Cookbook review: 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes by Marilyn Haugen

I have a lot of cookbooks. At last count — which was just before sitting down to write this review — there are 54 cookbooks on my kitchen bookshelf. And that doesn't even include the literally hundreds of cooking magazines I've collected throughout the years.

In addition to learning techniques and tasty treats from all those cookbooks, I've also learned that it's rare to find a cookbook in which every recipe turns out fabulous. 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes by Marilyn Haugen, which I recently received free for review, just might be one of the rare ones. 

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Each recipe I've made so far from Haugen's mouthwatering collection has resulted in exactly what one hopes for when setting out to recreate something that seems scrumptious on the page. My favorites of those I've tried — and there have been several — include Apple and Maple Glazed Pork Chops (page 86), Spanish Rice (page 127), Molten Chocolate Cakes (page 191), and All-Time Favorite Macaroni and Cheese (page 64) which is, hands down, the best macaroni and cheese I have ever made... or eaten.

Besides being tasty, the recipes in 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes are relatively quick, thanks to being pressure cooker recipes. I love my pressure cooker but haven't had huge success finding recipes I love for it. Until now. Haugen's book has been sitting on my counter top cookbook stand — not the bookshelf — since I received it, and based on its usefulness (and yumminess), it's likely to stay there.

Why I love 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes by Marilyn Haugen

  • The first chapter, Multicooker Basics, takes much of the mystery out of electric pressure cooker cooking. My pressure cooker is not one of popular models millions of folks create communities around, share recipes back and forth for. Because I'm not positive of the differences between mine (which I do love) and theirs, I steer clear of those groups and recipe roundabouts and the sharing of secrets on how to best use the appliance. Haugen herself, via her cookbook, has now provided all I need to know about electric pressure cooker cooking. 
  • The variety of recipe categories rocks, with chapters as follows:
 
  • Breakfasts
  • Soups, Stews and Chilis
  • Main Courses
  • Side Dishes
  • Paleo Dishes
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Dishes
  • Desserts
  • Bonus Recipes: Stocks and Sauces
  • Nearly every recipe has a "TIPS" box that offers suggestions on substitutions, simplifying steps, saving time or money, or similarly smart stuff that helps in preparing delicious pressure-cooked dishes in the most time-friendly manner.
  • Many of the recipes can be created on a "slow cooker" setting (or in a slow cooker), too. When there's no pressure to get a meal on the table in a hurry, Haugen's selections can be created in a low and slow fashion.
  • That macaroni and cheese recipe. Yep, best thing about the book (so far!).

One thing I didn't love so much was the limited number of photos of the food. I like lots of pictures. There are only two full-color sections, each with full-page color photos of one recipe. I suppose, though, it's more important for a cookbook to have great recipes than great photos. And 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes has plenty of great recipes.

Speaking of those great recipes, I've been given permission to share with you two of my favorites from the book. Beginning, of course, with that scrumptious mac-and-cheese concoction.

All-Time Favorite Macaroni and Cheese

 All-Time Favorite Macaroni and Cheese — Lobster Mac variation. Photo credit Tango Photography.

All-Time Favorite Macaroni and Cheese — Lobster Mac variation. Photo credit Tango Photography.

Courtesy of 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes by Marilyn Haugen © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.

My oh my, how we love our mac and cheese. We loved it as children, survived college on it, served it to our smiling children and even “adulted” it with variations galore. Now it’s time to pressurize this favorite to pure perfection. To make it even more delightful — if that’s possible — I’ve included some variations to tease your taste buds.

Makes 4 servings

2 cups elbow macaroni    500 mL
1 tsp granulated sugar    5 mL
1⁄8 tsp ground nutmeg    0.5 mL
2 cups ready-to-use chicken broth  500 mL
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz or 370 mL)    
1 1⁄2 cups shredded sharp (old) Cheddar cheese  375 mL    
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese    250 mL
1.    In the pressure cooker, combine macaroni, sugar, nutmeg and stock. Close and lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. Quickly release the pressure.
2.    Stir in milk. Heat the cooker on High/Sauté/Brown. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce has thickened and pasta is done to your liking. Cancel cooking.
3.    Add Cheddar and Gruyère, 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) at a time, stirring until cheese is melted and combined before adding more. Serve immediately.

Tips
Two cups (500 mL) elbow macaroni is about half of a 16-oz (500 g) package.
You can double this recipe, provided you do not fill your pressure cooker above the maximum fill line.
 

Apple and Maple Glazed Pork Chops

 Apple and Maple Glazed Pork Chops. Photo credit Tango Photography.

Apple and Maple Glazed Pork Chops. Photo credit Tango Photography.

Courtesy of 175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes by Marilyn Haugen © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.

Pressure cooking pork chops renders them moist and tender, a clear winner over the often-dry pan-fried chops. Finishing them with a rich glaze makes them an easy weeknight favorite.

Makes 4 servings

4 boneless pork loin chops, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp    vegetable oil    15 mL
1⁄2 cup    ready-to-use     chicken broth 125 mL
1⁄2 cup    apple cider vinegar    125 mL
1⁄2 tsp    onion powder    2 mL
1⁄2 cup    apple jelly    125 mL
3 tbsp    pure maple syrup    45 mL
2 tbsp    Dijon mustard    30 mL
1 tbsp    soy sauce    15 mL
1.    Season pork with salt and pepper. Heat the pressure cooker on High/Sauté/Brown. Add oil and heat until shimmering. Add pork and cook, turning once, for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Using tongs, transfer pork to a plate. Cancel cooking and discard any remaining oil in cooker.
2.    Add stock, vinegar and onion powder to the cooker, stirring well. Return pork and any accumulated juices to the cooker. Close and lock the lid. Cook on high pressure for 7 to 8 minutes. Quickly release the pressure. Check to make sure an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a pork chop registers at least 160°F (71°C) for medium; if more cooking time is needed, reset to high pressure for 1 minute. Using tongs, transfer chops to a clean plate. Discard cooking liquid.
3.    Add apple jelly, maple syrup, mustard and soy sauce to the cooker, stirring well. Heat the cooker on High/Sauté/Brown. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until glaze is just bubbling and is a medium caramel color, and a rubber spatula just starts to make trails on the bottom of the pot.
4.    Return chops and any accumulated juices to the cooker and turn to coat in glaze.
5.    Transfer chops to a serving platter and pour the remaining glaze over top. Serve immediately.

Tips
To prevent your chops from curling up at the edges, before browning make a few tiny cuts in the fat and skin around the edges, without cutting into the meat.
Add more stock in step 2 if required by your cooker to reach pressure. In step 3, you may need to increase the simmering time to thicken your glaze.

175 Best Multifunction Electric Pressure Cooker Recipes by Marilyn Haugen (Amazon affiliate link) retails for $19.95 and can be purchased where books are sold. Find out more about this book and others published by Robert Rose at www.robertrose.ca.

Disclosure: I received this book free for review; opinions are my own.