When looking for a recipe book for my new pressure cooker, I was hoping for something that started with the basics: easy to make, simple directions, tips and cautions, and a clean presentation. I was new to pressure cookers and didn’t want to be overwhelmed from the beginning while learning to make the most of this new appliance. Fortunately, this book was nearly everything I hoped to find, missing only images to make a perfect cookbook. The book is suitable for stove top and electronic cookers – tips/directions/notes are given to explain the differences and how you will approach the recipes for each.\
The book has a simple and clean presentation. Chapters include ABCs of pressure cookers, pressure cookers for cooking perfection, breakfast, snacks and appetizers, vegetables and sides, seafood, poultry, beef/lamb/pork, beans/rice/pasta/grains, stews/soups/chilis, broths and sauces, desert, measurement conversions. The recipes aren’t meant to be comprehensive and each chapter has around 8 recipes. But each recipe is a very common meal or food item that you can use as a litmus to ensure you are using your pressure cooker correctly.
Recipe examples include New Orleans BBQ shrimp, one pot chicken and rice, beef with broccoli, pulled pork sliders, spaghetti squash, stuffed mushrooms, feta and spinach artichoke dip, blueberry coffee cake, pepperoni pizza dip, garlic sesame chicken wings, and herbed asparagus.
Each recipe has a blue font italic title, a bar with time/allergy info/serving size, then a very short 1-2 sentences about the recipe in red italic font. Another bright yellow callout box makes finding prep time/cook time/pressure build time/ cooking/release time easy to find. I especially like that the recipes are honest about the time to make, which includes having to wait for the pot to heat up and then to slowly cool down and relieve pressure. Actual cooking time is often the shortest time for a recipe. After the yellow callout box are the ingredients. Then the numbered short steps. Cooking tips and per serving nutrition info (calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbs, fiber, protein) are listed at the bottom. Tips include substitutions, cautions, and other info. Some recipes have ingredient tips (such as using different apples for applesauce or ground cinnamon instead of stick cinnamon).
The downside to this book is that there are only 3-4 photographs in the entire book. Since the recipes are simple and familiar, that isn’t a deal breaker. But I always appreciate photographs, especially in a book targeted at beginners. I often had to look up terms such as a pressure cooker sling.
With the lack of photographs being the only reservation, this is an excellent book. It truly is written for beginners in a friendly way. The presentation is very reminiscent of old fashioned cookbooks like the old Betty Crocker ones, which is a nice touch. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.