begin a revolution in your kitchen

The pressure cooker came in Tuesday, and I planned to use it Wednesday to make watercress soup–after work! But faced with the prospect of biking in fierce winds to buy potatoes (which would further weigh us down for the climb home), J-P and I wimped out.

Of course, I still made the spring rolls I had planned as an accompaniment to the canceled soup. The cooked shrimp weren’t going to last forever. And so I learned two lessons. 1. Composition always takes more time than cooking. The soup would have been quicker work than the spring rolls. 2. Spring rolls are best left to experts. Mine were untidily rolled, and the ones I left for yesterday’s lunch dried out, despite my putting them in plastic wrap.

So I’ve resolved to inaugurate the pressure cooker as soon as possible. Anyone want to suggest a candidate for first recipe? We’re going to the farmers market Saturday morning…

Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the accompanying literature. (I mentioned that I’d bought an Indian-made model, right?) “Begin a revolution in your kitchen,” the manual says, and promises to save me “time, energy, and retention of flavor and nutritive values,” with “advanced features” that offer “extra safety” and “reduced drudgery.”

The instruction manual also warns me not to cook “applesauce, cranberries, pearl barley, Oatmeal or other cereals, split peas, noodles, macaroni, rhubarb, or spaghetti” under pressure, as they “can foam, froth and sputter and clog the pressure release device.” However, the separate recipe book blithely lists cooking times for split peas and pearl barley, so I suspect we’re going to be just fine.

What I’m pondering now is Cooks Illustrated’s revelation, in its current article on taste-testing canned diced tomatoes, that some of those are peeled by being exposed to steam, then to a drop in pressure–thus blowing the peels off. I want to try it, but I suspect the pressure cooker’s drop in pressure won’t be abrupt enough…

2 Responses to “begin a revolution in your kitchen”

  1. June 11, 2010 at 15:19

    I know what I would do if I had a pressure cooker handy: rice pudding lebanese style or meghli, which is a spice pudding with rice flour; it is supposed to take half the time in the pressure cooker and is oh so so good!

  2. June 1, 2013 at 05:44

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