The first electric pressure cooker book devoted specifically to French food, Instantly French! brings the scrumptious flavors of traditional French cuisine to your table—without the hours of slow cooking French food normally requires.
Author of Mastering the Art of French Eating, Ann Mah is undoubtedly an expert on all things relating to French food. But when she discovered the electric pressure cooker, she realized that it was the secret weapon the French have used for years to speedily prepare the complex dishes of la cuisine de grandmère. In her first cookbook, Ann celebrates everything gastronomically French that an electric pressure cooker can do with over seventy different recipes that cut cooking times in more than half.
The delights of Instantly French! range from appetizers like eggplant caviar, pâté de campagne, and savory mini blue cheese cakes to soups like traditional French onion or an autumnal purée of butternut squash and chestnut. For main courses, there are classics like boeuf bourguignon, cassoulet, chicken tagine with preserved lemons, and blanquette de veau. Desserts feature poached pears, flourless chocolate cake, and crème brulée. And, all of these dishes can be made in a fraction of the time they usually take. Illustrated throughout with full color photos, Instantly French! is the essential guide to fast, delicious French cooking with your electric pressure cooker.
|Publisher:||St. Martin''s Publishing Group|
|File size:||157 MB|
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About the Author
Ann Mah is a food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Mastering the Art of French Eating, and The Lost Vintage. She contributes regularly to the New York Times Travel section, and her work has also appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, The Best American Travel Writing 2017, Vogue.com, Washingtonian Magazine, and other publications. Ann currently lives in Paris and Washington, D.C.
Read an Excerpt
Poached Leeks, Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, and Walnuts/Poireaux vinaigrette
Chickpeas and Grated Carrots with Cumin and Lemon Zest / Salade de pois chiches et carottes
Country Pâté / Pâté de campagne
Artichokes with Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette / Artichauts vinaigrette à l'estragon
French Lentil Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese / Lentilles aux betteraves et chèvre
Salmon Rillettes / Rillettes de saumon
French Deviled Eggs / Oeufs mayonnaise
Roquefort Walnut Mini Quiches / Petites quiches au roquefort et aux noix
Eggplant Caviar / Caviar d'aubergine
Poached Leeks, Walnut Oil Vinaigrette, and Walnuts
Leeks are a quintessential French vegetable, and they appear everywhere in French cuisine, from soups to stews. Economical and healthy, poireaux vinaigrette is a classic bistro starter, a simple salad of poached leeks drizzled with tangy vinaigrette dressing. Here chopped walnuts give a delicate crunch, their warm flavor echoed by the walnut oil in the vinaigrette. For a light lunch, accompany with hard-boiled eggs and bread.
1 tablespoon minced shallot
2. Prepare the leeks by slicing the root end off very close to the root so that the individual interior leaves do not separate. Cut each leek in half lengthwise and remove the tough, fibrous exterior leaves. Rinse each leek thoroughly to remove all the grit from between the leaves.
3. Place the steaming rack in the pressure cooker and add 1 cup (250 ml) water. Arrange the leeks on top of the rack. Cook on high pressure for 1 minute.
4. While the leeks are cooking, in a skillet, toast the walnuts over medium heat until golden, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
5. Finish preparing the vinaigrette by whisking the mustard into the lemon juice and shallots. While whisking, slowly drizzle in the walnut and olive oils until fully incorporated. Season with pepper, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Chop the cooled toasted walnuts.
6. When the leeks have finished cooking, manually release the steam. Remove the leeks and arrange as shown. Drizzle the leeks generously with the vinaigrette and sprinkle the walnuts all over the top. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Chickpeas and Grated Carrots with Cumin and Lemon Zest
Salade de pois chiches et carottes
One of my favorite places to have lunch in Paris was a little tearoom owned by four women from Tunisia. They served a delicious plat du jour — an assortment of spiced vegetarian stews and salads that changed daily. I always looked forward to the carrot salad, which was spiked with cumin, coriander, and lemon zest. Alas, one day I walked by the restaurant — and it had disappeared! (I later found out they had lost their lease — victims of rising rents.) I missed them so much, I created this chickpea and carrot salad, filled with the flavors of North Africa, as an homage.
For the chickpeas
1 cup (200 grams) dried chickpeas, rinsed and sorted for debris
2. While the chickpeas are cooking, prepare the salad: In a large bowl, combine the garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Add the olive oil, whisking until the dressing is combined. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
3. Grate the carrots on the large holes of a box grater. Add the grated carrot to the bowl with the dressing and stir to combine.
4. Drain the cooked chickpeas, reserving their cooking liquid, if desired (see Note). Add the warm chickpeas to the bowl with the carrots and dressing. Stir to combine. Toss with the cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper, if desired.
