And now, dear reader, for something completely different! This is all about cooking method, or I could more reasonably say it’s about making the most delicious food using a particular cooking method. The clue is in the title: Miss Vickie’s Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes. The Pressure Cooker element is self-explanatory, but who is the aforementioned Miss Vickie?
Miss Vickie Smith is the foremost authority on pressure cooking. She has an amazingly popular web site (MissVickie.com) devoted to the subject. It has been visited more than 2 million times since 2001. That statistic alone is enough to encourage me to explore the world of pressure cooking. There must be a reason for all this interest.
Miss Vickie’s Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes is the most comprehensive work on the subject. It’s a hefty tome containing nearly 400 recipes, a buyer’s guide (handy for those of us who are swelling the ranks of the clueless), instructions, adapting your favourite recipes, and safety (Aunty Jean from next door would not even visit if my mum was using her pressure cooker).
A pressure cooker ought to be considered as the latest “green” kitchen gadget. Think about it: it takes a fraction of the normal time to cook dried beans or large cuts of meat, and you can have mashed potatoes in five minutes. Less cooking time equals less fuel which translates into smaller gas or electricity bills for the already financially stretched household. Factor in the time saved by using this ultra-quick method and the whole proposition is starting to look attractive.
The UK seems to be rather backward with regard to this type of cooking. Every French household has a well-used pressure cooker and many Indian housewives will own two. If you are a vegetarian or a budget-conscious carnivore then you will find it an indispensible part of your kitchen battery. Chickpeas will be soft in minutes and cheaper joints of meat will be rendered tender and succulent in no time at all.
Miss Vickie’s recipes are mouthwatering. It’s very evident that the author is USA-based so there are just a couple of ingredients that you might struggle to find, such as particular chillies (although South Devon Chilli Farm has a marvellous selection of chillies that could easily be substituted). You’ll need to know that cilantro is coriander.
Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy is an American classic and a great family dish. It takes less than ten minutes in the pressure cooker plus a little extra time for preparation and finishing. You can feed the kids and your hard-working wife in less than half an hour. 8 Minute Chili will be another winner and it only takes… umm.. 8 minutes!
Miss Vickie’s Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes is the “must have” cookbook for anyone who wants to feel confident about choosing and using a pressure cooker. It’s persuaded me to take another look. Great value for money.
Miss Vickie’s Big Book of Pressure Cooker Recipes – Everything you need to know about Pressure Cookers
Author: Vickie Smith
Published by: John Wiley and Sons
Cookbook review by Chrissie Walker © 2018