I’ve always being wary of pressure cookers. I remember as a child seeing them viciously hissing on the stove at family get togethers. Nearly every Caribbean home owned one. The other day I was talking to friends about pressure cookers and was surprised to find thatnot many knew what they are and what they do. Basically, a pressure cooker boils liquid within its vessel and traps the steam. This trapped steam increases the internal pressure and the temperature rises, reaching up to 121°C (250°F). You then open a valve and the steam releases (hence the hissing). The result of which means that food cooks super quick. Pressure cookers are famed for significantly reducing cooking times (sometimes by half or more) and good for cooking meals such as curry coat, mutton soup and red pea soup.
Now, I had never owned a pressure cooker, because quite frankly I was scared of them, and always thought I’d blow up the kitchen! Yet at the same time I like the idea of the quick cooking times. Today, pressure cookers have developed a great deal since I was a child and you can now get electric ones which do not require heat from a flame, phew!
Pressure King Pro
High Street TV recently gave me a five litre Pressure King Pro to play with and play with it I did. To be honest, I’m not very good with reading instructions. I tend to skim over as I get too excited to get whatever it is up and running. On this occasion, I definitely paid more attention to the pressure valve (the bit that hisses), and on the whole it is pretty intuitive to set up. Once I was set, nearly everyday for about a week, my evening meals were made using the Pressure King Pro. Meals such as chicken and pumpkin curry, chilli con carne, and belly pork and bean stew were a delight to my tastebuds. The only niggles I find with the Pressure King Pro is that it would be good if the inner pan clicked into the inner base, as it annoyingly spins when you stir food. The browning function only lasts three minutes. It would be good if this function offered the user a choice of different setting times.
Aubergines are currently in season and one of my favourite ways to eat this vegetable is in this delicious Italian recipe Melanzane alla Parmigiana. I was keen to see how this would turn out using the Pressure King Pro. I was not disappointed. The consistency is similar to a ratatouille as there’s more liquid than the traditional baked version, but still deliciously tasty and quick. Mop up the juices with some focaccia bread. The Pressure King Pro is good not only for braising, but also steaming and slow cooking so everything comes out succulent. My Aubergine Parmigiana is a quick, warming recipe perfect for these cold autumnal nights.
- 2 large aubergines
- 400ml can of tomatoes
- A splash of red wine
- 2 cloves of crushed garlic
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- A handful of fresh basil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 200g mozzarella
- 60g Parmesan grated
- salt and black pepper to taste
- Step 1 Prep all the ingredients by slicing the aubergines 1 cm thick, chopping the onions, slicing the mozzarella, tearing the basil, crushing the garlic and grating the Parmesan.
- Step 2 Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the Pressure King Pro using the Browning Function and fry the aubergine on both sides until browned on both sides. You will need to cook the aubergine in batches (add more oil if necessary). The Browning Function only lasts 3 minutes, so once the 3 minutes is up, cancel and set Browning Function. Repeat 3 or 4 times until you have browned all the aubergine slices. Set aside.
- Step 3 With the remainder of oil, fry the onions and garlic on the Browning Function for 3 minutes.
- Step 4 Add wine, tomatoes, basil, oregano, sugar, salt and pepper and fry for a further 3 minutes.
- Step 5 Remove most of the tomato sauce leaving a little in the base of the Pressure King Pro and set the rest of the sauce aside.
- Step 6 Start to layer the Pressure King Pro. Lay the aubergine on top of the tomato sauce, add mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat this process until all ingredients have been used finishing with a layer of the cheeses on top.
- Step 7 Close the lid and set the Pressure King Pro valve to closed. Press the Steam Function and cook 3 minutes.
- Step 8 Garnish with basil and serve with Focaccia bread. Enjoy!
The Pressure King Pro is currently available in three, five and six litres from £44.99 at High Street TV.
I was given a Pressure King Pro and paid a fee for this post. All views my own.