Note: The leftover chickpea cooking liquid has a rich, full- bodied texture and is excellent in soups like Ribs, Stems, Roots, Leaves.
BEANS: TO SOAK OR NOT TO SOAK?
One of the advantages of the electric pressure cooker is that you can cook dried beans without presoaking them. Thin-skinned legumes like black beans or kidney work particularly well, softening in about 30 minutes, while tougher beans like chickpeas take up to an hour. And yet, even though fast-cooked beans are one of the most magical capabilities of the electric pressure cooker, I still presoak beans if I remember and have time. I find soaked beans turn out creamier, more tender, unsplit, and evenly cooked. Honestly, my advice is to always presoak — it takes less than a minute to throw dried beans in a bowl and cover them with cold water, before leaving them to sit for a few hours. But if you've forgotten — or have a spur-of-the-moment urge for a pot of beans — the pressure cooker can definitely come to the rescue.
Pâté de campagne
Makes 4 (7- to 8-ounce / 200- to 225-gram) jars
Pâté de campagne is one of the great hallmarks of French cuisine, and it does sound fairly intimidating. But honestly, what is country pâté but a deliciously rich, liver-enhanced meat loaf? Traditionally the mixture of highly seasoned pork and liver is pressed into a terrine, and cooked in a bain-marie (water bath) for over an hour. But dividing the mixture into mason jars and cooking them in the pressure cooker shaves off a considerable amount of time. Pâté de campagne en bocaux — pâté in jars — is popular in France, enjoyed at picnics or wine bars. Though this pâté is not sterilized — and therefore not meant for long-term storage — it is perfect for a convivial evening with friends, and will keep for up to 10 days in the fridge.
1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter
4 (7- to 8-ounce/ 200- to 225-gram) short mason jars (see Note) Instant-read thermometer
1. In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
2. Place the chicken livers in a food processor and pulse briefly, five to seven times, until coarsely ground.
3. In a large bowl, combine the shallots, garlic, chicken livers, pork shoulder, pork belly, thyme, allspice, salt, pepper, egg, and brandy. Stir to combine thoroughly.
4. Pack the pâté mixture into the four jars, filling them to the brim if necessary. Spread a kitchen towel on the counter and firmly tap the bottom of each jar against the counter to tamp down the mixture and eliminate any air pockets. Cover the jars snugly with aluminum foil.
5. Place the steaming rack in the pressure cooker and add 1½ cups (375 ml) water. Arrange the covered jars on the rack. Cook on low pressure for 15 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then manually release the remaining pressure.
6. Remove the jars from the pressure cooker and unwrap them. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each pâté should register at least 160°F (70°C). Leave the jars to cool to room temperature.
7. Seal the jars with their lids. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours to solidify and season the pâté before serving. Serve it directly from the jars, accompanied by sliced baguette and cornichons. Store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
Notes: The pork needs to be passed through a meat grinder to achieve the proper chunky consistency. If you don't have a meat grinder, ask your butcher to grind the pork shoulder and pork belly for you.
Choose a short, wide mason jar with clean lines so you can slide the pâté from the vessel, if desired. The French brand Le Parfait is popular — it can be found in cookware shops or ordered online.
Artichokes with Creamy Tarragon Vinaigrette
Artichauts vinaigrette à l'estragon
Many French families still serve lunch or dinner in four courses — entrée, plat, fromage, dessert — and the first course is often vegetables, because "they fill you up before the main dish," says my friend Thomas. In his family, the steamed artichoke, prepared in the pressure cooker and accompanied by tarragon vinaigrette, has always been the typical summer starter. (As I've discovered, artichokes and tarragon are considered a classic pairing in France, like tomatoes and basil in Italy.) If you can't find tarragon-flavored vinegar, use regular and stir in a pinch of fresh tarragon. Note that the cooking time of the artichokes will vary depending on their size.
4 to 6 globe artichokes (1 per person)
2. Place the steaming rack in the pressure cooker and add 1 cup (250 ml) water. Arrange the artichokes stem-side down on the steaming rack. (Depending on their size, you may have to cook them in batches.) The pressure cooking time will vary depending on the size of the artichokes. Cook on high pressure for 4 to 6 minutes for small artichokes, 8 to 10 minutes for medium, and 12 to 14 for large.
3. While the artichokes cook, prepare the vinaigrette. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, mustard, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Slowly whisk the olive oil into the mustard-vinegar mixture. While whisking, add the sour cream 1 tablespoon at a time and whisk to emulsify the sauce. The sour cream will thicken the sauce, so add enough to suit your preference. Stir in the fresh herbs (if using). Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
4. When the artichokes have finished cooking, manually release the steam. Transfer the artichokes to a plate or cutting board and test them by pulling at a leaf — if it slides out easily, it's done. If there's resistance, return the artichokes to the pressure cooker, close and lock the lid, and allow them to sit in the residual heat for 5 minutes before testing them again.
