Monday, May 11, 2015

Book Review: The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book

I was intrigued by this book, The Great Big Pressure Cooker Book, for several reasons. First of all, I have used a pressure cooker before for canningbut for making a quick meal, its been many many years and even then, it was only with explicit instructions from my friend's mom!  I would have no clue now how to use one to make a meal, but anything that makes my life in the kitchen shorter and easier, I'm all for!  Secondly, I was lucky enough to review these authors' slow cooking cookbook, and remembered that they put some cool features into their cookbook, and am excited to find they continued them here! 

These books are so well laid out, with some great additions to help you be successful in your use of a pressure cooker! The book begins with an intro section (which as I perused seemed humorous as it included the four pressure cooker personality types: "the Nervous Nellie or Are you crazy? That thing's dangerous! I knew a woman...") and a brief troubleshooting guide. For example, the intro to each recipe includes such helpful information as effort (not much, a little, and a lot!),  and the specific pressure, time, and release needed. The ingredients helpfully stand out from the page with bold red print, and the numbered steps are also in bold red.  There are grey boxes that identify when directions vary for stove top versus electric pressure cookers. I really like the Tester's Notes at the end, where they offer tips, substitutions etc. 

There are recipes of all kinds, breakfast, soups, meats, vegetarian, desserts.  This cookbook is so diverse and I believe will really appeal to all types of cooks, foodies and people who prefer plainer food alike, as there is such variety. In the soup section, for example, you'll find simple recipes such as Hamburger Soup, Taco Soup, Tomato Soup and Broccoli Cheddar Soup, as well as more interesting recipes like Lamb Soup with Tomatoes, Cinnamon and Dill, Coconut Shrimp Soup or Cioppino. There are even basics like how to make soft, medium or hard boiled eggs. One of the complaints about the authors' slow cooker book was that the ingredients were strange. While there were a few strange ingredients to me (juniper berries? Game hens...), most were either things I cook with frequently, or would at least know where to find.  

If you are interested in learning about pressure cooking, this would be a great book to start out with the basics and then move into more interesting food, if that's your thing. If not, then stick to the "normal" recipes and you'll enjoy it too.  

One more note: this is a COOKBOOK. Not a coffee table book.  I frequently see people complaining in their reviews about the lack of pictures for each recipe.  Honestly, if you want that, then stick to blogs and online recipes.  If you want a real cookbook, chock full of information and recipes (500!!!), then try this one out.  Personally, I'll be looking for a pressure cooker to add to my kitchen!

I recieved a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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