Cool pres­sure cook­ing

The Jerusalem Post Magazine - - FOOD - • FAYE LEVY and YAKIR LEVY

Re­cently we at­tended a cook­ing demon­stra­tion that il­lus­trated why pres­sure cook­ing is be­com­ing cool again. The demon­stra­tor, Jill Nussi­now, au­thor of the cook­book Ve­gan Un­der Pres­sure, pointed out that to­day’s pres­sure cook­ers are not like those our grand­mas used. Thanks to their built-in safety fea­tures, sto­ries of soups splat­ter­ing the ceil­ing are just old fam­ily tales.

“The mod­ern pres­sure cooker is a must-have tool for busy cooks,” she said. “I would not like to live with­out one.”

With the pres­sure cooker, we can quickly make tasty meals from fresh veg­eta­bles or dried beans in­stead of reach­ing for a can. For ex­am­ple, if you soak chick­peas in ad­vance, said Nussi­now, they need only 13 min­utes to cook in the pres­sure cooker.

In our kitchen we of­ten pres­sure-cook chick­peas with­out soak­ing them, and they take about a third of the time to cook as they would in a reg­u­lar pot. Their tex­ture is ten­der, and their cook­ing liq­uid tastes bet­ter be­cause the chick­peas need less wa­ter to cook in the pres­sure cooker.

When Nussi­now cooks ten­der veg­eta­bles, such as zuc­chini or broc­coli, to­gether with grains, beans or firm, long-cook­ing veg­eta­bles, she adds the ten­der veg­eta­bles off the heat, once the other in­gre­di­ents are cooked. She then places the lid back on the pres­sure cooker, locks it, and al­lows the ten­der veg­eta­bles to cook from the steam of the mix­ture, which re­mains hot be­cause the pres­sure cooker is well in­su­lated. This is the tech­nique that she uses in her potato veg­etable salad with mus­tard tar­ragon dress­ing. (See recipe.)

Soups and stocks come out even bet­ter in the pres­sure cooker, said Nussi­now; their fla­vors seem to in­ten­sify. For her easy-to-make creamy but­ter­nut squash soup, which cooks in only seven min­utes, she adds fla­vor by cook­ing the squash in veg­etable stock and co­conut milk. (See recipe.)

Nussi­now uses the pres­sure cooker even to cook a choco­late cake – some­thing to con­sider when the weather gets too hot to turn on the oven.

Faye Levy is the au­thor of the award-win­ning book Clas­sic Cook­ing Tech­niques.

POTATO VEG­ETABLE SALAD WITH MUS­TARD TAR­RAGON DRESS­ING

Adding corn and toma­toes to the potato salad makes it color­ful and bright, wrote Nussi­now. For an es­pe­cially pretty salad, she rec­om­mends us­ing pota­toes of dif­fer­ent col­ors. Serves 4 to 6 1 medium onion, sliced into 6-mm.-thick half rounds 680 gr. fin­ger­ling pota­toes or other small pota­toes, cut into

5-cm. pieces

¾ cup veg­etable stock

1 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) corn ker­nels

3 Tbsp. fresh le­mon juice

1 Tbsp. olive oil, plain or le­mon fla­vored

2 tsp. Di­jon mus­tard

1 Tbsp. rice, cham­pagne, or white wine vine­gar

2 Tbsp. cashew but­ter, tehina, or olive oil

1-2 Tbsp. chopped fresh tar­ragon

1 cup cherry toma­toes, cut in half

Salt and freshly ground black pep­per

1-2 Tbsp. chopped pars­ley (gar­nish)

Heat a stove-top pres­sure cooker over medium heat, or set an elec­tric pres­sure cooker to sauté. Add onion and dry sauté for 2 min­utes. Add pota­toes and stock. Lock on the lid, bring to high pres­sure, and cook for 3 min­utes. Quick-re­lease the pres­sure. Re­move the lid, care­fully tilt­ing it away from you.

Add the corn, lock the lid on the cooker, and let sit for 1 minute. Trans­fer ev­ery­thing to a bowl and cool for at least 15 min­utes.

Mean­while, com­bine the le­mon juice, olive oil, mus­tard, vine­gar and cashew but­ter in a bowl and whisk well. Stir in the tar­ragon.

Add the cherry toma­toes to the pota­toes and add the dress­ing. Sea­son with salt and pep­per, to taste. Let stand for a few min­utes for fla­vor to blend. Serve gar­nished with pars­ley.

‘The mod­ern pres­sure cooker is a must-have tool for busy cooks – I would not like to live with­out one’

CREAMY BUT­TER­NUT SQUASH SOUP WITH TOASTED PUMP­KIN SEED-AP­PLE TOP­PING

“I must make win­ter squash soup at least 20 dif­fer­ent ways,” wrote Nussi­now. This parve soup is fla­vored with ap­ples and a touch of curry pow­der. Add co­conut milk to make it rich, or co­conut wa­ter for a lighter soup. Serves 6 to 8

Top­ping:

1 tart-sweet red ap­ple such as Gala, cored and finely

chopped

1 Tbsp. orange juice

½ tsp. grated lime or le­mon zest

2 tsp. fresh lime or le­mon juice

Pinch of ground car­damom

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (fresh co­rian­der) or pars­ley ¼ cup pump­kin seeds, toasted

Soup:

2 cups finely chopped onion

2-3 tsp. curry pow­der or more, to taste 1 medium-to-large but­ter­nut squash, peeled, seeded

and cubed (to get at least 5 cups)

1 ap­ple (any kind), peeled and diced

4 cups veg­etable stock

1½ cups co­conut milk or co­conut wa­ter

½ tsp. salt

Freshly ground black pep­per

Top­ping: Mix chopped ap­ple, orange juice, lime zest and juice and car­damom in a small bowl. Cover and set aside. Keep cilantro and pump­kin seeds sep­a­rate.

