Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Menu Monday #8 (On a Tuesday. Again. Maybe it needs a new name.)

This week I am experimenting with a new-to-me tool: a pressure cooker.  Years ago, a friend's then-husband used to make curry in a pressure cooker.  It was always amazing.  But the thought of using a pressure cooker was a bit scary.  Weren't those the kitchen tools that could explode and cause massive damage?  Didn't they make weird noises??  Do I really want to risk it?!?

Image from Amazon.com of a Presto 8-qt. pressure cooker

The questions roaming around in my mind were in conflict with the part of me that said "But I read that it only takes a few minutes for dinner to cook with a pressure cooker.  Maybe I should look into that..."

When I saw The Easy Pressure Cooker Cookbook at Costco last week, I knew I had to get it.  This was confirmed by a little old lady who walked up to me and started telling me how much she loved her pressure cooker.  I then opened the book and saw the page for Chicken Tikka Masala.  In under 10 minutes.  No. Way. I was sold!

Some things I discovered: the recipes in the book need the addition of a bit of salt.  It also takes a while for the pressure cooker to reach full pressure (which is when you start timing), so the times aren't entirely accurate -- but it's still much faster than regular cooking.  And there's no need to watch a pot or worry about burning!

This week, it's all about trying more pressure cooker recipes.  I want to have a fast way to make a ton of freezer meals for my sister.  She's due in May (although the baby might arrive early, like baby #2 did) and I'm planning on visiting her in CA in April so that we can stock her freezer and do any other necessary prep.  A pressure cooker could be just the thing we need!

Menu 3/11-3/17

  • Sunday -- Fish tacos
  • Monday -- Vietnamese chicken and sweet potato curry in the pressure cooker (I'll have to post this recipe later, since it was a blend of two cookbooks)
  • Tuesday -- Curried lentils in the pressure cooker and a salad
  • Wednesday -- New Orleans-Style Red Beans & Rice in the pressure cooker
  • Thursday -- Vegetarian chili in the pressure cooker
  • Friday -- tomato soup & grilled cheese
  • Saturday -- beer & pretzels (We're meeting Tin Man at a local German restaurant because he really wants German beer! -- One day he'll realize our microbrews are actually better.)
My pressure cooker cookbook also has several recipes for rice pudding.  To me -- and my sister -- there are few things in life better than rice pudding.  In fact, it's quite possible that no dessert on earth tops it.  Needless to say, I will be trying these recipes.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

1 comment:

  1. I don't know anything about pressure cookers. I'm excited to learn from you!

    Oh, and in my family rice pudding is a form of currency. Whenever you help Grandma (mowing the lawn, dusting) you get paid in pudding! She passed away a few years ago and I haven't had any since. Maybe I'll try my hand at making some. Thanks for the reminder. :)


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