THE ELECTRIC KITCHEN
Pressure cookers make quick work of old favorites
PRESSURE cookers are making a comeback because they save time and energy -- they cook food in one-third the time. How so? A pressure cooker is a saucepan with a locking lid that creates intense steam heat to cook food faster than a conventional saucepan. This process tenderizes tough food while retaining flavor. Note that steam is a critical component, which means you need a certain amount of liquid to build up steam so the food cooks at the correct temperature in the proper time frame.
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» Information on the use and care of pressure cookers: www.busycooks.about.com (click on "Appliance Information" under "Topic")
Recipes that call for long simmer times, such as soups, stews and braised dishes, are perfect for the pressure cooker. This week, we're sharing recipes that adapt well to these devices.
If you're in the market for a pressure cooker, keep in mind that the 6-quart size is the standard. Choose a pot with heat-resistant handles and a locking lid that's easy to maneuver. A heavy bottom of stainless steel allows you to use the same pot for searing or sautéing.
Never fill your pressure cooker more than two-thirds full; and when cooking foods that expand (such as grains, legumes or dried vegetables), do not fill the cooker more than half full.
And remember to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for best results and for tips on keeping the pressure cooker in good working order.
Chicken Stew (Galinha Estufada)
1 chicken, 4 to 5 pounds
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 small carrots, diced
1/2 tablespoon paprika
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf, torn in half
1 whole allspice, crushed
1 teaspoon coarse salt (such as Kosher)
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1 cup white wine
4 small potatoes, cubed
3 cups chicken stock
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, including liquid
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
Cut chicken into serving pieces; rinse and pat dry. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or large saucepot, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and brown chicken pieces; remove.
Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, onion, celery, carrots, paprika, garlic, bay leaf, allspice, salt and pepper; sauté 10 to 15 minutes, or until vegetables are golden brown.
Add wine and potatoes; cover and cook 5 minutes.
Add chicken, chicken stock and tomatoes; simmer over medium-low heat 30 minutes. Stir in peas and parsley; cover and simmer 3 minutes. Serve hot with rice or bread. Serves 6 to 8.
In a pressure cooker: Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in pressure cooker and brown chicken pieces; remove. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, onion, celery, carrots, paprika, garlic, bay leaf, allspice, salt and pepper; sauté 10 to 15 minutes, until vegetables are golden brown.
Add wine, potatoes, chicken, chicken stock and tomatoes. Cover and bring to high pressure over high heat. Lower heat to stabilize pressure. Cook 10 minutes. Remove from the heat; release pressure.
Stir in peas and parsley; simmer 3 minutes. (Note: While cooking peas, you can cover the pressure cooker, but do not lock lid.) Serves 6.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving: 500 calories, 60 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 130 mg cholesterol, greater than 1,200 mg sodium, 38 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 45 g protein
Miso Pot Roast Pork
5 pounds pork butt
3/4 cup miso
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 small piece ginger, crushed
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Place pork in large saucepan. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat. Cover and simmer 2-1/2 to 3 hours, turning frequently to evenly season pork.
Skim fat. Serve sauce with pork. Serves 6.
In a pressure cooker: Place pork in pressure cooker. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over meat. Cover and bring to high pressure over high heat. Lower heat to stabilize pressure. Cook 1 hour. Remove from heat. Release pressure. Skim fat and serve sauce with pork.
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on bone-in pork butt): 730 calories, 43 g total fat, 15 g saturated fat, 185 mg cholesterol, greater than 3,000 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 58 g protein
Approximate nutritional analysis, per serving (based on boneless pork-butt): 920 calories, 56 g total fat, 20 g saturated fat, 245 mg cholesterol, greater than 3,000 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 73 g protein
Hawaiian Electric Co. presents this weekly collection of recipes as a public service. Many are drawn from HECO's database of recipes, accessible online at www.heco.com