Too Hot to Turn on the Oven! | Daniel Boone Regional Library

Too Hot to Turn on the Oven!

Anyone receive one of those new electric pressure cookers for Christmas? Still haven’t tried it? Now might be the best time to give it a go. With the ability to sauté, steam, slow and pressure cook (among other functions), you can make almost anything without heating up the kitchen. The icing on the cake? Only having one pot to wash out when you are done.

I did receive one for Christmas, but it took me a few weeks to try it. I grew up hearing pressure cooker horror stories — lids flying off and putting holes in ceilings, serious burns and huge messes. Needless to say, I was a little intimidated. I tried my first recipe with the oversight of a nuclear scientist handling an extremely volatile substance. And all it took was one recipe to make me a believer. I took kidney beans from dry to thoroughly cooked in 30 minutes. Unbelievable! So as the summer heat forces a more pared-down style of meal preparation, I encourage you to check out some of the books below to begin your love affair with minimalist cooking and electric pressure cookers.

Book cover: The Minimalist Kitchen

In “The Minimalist Kitchen” by Melissa Coleman, calm is brought to chaos with suggestions on how to pare down to the essential kitchen tools and stretch ingredients. She combines this with many uncomplicated, healthy recipes that limit the use of pans and stick to a manageable amount of ingredients.

The Minimalist Cooks Dinner” provides a collection of recipes from his New York Times column that while gourmet, need minimal ingredients and time to prepare. Bittman is known for taking something simple and transforming into something special with efficiency. Written in a conversational style, the author provides clear directions and special tips to maximize flavors and your time.

For first time Instant Pot users, Daniel Shumski has written a book with detailed step-by-step instructions on each function. From setup to cleaning to converting recipes, Shumski covers it all and adds recipes (unfortunately many do not have picture) to try out each function. “How to Instant Pot” is a great book for beginners.

Book cover: Paleo Cooking

The paleo diet is used by many to decrease their gluten and grain intake and yes — you can make many paleo-friendly recipes using an electric pressure cookers. In “Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot” Jennifer Robins shares 80 gluten and grain-free recipes that drastically reduce cooking time. The recipes are easy to follow and the book has that great lay open feature.

If these titles don’t grab you, stop by the library as we have many other books on this subject. As the temperature continues to hover in the 90s, now might be the best time to get out your pressure (or even slow cooker) and try some of these recipes.