Some useful tips for using a pressure cooker

Pressure cookers are very useful appliances which use some simple laws of physics to cook food faster and using lesser energy. In general, it reduces the cooking time and energy by over 70%. If yours is a busy household, you will find the use of pressure cooker a very convenient and time saving option for you. They can cook a wide variety of dishes from soups, stews, and meat to desserts like cake and much more.

How to increase the life of your pressure cooker and get the most out it:

  1.   Read the instruction manual carefully before using it for the first time so that you know the features of your specific model and how to operate it.
  2.   Before every use check the condition of the gasket and the valves. If the gasket is cracked or de-shaped and no longer seals, you will need to replace it. Check that the valves are clean and not obstructed by any food stuck to it.
  3.   Cut your ingredients evenly before adding them to the pressure cooker. Evenly cut pieces will take equal cooking time. If your ingredients like meat are cut non-uniformly, smaller pieces will cook before the larger resulting in overcooking or undercooking.
  4.   Brown your ingredients (like meat, onion or garlic) first in the cooker without the lid and the liquid. Browning in a little oil enhances the taste and the looks of your dish. After browning you can add the liquid and seal the lid to begin pressure cooking. Electric pressure cookers like Breville generally have a browning setting available.
  5.   The key to the functionality of a pressure cooker are the vapors produced inside it. This means you have to add enough liquid to produce enough vapor for the pressure cooker to function.
  6.   Do not overfill your cooker. As a rule of thumb, only fill it to a maximum of two-third its capacity. 
  7.   When you begin cooking, turn the flame high till the cooker reaches pressure. When the cooker has reached pressure, turn the flame low and keep it that way till the food cooks. With electric pressure cooker, you don’t have to worry about this point as the cooker adjusts the temperature and the pressure on its own.
  8.   Different ingredients use different cooking times. If you are adding multiple ingredients like meat and vegetables, you should know that vegetables take much lesser time to cook than meat. First add meat, let it cook for a while on pressure. Then release the pressure, open the cooker when the pressure has subsided, add the vegetables, close the lid and pressure cook again for few minutes. Your vegetables should cook within a few minutes.

How to Clean Pressure Cooker

  1. After each use, clean each part of your cooker separately and properly.
  2. Remove the gasket from the lid and then wash it without stretching it. Let it dry.
  3. Store it only when completely dry with the gasket back in place and the lid upside down over the pot.

Immersion blender Soup recipes

An immersion blender is a portable, small kitchen appliance that has some versatile mixing abilities. It allows for blending food right in a bowl and even when it is hot. This makes immersion blenders perfect for making soups. Here are some immersion blender recipes for soups that you can easily try at home:

Basil and Roasted Tomato Soup

Preheat your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place two cups of cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste on top of the tomatoes. Put the baking sheet in the oven for nearly twenty minutes till the tomatoes are roasted brown yet squishy. Set them aside and take a large pot. Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pot and heat on medium high flame. Sauté 2 cloves garlic (minced) and half diced onion in the oil till onions are translucent. Add roasted tomatoes, three cups chicken broth, one can diced tomatoes (along with juices), one teaspoon garlic salt, one teaspoon garlic powder, half teaspoon black pepper, and one teaspoon chopped fresh basil. When the soup comes to a boil, allow it to simmer at low flame for nearly twenty minutes. Using an immersion hand blender, blend the soup to achieve the required consistency. Serve with grilled cheese chunks!

Coconut and Curried Pumpkin Soup

Preheat your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Take a medium pie pumpkin, remove its top, cut into four pieces, and set aside its seeds. Put each piece of the pumpkin facing down in a baking dish and place in the oven. Roast for nearly half an hour till the pumpkin is soft. Remove and once it’s slightly cool, remove the shell and set aside 3 packed cups of pumpkin. Wash the seeds and toss with quarter teaspoon salt and half tablespoon oil. Put on a baking sheet and roast till the seeds are crispy. Take a pan and heat one tablespoon olive oil. Saute one bunch of scallions (diced) in the oil for two to three minutes. Add two tablespoons curry powder and cook until fragrant. Add pumpkin and two cups vegetable broth. When the soup comes to a boil, allow it to simmer at a low flame for 2-3 minutes. Stop cooking and start using a immersion hand blender to blend the soup. Once the desired consistency is reached, reheat and add quarter cup coconut milk. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds and a swirl of coconut milk on top.

Cheesy Potato Soup

Heat half tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. Add three cups of diced onions, two ribs celery (diced), one peeled and diced carrot, and one clove garlic (minced). Cook at low flame till vegetables are soft. Add 3 peeled and diced Russet potatoes and cook while stirring for five to ten minutes. Add 2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock and stir till the mixture comes to a boil. Allow it to simmer at low flame while covering for fifteen minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 1/2 cups whole milk and using an immersion blender, blend the soup. Stir in 7 ounces shredded cheddar cheese in batches till a uniform mixture is achieved. Add salt, cayenne pepper, and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Reheat while ensuring that the cheese does not breaks and serve with some fresh parsley.

blender reviews .io is all about blender recipes and reviews of all types of blenders. So are you craving to warm up your soul with these appetizing soups? Just get hold of the ingredients and your immersion blender and try these recipes. There are many recipes that you can make with a countertop blender.