We know what you may be asking, “What is pressure cooking? Don’t worry because you are not alone as this style of cooking is poised to take front and center (at least we think) in 2017 as more become familiar with its ability to cook tasty dishes in less time.
One chef who is pioneering how pressure cookers are used today is Bren Herrera, author of “Modern Pressure Cooking,” released in December. For as long as we have known Herrera, she has shared her passion for pressure cooking, especially when it comes to making one her favorite desserts, flan. Her new book goes beyond flan with more than 100 savory and sweet recipes that will help you master the art of pressure cooking in no time. “I love pressure cooking because it has maintained my Afro-Cuban culture and it is true science that works,” says Herrera. “I have been working diligently over the last 12 or 13 years to dispel the whole notion that pressure cooking is scary. The scary part because of stories that have been told.”
For a little pressure cooking 101, it was invented in the 1600s and uses steam to cook food. Simply said, the closed pot builds up steam and pressure which helps to cook food faster. As a result, this one-stop pot of steam can cook anything you want in a short period of time. Pressure cookers have come a long way and you’ll get a good laugh looking at what was used back in the day and how the cookers have evolved, thank goodness. Herrera's book provides a great introduction that will answer questions, and take any intimidation away before you get started. She even lists her five top reasons why she pitches pressure cooking as her favorite cooking method that includes: time efficiency, energy efficiency, better tasting food, it is perfect for college students and helps to refine your culinary skills.
When it comes to the recipes shared in “Modern Pressure Cooking,” Herrera didn’t go the basic route but instead creatively curated a book that shares her love using great ingredients to create unforgettable flavors and dishes. The possibilities are endless. A sampling of the recipes you can look forward to include: Pumpkin Coconut Curry Soup, Decadent 4-Cheese Truffle Mac and Cheese, Tarragon-Mustard Braised Ribs and Bacon Lover’s Brussels Sprouts. Want a little barbeque, check out the Braised Pulled Pork BBQ. Want a hearty soup, she has you covered with the Hearty Vegetable Soup. Another quick and easy recipe she recommends is the Plantain Mash which is complete in under 10 minutes compared to 30 when cooked on the stovetop. Not only does it cook faster, but Herrera says the color vibrancy of the plantains is also maintained.
Need a pressure cooker? Depending on the size, you can pick up one at places such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Macy’s or on Amazon.com starting at around $40. Here are five suggestions by Best Review updated just this month. Herrera doesn't recommend using a vintage model, especially if you new to this form of cooking and says that today's pressure cookers are 100 percent safe.
If you’re looking to take your culinary skills to the next level in 2017, be sure to give pressure cooking a try and let Herrera be your guide every step of the way.
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