Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cooking Under Pressure, 20 Years Young

The classic book "Cooking Under Pressure" is out now in an updated 20th anniversary edition. Author Lorna Sass happens to be a Fissler fan. In fact, she used Fissler's Blue Point pressure cookers in a class she taught this past year. If you've been hesitant about pressure cooking, get Lorna's book to guide you, and an easy-to-use Fissler pressure cooker. Fissler makes pressure cooking safe and fast, and Lorna's cookbook makes it delicious. Food Politics author Marion Nestle (second from the right in the group shot in our previous post from New York) said that, "“Anything Lorna Sass writes is a pleasure to read…She makes the cooking methods seem so easy that anyone who doesn’t own a pressure cooker will want one right away".
Here's a preview recipe courtesy of Lorna the "Queen of Pressure Cooking"!

1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup finely minced onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 1/2 to 4 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained and coarsely chopped
1 cup tightly packed, grated smoked mozzarella (5 ounces)
Salt to taste, if desired
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil or 2 tablespoons minced Italian parsley (optional but pretty and delicious)
Heat the butter and oil in the cooker. Sauté the onion until soft but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the rice, making sure to coat it thoroughly with the fat. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of the broth (watch for sputtering oil).
Lock the lid in place and over high heat. Bring to high pressure. Adjust the heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 4 minutes. Reduce pressure with a quick-release method. Remove the lid, tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.
The risotto will be fairly soupy at this point. Set the cooker over medium-high heat and boil uncovered, stirring vigorously every minute, until the mixture thickens and the rice is tender but still chewy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add a bit more broth if the mixture becomes dry before the rice reaches the desired consistency. When the rice is ready, turn off the heat. Stir in the tomatoes and mozzarella, and add salt to taste and basil, if you wish. Serve immediately.
Copyright, 2009, Lorna Sass, all rights reserved

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Mac Attack Cook Off

We attended the Mac Attack Pot Luck and Cook-Off recently, put on by our favorite (is there another?) Macaroni and Cheese blog: We Heart Mac and Cheese. Since our macaroni and cheese was going to be one of at least a dozen, we figured that hostess Hilary Havarti could use an extra warming plate to keep the casseroles toasty so we brought along the Fissler CookStar Induction Pro. After baking in the oven in an old Le Creuset enamel on cast iron pan (yes, cast iron is induction compatible) we set the induction pro on "keep warm" and for the next two hours the competition for best mac and cheese was on. Well, this Fissler Foody's mac and cheese didn't make the cut for flavor but it sure looked good sitting on the induction pro. Click here for the winning recipe. And check out the old Roper Scientific Cooking Chart in Hilary Havarti's oven. Quite a contrast technologically to the new Induction Pro.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Fissler Foody goes to New York

I was in New York last week and attended a panel discussion at New York University, called WHO'S WHO & WHAT'S WHAT: The Evolution of the Food Cognoscenti in America. Restaurant consultant Clark Wolf moderated the distinguished panelists, which included Mitchell Davis, Author and VP of the James Beard Foundation; Barbara Haber, Food Historian, Author, Curator & Chair of the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who Committee; Daniel Humm, chef at Eleven Madison Park, The New York Times' newest four star restaurant; Marion Nestle, Author of Food Politics & NYU Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies & Public Health; and Bob Spitz, author of an upcoming bio of Julia Child. These people ARE the food cognoscenti in America, or at least a small but significant piece of it. A fascinating conversation on food and nutrition policy, the changing role of women in food, the competitive New York restaurant scene and the continuing influence of Julia Child (back on the best-seller lists long after her death) was followed by a reception featuring the amazing goat cheeses from Laura Chenel's Chevre. Moderator Clark Wolf wrote a book on American Cheeses so we knew the cheese would be good.