Monday, 12 June 2006

Under Pressure

On Saturday we rode our bikes to Yorkdale Mall, where we purchased our long-awaited pressure cooker. We have been thinking about buying a pressure cooker for a long time, but seemingly just never got around to it. Well, Saturday was the day and we purchased a Lagostina 7L pressure cooker after standing around the display for quite some time just trying to figure out how to get the lid off the display model. The task was nearly insurmountable, so we figured the cooker must be good!

We have since become practised lid removers, as I've been cooking with our new pressure cooker for three days straight now. The first thing I did was make a batch of chickpeas from dried beans, which took only around half an hour when it would take around a day before, counting soaking time. After that I washed out the pot and made a curry for dinner. It turned out pretty good (though not very curry-like, which is my fault, not the pressure cooker's); I thought the flavours were much more profound than you'd usually get after cooking something for around 15 minutes. That was usually my problem--I get ideas for dinner only usually around dinner time and so I never have time to let things simmer so that the flavours intensify. The pressure cooker takes care of this flaw quite nicely.

Yesterday I made daal with green lentils, which surprisingly Istra actually liked (she seems to be developing a thing against green, which is unfortunate). For this evening's fare I made Double Mushroom Barley Soup, which apparently comes from Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure by Lorna Sass. The soup was a sort of test to see if I should order the book and it was quite tasty! I'm afraid another Powell's shopping spree is on the horizon.

I'm especially excited because this new kitchen gadget makes cooking whole foods like whole grains, legumes and root vegetables, so much faster. It's also nice just to throw things in a pot, go away for a few minutes and come back to a perfectly cooked meal. Plus, since we chose the 7L capacity, our fridge is now stocked with plenty of leftovers for quick lunches.

At the risk of sounding like a pressure cooker advertisement, I will stop now; but it sure is nice to be having fun in the kitchen again.

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