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on February 16, 2004
Every time I try a recipe and it doesn't turn out, it breaks my heart. I borrowed this cookbook from the library looking for pressure cooker recipes for beans & legumes, but have had nothing but disappointment -- the three dishes I've tried have been bland or downright tasteless:
'Red Lentils with Swiss Chard' -- bland
'Asian Beans with Barley and Bok Choy' -- Yuk!
'Chickpeas in and Eggplant Tahini Suace' -- Yuk!
If you're looking for flavorful bean dishes, search elsewhere...
Side Note: One of the recipes that other reviewers praise, 'Pork Vindaloo' is a modification of a recipe from Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian cooking. I love that cookbook and whole-heartedly recommend it. If you're at all curious about Indian cooking, pick it up... it's why I bought a pressure cooker in the first place.
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on March 4, 2001
This book really demystifies pressure cooking and allows you to create great dishes in only minutes. The corned beef is so lean, tasty and easy to slice that I never have any leftover. Ribs are falling off the bone and turkey chili is a real winner in my house. I didn't use my pressure cooker much before I got this book but now pressure cooking is the quickest way I get dinner on the table. The food in the Pressured Cook make great meals for entertaining too. And try the cheesecake. No one will believe that you can make cheesecake in a pressure cooker. If you eat it just out of the pressure cooker, it tastes just like a souffle.
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on March 19, 2001
I think this is wonderful. I am a bsuy person who likes to eat well. I enjoy a bit of diversity and excitement in my food and this cookbook allows me to venture out of the"Box". Everything is very tasty, easy to prepare and comes to the table in rapid time thanks to the pressure cooker. I have been a lover of pressure cookers for many years and Lorna Sass makes it a wonderful tool.
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on May 21, 2002
I am constantly amazed at how quickly I can put dinner on the table for my family when I use my pressure cooker. And I couldn't do it without this book. Each recipe I try is better than the next - full of flavor and color without a lot of fat or fuss. So often I buy cookbooks that appear great but then I find only a few recipes I truly like. In this book, I've tried more than 2 dozen of the recipes so far, and loved all of them. The minestrone soup is delicious and takes only 4 minutes! I'm happy the book includes a number of recipes for beans - as well as lots of vegetables. The chilies, both The Black Bean Chili With Squash and Corn and Turkey Chili, are family favorites. The lamb stew with white wine, prunes and apricots melts into a luscious sauce to accompany fork-tender lamb (in 16 minutes). Previous to buying this book, my favorite beef stew cooked for almost 3 hours in the oven. The Old-fashioned Beef Stew in The Pressured Cook takes 30 minutes and is so delicious. I could go on and on. I have recommended this book to any friend who buys a new pressure cooker. Having a pressure cooker without this book would be akin to the proverbial ship without a sail.
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on January 17, 2002
I was happy and excited to buy this book. Lorna Sass was touted to be the "Mother of Pressure Cooking". Meanwhile, I have not been impressed with a majority of the recipes in her book. Complaints: She uses the weirdest ingredients that are probably available in NYC but not in the suburbs of Boston. Come on, what market DOESN'T stock fresh Swiss Chard? Well, Lorna ... almost no stores stock fresh Swiss Chard. The thing is that going to find all the exotic ingredients is contradictory to the concept of pressure cooking! It is supposed to be fast but if you spend days looking for weird ingredients that's not saving you any time. My other complaint is that that a lot of the recipes just aren't that good. I think she stretches the envelope too much in trying to do crazy stuff and it just doesn't turn out well. I tried the "BBQ Chicken and Corn" and the "Lentils and Swiss Chard". They were both bland an unappealing. There are a few recipes that are good, but they are more basic like the "Pork, Sauerkraut, and Potatoes" recipe.
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on May 21, 2000
Because Lorna Sass was considered to be the queen of pressure cooking, my family gave me this cookbook and "The Pressure Cooker Cookbook" by Toula Patsalis when I first got my pressure cooker. I found Lorna Sass's recipes to have clearer instructions and a higher success rate.
Since then, I have become addicted to "Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey", page 91! The "Smoked Turkey Risotto with Corn and Roasted Red Pepper" on page 93 was also tasty, but it seemed like a lot of work to end up with what resembled an adult macaroni and cheese.
