The follow-up to Cooking Under Pressure, the classic and bestselling book on the topic, this is Lorna Sass's first new pressure-cooker cookbook in nine years. These seventy-five delicious recipes, perfect for the single person or the family on the go, can be prepared in the pressure cooker in one-third the normal time or less. Many of the recipes can be prepared in less than ten minutes, including Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage -- ready in less than eight minutes -- and even a few desserts. These recipes are also low in fat, since cooking under pressure locks in the flavor and only minimal use of butter and oil is required.
The time is right for a new pressure cooker cookbook -- pressure cookers are selling better than ever. And today's pressure cookers are safer than ever -- fears in the past about the safety of jiggle-top cookers are no more with these safe new cookers, this cookbook will be essential for anyone who has ever thought, "How can I get a delicious meal on the table, fast?"
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Lorna Sass, Ph.D., is a culinary historian and a James Beard Award-winning author of many highly acclaimed cookbooks, including Pressure Perfect, The Pressured Cook, and Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure. She has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Bon Appétit, Prevention, Metropolitan Home, and Woman's Day, among others. She lives in New York City.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Italian Wedding Soup
My first taste of Italian wedding soup was in a small-town restaurant in Pennsylvania. I'd never heard of this dish before, but my dinner companion spoke of it with great nostalgia, recalling how Italian neighbors in the Bronx served it on special occasions during his childhood.
The restaurant version was so-so, but I could tell that the soup had great potential. So here you have it: a traditional long-simmered soup made with meatballs, escarole, and little star-shaped pastina, cooked in a flash under pressure. For optimum results, make the little meatballs bite-sized and use homemade broth, If you like smoothly textured meatballs, prepare them with a mixer rather than by hand.
I minute high pressure
3/4 pound ground beef
2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1 teaspoon granulated or powdered garlic, or 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups thinly sliced leeks or coarsely chopped onions
4 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups chicken or beef broth (or better yet, a combination)
1 tablespoon Italian herb blend (page 238 or store-bought)
3 large carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup pastini or other small pasta, such as tubetti or ditalini
1 1/2 pounds escarole, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Roman, or Parmesan cheese
In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the meatballs by blending them with your hands. Shape the mixture into bite-sized balls, each a little smaller than 1/2-inch in diameter. Set aside.
For the soup, heat the oil in the cooker over medium-high heat. Cook the leeks, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Blend in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly. Add the broth and herbs, taking care to scrape up any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the cooker. Add the carrots. Over high heat, bring to a boil.
When the broth is boiling, add the pastini. Lower the heat to medium. Then gently drop the meatballs into the broth a few at a time. Set the escarole on top. (Don't be concerned that the cooker will be filled almost to the brim: the escarole will shrink dramatically when cooked.)
Lock the lid in place. Over high heat, bring to high pressure. (This may take as long as 5 minutes since the cooker is so full.) Reduce the heat just enough to maintain high pressure and cook for minute. Quick-release the pressure under cold running water.
Stir gently. With a slotted spoon, remove one meatball. Slice it in half and check that it is cooked throughout. If not, simmer the broth, uncovered over medium heat until the meatballs are done, 1 to 2 minutes more.
Adjust the seasonings and serve in large bowls. Top each portion with a generous sprinkling of grated cheese. Pass the remaining cheese in a small bowl.
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