Cooking Under Pressure (20th Anniversary Edition)

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William Morrow Cookbooks
  • From the leading authority on speed cooking comes the groundbreaking cookbook that inspired a generation of cooks—now updated and revised for today's tastes and sleek, ultrasafe machines From the elegant to the ethnic to the traditional, Cooking Under Pressure contains a wealth of flavor-packed recipes for fast, healthy, and delicious meals developed for the modern pressure cooker—a magical appliance that turns out foods in one-third (or less) the standard cooking time without sacrificing flavor or aroma. Lorna Sass introduces us to an eclectic array of dishes that can be prepared on a whim, including classic osso buco (18 minutes), chicken gumbo (9 minutes), and risotto (4 minutes, without stirring!). Even chocolate cheesecake and Grand Marnier bread pudding are done to perfection in short order. Plus, the dramatically shortened cooking times make it possible to prepare cholesterol-free, high-fiber ingredients such as grains and beans at the last minute. The pressure cooker is the cook's best friend!
  • Author:
    Lorna J. Sass
    Dewey Decimal Number:
    20 Anv
    William Morrow Cookbooks
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    William Morrow Cookbooks
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    William Morrow Cookbooks
    William Morrow Cookbooks
    Cooking Under Pressure (20th Anniversary Edition)
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Recent User Reviews

  1. justpj
    "A New Trick"
    Pros - well organized, good recipes
    Cons - requires special equipment
    Written by Pam Grant

    I am, if my faithful readers haven’t already figured this out, someone who likes things the way they “used” to be. I grew up in a time when home canning was a way of life, when the closest thing to a microwave was that food dispenser thing on Star Trek, and when just about every mom was at home cooking all day for her family. I have owned a pressure cooker for years. Other than for a chicken dish, I really didn’t use this fine appliance, until this 20th Anniversary Edition of Cooking Under Pressure reawakened me to the power of this pot, much to my delight. This book is right up my alley.   It talks about making a wonderful nutritious meal in minutes without high tech electronic gadgets. Dust off that old gem, the pressure cooker, and get ready to be astounded all over again at what that baby can do.

    Pressure cooking scares people. We can all recall someone telling us, that someone they knew once told them that their aunt’s friend had a pressure cooker blow up on them. Has this ever happened? The answer to that is yes. But pressure cooking has come a long way since its early days and many improvements have been made. Today’s pressure cooking pots are really high tech marvels. If simple safety guidelines and recipes are followed there is no real danger these days. 

    That being said, attention should be paid to this pot while it is cooking. This is not a set it and forget it appliance. While it doesn’t require the attention the older models once did it still needs occasional monitoring in order to maintain safety. Manufacturers have designed some great safety features into new models, and if you still own your grandmothers pot I would suggest you at least think about investing in a modern one. They are not only made safer but also much more efficient as the gaskets used today provide a better seal and will help to maintain constant pressure. The book recommends a web site called to assist you in picking out a cooker that will be suitable for your needs. This is a great web site for both the new pressure cook and the experienced one as well.

    Cooking Under Pressure does a wonderful job explaining why and how pressure cookers work. In a nutshell pressure cookers work by changing the atmospheric pressure in the pot and there by changing the boiling point of water. Foods under pressure will cook faster at a higher temperatures, and the pressure can work to tenderize a tough cut of meat, thereby, saving money by allowing the purchase of a lesser cut of meat. What more could you ask for a pot that cooks in less time, and saves you money in the bargain. A chapter called “A Pressure Cooker Primer” is a must read in this book. It explains all the dos and don’ts and whys and wherefores to pressure cooking. I must say in all honesty it taught me a couple of things I didn’t know, so it is possible to teach an old dog a new trick!

    The recipes included within its pages are mostly everyday type of fare. There are up to date recipes and techniques that were not included in the first edition, so if you already own an old copy of this book it is worth your while to invest in this newer one. One recipe that caught my attention was the Ricotta Cheesecake. The thought of making a cheesecake in a pressure cooker seemed an odd one at first glance, but in about 35 minutes (25 min to cook and 10 for natural pressure release) there sat a cheesecake. The consistency of this dessert wasn’t quite what I would expect from a cheesecake, being that it was a bit granular feeling on the tongue, but final product was definitely worthy of serving to a guest. 

    Next on my list of recipes to try was the Unconventional Jambalaya. The unconventional part was the use of brown rice as opposed to white in this recipe. I think I would have preferred the white rice in this dish. I wasn’t as happy with the doneness of the brown rice, and the recipe takes this eventuality in to account by suggesting some further cooking if the rice is underdone. I found the extra cooking time only served to overcook the other ingredients included in the dish.

    After trying several more recipes which included   New England Fish Chowder, Chocolate Kahlua Bread Pudding, and Garlic-Braised Brussels Sprouts, I would say that overall the recipes in this book are very good. This is, at best, more than150 good recipes for the least used pot in your kitchen and, at the very least, a good jumping off point towards learning what this under used pot is capable of and perhaps leading to your own creative take on pressure cooking. 

    This book has inspired me to look at some of the recipes passed down in my family to see if they might be adapted for pressure cooking. Anything is possible and this book gives you all the information you will need to get started or to expand your pressurized horizons. If you own a pressure cooker you should own this book.


     Garlic-Braised Brussels Sprouts

    (4-5 minutes total cooking time)

    1 cup water

    ¼ teaspoon salt

    6 large garlic cloves

    Generous pinch of dried thyme or dried oregano

    1 pint Brussels sprouts (10 ounces) trimmed

    1 tablespoon olive oil

    Place the water, salt, garlic, thyme, and Brussels sprouts in the cooker.

     Lock the lid in place and immediately set the timer for 4 (small or medium sprouts) or 5 minutes (large sprouts). Over high heat bring toward high pressure and cook for a total of 4 or 5 minutes. Reduce any pressure with a quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow steam to escape.

    If the sprouts are not quite done, replace the lid and let them cook for a minute or two in the residual heat. When the sprouts are done drain them (and the whole garlic cloves) and transfer to a bowl. Toss in the olive oil, adjust the seasonings, and serve.


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