16 May 2020

Weekend Cooking: Milk Street Fast and Slow by Christopher Kimball

Review of Fast and Slow by Christopher KimballNOTE: if you are looking for the Weekend Cooking linkup, please visit its new host at Adventures of an Intrepid Reader (and Baker).


Hope you all are staying safe and well out there in the world . . . or rather, I should say, in there in your house! I've been adapting to the new way of shopping and meal planning, and I think we'll do okay.

Some good news for my area is that at least two of the farmers markets are going to reopen with some restrictions for distancing and some ways of ordering ahead from multiple vendors so we can just pop into the market to pick up our produce. That should start this coming week.


Today I want to talk about a new cookbook from Christopher Kimball and the Milk Street people that I received as part of the Voracious influencer program. You already know how much I love my pressure cooker, so Fast and Slow: Instant Pot Cooking at the Speed You Need (Voracious; April 7), is just up my alley. What makes this cookbook a little different is most recipes come with two cooking  options: under pressure (fast) and using the Instant Pot's slower cooker option (slow).

Review of Fast and Slow by Christopher KimballBefore I even started reading the recipes, I had three clues that Fast and Slow was a winner: the Milk Street reputation, the detailed explanations and instructions, and the full-color photos throughout. After I started reading, I was impressed with the range of dishes, from vegan to meaty; from spicy to comforting.

The first recipe I made was perfect for these uncertain shopping times. I was in the mood for pulled pork but couldn't find a bone-in shoulder roast. I bought a boneless roast anyway, and decided I'd worry about adapting my "slow roast in the oven" recipe later. Thus I was really excited to find the Mojo Shredded Pork recipe in Fast and Slow. Yay me! I didn't have to do any adapting because it called for boneless pork! It was delicious with all its garlic and citrus and chipotle chilies in adobo sauce. I couldn't get cilantro, but I had everything else in the house. I didn't serve it on tortillas, as shown in the book scan. Instead, we had pulled pork sandwiches. I'm thrilled to have a pressure cooker option for one of our favorite meals.

Review of Fast and Slow by Christopher KimballI also made a delicious vegan dinner: Potato and Green Pea Curry. We had some white potatoes that had to be eaten and peas in the freezer, so we went for this. This dish was beautifully spiced with garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, and sweet paprika. I served it with my homemade plum chutney. The recipe made a lot so we had it for two nights. Again, I was missing the cilantro, but I did have the chutney and also sour cream and yogurt in the house. The cookbook suggested serving this over rice, which I could have done, but we ate it just as it was.

Today or tomorrow I plan on making the Bulgur Pilaf with Chickpeas and Herbs; if I can't find dill at the store, I'll sub with whatever fresh herb I can find or just used dried. The recipe calls for garam masala, scallions, and parsley, all of which I have on hand. The nuts are pistachios, which I'll have to buy or just use something else.

Review of Fast and Slow by Christopher KimballOther recipes I have marked are Jamaican-Style Yellow Split Pea Soup, Indian-Spiced Kidney Bean Stew, Orecchiette with Sardinian Sausage Ragu, Chicken Soup with Bok Choy and Ginger, and Butter-Toasted Steel-Cut Oast with Dried Apples.

I should mention that I haven't tried the slow cooker setting on my electric pressure cooker, and I'm not likely to do so. I have a good slow cooker that I'm happy with. If you've used the slow cooker setting on your Instant Pot, let me know how that went.

Note on photos: all photos scanned from Milk Street Fast and Slow; used in the context of a review and all rights remain with the original copyright holder. Thank you to Voracious for the review copy.

Sharing with Weekend Cooking hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader.


rhapsodyinbooks 5/16/20, 6:53 AM  

The Potato and Green Pea Curry sounds great. I don't have an Instant Pot (only person in the world, probably) but I think I need to consult the recipe and see if I could finesse it!

Mae Travels 5/16/20, 8:24 AM  

There are at least 2 people in the world without an Instant Pot, and I'm the second one. However, I have loved my slow cookers -- over the years they wear out and I have to buy a new one, so I've had multiples. Bulgar pilaf sounds like a great idea.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

gluten Free A_Z Blog 5/16/20, 9:47 AM  

I'm for anything I can make in my Instant Pot! As far as I'm concerned, it's the best way to cook ever! The potato and pea curry look right up my alley.. thanks

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 5/16/20, 9:57 AM  

I have been looking for a potato curry, thanks! We have fresh cilantro in our markets now, either you like it or you don't. I DO!

Jackie McGuinness 5/16/20, 10:32 AM  

A few weeks ago John bought this HUGE pork chops at Costco. I decided to treak them like a roast and made the best pulled pork with them!!!

So annoyed I forgot to watch the Chefs Dinner at Home series!!!

Tina 5/16/20, 12:42 PM  

Oh yes! I love mojo pork and that curry looks divine. We finally got the Cuban sandwich I was craving after watching Chef. I was very tempted on the mojo marinated dishes but ended up with the a Cuban. First time eating out since March .
That was exhilarating and scary all at once.

This is a book I definitely want to try.

Vicki 5/16/20, 2:50 PM  

I love my Instant Pot and slow cooker, so I'll be looking for a copy of this book. I definitely want to try the Mojo Shredded Pork and Potato and Green Pea Curry!

I tried the slow cooker setting on my Instant Pot once and the recipe wasn't at all done when the time was up. That's ok though, I bought it for the all the other settings anyway because I love my slow cooker, and I just use it instead.

What brand pressure cooker do you have? I have 6 & 8 qt. Instant Pots & a 6 qt. Farberware. I like both brands.

Marg 5/17/20, 4:42 AM  

I have a slow cooker but no pressure cooker or instapot. The potato and pea curry was the one that caught my attention!

Laurie C 5/17/20, 4:46 PM  

I missed a week of Weekend Cooking and missed the big news that Marg had volunteered to host! Thank you for all your years of hosting! Weekend Cooking kept my blog limping along during several long slumps and I truly appreciate all your visits and thoughtful comments, as well as your consistently excellent blog posts, not just on the weekends. So glad you're going to continue your foodie posts.
My mother has stopped using cookbooks and recipes and I've taken a bunch of her clippings and recipe cards home with me, so I understand why you would take your mother's recipes! I make notes in my cookbooks frequently, too, and wonder if my kids will eventually want them for that reason.
I only have a slow cooker and will have to look for a recipe for Potato and Pea Curry, as that sounds perfect for pantry cooking!

Gilion at Rose City Reader 5/18/20, 2:37 PM  

I'm still a slow cooker user, I haven't jumped on the instapot bandwagon. I should, then I would appreciate this cookbook. Thanks for hosting for so many years!!

Les in Oregon 5/18/20, 5:52 PM  

That Mojo Shredded Pork sounds delicious! We eat a lot of shredded pork - carnitas, pulled pork sandwiches, quesadillas, machaca, etc. I'll have to look for this cookbook!

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