Friday, November 10, 2006
Cooking in Paris
When I was visiting my friend Jo Ann Morning in Paris we would take her two French Poodles for a walk before dinner. As we walked in this lovely quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of Paris, Clamart just a short subway ride from the heart of Paris.
Besides the wonderful smell of home cooked "French" food I would hear this "shishing" noise. Wondering what that was I asked Jo Ann and she explained that it was the sound of pressure cookers steaming. French women hate microwave ovens so they use pressure cookers, they have busy lives and don't have time to cook.
I have a busy life and I don't have time to cook and I don't love my microwave and rarely use it. A pressure cooker....Hm...
Then we would get home and they would whip up a delicious dinner in 15 or 20 minutes! Pressure Cooker! Wow! So as soon as I got home I marched off to my local Bed Bath and Beyond and bought one.
Years ago I had a pressure cooker and I did not have good memories of it. I was always afraid that it would blow up from all that pressure. But now with the newer models it seems perfectly safe.
One of the reasons I did not like using the pressure cooker as I remember is because you could not open it whenever you wanted and the time it took for it to cool down to open seemed time consuming. Maybe I did not read the directions well enough I'm not sure if this was explained in the directions or not.
As I was watching Jo Ann and her husband cooking they would just run cold water over the lid and the pressure released and they could take a peak at how the food was doing. As easy as that, I just wonder how I did not even know about this or nobody ever told me or why I never knew this phenomena. But now that I know this and armed with my new pressure cooker it is one of the best tools I have in my kitchen "arsenal".
This is the brand I got:
The one I got had two pots one 10qt and a 4qt with one pressure lid and one glass lid. I paid around 69 dollars (I thought a good deal) I find this combination very handy when I want to make more than one dish. I have loved everything I've made and including vegetables. The key to vegetables is not to cook too long. I actually just bring it up to the first "shish" and turn it off pour cold water on the lid and open it.
With meat I usually check every 5 minutes, opening the lid and stirring or turning if it's a roast and judging how long more to cook. A roast cooks up in about 15 minutes and 2 more minutes after I add the vegetables, It has been sort of trial and error. Most of the recipes I found were not exact either, it depends what cut of meat etc.
Here are some pictures from Paris.......
I had such a good time posting pictures from Paris I will post again, I had a great trip and have lots of great pictures I want to share.
Jo Ann is an artist living in Paris, take a look at her art.
Jo Ann Morning