Forget those stories about applesauce all over Granny's ceiling. Pressure cookers are here to stay, and they'll save more time and fuel in your cabin, camper or galley than any other piece of gear.
You can bake a potato in a microwave in 4 minutes, but multiply that by 10 for 10 potatoes. The pressure cooker cooks them in 10 minutes, whether it's one or a dozen.
If you can have only one pot, make it a 4-quart pressure cooker. Put the press on these quick meals:
Just for the Halibut
You'll need a shortening can or coffee can that fits in your pressure cooker. If you don't have enough leftover fish, make up the 3 cups with canned tuna, crab, or lobster, well drained.
- 3 cups finely flaked, cooked fish
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Several grinds fresh pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 packet hollandaise sauce mix
Butter the can and set it aside. In a plastic bag, moosh together the fish, onion, eggs, cornstarch, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and milk until thoroughly mixed, and empty into the can. Discard the bag. (If dishwashing is no problem, mix this in a bowl.) Put a cup of water in the pressure cooker, place the can on the rack, raise full pressure and cook 15 minutes. Cool the cooker under cold water. Remove the can and let it stand for 10 minutes, then gently un-mold the fish pudding or just spoon it from the can. Prepare the hollandaise according to package directions and spoon over each portion. Serves 4.
What a Boar!
- 6 wild boar or pork steaks, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 tablespoon oil
- Medium onion, diced
- Salt, pepper, 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- One-half cup water
- 2 tablespoons instant blending flour
Brown the meat in hot oil in the cooker, one or two steaks at a time. Then add the seasonings, onion, and water, bring to full pressure, and cook 15 minutes. Let pressure return to normal while you mix the flour with enough water to make a paste. Remove steaks from the cooker, add the flour, and stir over medium heat until the gravy thickens. Add more water if a thinner gravy is desired.
- 2 pan-ready wild ducks, 1 pound each
- 1 teaspoon each salt and baking soda
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- Water or rum
- 1 1/3 cups cooked rice
- 1 1/4 cup blush wine
- Salt, pepper
- One-half teaspoon apple pie spice
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, sautéed in real butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- One-half cup water
Stir the salt and soda into enough water to cover the ducks and soak them 3-4 hours. Drain, rinse, and dry with paper towels. Pour boiling water or rum over the cranberries and let stand 5-10 minutes. Drain. Mix the rice, cranberries, 3/4 cup of the wine, and seasonings. Let stand 10 minutes, then add almonds and stuff the ducks. Brown ducks in the cooker in hot oil. Add the remaining wine with lemon juice and the water, pour over ducks, lock on the lid, and cook at full pressure for 25 minutes. Quick-cool under cold water. If you like, broil the ducks briefly for extra crispness. Serves 4.
About the Author
- Jury rig an autoclave if you have to sterilize instruments for in-the-field surgery such as fishhook removal. Cover the blade(s) with water and cook 20 minutes at 10 pounds. Steam baby bottles and canning jars without pressure to sterilize.
- To bake bread atop the stove, grease a 4-quart cooker (preferably cast aluminum) and sprinkle it with cornmeal. Add kneaded, once-raised yeast dough made from a recipe that calls for four cups of flour, lock on the lid, and cook over lowest flame, with flame tamer, for 45 minutes. Do not raise pressure. Turn out on a cutting board. The top will be white; bottom and sides will be a cornmeal-crusted golden brown.
- Don't over-fill the cooker, especially with items that foam while cooking, such as dried beans or applesauce. Read the manual.
- Too many pots and too few burners? Bring the cooker up to full pressure and set it aside. Food continues to cook as the pressure normalizes. Rice, for example, cooks perfectly if you bring rice and water to 15 pounds pressure, remove from the burner, and let stand until the gauge returns to zero.
- To quick-cool a cooker so delicate vegetables aren't over-done, place it under cold, running water.
- To cook dried beans using the least fuel, soak them overnight and bring your recipe up to full pressure over the morning fire. Let stand all day, then open the cooker, test for doneness, and bring up pressure again to complete the cooking.
- Cast aluminum is best for stovetop baking because it spreads heat more evenly but, after many years, it may weaken from metal fatigue. Stainless steel looks good and lasts well.
Buy a well-known brand to assure availability of gaskets and other replacements for years to come.
Janet Groene is the author of Cooking Aboard Your RV, ABCs of Boat Camping, and many other books. Contact her at www.GordonandJanetGroene.com and see her on ONRVing on the Outdoors Channel.
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