Cover image for The pressure cooker gourmet : 225 recipes for great-tasting, long-simmered flavors in just minutes
The pressure cooker gourmet : 225 recipes for great-tasting, long-simmered flavors in just minutes
Wise, Victoria.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston, Mass. : Harvard Common Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 358 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX840.P7 W57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
TX840.P7 W57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
TX840.P7 W57 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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Presents recipes for easy-to-cook dishes, including everything from main courses to desserts, that can be prepared in as little as fifteen minutes with a pressure cooker.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

No other dish lends itself so well to a satisfying vegetarian diet as does soup. Starting with a rich vegetable stock or even plain water, the cook can add all manner of vegetables and seasonings to produce a distinctive and infinitely variable bowl of refreshment. Gregg Gillespie's 365 Vegetarian Soups illustrates that point perfectly, his recipes generating a soup a day for a year without ever suffering repetition. Gillespie begins with fundamentals: vegetable-based stocks that can then be fortified with a nearly unending variety of ingredients. He even has a section on stocks made with but a single vegetable. Gillespie's soups cover a wide range, and he does allow for use of dairy products in some of them. There are cream soups, fruit soups, and soups especially designed to cook slowly in a crockpot. He offers a few dessert soups for those looking for something more complex for dessert than the usual sweets. Aspiring vegetarians will find this a good introduction to a meat-free regimen. When a vegetarian graduates to the more advanced status of vegan, all dairy products, eggs, and animal products disappear from the table. Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson appeals to the novice vegan with its simplified approach and whimsical typeface. She advocates that vegans be aware of nutritional issues such as incomplete versus complete proteins. She offers a surprising list of vegetables that originate in the world's oceans. Robertson understands the importance of using multiple and varied spices to prevent the vegan diet from becoming dull, boring, and tasteless. She uses plenty of seitan, a wheat gluten product that simulates meat's texture. Robertson even proposes a block of seitan stuffed with chestnuts and cranberries for a vegan Thanksgiving dinner. Bakers will recognize the vegan possibilities inherent in breads as Robertson offers a hearty multigrain yeast loaf as well as simple skillet combread and pumpkin biscuits. She finds a way to improve candy's general lack of nutrition by substituting ground dates for refined sugar in Chocolate Macadamia Clusters. Some people pursue a vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet for the purpose of losing excess weight. Although Howard Shapiro emphasizes the health benefits of a meat-free, low-fat diet, his books title, Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss Cookbook, appeals to weight loss' aesthetic benefits as at least as important. Shapiro's dietary principles derive from a variation of that familiar "pyramid" of food consumption that calls for lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and few fats and sweets. He advises that breakfast include potato, a vegetable both satisfying and naturally low in fat, and offers a recipe for a breakfast vegetable tart with a crisp potato crust. Shapiro does permit carefully controlled consumption of meats, and these meat recipes are intensified with plenty of spices and herbs. Many of the volume's recipes were contributed by New York City firemen and by noted restaurant chefs. Luiz Ratto's interests lie not in strict vegetarianism but in a broader approach to healthy eating. In The Healthy Table, Brazilian-born Ratto outlines her personal approach to cooking that stresses low-fat foods that have assertive, unusual, and attractive flavors. One of Ratto's more distinctive directions calls for substituting pureed fruit for the customary oils of salad dressings. A graphic table suggests specific combinations of fruits and vinegars that complement one another. Ratto's roast turkey recipe stipulates long marination in chopped papaya and pineapple. The bird then gets a sauce that includes peanuts, cashews, dried shrimp, and coconut. Rolled eggplant recalls eggplant parmigiano, but it employs sliced almonds for both texture and extra flavor. Ginger appears in many of the recipes, its assertive flavor serving to freshen other spices. When it comes to dessert, Ratto throws caution to the wind, indulging in all manner of rich sweets with the caveat that diners must exercise moderation to enjoy these exceptional dishes. The true Texan's culture of cattle, horses, and macho frontier lifestyle leaves little toleration for vegetarianism. The most loyal Texan will even argue that proper chili con carne has no beans in it. Larry Burrier offers The Texas Link to Jerky Making. In it he describes the methods used to produce at home that dried beef staple that has become a major protein source for campers and backpackers. In addition to traditional methods of jerky production calling for marinating and drying strips of beef, Burrier offers a very modern technique for producing jerky out of a microwave oven. An assortment of spicy marinades creates dried meats with distinctively different flavors, including Cajun, Italian, and Hawaiian. Recipes turn these examples of jerky into chili, stew, soup, and Stroganoff. In a slightly less slim volume, the same author turns his attention to sausages. Burrier's Texas Link to Sausage Making covers home production of a wide variety of sausages: Italian, bratwurst, breakfast, Cajun boudin, kielbasa, liverwurst, and bockwurst, to name a few. Some of these sausages require smoking and curing, others do not. If one tires of consuming these sausages plain, Burrier has a short number of recipes for stuffed cabbage, jambalaya, goulash, Swedish meatballs, and sausage-queso dip to ensure that none of these savory products goes to waste. Regional libraries will want both of these books in their collections. The more adventurous camper will turn to Linda Yaffe's Backpack Gourmet. She offers fish jerky as well as the beef variety, and she leads her band of outdoorspersons into an elaborate world of breakfasts, snacks, and dinner dishes. She insists that complex-sounding dishes such as crab fettuccini and portobello curry need not be beyond the reach of the backwoodspeople. For the less sophisticated frontier cook, hot dog stew and peanut butter fudge make satisfying outdoor meals. There are also recipes for fruit leather and similar easily transportable snacks. She also offers guidelines on choosing cooking equipment for campers and on techniques for ensuring all-important freshwater supplies in the backcountry. Cooks today are rediscovering the pressure cooker. It's fast, simple to operate, uses less energy, doesn't require special hookups, and doesn't use up valuable counter space since it can be slipped into the cupboard when not in use. Modern pressure cookers are safe, even when abused. Victoria Wise has assembled a new collection of recipes for this old appliance in The Pressure Cooker Gourmet. Her recipes include some expected dishes as well as some surprises. She, along with other pressure-cooker advocates, recommends the speed of cooking risotto in the pressure cooker to avoid the traditional method's constant stirring. Wise creates a salmon and asparagus terrine in her pressure cooker, noting that wrapping it well serves to keep the hot steam from waterlogging the final product. She uses similar close-wrapping techniques to produce desserts on the order of cheesecakes. Anyone committed to serving nontraditional foods fast and easy will find new ideas aplenty here. Those who think they know Polish cooking may find themselves delighted with the novel approach taken by Michael Baruch in The New Polish Cuisine. In his skilled hands the classics of Polish cooking find new life. A native of Chicago's Polish community, Baruch has toiled in the kitchens of restaurants around the U.S. and in Europe. He presents assorted doughs for wrapping pierogi, from classic mashed-potato dough to a rich sour-cream-based pastry. Pierogi fillings are similarly reinterpreted to include blueberry, cherry, spinach, and feta, and even "Sicilian style" with ricotta and Parmesan cheeses. In another reinterpretation, a stew earns flavor from decidedly un-Polish pancetta. In the

