No Pressure Cooking with Stacey Solomon

The other week I headed to The Ivy Tower Bridge for afternoon tea with Stacey Soloman and Prestige! You might wonder what’s the connection!? Well Stacey Soloman is an ambassador for Prestige and she’s working with them to promote their pressure cookers. I had no idea about pressure cookers, the only time I’d seen one was when I was a nanny back in the day and my old boss was always using his when he got in from work. But now it all makes sense why!

I always thought pressure cookers looked pretty scary, but after spending the day with Prestige and Stacey, learning how they work and discovering some recipes, I was so excited to get home and use mine, which Prestige had kindly gifted to me to try out.

Straight away I made the Salmon Risotto as Michael and I are big risotto fans. What drives us mad about risotto is how slow it is to cook, and it takes lots of stirring and topping up liquid. Well I have to say I followed the recipe and oh my gosh I was so impressed. The risotto cooks in 5 MINUTES in the pressure cooker! Like how can fish and rice cook so quickly!? The recipe was super easy, you basically chop everything, fry it off, then add the salmon! Here’s the recipe if you fancy giving it a go yourself:

Salmon Risotto With Courgette & Lemon

Serves 4 • Cooking time 15 minutes (5 mins at pressure)

Ingredients

  • 1 large courgette, grated
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 750ml boiling water
  • 1-2 tbs light olive oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • ½ stalk celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 125ml white wine
  • Black pepper
  • 3 salmon fillets (plain or lightly smoked)
  • 1 tbs butter
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Place the grated courgette into a measuring jug and add the crumbled stock cube. Boil the kettle.
  2. Heat the pressure cooker pan over medium and add the oil. Gently fry the onion and celery for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, then add the dry rice and stir well, ensuring all the grains
    are coated in oil. Cook gently for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Pour the wine into the pan and bubble for a minute while stirring. Add a good pinch of black pepper.
  4. Pour the hot water over the courgettes in the jug to make up to 750ml (including the courgettes). Pour the stock and courgette mixture over the rice and stir once.
  5. Lightly oil the perforated basket and arrange the salmon fillets on it, skin side down. Nestle the wire trivet in the rice and rest the basket on the top.
  6. Put on the lid, lock in place and select the high-pressure setting. Bring up to pressure and as soon as pressure is reached (the indicator will pop up), reduce the heat to the minimum to maintain pressure and time for 5 minutes. When the time
    is up, turn off the heat and quick release the pressure. See instruction booklet for details.
  7. Carefully remove the basket, check the fish is just cooked and set aside. Test that the rice is cooked – it should be firm to the bite in the middle of the grains, but not hard. If not, add a splash of boiling water and allow to cook for another
    minute on the hob without the lid.
  8. Add the butter and lemon zest to the risotto and beat with a wooden spoon so the butter is melted and the risotto looks creamy. Flake the salmon and gently stir through then serve with extra black pepper, sliced red chilli and lemon wedges for squeezing over.

I was intrigued and as I learnt at the afternoon tea it’s all to do with the pressure and steam (and some science!) which is why it can cook so quick! The fact it cooks quickly means it locks in the nutrients making it even more healthy, plus the best thing is I’m pretty sure it’s going to save us buying so many takeaways in those times when we’re in a rush and don’t have too much time to cook! Things can cook in a third of the time!

Initially I was really worried about how safe they are but it turns out the pressure cooker lid will lock in place so you’ll only be able to open it when it’s safe to do so, when the smart red indicator shows that all the pressure is released. And when you release the pressure it’s cleverly designed to release it safely away from you!

I’m so excited to cook more recipes in mine. Last night I freestyled and I made my own risotto, and I couldn’t believe how quick and easy it was even without a recipe card! I’m planning on making my sweet potato curry recipe in it too as it always takes ages to cook normally in a pan! I feel like this is just the item we needed in our kitchen to speed up weeknight dinners as Michael gets home late sometimes and we don’t eat until gone 8 or 9!

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