Friday, September 26, 2008

Fine Cooking Reviews Fissler Pressure Cooker

Today at the store the checker asked me if I'd like a copy of Fine Cooking magazine that was going to be discarded. I said, "Sure", figuring that there would be something interesting in it. And there was.

They have a review of the Fissler 4.2 quart 10-inch wide pressure cooker. They loved it. Cost: $265 but it comes with a glass lid and a steamer basket. That's a hefty price tag. For about half that amount you can buy a Fagor Duo Combi set that has 2 cookers and 1 lid, plus a glass lid and a basket.

I cannot comment on the Fissler cooker but hope to get my hands on one sometime soon. It'll have to be a loaner for me to give it a test drive, as I am not likely to spend that kind of money for a pressure cooker since I have a bunch of them already.

To watch me use the pressure cooker you can go to my website at or look for me on You Tube.

They are safe and make "the new fast food".

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why I Adore My Pressure Cooker

Just a short time ago I presented an all day workshop at the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program in Napa for the staff to teach them about vegetables, whole grains and tofu.

My pressure cookers, as usual, made me look great. In just a few hours, I made a batch of brown rice and 4 vegetable dishes which would have easily taken twice as long with regular cooking. In that time, I made a Garlicky Eggplant Dish, Squash with African Curry and Tomatoes, Tofu with Ginger and Green Beans, and one other dish. The cooking time included all the prep, as I was doing one of my extra-special show, tell and taste demonstrations which are wildly popular.

With a pressure cooker or two I can whip up quick meals anywhere that I have a burner -- at home is best but I can bring my trusty butane burner or camp stove or induction burner (if there's electricity) and I am set to go.

It would take many minutes for me to wax on about why I adore my pressure cooker but if you've read here at all, you know that I do. On the short list of kitchen equipment that I wouldn't want to live without -- the pressure cooker is right there. That is, if I want cooked food.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pressure Cooking Fresh As Often as I Can

Last week I was pressure cooking Eggplant in Tomato Sauce which took all of 3 minutes at pressure, and was fresh and delicious.

What I have discovered about my summer pressure cooking is that it is much more free form than in winter. I have an abundance of ingredients to use and I do. In the past few days I have made dishes with Old Mother Stollard beans and separately with Marrow Fat beans, both of which were fresh shelling heirloom beans. They were a bit of work but entirely delicious, especially combined with the other fresh and seasonal vegetables that I have.

This time I year I go gaga over Italian Romano (green) beans and eggplant, and tomatoes. My favorite tomato this year is the Cora del Toro or ox heart. It is like a large roma in a strange shape that is meaty and firm and wonderful, sliced into chunks or made into sauce. Unfortunately, I am not growing them but my farmer friends at Triple T Ranch and Farm are. I see them at least twice a week, in a good week, at the Santa Rosa farmer's market.

Since I do free form cooking, I don't seem to tire of what I make since I season at will and add what sounds good a la minute (right then). I may add new potatoes, of various types, or corn off the cob to my concoction, or some chopped fresh okra, or herbs. These are recipes that don't get written down or analyzed, it seems like too much work.

Yesterday I made 3-minute Szechuan Eggplant that I am going to repeat. My eggplant-hating husband even liked it. I was pretty thrilled to have made it. Likely it will be a staple this year. Now to move on to some other delicious dish with my green beans. (Can you hear me swooning?)