Modern Pressure Cooking - Bren Herrera

There was a time when the thought of using a pressure cooker would make me quiver with fear. My grandmother was a butcher, one of the first females, who worked at the meat packing houses in East St. Louis, Illinois. She would bring home all types of questionable (to me at that age) meat - one weekend she was making pigs feet - when the lid blew off the pressure cooker. I will never forget walking over to her house and seeing her standing on a foot stool scraping pork parts off the ceiling. We all have heard similar stories and thankfully those fearful times have passed. The modern pressure cookers have built in safeguards to prevent such mishaps. If I can use one successfully without pre-medicating, anyone can.
Modern Pressure Cooking: More Than 100 Incredible Recipes and Time-Saving Techniques to Master Your Pressure Cooker by Bren Herrera is just the book we need for today's pressure cooking. The author is a chef and media personality who has cooked with Emeril Lagasse and Joël Robuchon and is a regular on the Today show. In her debut title, she shares her years of international travel and kitchen experience to make meals in a flash all with a global twist.
Modern Pressure Cooking starts with an interesting background on the history of pressure cookers from 1679 to present day. Bren then presents the essential basics that one needs to know before getting started along with an outline entitled "Quick Guide to Cook Times for Common Foods" (which is incredibly helpful).

The recipes range from Sweet English Pea and Mint Soup, Asian-Spiced Turkey Meatballs to Luscious Lemon Chiffon Cheesecake with Blueberry Coulis. Bren also shares a special chapter "Classic and Fusion Plates from my Cuban Kitchen" with recipes such as The Best Yuca in Garlic Mojo Ever, Braised Peppered Red Wine Oxtail and Red Beans and Rice.

I tried the Black Truffle Cheese Risotto minus the black truffle and it was delicious and easy. I have to admit I'm a strange one that doesn't mind the stirring - it's comforting to me - but I threw this together on a day when I didn't feel like cooking and it was a breeze. I have the cheesecake on my list of things to try next. Overall, a fun book with delicious, globally inspired recipes.

I have an Instant Pot and love it - it truly is foolproof and I enjoy using all the functions of the pot - steaming, browning, slow cooking, yogurt making and more. We are sharing US affiliate link and UK affiliate links  should you wish to check out more information or purchase one yourself. The Instant Pot website also offers great details.  No more convulsing knobs, spurting steam and threatening noises. When I first used my Instant Pot, it was so quiet - I thought it wasn't working. Instant Pot has revolutionized the pressure cooking world. I have friends who have two or three of these cookers and use them all for dinner.

Page Street Publishing is offering three copies of Modern Pressure Cooking to Eat Your Books members in the U.S. and Canada - and one of those winners - will win an Instant Pot 7-in-1 DUO60 courtesy of Instant Pot! Head over to our giveaway post and enter.
Special thanks to Page Street Publishing for allowing Eat Your Books to share Herrera's recipe for Orange Marmalade.
Orange Marmalade

I love New York so much I've considered moving there several times over the course of 20 years. It's not just the energy and vibe. It's also the food. In 1996 I walked into a super random mercado (street market) in Brooklyn to buy coffee and ended up perusing other aisles. I found this pretty jar with a French label reading "Marmelade d'Orange," so I bought it and made my way back to Charlottesville, where I was studying at UVA. I fell in love with that amazing bitter orange "jelly." But I was a broke college kid and $4.50 for jelly was not happening. I realized over time how much I love orange marmalade; I just want to make it for myself and store batches and batches worth. Sarabeth's in Central Park was the second-ever marmalade I've had since 1996. That was just two years ago. I finally decided to make my own version. This is one you can enjoy along with the two other jam recipes. A tasting of all three with a variety of breads and Brie cheese is a nice way to host your friends.
Yields 8 cups (2.6 kg) marmalade

6 large Florida oranges (4 lbs [1.8 kg]), peeled (reserve the peel) and halved
3 whole cloves
3 cups (710 ml) water
3 tbsp (18 g) pith (white part of orange peel), minced
3 cups (600 g) sugar
Peel from half of the whole oranges
¼ cup (24 g) of the remaining orange peel, thinly sliced in 1⁄2" (1.3-cm) lengths
2 tbsp (12 g) of the remaining orange peel, finely minced

Place a small glass plate in the freezer. This is how we're going to test the doneness of the jam.
Add all of the ingredients to the pressure cooker and stir. Close the lid.
Stovetop: Set to high pressure (15 PSI) and cook over high heat for 35 minutes total.

Electric: Set to high pressure (10-12 PSI) and 45 minutes.

When done, remove from the heat or cancel the cooker and allow the pressure to release on its own (natural-release). When all of the pressure is out, open the cooker.

Stovetop: Bring to a boil over high heat. Continue to cook over high heat for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and simmer until the jam is reduced to your desired consistency, about 5 minutes.

Electric: Set to the simmer setting. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes, or until the jam is reduced to your desired consistency. Check for doneness (see below). If not done after 10 minutes, transfer to a medium/large saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes on the stove.

To check for doneness, remove the glass plate from the freezer and add a dollop of the orange marmalade to it. After 1 minute, if the jam has settled in place, it's done. If it's runny, it needs more time to set. Continue to cook, about 10 minutes, over high heat. When done, remove from the heat and discard the long orange peel before storing.

Transfer to mason jars and allow to cool before closing. Chill until ready to serve. Marmalade will keep for up to 4 months in the fridge.

1 Comment

  • melmaren  on  1/23/2017 at 3:25 PM

    I've never tried pressure cooking before - I was too scared - but I recently got an Instant Pot and am excited to test out some recipes :) This marmalade sounds wonderful.

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