A perfect cookbook for my Instant Pot pressure cookers.
Reviewed in the United States on 19 November 2015
I've had Meredith Laurence's latest cookbook, Delicious Under Pressure (from her Blue Jean Chef series) for just over a week. I've made several recipes that were well received by my husband and teenage son, and after making several recipes and reading through the book several times (yes, I "read" cookbooks) I am quite sure this will be a cookbook I will use with my Instant Pot DUO and Smart model electric pressure multi-cookers over and over.
Just like Laurence's earlier Comfortable Under Pressure cookbook that I have used many times every week for over a year, Delicious Under Pressure is extremely well organized and easy-to-read while browsing and more importantly, while cooking.
Symbols in the Table of Contents and on the recipe pages denote which recipes are author favorites (BJC FAV), Vegetarian, and/or Super Easy.
Pasta seems to be a big favorite in the Instant Pot community on Facebook; while I don't make pasta very often, there is a entire chapter for pressure cooker pasta recipes.
My family loves meat, poultry and seafood, which have their own chapters, but the many vegetarian recipes in the non-meat chapters appeal to me as well; there is also a chapter for Vegetarian Main dishes, as well as one for vegetable side dishes.
The first recipe I made was a side vegetable dish, Cumin Carrots with Kale. The recipe photo of diagonally sliced bright orange carrots tossed with contrasting green chopped kale was riveting; the preparation was a breeze (I subbed grassfed ghee for the olive oil). My family thought it was delicious. They usually eat kale without much comment, but they don't ever go back for seconds, nor do they often describe anything that includes kale as delicious, but both occurred with that recipe.
The pages are liberally sprinkled with great tips and suggestions (and variations) in the sidebars and margins near relevant recipes (yet they don't crowd the recipe text). 120+ recipes include a nice variety of recipes for every meal of the day, ranging from updated American and Canadian classics to streamlined international dishes, busy day meals-in-a-hurry to impressive looking special occasion meals, all with mouthwatering photographs.
A few ingredients for a handful of recipes might not be staple items in everyone's pantry, but I don't recall seeing ingredients so exotic that they aren't likely to be available in reasonably well stocked supermarkets (such as quinoa, whole cumin seeds, shiitake mushrooms, etc.). In remote areas with limited shopping options, some recipes might require some substitutions, or ordering non-perishable ingredients online (for instance, farro, an heirloom grain used in Ancient Rome). But mostly the ingredients in the recipes are either quite mainstream or increasing in popularity with Americans and Canadians and similar populations.
Cooking timetable charts for commonly cooked single foods/ingredients are quick and easy to reference on the last page and inside the back cover.
Nearly all the recipes are written for 6QT electric pressure cookers, so current Instant Pot 6 QT models are perfectly suited for these recipes without any need to adjust the times or steps. A few recipes are written for 8QT electric pressure cookers, but Laurence provides suggestions if using a smaller than specified cooker.
The soft cover of the book is durable enough to withstand typical kitchen messes and the thick pages seem sturdy, too. The book stays open reasonably well. I use the flaps on the covers for bookmarks when going back and forth between two recipes I'm preparing at the same time.
Cooks who already have the standard recipes for everyone's well-worn pressure cooker favorites (pot roast, whole chicken, pork chops, beef stew, chili, bean /lentil soup, applesauce, rice, beans, oatmeal, etc.), and are looking for added recipe and flavor variety, inspiration, and more ways to use a pressure cooker to its full potential every day, all year long, will find this new cookbook very appealing.
75 people found this helpful