Just when we had come to accept the microwave oven as the ultimate cooking machine, food historian Sass ( Dinner with Tom Jones ) has rediscovered the pressure cooker, recently reincarnated in sleek new forms for the 1990s kitchen, ``where cooking under pressure has already become a way of life.'' Sass has figured out how to prepare pea soup, applesauce and pearl barley in the pressure cooker without the threat of shrapnel in the kitchen. Her recipes are seductive, ranging from the homey and familiar (Brunswick stew, nine minutes) to the slightly more mod erne (turnips with orange-mustard sauce, two minutes). Chapters on beans, rice and risotto, and grains are so enthusiastically instructional that some pressure-cooker converts may unwittingly create 12 dishes (all in less than 60 minutes) in their haste to taste Sass's creations. Vegetables are fully explored in their own chapter, and bread puddings and cheesecakes highlight the desserts section. Sass convincingly presents her case in an introductory ``Pressure Cooker Primer,'' and offers helpful ``cooking times at a glance'' charts throughout. Initial sauteing times, though, are misleadingly omitted. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989 Release date: 01/01/1989 Genre: Nonfiction
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