How a pressure cooker should be used for good things
First, let me say condolences to those and their families that were killed and/or injured in the tragic terrorist act at the Boston marathon bombings this past week.
Second, let me say thank you and congratulations to all of those involved in capturing one of the suspects and terminating another. This also goes to all of those who helped with tips and sending in large amounts of photos, video and other big data that was and is being used by investigators.
Also best wishes to the prosecutors and their forensic investigators to tie the pieces together bringing the captured suspect to justice including determining a motive.
Of course, also speedy recovery to those maimed or injured by the pressure cooker bombs.
Let us talk about pressure cookers, and not in how they were used in a bad way last week in Boston.
Pressure cookers when used properly for what they are designed for can be used for making good things.
Cold April Saturday, good day to make ham soup.
I used my pressure cooker the other day to make ham, barley vegetable soup with kale.
The reason I use pressure cookers is to make soups, stocks, sauces or other things in a shorter amount of time while boosting flavors. For example with a soup or stock, instead of simmering for hours, I can get the results needed in 10-20 minutes, granted, the longer simmer is better if time allows. Instead of taking all day to make lunch, or getting up really early, simple solution, use the pressure cooker.
As their name implies, pressure cookers transfer heat and liquid into steam pressure which combine for more concentrated cooking in a shorter amount of time while keeping moisture and flavors in.
I use a 26cm Wusthof chef knife kept sharp to safely speed up prep
So after doing my prep (cutting, dicing, chopping) of onions, celery, carrots, potato, parsnips (these are so underrated, under appreciated), apple, ginger and garlic, time to brown the Ham in the pressure cooker (I realized this should have been done with video, ok, next time).
After browning the Ham bone and pieces (not burning) with a bit of grape seed oil (olive oil will burn if too hot) remove and set aside. Then add chopped onions, celery, parsnip, carrot and ginger to brown, then de glaze with some white wine (I used a pinot grigio). While waiting for the vegetables to lightly brown or caramelized, cut up the ham into smaller pieces (e.g. bite sized) before putting them back in the pressure cooker.
Cooking with my Boston Bruins shirt (Go Bs)
Season with some black pepper (hold off on the salt for now as you are working with Ham), add in the apple, garlic, can of diced tomatoes (or fresh), some bay leaves, oregano, cup of uncooked barley, the ham pieces and about a quart or so of good low sodium liquid chicken stock. Pay attention to how full the pressure cooker is (there should be a full fill line to serve as a guide), bring to simmer and cover per your manufactures directions.
I gave the cooker about 20 minute once it pressurized cooking on medium heat, just enough to keep up the pressure. Too high of temperature and the pressure builds too much and will be a problem, too low and you will lose pressure, follow your manufactures instructions.
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO REMOVE COVER WHILE UNDER PRESSURE BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN!
Do not be scared, be prepared and informed along with safe.
Here is the result of how something good can be accomplished with pressure cookers.
At this point in the process I add some chopped up kale and let sit and get happy in the food hut tub of fun (see photo), then plate, top with some cheese and enjoy.
Do not be scared of pressure cookers.
Like electricity, or other tools for cooking or technology including clouds, have respect for them, understand what to do and not do, best practices, safety which can result in good experiences.
Any tool or technology used in the wrong way can result in bad things.
Learn more about pressure cooker cooking by Googling or using your favorite search tool.
This is how pressure cookers should be used, that is for good things.
Ok, nuff said (for now).
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