Picture the scene; running around after school to different clubs and lessons, then you get in, everyone is tired, and you have to think about getting something cooked for dinner. The struggle is real and the urge for something beige out of the fridge can be tempting. But as I am on a mission to shift several stone, as well as to actually get some nutrients into my kids, I do like to cook from scratch so the meal is a healthy one.
I have used a pressure cooker before, but it was a huge thing that took over the whole worktop, as it was something that gets plugged in, rather than being stacked away with the pots and pans. I did like using it, but it was just so huge! So when I was introduced to the Prestige Pressure Cooker I was sold pretty much right away as it could be stored away in the cupboard! The size is the same as a regular pan, just with a lid, so it can fit in all kitchens and be part of the furniture.
One thing that I didn’t know about with pressure cooking, is that it can be such a healthy (and obviously quick way) to prepare food. In fact, it can be better than boiling veg, for instance, as all of the nutrients are kept in there, rather than some of them ‘boiled’ into the water. But ow do they work? The pressure cookers build up steam inside the pan, as they have an air-tight lid, creating a pressure that cooks the ingredients in around a third of the cooking time. So not only does it save busy parents like me time, it also saves energy as you don’t have to have the hob on for a long time (risottos can take around an hour usually as it is constant stirring).
So a money saver and good for you; I couldn’t wait to give it a try.
I have used it a couple of times since receiving it, and it was super simple and easy to understand how to use. I have cooked both sweet and savoury with it (hello rice pudding season). It has been so easy to use, and it really has saved me time when cooking, it isn’t just a gimmick.
We met with Stacey Solomon at the launch of the ‘No Pressure’ campaign, and she was talking about remembering her granny using a noisy pressure cooker when she was younger, and I can totally relate. It seems like they were populate back then, but I never remember sing one when I was growing up. But I don’t see why not as they are such a time saver. The good news now though is that it still saves time, but it is much quieter too, so isn’t ‘scary’ to use at all.
One of the recipes that is such a winner in our house is risotto. My kids love rice, and one of the best things for me is that you can use up any of the old vegetables that you have in the fridge, so can be a pretty cheap meal too. This is the recipe that I have used, and it is super quick and tasty.
- 1 large courgette, grated
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 750ml boiling water
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 300g risotto rice
- 125ml white cooking wine
- Black pepper
- 1 tbsp butter (I used dairy-free)
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
What To Do:
- Grate the courgette and place in a measuring jug and add the stock cube (crumbled). Boil the water in the kettle.
- Heat the pressure cooker pan over a fairly low heat and add the oil. Fry the onion and celery for a couple of minutes until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Then add the dry rice and stir well, ensuring all the grains are coated in the oil mixture. Cook for another minute.
- Pour the wine into the pan and bubble for a minute as you stir. Add a good few twists (or pinches) of black pepper.
- Pour the hot water over the courgettes in the jug to make 750ml. Pour the stock and courgette mixture over the rice and stir.
- Put on the lid, lock in place and select the high pressure setting. Allow the heat to bring up the pressure. Then as soon as pressure is reached (the red indicator pops up), reduce the heat to low to maintain pressure and time for 5 minutes.
- When the time is up, turn off the heat and quick release switch on the pressure cooker lid. The rice should be cooked perfectly (as it was with mine). But if it isn’t add a little water and cook without the lid on.
- The last step is to add the butter, lemon zest and juice to the risotto and stir. Serve with the chopped parsley and extra lemon wedges. Chopped red cilli could work as a topping too, as well as salmon or chicken (I’m vegetarian, hence the veggie risotto).
It would be great to hear what you think. Have you ever used a pressure cooker before? It was honestly so quick and easy to use, and I can see this being something that we use regularly, as it creates healthy, good food, in such a small amount of time. All in all (from prep to serving on the plate), was twenty minutes. Amazing for mid-week meal, and my kids love rice. At £59.99 for the 6L pressure cooker like mine, I think it is value for money too; it is versatile and can work as a large cooking pan too.
*collaborative post with Prestige, but all opinions are my own. I will honestly use the pressure cooker again and again.