On the Porch
Five Reasons Not to Fear a Power Pressure Cooker
Did you know there is an overwhelming about of articles and blog post on how to generate more traffic, thus more readers to a blog? Many have the same advice- give readers a reason to read your blog. They suggest a blog post have titles like 5 Easy Ways too…… or 3 Simple Hacks….
I suppose it is good advice since, I tend to be tempted into reading how to posts. I decided to attempt to follow this model, but for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anyway to turn my rambling words into bullet points. I cast my eyes over the house, surely there is something here I can write a few bullet points about. Inspiration escaped me until I saw my favorite Christmas gift, a Power Pressure Cooker XL. I love this pot!
I grew up using a pressure cooker and I am completely comfortable with them but most of my friends think they are scary. I currently own three pressure cookers, a large one and a standard sized one at our home in North Carolina and a standard one we have at our daughter’s house in Florida. ( I cook her meals during the winter to earn my keep.)
So why would I need another pressure cooker? Because this one is cool! No really, it is cool. The steam remains in the cooker. In Florida, keeping the house cool with minimal A/C use is important to one in my “time of life. Meals that usually require using the oven, I can pop into the Power Pressure Cooker, no heat and cooks fast too.
See, it doesn’t look scary at all!
So here we go, my five reasons to not fear a power pressure cooker!
- No more scary sounds- Have you been traumatized by the hiss and jiggle of traditional pressure cookers? Fear no more. The new electric power pressure cooker is pleasantly silent except for an occasional bump as the pot builds pressure.
- It’s a rice cooker– Yes, it cooks rice. It has a rice setting with 3 sub settings for White Rice, Brown Rice, and Wild Rice. These individual sub settings are program specify for each rice with time and pressure.
- It’s a slow cooker– Have you ever wished your slow cooker had a delayed timer? Well this one does! Of course it turns off automatically once the cooking time has ended, then it goes into stay warm mode.
- Set it and forget it-If you have used a pressure cooker in the past, you know that you have to keep an eye on the cooker until it begins to jiggle, then adjust the heat to make sure it jiggles at the correct frequency. ( Ok, explaining jiggle frequency is just too weird.)
- Great meals- A power pressure cooker is 70% faster than oven or stove top methods. The literature claims more nutrients are retained in the food, due to the shorter cooking time. I don’t measure nutrition so I can’t back this claim up but I can tell you, everything I have cooked in mine tastes great!
Our daughter Rebekah, loves Italy and after reading Under The Tuscan Sun-At Home in Italy, she bought The Tuscan Sun Cookbook-Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen by Edward and Frances Mayes. Last night I made a recipe from the book and adapted it for the Power Cooker. On a funny note,when I went online in hopes of locating the recipe so I could copy/paste, I found it on the AARP website! I am sharing it and making notes on how I modified the recipe.
Chicken With Artichokes, Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Chickpeas
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 chicken breasts, halved, skin on ( I used 4 chicken thighs, skin on. I think chicken breasts are very unforgiving.)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup red wine
- ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas ( I used one can of chickpeas, drained)
- 2 14-ounce cans water-packed artichoke hearts, drained ( I used quartered ones, canned of course)
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, slivered, or 1 cup sliced oven-roasted tomatoes (I soaked these in the ½ cup of wine for 30 minutes)
- ¼ cup fresh thyme or fresh marjoram leaves or 2 tablespoons dried
- ½ cup black or green olives, pitted
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Nope, no heating the oven for me!
Over medium-low heat, in a large, enameled ovenproof pot with a lid, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Sauté the onion, and after about 3 minutes, remove it to a medium bowl.
I pressed the chicken meat button, added 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sautéd the onions for two minutes.
Season the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil to the pot, raise the heat to medium-high, and brown the chicken for 3 minutes per side. Add the wine, bring it quickly to a boil and then turn the heat off immediately.
I didn’t change the settings, just put the meat in and browned it for about 4 minutes. Since I had soaked the tomatoes in the wine, I strained the tomatoes and put the wine in the pot to bring to a boil. Once it boiled, I lifted the inner pot out of the cooker and set it aside.
Combine the onion with the parsley, chickpeas, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme and olives. Spread the combined vegetables over the chicken, and bake, covered, for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces, turning the chicken once. Serve right from the pot or transfer to a platter.
No baking for me! Once all the ingredients were together, I put the inner pot back in the cooker, changed the setting to soup/stew and left it alone.(I chose that setting since the meal seemed liked a stew. Once it pressurized, the cooking time was 6 minutes.
Another nice thing about this pot is that once cooking completed, it remained in the warm cycle while I put the finishing touches to the rest of the meal
And it was wonderful!! This is the photo as shown in the book.
Thank You AARP for posting recipes from the cookbook. Click this link to view this recipe as well as as others.
My daughter found a great deal on my Power Pressure Cooker XL at Kohl’s. It was on sale plus 30% off and she used Kohl’s Cash. It is also on Amazon and comes in 6, 8 and 10 quart size. Mine is a 6 quart and a good size for a small family.
Now that I have followed blogging advice, I simply need to sit back and watch our reader numbers soar…..right?
I would like to hear your pressure cooker stories. What is your favorite food to cook in one? Or share your fears and scary stories.