Disclaimer: This book was given to me courtesy of Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
I never realized what an asset I had in my pressure cooker until my mom made this mean chicken, onions, and potato stew. Because it was so good, I decided to replicate the recipe by serving the stew either over rice or mashed potatoes. That point is—I have been obsessed with my pressure cooker ever since.
What makes the pressure cooker such a vital component in the kitchen is that I can throw together a bunch of ingredients and let them slow cook in their own flavors for hours without the constant need to keep a careful watch over it. I have not had much experience with pressure cooking outside of my mom’s chicken stew recipe which is why I decided to enlist the help of co-authors Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough of The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book. Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough are masters with a pressure cooker, and they have been nominated for a James Beard award which means they know what they are doing in the kitchen and have been recognized as such.
The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book is compiled of 500 recipes that can be used by both novice and expert cooks alike. The introduction is very informative consisting of tips on how to use your pressure cooker and troubleshooting tips. Although most people think pressure cookers are solely for stews and rice, the authors debunk that myth by breaking the book down to the following categories: Breakfast, soups, meat, poultry, fish and shellfish, vegetables, beans, and grains, and desserts.
All of the recipes are really easy to follow, and consist of a basic ingredient list which is always nice for those of us who are either new to cooking or are too tired to slave over the stove. Each chapter has a nice quantity of recipes and are both simple and creative enough to make you challenge your own ability to put together unique flavors. My favorite part of the book is the desserts. I have heard of people making cakes and things of the like in a pressure cooker, but I never really tried it until I received this book. Recently, I just started learning how to make the pineapple upside-down cake. I am still working on my timing to where the entire cake is finished to my liking because I noticed that it takes a little longer to bake compared to the suggested time table. The foil sling was a bit of a challenge for me so I had to enlist the help of my mom, but other than that the cake came out perfect: It was evenly cooked and had a nice, even brown finish to it.
If you’re someone who is looking to start using their pressure cooker then I would highly suggest purchasing this book. The recipes are fantastic and are quick and easy to assemble; all you have to do is just relax until the time goes off. Also, it’s a book you can use all year long, and not just during the fall and winter seasons.