on May 21, 2000
This was one of my first two pressure cooker cookbooks, selected per reviews by p.c. manufacturers as a good counterpoint to the heavily touted "The Pressured Cook" by Lorna Sass. Patsalis's book takes a Mediterranean approach, so there was little duplication.
(Written 5/11/00:) As a beginner in pressure cooking, I was wrong to make Paella as my first dish from this cookbook. The instructions confused me, and I overcooked the shrimp and scallops. Oops, that was costly! (Added 3/31/04: Read carefully whether she says "maintain pressure and cook" or whether she says "secure lid and cook over medium-low heat" to avoid my mistake.)
(Written 3/31/04:) I wrote the preceding paragraph almost 4 years ago. At this point, I am working through all the recipes because my husband and I enjoy them so much! Ms. Pasoulis has several recipes which cook pasta right along with the meat; my husband put me on notice that I must be prepared to make chicken with asparagus and cheese tortellini at a moment's craving (by allowing a few extra minutes, I can use frozen boneless chicken breasts!). And with a 6-quart programmable electric pressure cooker, I can skip the often recommended heat diffuser, with great success!
Ms. Pasoulis frequently begins a recipe by sauteing bacon, onions and garlic in olive oil. If you love that combination, you will love her recipes.
All in all, it is an interesting collection of recipes, but I urge beginners to exercise caution. Learn to use the pressure cooker with simpler recipes, but come back to this cookbook when you are comfortable!