By Nikki Kuhlmann, "virtual" intern and dietetics student South Dakota State University Happy Gringo Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate today with a delicious Tomatillo Black Bean Salsa from Jill Nussinow’s cookbook,...
Those of you who know me and my cookbook The New Fast Food: The Veggie Queen Pressure Cooks Whole Food Meals in Less than 30 Minutes know that on page 12, I discuss my boyfriends: they are my pressure cookers. I show a photo of The Fagor Chef even though this particular pressure cooker just entered the world a short time ago (mid-May 2012).
The Fagor Chef has been waiting for me to give him a turn in my kitchen. Well, today, The Chef and I had our first date. As you know, first impressions count. The first thing I did was watch the DVD that comes in the box. That was not impressive and a bit ho-hum. Then I looked at the recipe book and still not thrilled (but I am critical when it comes to pressure cookers and recipes which is why I wrote my own cookbook).
Last, I took a good look at The Chef. What a handsome pressure cooker it is. Here’s why I like the way that it looks:
- It has that “sleek Euro styling” with a large handle across the top.
- In that handle is a detachable timer. How smart is that?
- And the handle has a clearly marked arrow to line up with the self-locking top
- The knobs are a bit recessed so they don’t look clunky
- It has nice body shape, straight sides and a wide bottom, wider than the standard Duo size which is 8 inches. This one might be 9 inches across.
- The steamer basket that comes with it can also be used as a grater.
- It comes with a glass lid so that you can use it easily as a regular pot or to keep your just cooked food warm and bring it to the table as is.
Well, enough about looks. How did The Chef behave? Like a gentleman on this first date. I cooked some greens using the smallest amount of water, about 1/4 cup, as I usually do and everything went well. It took awhile for the easy-to-see valve to pop up and the steam subsided once I turned the heat down. I did an easy quick release and ate my lunch – and thought about The Chef and his moves.
I decided that since I didn’t follow my own instructions to first boil water or make stock in the pressure cooker, that I had to give The Chef another test. I cooked one cup of Lotus Foods Mekong Flower rice. The Chef performed this task admirably. The cooker came up to pressure rather quickly and maintained pressure easily once I turned down the heat.
I noticed, though, that in both instances there was more residual water inside the lid than I care to see.
I will need to have another date with The Chef to fully test his meddle and see what he’s made of. For now, The Chef and I are just casually dating and it will likely be a while before I consider a closer relationship. I will certainly let him hang around my kitchen although he has competition. Perhaps, he likes that.
Stay tuned for more adventures of The (Fagor) Chef and The Veggie Queen.