Today I’m featuring a super quick and easy macaroni and cheese recipe from a much anticipated new cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen that was just released last week, Pressure Cooker Perfection.
I’m a fan of American’s Test Kitchen and was excited when they sent me an advance copy of Pressure Cooker Perfection to review. The book is well designed. The layout is great, with a big, beautiful color picture of the finished dish for each recipe, something that’s often missing from other ATK cookbooks.
The cookbook focuses on good basic pressure cooker recipes, and they include lots of tips to make hearty family meals in less time. They start with a Pressure Cooker 101 section, and have several charts showing average cooking times for many commonly cooked ingredients.
The cookbook also focuses on encouraging those considering buying a pressure cooker to make the leap, with a buying guide and lists
5 reasons to use a pressure cooker:
–Food cooks quickly. Stew is ready in minutes not hours.
–Flavors are supercharged. Your won’t believe how good the chicken stock tastes
–Modern models are safe. No pea soup on the ceiling. We promise.
–One-pot meals are easy. You can even cook pasta and sauce together.
–Keep you kitchen cool. No need to heat the oven for hours.
I like Test Kitchen recipes because they’re well tested and they work. I have read other reviews of this cookbook that indicate the timing of some of the recipes is off, but the timing for this macaroni and cheese recipe was perfect and I look forward to trying many recipes from this cookbook.
I doubled the recipe to feed my crowd, and adapted it for the electric pressure cooker. ATK preferred stovetop pressure cookers in their buying guide, but they do admit that electrics have a big advantage – you can set them and walk away, which for me outweighs any of the disadvantages. I sprinkled the top of my “shells and cheese” with some crisp bacon. That’s definitely optional, but everything’s better with bacon.
American’s Test Kitchen has generously offered to giveaway a copy of Pressure Cooking Perfection to one lucky Pressure Cooking Today reader. Details on how you can enter are at the bottom of this post. Good luck!
- 1 package (16 ounces) elbow macaroni or shells
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 (12 ounce) cans evaporated milk
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- Mix macaroni, water, salt, mustard, and cayenne together in pressure cooker pot. Lock lid in place, select High Pressure, 5 minutes cook time and press start*. When timer beeps, turn off pressure cooker, and do a quick pressure release. When valve drops carefully remove lid.
- Stir in evaporated milk. (It will look like too much liquid but it will thicken as it simmers.) Select browning and simmer until sauce has thickened and pasta is tender, 1 to 3 minutes. Turn off pressure cooker, stir in cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, a handful at a time, until cheese has melted and sauce is smooth. (It is important to do it a handful at a time so the cheese doesn't clump together.)
- Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
*Pressure Cooker Perfection recommends that instead of relying on the cooker's built-in timer to keep track of the pressurized cooking time, use your own and start the countdown as soon as the pot comes to pressure. I've haven't had a problem using the built in timer, but if you do, you might want to give this method a try.
Disclosure: I was sent a free copy of Pressure Cooker Perfection to review, but all opinions expressed are always my own. The Sweepstakes Giveaway is over.