Soup: Heat a stove-top pres­sure cooker over medium heat, or set an elec­tric pres­sure cooker to sauté. Add onion and dry sauté for 3 min­utes. Add curry pow­der, squash, diced ap­ple, stock, co­conut milk and salt.

Lock the lid on the cooker. Bring to high pres­sure; cook for 4 min­utes. Let pres­sure come down nat­u­rally. Re­move the lid, care­fully tilt­ing it away from you.

Us­ing an im­mer­sion blender, blender or food pro­ces­sor, blend the soup un­til smooth and creamy. Add pep­per, to taste.

Just be­fore serv­ing, top each bowl with ap­ple top­ping, cilantro and pump­kin seeds.

CHICK­PEA BROC­COLI SALAD

“This sim­ple, ver­sa­tile salad can be served warm or chilled,” wrote Nussi­now. “...If your broc­coli is young and ten­der, it won’t re­quire any pres­sure, just a few min­utes sit­ting in the cov­ered cooker. Other­wise, use larger broc­coli flo­rets and cook briefly at low pres­sure.” Serves 4 ¾ cup chick­peas, soaked and drained

3 cloves gar­lic, minced

A 7.5-cm. piece of kombu (edi­ble kelp) (op­tional) ¾ cup veg­etable stock

225 gr. broc­coli flo­rets

½ cup sliced red onion

¼ cup chopped pars­ley

3 Tbsp. chopped Kala­mata olives (op­tional) ¼-½ tsp. crushed red pep­per flakes, to taste

Dress­ing:

1 Tbsp. fresh le­mon juice 1 Tbsp. red wine vine­gar 2 tsp. Di­jon mus­tard

1 tsp. minced fresh gar­lic 1 Tbsp. ex­tra-vir­gin olive oil 1 tsp. white miso (op­tional)

Put chick­peas, gar­lic, kombu and stock in a pres­sure cooker and lock on the lid. Bring to high pres­sure; cook for 13 min­utes. Let the pres­sure come down nat­u­rally.

In a small bowl whisk to­gether the dress­ing in­gre­di­ents: le­mon juice, vine­gar, mus­tard, gar­lic, olive oil and miso. Set aside.

Open the lid of the cooker, care­fully lift­ing it away from you. Add the broc­coli and lock on the lid. Bring to low pres­sure, cook for 1 minute, then quick-re­lease. (In an elec­tric cooker, set to 0, bring to pres­sure, then im­me­di­ately quick-re­lease.) Al­ter­na­tively, stir in the broc­coli, lock on the lid, and let sit un­til the broc­coli be­comes ten­der, up to 5 min­utes.

Open the cooker care­fully. Re­move and dis­card the kombu (or save for an­other use). With a slot­ted spoon, trans­fer the chick­peas and broc­coli to a serv­ing bowl.

Add the dress­ing to the chick­pea mix­ture. Add the onion, pars­ley, olives and pep­per flakes, and toss. Taste and ad­just sea­son­ings. Serve warm or chilled. (If serv­ing chilled, taste the salad when it is cold, to see if you need to ad­just the sea­son­ings again.)

BLACK BEAN AND SWEET POTATO HASH

Nussi­now likes this hash for break­fast but com­mented that it’s also suit­able for lunch or a light din­ner. Serve it as a side dish, or spoon it over brown rice or quinoa or into a pita; or you can serve it atop tor­tillas to make soft tacos with av­o­cado, cilantro (fresh co­rian­der) and your other fa­vorite taco top­pings. Serves 4 1 Tbsp. veg­etable oil (op­tional)

1 cup chopped onion

1-2 cloves gar­lic, minced

2 cups chopped peeled sweet pota­toes (about 2 small

or medium)

2 tsp. mild or hot chili pow­der

⅓ cup veg­etable stock

1 cup cooked black beans (see note be­low)

¼ cup green onions, chopped

¼ tsp. salt

Splash of hot sauce (op­tional)

Chopped cilantro (gar­nish)

Heat a stove-top pres­sure cooker over medium heat, or set an elec­tric pres­sure cooker to sauté. Add the oil. Add onion and cook for 2 to 3 min­utes. Add gar­lic and stir. Add sweet pota­toes and chili pow­der. Stir to coat sweet pota­toes with chili. Add stock and stir.

Lock the lid on the pres­sure cooker. Bring to high pres­sure; cook for 3 min­utes. Quick-re­lease the pres­sure. Re­move the lid, tilt­ing it away from you.

Add the black beans, green onions and salt. Cook 1 to 2 min­utes, or lock on the lid and let stand for 3 min­utes, un­til beans are heated through. Add hot sauce and more salt, if you like. Top with cilantro and serve.

Note: To pres­sure-cook black beans: Soak 1 cup of beans. Drain them and put them in a pres­sure cooker with ¾ cup fresh wa­ter. Cook them for 4 to 6 min­utes at high pres­sure and al­low the pres­sure to nat­u­rally re­lease. You will have 2 to 2½ cups cooked beans.

(Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

A STOVE­TOP pres­sure cooker. With this tool, one can quickly make tasty meals from fresh veg­eta­bles or dried beans in­stead of reach­ing for a can.

(Pho­tos: Melissa’s Pro­duce)

YOU CAN even use the pres­sure cooker to cook a choco­late cake.

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