Publisher's Weekly Review

As Wise notes in a thorough introduction that covers general methods, the pressure cooker is a time-saver; she then offers a nice range of recipes, from a relatively simple Trout la Vapeur with Toasted Almonds and Parsley Sauce to a more complex Salmon Terrine with Asparagus Tip and Spinach Root Garnish that is packed into a loaf pan and steamed. However, Wise (who was the first chef at Chez Panisse) often undermines that savings in time. For example, a recipe for beef broth calls for roasting the bones for 30 minutes before cooking the broth. Other recipes simply would be almost as quick when prepared using normal stovetop methods, like a Spring Spinach and Scallion Soup that takes six to seven minutes to come to pressure, then sits for eight minutes as the pressure escapes. The pressure cooker works best for braised dishes such as Chicken Marengo with Porcini-Topped Fried Bread Rounds and Rabbit with Fennel Seed, Parsnip, and Prunes in Brandy Cream, but perhaps is not the optimal choice for delicate vegetables such as Asparagus with Shallot, Lemon, and Olive Oil Dressing. While the writing in their headers tends to be awkward (Chilled Potato Soup Mexican-style with Cantaloupe and Toasted Almonds begins: "It was the gazpacho in Grenada that showed, in the right setting at the right time, cold soup is an oxymoron of a notion but a lilt in the day's repasts"), the recipes themselves are clear and simple. (Jan.) Forecast: This is a good effort, especially in the context of a small field, but not the equal of earlier pressure-cooker books like Pressure Cooking for Everyone, by Rick Rodgers and Arlene Ward, and other titles from Lorna Sass. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Wise is the author and coauthor of numerous other cookbooks, including The Well-Filled Microwave Cookbook. Here she provides dozens of recipes for today's "100% Safe" pressure cookers, from streamlined versions of pot roast to more contemporary, elegant dishes such as Pheasant Braised with Walnuts and Shallots. There are stews of all sorts, or course, but there are also quick (no-stir) risottos, vegetable dishes ranging from Baby Artichokes and Two Sauces to an easy Ratatouille, preserves like Green Tomato Chutney, and even desserts. A good companion to Lorna Sass's now-classic Cooking Under Pressure and its follow-up, The Pressured Cook, this is recommended for most collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Splendid Soups
Meat: Homey to Haute
Poultry Under Pressure
Seafood: Simple to Sublime
Vegetables: Quick and Creative
Grains: Worldly Ways with Rice, Whet and Corn
Lively Legumes
Five Notable Tomato Sauces
Preserves: Spiced and Pickled Fruits and Vegetables
A Savoury Set of Custards and Steamed Puddings
Sweet Finales