'Instant' is a time saving bible with a good variety of recipes that aren’t too difficult but provide a lot of taste.
This is a magical gift to any kitchen; a no fuss cookbook that gets right into it with simplicity and ease. Grace Campbell gives a double-page spread about choosing and using a pressure cooker, then dives into one divine recipe after the next, rounding off with a single page of tables showing how long to cook rice or dried pulses, and an obligatory index of recipes sorted by name and main ingredient (eg. “beef” or “cabbage”).
There are no pretty pictures amongst the pages of Instant. It’s just pure, practical, delicious recipes laid out nicely with highlighted hints for some dishes that detail how long left-overs can be frozen, where to buy some of the less common ingredients, like crispy fried shallots, and tips for the best result.
When reviewing a recipe book, I first read the general text, then mark any recipes of interest before deciding which ones to try. Instant gave me fourteen recipes of immediate interest which is far more than usual. These included a Warm Beetroot and Carrot Salad (page 178), an Indian-Style Vegetable Curry (page 170), Cabbage Rolls (page 111), Chilli Con Carne (page 100) which I’ve never made in a pressure cooker before, and North African Chicken (page 46) because I’ve yet to taste a dish from an African nation that I haven’t loved!
The preparation and cooking times seem spot on for the recipes I’ve made and I enjoyed the cross-pollination of recipes, such as guiding the user to a recipe for a vegetable stock within the book in case you choose to make your own.
Instant is a time saving bible with a good variety of recipes that aren’t too difficult but provide a lot of taste and satisfaction. It’s ideal for those uncomfortable in a kitchen, and time-poor cooks who need to feed a family or unexpected dinner guests.
Pumpkin and Red Lentil Soup (page 30)
Two of my favourite ingredients in one delicious soup that was ready in half an hour. It was filling, looked good and was healthy – something much needed after my unhealthy Christmas period! With dashes of nutmeg, cloves and chilli, this soup didn’t require much of anything that I didn’t already have in stock. By topping it off with some yoghurt and toasted pepitas, the consistency and flavour of the soup was heightened. The use of the pressure cooker on the hotter days was an added bonus because my kitchen didn’t heat up from the stove. And soup, while traditionally a winter dish, is also perfect for a hot day when my appetite is small. This is definitely one to make again and again.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Book Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: March 2019