Dealing with Pressure

A few weeks ago my trusty 40-year-old MirroMatic failed.  Oh, I’m sure it is repairable, there are like three things that can go wrong with a pressure cooker and two are easily repairable and even the third can be repaired.

imageAh, but the thing about it is, pressure cookers have come a long way in 40 years.  So I asked for a fancy new electric cooker appliance for Christmas.  The Instant Pot combines ostensibly six functions in one.  Realistically, it is probably like three or four, but we’ll let them have a little leeway with what they claim.  It can function as a pressure cooker, a slow cooker, a rice cooker and a steamer.  I forget what the other two are supposed to be, saute and something else I think.  I don’t care.  Four items are good.  There is a newer model that covers seven functions but near as I could tell, the seventh function was as a yogurt maker … didn’t really need that so I went cheaper.

I have to say, it functions pretty well as a pressure cooker.  It also does the job as a slow cooker.  Haven’t tried the other functions but did use saute to brown a brisket prior to slow cooking.  It has a really nice stainless-steel pot that seems very durable.

This leaves me to find new recipes … and sadly, due to a lapse in my organizational abilities, your crazy cookbook guy can not easily find his pressure cooker cookbooks.  I sought out some facebook groups … they are a trip.  Mostly new owners, like me.  Well, not like me because I am a seasoned pressure cooker user.  Yes, it has a lot of fancy pre-timed buttons for cooking soups, stews, poultry … that sort of thing, but it also has a manual setting where you can set the timer yourself.   With that, you can use any pressure cooker recipe … which is what I have been doing.  Most of these other newbies seem more obsessed with things like hard boiled eggs and oatmeal.  Who needs to do those in a pressure cooker?  I mean, I do old-fashioned rolled oats in the microwave at 80% power for four minutes.  They’d cook in three minutes but they tend to boil over so I opt to lower the power so it cycles on and off and the bubbles die back down.

imageAnyway, I delved into my old MirroMatic pressure cooker manual, which already has more recipes than the book that came with the Instant Pot.  I found the first recipe I ever cooked in the old pressure cooker, Porcupine Meatballs.

I found the first recipe I ever cooked in the old pressure cooker, Porcupine Meatballs and made that as my first Instant Pot dish.  They were delicious and came out about as pretty as they ever did in the old one.  Maybe prettier.

 

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