I love pressure cooking, whether it's on the stove top or in the electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot. Luckily Chelsea Elyse of Make Real Food loves her Instant...
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.