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The Pressure Cooker Cookbook Hardcover – 6 Sep 2012

104 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; First Edition edition (6 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091945011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091945015
  • Product Dimensions: 18.3 x 2.2 x 25.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I am a food writer, cookey book author and recipe developer who occasionally makes forays into the world of food journalism, book reviewing, radio and television, including most regularly the Guardian's Word of Mouth column and Radio 4's Food Programme.

I have worked in restaurants, but I am primarily a home cook. I was lucky enough to be taught how to cook properly by my mother. We lived on a smallholding in a very rural part of Lincolnshire, and at a very young age I was learning how preserve and cook all the food we grew and reared. I've built on this ever since. My food influences since include everything from from working in a restaurant in Dominica, in the West Indies, to learning my Asian mother-in-law's entire repertoire of recipes - and just simply by living in London which exposes any food lover to so many interesting cultures and cuisines.

My most recent book Chicken is informed by my upbringing and my travels since; Chicken is the meat that is truly global, that pretty much all omnivorous cultures will eat. So the book globe trots, but it also attempts to show you how buying a whole chicken is more economic and rewarding and should really ground you in all the Chicken basics, from a decent roast, to proper stock, to a myriad of ways to use up leftover cooked chicken.

My first book, The Pressure Cooker Cookbook is designed for busy homecooks, who want to cook good food fast;who don't want to compromise on the quality of the dishes they can produce. This was me, then and now - when I was writing The Pressure Cooker Cookbook I was juggling trying to work with having a demanding toddler who was at home with me most of the time - these days if I am recipe developing I still often get to dinner time and whip something up quickly in the pressure cooker for the family meal.

My life was literally transformed by pressure cookers. Like many people I had thought they were old fashioned, dangerous and created only brown or beige food. I was so wrong! My first clue about this came thanks to my sister in law who cooked a quick pork and black bean stew in around half an hour. I literally could not believe it was possible. After this, I went into research overdrive, interviewing along the way the wonderful Marguerite Patten, who gave me many useful tips. I soon discovered that far from being a long neglected piece of kitchen kit, many of our top chefs - from Heston Blumenthal to Sat Bains - were using them in their commercial kitchens to make their stocks and sauces and to tenderise meat. And not just because it was quicker, but because they believed the food tasted better that way. I'm now actually quite proud of the number of people I've managed to convince of this - because of course if you are shaving off around 70% of the cooking time, you are saving money and fuel as well.

These days I juggle writing and recipe developing with running round after two energetic children. I also spend far too much time on Twitter @catlilycooks.

Product Description


"This humdrum tool of grandmother’s thrifty cooking is resurrected with an amazing amount of glamour... Phipps shows that high-pressure cooking isn’t only quick and economic, but a tool to treasure flavour." (Nick Wyke The Times)

"If pressure cooking speaks to you of grannies, boiled-to-death pulses and explosions, Phipps shows you you’re wrong. Recipes you’ll want to cook, yes; but her writing style – precision with an almost retro gentleness – will seduce you completely." (Tim Hayward Financial Times)

"Phipps’s exceptional book shows that the pressure cooker has moved far beyond its spluttering, drab 1970s incarnation... It is worth buying for the risotto recipes alone: perfect risotto in five minutes, with no stirring (really)." (Bee Wilson The Sunday Times)

"The Pressure Cooker Cookbook by first time author Catherine Phipps has genuinely changed the way I cook for the better... This book is a recipe for sanity. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, all I can say is: get one!" (Psychologies Magazine Psychologies Magazine)

Book Description

With more than 150 delicious recipes for use with the latest time-saving, money saving kitchen gadget, the Pressure Cooker Cookbook will revolutionise your mealtimes

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Ms A Phelan on 25 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I remember the hissing, rattling, frightening pressure cooker we had when I was a child which was used for steamed puddings and ham on occasions so although intrigued I was wary of using pressure cookers again. Recently there's been a lot of talk about the new style modern pressure cookers and how quiet they are and how time saving they can be. I learned via Twitter that this cookbook had been published and decided to purchase a pressure cooker and it at the same time. All I can say is "life changing!". If, like me, you love to eat well, enjoy cooking in general but sometimes find the rush to cook at the end of a busy day stressful or if you're a fan of dried beans but always forget to pre-soak them in time then a pressure cooker is for you. And if you want a cookbook that helps you pull together a great tasting meal in minutes then this is the cookbook for you too.

