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Books expand Instant Pot repertoire

  • NEW YORK TIMES

    From left: multicookers made by Breville, Fagor and Instant Pot, in New York in 2017. Multicookers can cook food either quickly or slowly, and it does both consistently, evenly and automatically. No other single gadget makes weeknight cooking easier.

If you received an Instant Pot or other multicooker as a Christmas gift, about now you may be wondering what to make other than the recipes that came with it.

Luckily, cookbooks abound — books for specific cuisines (Indian, Mexican, Southern) and those geared toward vegetarians or healthy cooking. Diet-wise, you can find keto- and paleo-inspired Instant Pot cookbooks. Others feature holiday dishes, six-ingredient-or-less recipes, fast-and-easy dishes, and, of course, recipes authorized by the makers of Instant Pot.

In the last several months more than a dozen Instant Pot and multicooker cookbooks have landed on my desk. Here’s a peek into three:

“COMFORT IN AN INSTANT”

By Melissa Clark (Clarkson Potter, 2018, $22)

>> Quick take: This is the second Instant Pot cookbook for Melissa Clark, a New York Times food columnist. Clark provides classic recipes in the breakfast, soup, side dish, main dish and dessert categories. Nearly all are ready in an hour. If applicable, most recipes have a conversion to a slow-cooker.

>> Best aspect: Most recipes are held to one page and are approachable. Clark admits up front that determining cooking time isn’t an exact science and notes that you have to allow time for the pot to come up to pressure. She advises using suggested cooking times as just a guideline.

“THE ULTIMATE INSTANT POT COOKBOOK”

By Coco Morante (Ten Speed Press, 2018, $29.99)

>> Quick take: Coco Morante’s first cookbook was “The Essential Instant Pot Cookbook.” She also runs the Instant Pot Recipes Facebook page and has her own blog, leftyspoon.com. Her chapters cover everything from vegetarian fare to seafood to pantry staples such as broths, sauces, jams and jellies. The recipes range from quick weekday recipes to classics like stew and mashed potatoes.

>> Best aspect: The explanation of how to use the Instant Pot is very comprehensive. From beef pho to tortellini and spinach soup to lamb shanks with tomato sauce, the recipes are easy to follow and inviting.

“INSTANT POT FAST & EASY”

By Urvashi Pitre (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019, $21.99)

>> Quick take: In this book, her third for the multicooker, Urvashi Pitre provides well-tested recipes from around the world. Pitre is the founder of the blog twosleevers.com and runs a global consulting firm. Recipes are organized by chapters based on the main ingredients: chicken, seafood, beef, pork, lamb, rice, lentils and beans, etc. Pitre’s knowledge of Instant Pot terms and her answers to frequently asked questions are invaluable.

>> Best aspect: The global flavors are splendid, and so are the instructions. Each recipe is topped with active cooking time, the function to use, how pressure is released and the total cooking time (including how long it takes for the pot to come to pressure), which helps with planning.

GINGER SESAME-GLAZED SPARERIBS

From “Comfort in An Instant” by Melissa Clark

  • 5 pounds pork spareribs, cut into 2 or 3 pieces
  • Lime wedges, for serving

>> Sauce:

  • 5 large cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sake, white wine or dry vermouth
  • 2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons gochugaru (Korean chili flakes) or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1/2 cup shoyu

Puree sauce ingredients except shoyu, whisking in shoyu at end.

Toss ribs with sauce, then arrange them standing up along the wall of the pressure cooker pot, with meaty sides facing out. Place remaining ribs in concentric circles. Pour any remaining sauce over ribs. Lock lid into place and cook on high pressure 34 minutes. Let pressure release naturally.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Arrange ribs, meat side down, on sheet. Using saute function, reduce sauce in pressure cooker to a thick glaze, 8 to 15 minutes.

Brush glaze on ribs and broil 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully flip ribs and brush again with glaze, then broil until evenly charred, 2 to 4 minutes more.

Brush with glaze again and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot with lime wedges. Serves 4.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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