5. Serve the artichokes warm or at room temperature, dipping the leaves into the tarragon vinaigrette. When you get to the "choke" — the fuzzy center, which in French is called foin, or "hay" — use a spoon to scrape it away. Eat the remaining base and stem, which is the artichoke's heart.
WHAT KIND OF CREAM?
Cream is used liberally in the French kitchen, swirled into soups and sauces, or dolloped on desserts like apple tart or stewed fruit. But when I moved to Paris, I was surprised to learn that when French home cooks say crème, they almost always mean crème fraîche.
A thick, tangy, fermented cream, crème fraîche is heavy and smooth, and its generous 30% fat content means it doesn't curdle in boiling liquid, making it ideal for thickening sauces. In the States, crème fraîche can be expensive and difficult to find, and I almost always substitute sour cream. Especially when used in strongly flavored sauces, the two are virtually interchangeable.
Also fermented, sour cream has a rich, luscious texture. But with a lower fat content of 20%, it can curdle when simmered. To sidestep this problem, I usually whisk in sour cream with the pot off the heat.
In French, crème fleurette, or crème liquide, is most commonly used in custards, mousses, or for whipped cream. The latter, called crème Chantilly, was reportedly invented at the Château de Chantilly outside of Paris. A few years ago, at a small restaurant on the château grounds, I enjoyed a strawberry tart heaped with crème Chantilly, in the very birthplace of crème Chantilly! Lightly sweet, the original whipped cream had a cloudlike texture and an unmistakable tang — it was, in fact, whipped crème fraîche.
French Lentil Salad with Beets and Goat Cheese
Lentilles aux betteraves et chèvre
Serves 2 as a main course, or 4 as a first course
I love French lentils, with their nutty flavor and toothy bite — but in my pre–pressure cooker life, I avoided cooking them after one too many mushy batches. Happily, perfect lentils are now foolproof! This salad, inspired by the popular French food magazine Elle à Table, pairs the legume with earthy beets, goat cheese, and a vibrant green herb vinaigrette. The combination could be described as sain — the French term for healthy — but it's also delicious.
4 or 5 small beets, 3 to 4 inches (7.5 to 10 cm) in diameter
2. While the beets are cooking, prepare the vinaigrette. In a food processor or blender, combine the mustard and lemon juice. Process to combine, then slowly add the sunflower oil and process until the mixture emulsifies. Finally, add the herbs, a pinch of salt, and pepper to taste. Process until the vinaigrette is smooth and a bright, verdant green. (The vinaigrette will retain its color for 3 to 4 hours before it begins to muddy.)
3. When the beets have finished cooking, manually release the steam. Test the beets by piercing them with a small sharp knife. If there's any resistance, close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker and allow the beets to sit in the residual heat for 3 to 5 minutes before testing again. Transfer the beets to a plate and allow them to cool.
4. Wash the inner pot of the pressure cooker. Put the lentils in the pot; add cold water to cover them by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Add the salt and stir to combine. Cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
5. When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them and cut into ¼-inch-thick (6-mm) slices.
6. When the lentils have finished cooking, manually release the steam. Taste the lentils — they should be firm, but if there is too much bite, close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker and allow them to sit in the residual heat for 3 to 5 minutes before testing again.
7. Distribute the warm lentils among four plates. Arrange the beet slices on top and scatter with the crumbled goat cheese. Generously drizzle the vinaigrette over the lentils and beets in an artful manner before serving.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Instantly French!"
Copyright © 2018 Ann Mah.
