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Because pressure cooking has been gaining in popularity, ATK decided to investigate. They spent a year testing the techniques and recipes collected in their Pressure Cooker Perfection. The result is 100 fail-safe dishes that just might change your life, or at least your dinner table.
I know, I know. You've heard horror stories of pressure cookers exploding, and you're scared of the hiss and steam. Or maybe you just don't believe that you'll have a flavorful chicken broth after only about an hour of cooking. I've never quite understood the fear, but I promise you that modern-day cookers are safe, and they will, as the subtitle to Pressure Cooker Perfection notes, "change the way you cook." I use my cooker at least once a week, and I couldn't live without it.
If you are totally new to the concept of pressure cooking, this book is a fine place to start. ATK takes you through everything you need to know. They introduce you to the vocabulary, offer step-by-step guides, provide cooking charts, and even suggest brands of cookers. After reading the opening sections, you'll feel as if you had gone to pressure cooker school--and I mean that in good way.
True to ATK form, the recipes in Pressure Cooker Perfection have been tested and retested to guarantee success. Each one is accompanied by photos, clear instructions, easy-to-find ingredients, and even a troubleshooting section. Beginners will feel confident with this book by their side, and experienced pressure cooker cooks will appreciate picking up a few new tips and techniques.
The recipes are quite basic and are designed to help you feel comfortable with the pressure cooker and learn general procedures that you can use later when adapting your own recipes. The broths, soups, chilies, roasts, pasta sauces, risotto, and side dishes all look tasty would be welcome by most home cooks.
I was particularly attracted to the pasta sauces, soups, and roasts, which are standard pressure cooker fare. New to me is the concept of indoor barbeque recipes, some of which rely on liquid smoke. Now I'm curious about making ribs and wings in the cooker and definitely plan to give them a try. Once you taste a juicy, flavorful whole chicken made in under an hour, you'll be adding it to your weeknight table
Near the beginning of Pressure Cooker Perfection you'll find detailed guides for cooking meats, beans, grains, and vegetables. These charts are the key to adapting your own recipes for the pressure cooker; you'll turn to the charts again and again over the years. And of course you can trust ATK's timing recommendations because they are based on solid, practical experience.
If you've toyed with the idea of getting a pressure cooker or if you have one that you've been too afraid to use, pick up a copy of Pressure Cooker Perfection and embrace the modern world of pressure cooking. You'll be surprised at how easy the cookers are to use and how delicious your food will be. (Note on the photos: the photos were scanned from the cookbook; all rights remain with ATK.)
You might remember that I made a curried split pea soup in the pressure cooker a few weeks ago. I love that I got all-day flavor in under an hour. What could be better for busy cooks? Take a look at the following short video to find out what some restaurant chefs have to say about using the pressure cooker (video made by ATK and available on YouTube). Then lose the fear and start cooking under pressure.
America's Test Kitchen, 2013
Source: Bought (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)