By Lorna Sass
Turkey Chili in three minutes? Risotto in five minutes? Moroccan Chicken in twelve? Or even fork-tender brisket in under an hour? All of these seemingly impossible feats become possible for the cook armed with The Pressured Cook: Over 75 One-Pot Meals in Minutes Made in Today's 100% Safe Pressure Cookers by Lorna Sass.
"The pressure cooker has changed my life, and it will change yours too," says Lorna Sass, the country's leading authority on pressure cooking. "This marvelous appliance cooks in one-third or less the standard cooking time and serves forth delicious versions of all those long-simmered foods you've been hankering after." In The Pressured Cook, she creates scrumptious whole meals in the cooker, saving clean-up as well as cooking time. Sass also offers an extensive overview of pressure cooking, a guide to ingredients, mail-order sources guide, and a directory of pressure cooker manufacturers.
Sass begins with the basic building block recipes for creating one-pot meals in minutes. Her Broths Under Pressure, so quick that they constitute a realistic alternative to using canned and powdered versions, include Beef Broth (the pressure cooker makes quick work of extracting gelatin bone, producing a broth with considerable body), Turkey Broth, Chicken Broth (with the pressure cooker, you'll get a tasty, gelatinous broth even using young broiler parts), Vegetable Broth, Fish Broth, and Shrimp Broth. Also featured are extensive directions for preparing a variety of beans and grains under pressure.
The Pressured Cook's selection of Beef One-Pots includes Italian Wedding Soup, a 10-minute version of a traditionally long-simmered soup made with meatballs, escarole, and little star-shaped pastina; Old-Fashioned Beef Stew, which cooks to fork tenderness in half an hour (buy a whole boneless beef chuck roast and cube it yourself); Beef and Bean Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, which is done in 20 minutes (meat lovers can spare the beans and beef up the ration of beef for No-Bean Beef Chili), and Pot Roast with Potatoes and Carrots, a recipe easily varied to make Pot Roast with Potatoes, Turnips, and Pearl Onions or Pot Roast with Fruited Gravy.
Among Chicken and Turkey One-Pots are exotic Moroccan Chicken with Prunes and Couscous "Stuffing, "in which couscous is stirred into the fragrant cooking liquid and steeped right in the cooker, resulting in a luscious, stuffing-like consistency and Sicilian Chicken with Olives and Escarole, which is easily made into a vegetarian treat by omitting the chicken and substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth. Serve the soupy Mexican Turkey Vegetable Stew with warm tortillas and pass a bottle of Tabasco sauce at the table.
Sass's Pork and Sausage One-Pots range from comforting Cabbage and Potato Soup with Sweet Italian Sausage and Pork with Sauerkraut, Mushrooms, and Potatoes to perky Portuguese Red Beans with Sausage, and Kale and Louisiana Black-Eyed Peas with Andouille and Collards (a particularly good last-minute choice, since the black-eyed peas require no presoaking).
Among the Lamb One-Pots are Greek Lamb with Potatoes and Olives (serve the dish in large soup bowls and pass some hearty peasant bread for sopping the zesty sauce up) and Tunisian Vegetable Ragout with Lamb, a pressure cooker version of one of Paula Wolfert's rustic lamb stews. Veal One-Pots include Veal Stew with Cauliflower, an superb stew inspired by a recipe of Marcella Hazan, and Veal Shanks with Porcini, White Beans, and Escarole, an elegant meal to serve company. Fish and other seafood is just too delicate for the pressure cooker, Sass advises, but she gives us fish and seafood recipes that also include such longer cooking ingredients as the potatoes in Scrod and Corn Chowder and the risotto in Shrimp Risotto with Capers and Anchovies.
The Pressured Cook features such hearty Bean One-Pots as Pinto, Zucchini, and Cracked Hominy Chili, inspired by Southwest kitchens; Twelve-Bean Stew with Turnips and Horseradish Cream (the kind of hearty stew Sass can imagine her grandmother making on a cold winter's night back in Russia), and Chickpeas in Eggplant-Tahini Sauce, seasoned with a Tunisian spice mix of caraway, coriander, and hot chile pepper.
Last but hardly least is a chapter entitled Just Desserts. Blueberry Bread Pudding, Black and White Cheesecake, and Winter Fruit Compote with Port demonstrate what a terrific job the pressure cooker does of quick-steaming.
The time is right for this one-pot sequel to Cooking Under Pressure, Lorna Sass's classic book on pressure cooking that has sold over 120,000 copies. For every harried cook who has ever asked, "How can I get a delicious meal on the table fast?" Sass offers over 75 irresistible solutions in The Pressured Cook.
Lorna Sass is an award-winning cookbook author and the country's leading authority on pressure cooking. Her groundbreaking Cooking Under Pressure is credited with reviving America's appliance. She and her collection of pressure cookers reside on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The Pressured Cook is her tenth cookbook.
The Pressured Cook:
Over 75 One-Pot Meals in Minutes Made
in Today's 100% Safe Pressure Cookers
By Lorna Sass
William Morrow & Co.
Information provided by the publisher.
This page created April 1999
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