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 – First courses / Les Entrées
1. Poached leeks and vinaigrette / Poireaux vinaigrette
2. Chickpea salad with grated carrots, cilantro, cumin / Salade aux pois chiches et carottes
3. Country pâté / Pâté de campagne
4. Artichokes with creamy tarragon vinaigrette / Artichauts vinaigrette à l’estragon
5. Lentil salad with beets and goat cheese / Lentilles aux betteraves et chèvre
6. French deviled eggs / Oeufs mayonnaise
7. Roquefort mini quiches / Petits quiches aux roquefort et aux noix
8. Smoky eggplant dip / Caviar d’aubergine
9. Salmon pâté / Rillettes de saumon
Chapter 2 – Soups / Les Soupes
1. Butternut squash, chestnuts, bacon chips / Potage de butternut, châtaigne, et lard fume
2. Ribs, stems, roots, and leaves / Cardes, tiges, raciness, feuilles
3. French onion soup / Soupe à l’oignon gratinée
4. Provençal vegetable soup / Soupe au pistou
5. French peasant soup / Soupe paysanne
6. Five vegetable soup / Potage aux cinq legumes
7. Lentils and pork / Petit Salé aux lentilles
8. Indian-spiced red lentil soup / Vélouté de lentilles corail aux épices indiennes
9. Vietnamese chicken noodle soup / Soupe poulet à la Vietnamienne
10. Moroccan chickpea soup / Soupe de pois chiches à la marocaine
11. Chicken broth / Bouillon de poulet
Chapter 3 – Chicken / Le Poulet
1. Chicken in wine sauce / Coq au vin
2. Fricassée of chicken with mushrooms and cream / Fricassée de poulet aux champignons
3. Braised chicken with peppers and tomatoes / Poulet basquaise
4. Chicken in mustard sauce / Poulet à la moutarde
5. Chicken with tarragon sauce / Poulet à l’éstragon
6. Chicken Provençale / Poulet à la provençale
7. Soisick’s chicken / Poulet de Soisick
8. Chicken tagine with preserved lemons / Tajine aux poulet citrons confits
Chapter 4 – Fish and Shellfish / Les poissons et les fruits de mer
1. Mussels steamed with white wine, garlic, parsley / Moules marinières
2. Potato salad with mussels / Salade de pommes de terre aux moules
3. Rolled filets of sole with crunchy herbed breadcrumbs / Roulés de sole croustillant
4. Fish “en papillote” with chard, mushrooms, soy-butter broth / Poisson en papillote aux blettes, champignons, et bouillon de sauce de soja au beurre
5. Salmon with melted leeks and whole-grain mustard / Saumon aux poireaux fondus et moutarde à la graine
6. Cod poached with tomatoes, saffron, fennel / Cabillaud poché au bouillon de tomate, fenouil, et safran
7. Poached salmon with olive and almond tapenade / Saumon poché, tapenade aux olives et aux amandes
8. Fish filets poached in white wine with mushrooms / Filets de poisson à la Bercy aux champignons
9. Halibut with beurre blanc, tarragon, and capers / Poisson au beurre blanc, éstragon, et capres
Chapter 5 – Pork, Veal, Lamb, Beef
1. Veal stew with mushrooms / Blanquette de veau
2. Beef braised in red wine / Boeuf bourguignon
3. Beef braised in beer with spice cookies / Carbonade
4. Provençal beef stew / Daube Provençale
5. Short rib shepherd’s pie / Hachis parmentier
6. Whole stuffed cabbage / Chou farci
7. White beans with pork and duck/ Cassoulet
8. Braised pork with apples / Porc à la Normande
9. Scalloped potatoes with bacon, onions, and cheese / Tartiflette
10. “Seven-hour” lamb with white beans/ Agneau de “sept heures” aux haricots
11. Spring lamb stew / Navarin d’agneau
12. Lamb tagine with prunes / Tajine à l’agneau aux pruneaux
13. Stuffed tomatoes and rice / Tomates farcies et riz autour
14. Veal stew with tomatoes and mushrooms / Veau Marengo
15. Braised beef pot roast / Boeuf à la mode
Chapter 6 – Vegetables / Les Legumes
1. Provençal white beans / Haricots blancs à la provençale
2. Carrots with cream / Carottes à la crème
3. Braised peppers, tomatoes, and onions / Piperade
4. Celery root puree / Purée de céleri-rave
5. Cauliflower gratin / Gratin au chou-fleur
6. Green beans braised in tomato sauce / Haricots verts à la Provençale
7. Braised endive and ham gratin / Endives au jambon gratinée
8. Winter squash gratin / Gratin de courge
9. Roast potatoes / Pommes fondantes
10. Belgian root vegetable mash / Stoemp
11. Braised red cabbage with apples and chestnuts / Chou rouge aux pommes et marrons
12. Mushroom and pea risotto / Risotto aux champignons et aux petits pois
Chapter 7 – Desserts / Les desserts
1. Strawberry rhubarb compote / Compôte à la rhubarbe et aux fraises
2. Individual chocolate custards / Pots de crème au chocolat
3. Crème brulée
4. Rice pudding with salted butter caramel sauce / Riz au lait, sauce au caramel beurre salé
5. Rosemary crème caramel / Crème caramel au romarin
6. Poached pears with chocolate sauce / Poires belle Hélène
7. Lemon goat cheese cheesecake / Fiadone
8. David Lebovitz’s foolproof chocolate cake / Gâteau au chocolat infaillible de David Lebovitz
9. “Baked” apples / Pommes “au four”
10. Yogurt / Yaourt