I might be exaggerating. Maybe love is too strong of a word. I'm certainly no less than amazed though. It's still very early in our relationship - you might call it the honeymoon phase - but I'm willing to say this might be the one. I'm learning more about myself as I learn more about you. I get butterflies in my stomach when I'm around you. You bring such intensity to my life and every time we part I think about the next time we can re-meet.
Yes, it's a pressure cooker. And it's awesome. I admit the butterflies in my stomach might be caused more by the fear of an explosion than an emotional attachment, but there is plenty of intensity and I am learning new techniques.
When I think of a pressure cooker, I can't help but remember the gigantic pot with the dancing cap 'chicka-chicka-chicka' simmering away on my mothers stove top. There are no shortage of pressure cooker horror stories either. (Exploding beans, steam burns, and charred remains sticking to the bottom of the pot, just to name a few.) The odds of these incidents happening are rare now-a-days as newer pressure cookers have come along way in the past few decades. Not only do they have multiple fail-safe features, there are also several new cookbooks and updated recipes being published to use with this new generation of cookers. They are quieter, versatile, and very affordable.
Why Do I Need a Pressure Cooker?
Pressure cookers are so useful in the kitchen and I can't believe it has taken me this long to finally have one to call my own. When dealing with preserves, in particular canning, low-acid foods are impossible to process safely in a hot-water bath without the addition of an acid. This limits the amount of foods that can be canned in a hot-water bath alone. With a pressure cooker, temperatures can reach as high as 250 °F inside the cooker, well above the temperature of boiling water, and that means low-acid foods such as soups, stocks, vegetables can now be preserved in jars and stored on the shelf with tomatoes, salsas, and jams.
Pressure cookers are an economical cooking method as they reduce the need for fuel. In other wet cooking methods (such as stewing, braising, or simmering), foods are often cooked for several hours, if not overnight, in order to produce tender, juicy, and flavourful cuts of meat or vegetables. In less than 1/3 of the time, you can now have all the deliciousness without the need for long cooking times. Squash and beets? 20 minutes. Pork butt roast? 45 minutes. Long-grain rice? 10 minutes. Caramelized Carrot Soup? Start to finish, including prep and dishes, less than one hour.
Caramelized Carrot Soup- Modernist Cuisine
To prepare the incredibly sweet, earthy, smooth, soup, you need 3 lbs of carrots, peeled and the stems removed. Take one half of the carrots and cut them into 1 cm by 5 cm pieces and place them in the bottom of your pressure cooker tossing with 1/2 c of melted butter, 1 1/4 t of kosher salt, and 1/2 t baking soda. Add 2 T of water to the pot, then place the lid on tight. Once the pressure has been reached, cook the carrots for 20 minutes, shaking the pot once or twice to ensure nothing is sticking to the bottom.
While the carrots are cooking, take the other half of carrots and juice using a juicer (probably hiding in your bottom cupboard with the bread maker) to get 2 1/2 c of fresh juice. If you don't have a juicer, substitute with apple juice, vegetable stock or chicken stock instead. The flavour won't be the same but it will still taste good.
Once the pressure has been released from the cooked carrots, puree with an immersion blender and add the fresh juice. Puree again and pass through a fine-mesh strainer if necessary ( I didn't). Serve hot with a little dollop of sour cream, a few carrot strips (use a veggie peeler), or toasted pumpkin seeds. Serves 4-6.
You can get the full recipe on the Modernist Cuisine website here. I'm anxious to try this recipe with cauliflower or squash because I really do love it. It's my first preparation in the pressure cooker- it will always hold a place in my heart.
Pressure Cooker Links
Some exciting news in the pressure cooker world!
Eating. Drinking. Sharing.