I was grateful that Lorna Sass's book included a full repertoire of pressure cooker basics: various stocks, beans and rice, plus beef stew. Sass's chicken stock had the same list of ingredients as in "Joy of Cooking", but the broth was more gelatinous due to the pressure cooker. That was a mixed blessing, because I had always enjoyed "Joy of Cooking"'s version as a chicken soup, using extra chicken pieces to thicken the broth, but adding back the chicken meat and the still recognizable vegetables to have a soup verging on stew. The pressure cooker version turned the vegetables to mush, but my husband was delighted that I added some egg noodles instead to the soup.
All in all, the book combines basic and sexy recipes, with a high probability of success. Isn't that just what a first pressure cooker cookbook should offer?
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on February 21, 1999
This is another terrific cookbook from Lorna Sass! Although we eat vegetarian food 99 percent of the time, I actually welcomed a cookbook that combines meat and vegetarian recipes--it will make a great gift for some of the "mixed" couples in our life (carnivores/vegetarians). Besides, it's a snap to convert the meat recipes to vegetarian by simply leaving out the meat and/or substituting it with tofu, tempeh, bulgur or the like.
But now to the good stuff: I can't emphasize enough how FANTASTIC the cheesecake recipe is in this cookbook! Until now, the New York cheesecake from a certain membership warehouse had been our yardstick for great cheesecake, but this recipe has it beat hands down. Fantastic flavor and texture. Other dessert standouts are the bread pudding recipes, which are delicious and healthy at the same time.
As a main course, the Chickpeas in Eggplant-Tahini Sauce is a delicious dish and tastes like you put a lot more time into preparation than is actually the case. It's always a treat when you can put together something like this to wow guests. Another favorite is the Split Pea-Vegetable Soup with Mint Cream. I LOVE the counterpoint the mint cream makes with this hearty soup. And you just can't beat the convenience of a pressure cooker when it comes to making extremely flavorful meals in a short amount of time. We've converted a number of friends to pressure cookers, and they've never regretted it. This cookbook makes a perfect addition to your cookbook collection.
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on June 22, 2003
Yesterday I tried the risotto with olives, tomato sauce and smoked mozzarella.
IT WAS ABSOLUTELY DIVINE! What a great recipe! (It is also remarkable the fact that the ingredients are everyday stuff that I normally have at home).
A young friend of ours came over unexpectedly (like young people usually do). We asked her to stay over for dinner and, thanks to your delicious recipe, the dinner was ready in 7 minutes... Furthermore I could enjoy our friend's company rather than being at the stove adding broth and stirring.
I must say that I didn't find any difference in the risotto cooked in the traditional way or under pressure . Actually one point is in favor of cooking it under pressure. In fact with your recipe the risotto was cooked perfectly al dente.
I was so happy that from now on I will cook risotto only under pressure...
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on May 20, 2002
well, cookbook, anyway, it would be this one (and i've got Julia, Marcella, Claudia and Paula in my kitchen library!) I like to eat good food, and feed my family good food, but I don't have time or patience to play slavish chef and pot washer. "Simmer for hours" does not joy make (or something like that...). And it's just not necessary! The Pope is not served finer Osso Buco than Lorna's with porcini, white beans, and escarole (my favorite company dish). Time saved, tenderness rendered, nutrition and flavor maximized, the pressure cooker doesn't have an equal. And these visually beautiful recipes work flawlessly: no missing steps or disappearing ingredients, no esoteric processes, no component so exotic that it can't be found at your local supermarket. You could choose a different recipe from this book each day and never be bored.
So if i could keep only one pot...
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on May 7, 2003
Discovery of the pressure cooker has been one of the best things that ever happened to me as a cook. I regularly serve these dishes to guests and they almost all universally love them. The Chipolte chili, Andoille w/ Collards, and the gumbo are all staples in my household!!! The Lamb Vindaloo with some modifications to really make it more like Korma is restaurant quality and regularly makes it to my table.
Beans cook in no time flat, rice in less, veggies in less than that. This cookbook has been singularly responsible for me purchasing 3 pressure cookers.
I do highly recommend the European 2nd generation cookers. Although I have used the old fashioned jiggle top the newer ones are just so much easier and less fiddley.
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