Welcome to Fearless Friday #16, the Heather has a horrible summer cold or allergies, so pictures and the actual recipe I made on Wednesday will have to wait edition.
I finally broke down and bought a pressure cooker large enough to use as a pressure canner. This summer I totally flopped at canning peaches. I’m not sure what happened, but they didn’t turn out right. One jar broke and the others oozed enough peach goo during processing that I wasn’t sure they were shelf stable. (I only canned a small batch in case something like this happened). I refrigerated the jars and we enjoyed them in our oatmeal, so it wasn’t a total loss.
Since I made the purchase, I’ve been slowly gaining confidence with the pressure cooker. My first non-canning attempt was a pot roast cooked with salsa which was tender enough to shred after 45 minutes. The beef from this experiment was used for baked chimichangas and later as an ingredient in soup.
Someone once described a pressure cooker as the microwave of the 50’s. This does not stop people from telling horror stories of explosions in the kitchen. If you choose to purchase a pressure cooker you MUST familiarize yourself with the safe operation of the device.
Before every use inspect the gasket (rubber seal), peek through the vent to make sure it has not been blocked by food debris of any sort, and check the pressure release valve to make sure it moves. These simple steps help ensure a safe operation. (Remember, there are a lot of safety considerations with microwaves, too; we’ve just become accustomed to the rules.)
I’ve become enamored with my pressure cooker. I’m ecstatic that I can turn 2lbs of dried northern beans into a huge batch of baked beans with minimal effort and I don’t have to run the oven all day. I’ve made these twice, the first time I used far too much water and had to spend a long time reducing the liquid (simmering in a large skillet until the volume was down by half). The recipe had stated “with enough water” apparently my idea and the author’s idea were in different time zones. For my second attempt I had the ingenious idea of reading the recommended amount of water for cooking from the instructions on the bag of beans and the recipe came out perfectly. I suspect the author of the baked bean recipe used several varieties which may or may not have required different amounts of liquid.
I would like to know if anyone else would be interested in a series of recipes for the pressure cooker?
Home Eccers, did you attempt any new recipes or techniques in the kitchen? If so, please tell us about it in the comments or share the link to your blog post in the McKlinky below.