So far I've cooked 'Quick Chicken Supper for Two', 'One-pot Lentils with Sausages', 'Basque Squid Stew', 'Caponata', followed numerous instructions on cooking chickpeas, vegs and wild rice among others. I simply cannot wait to try some of the more unusual recipes like cheesecake and chocolate pots. I found this cookbook to have really clear instructions, well-laid out pages and very easy to use. Catherine explains recipes calmly and offers tips and alternatives. It really has taken the pressure off (pardon the pun) preparing an evening meal. So, do yourself a favour, buy a pressure cooker and this cookbook. Highly recommended.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P Elder on 4 Jan. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought a WMF pressure cooker on this author's advice, there is a great section about choosing a pressure cooker which you can read with the 'take a look' feature on Amazon. I bought the book alongside the pressure cooker and It's a great cookbook.

The start of the book goes through all the basics you need to know about pressure cooking, and all the equipment you need, it's mostly things you will already have but it's handy to know how these things will be used.

I've tried a few of the recipes so far and they have all turned out perfectly. I was sceptical about making risotto in a pressure cooker, mine usually takes a good 50-60 minutes from start to finish. The cooking time for this recipe is only 5 minutes and it was by far the best I've ever made, really creamy with loads of flavour. The dhal had great consistency and flavour too (another meal that usually takes me an hour) but only 12 minutes in a pressure cooker.

The thing I like most about this cookbook is the amount and variety of recipes. I cook a lot so I can see how this book will be a good tool in converting some of my own recipes for the pressure cooker, and also recipes from other books. It also helps you to get away from the idea of only using the pressure cooker for stews and braises, and has far more creative recipes than I expected.

All in all, I just can't wait to cook more things from it.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Tony Plant on 25 Oct. 2012
Format: Hardcover
Summary: This is an exceptional cookbook that is packed full of helpful tips for family cooking as well as an outstanding guide to using the pressure cooker. Even if you already own an extensive range of books on pressure cooking, if you have a nagging feeling that you could achieve more with pressure cooking, you need this one. I've used a pressure cooker for more than 30 years and have read a fair number of books dedicated to them but I've never learned so much as I have from Catherine Phipps' cookbook.


For some people, it seems that pressure cookers were always destined to be disregarded as a cooking device because of (generally unfounded) reservations about their safety and difficulty in using them properly (what was the proper amount of hiss and rock that indicated it was up to the desired pressure?). And now, with the ubiquity of microwaves, they're discounted because another time-saving device is readily available. Modern pressure cookers have lots of safety features and it's easier to judge when they're up to pressure and from when the recipes should be timed. Catherine Phipps gives a good overview of them along with helpful advice about appropriate sizes and other useful equipment and utensils. Just reading about how she discovered pressure cooking and developed her enthusiasm for what they represent in time-saving, fuel economy and, above all, as a technique for improving food preparation, gives the reader a strong hint that pressure cookers are rarely used to their full potential.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Greedy Piglet on 25 Sept. 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have always had a pressure cooker, and always a Prestige HiDome old fashioned one with weights. I had one with my mum at home, I had another as my own as a wedding present some 30 years ago, and I replaced that last year as the handle had fallen apart. But always the same one. Now I am wishing that I had read Catherine's book first before buying that last one, I would have got a nice shallow wide one, which would have made a lot of her recipes easier to do.

And there are a LOT of recipes and tips that I want to try in this book. I was amazed at the things I would never have thought of cooking in a pressure cooker - vegetables, fruit for cakes, fruit for marmalade (I admit I do that, but didn't realise that I was cooking the fruit for too long, now I have cut the time back) in addition to the steamed puddings, soups and casseroles I have always made. Now that the price of gas and electricity is on the up and up again, it is even more important to save fuel, and this book will make that enjoyable as well as necessary.

Production also is nice. I like that the book doesn't have a jacket. I seem to spend a lot of my life taping torn jackets together, so this wipe clean board cover is much more convenient.

A recommended buy.
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