains, desserts, sauces & condiments, and cooking for baby. She writes great head notes, so I learned a lot about ingredients paging through. Includes several handy charts for suggested cooking times. Even though there are no photographs in the book, the bright cover shot and vivid descriptions of the food helped me not miss them at all.
I wasn’t so keen on:
It’s not a vegan or vegetarian cookbook, although there are many vegetarian recipes. They could have added icons to identify vegetarian and gluten-free recipes. As with other pressure cooking books, the time frame on some recipes is a bit misleading. While a recipe may only cook at 5 or 8 minutes under pressure, you have to bring the cooker up to pressure, hold it at the pressure recommended, and often let it sit off the heat to let the pressure come down naturally. For large amounts of ingredients, it can take 15-20 minutes to bring it up to pressure. So keep this mind when reading the recipe times.
I’d recommend this for:
Busy families, especially with babies (the baby food chapter is great). People who want to save time and money and cook healthier foods. People considering getting a pressure cooker.
Come back Friday to enter to win this book!
Here’s the book if you want to look inside: