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Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Gratin

Cookbook

Hip Pressure Cooking

Published by St. Martins Griffin

This image courtesy of Laura Pazzaglia

Steaming vegetables before you add a gratin topping and then placing the assembled dish under the broiler to melt the cheese guarantees fork-tender vegetables with a perfect bubbling topping! Variations that follow this recipe include a version with broccoli and one with fennel, each seasoned differently; try all three.

Note: This recipe can be either halved or doubled provided there is at least 1 cup of liquid in the pressure cooker (or your cooker’s minimum liquid requirement) and the total volume of the cauliflower does not exceed two-thirds of the cooker’s capacity.

Variations

Broccoli, Cheddar, and Crumbled Egg Gratin

Follow the recipe for Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Gratin, substituting broccoli for the cauliflower, 2 crumbled hard-boiled eggs for the bread crumbs, and sharp cheddar cheese for the Gorgonzola.

Fennel and Parmesan Cream Sauce Gratin

Follow the recipe for Cauliflower and Gorgonzola Gratin, substituting 2 thickly sliced medium fennel bulbs for the cauliflower, ½ cup heavy cream for the bread crumbs (poured over, not sprinkled!), and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for the Gorgonzola; omit the pine nuts.

Get Hip About the Pressure

Recipes for pressure cooking indicate whether they are to be cooked at high or low pressure. In this book, the pressure cooking step is written like this:

“Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure for 7 minutes/stovetop or 8 to 10 minutes/electric (or nonstandard stovetop.)”

Although the way pressure is achieved and maintained differs for stovetop and electric pressure cookers, the meaning is the same for both: Once you lock the cover on the cooker, you select a pressure level, heat the cooker until it signals the selected pressure has been reached, and then you start counting the cooking time; electric cookers do some of this for you. When you come to the pressure cooking step in the recipes, bring the cooker to pressure in the manner appropriate for its type. Here’s the process for each type, in a nutshell.

For Stovetop Pressure Cookers

1. Add ingredients and liquid to the pressure cooker and select high or low pressure. Put the cooker on the stove burner.

2. Turn the burner heat to high and leave it there until the cooker signals pressure is reached.

3. Turn the burner heat down to the minimum required to maintain the pressure and begin counting the cooking time.

4. Release pressure and serve!

For Electric Pressure Cookers

1. Add ingredients and liquid to the pressure cooker and select a cooking program or set the pressure cooking time.

2. Press start and then wait for the beep that signals the end of cooking.

3. Release pressure and serve!

10-Minute Natural Release. There are also instances where Natural Release may take too long but you want the benefit of its continued cooking time. When this is the case, turn off the heat and wait 10 minutes; then, if the cooker hasn’t opened, release any remaining pressure using Normal Release. If the pressure comes down before the 10 minutes are up, which may be the case for a stovetop cooker, wait the full time before opening the cooker. This 10-Minute Natural Release technique is especially useful for rice and other grains, which benefit from the extra 10 minutes in the cooker’s steam. (If the cooking was done at low pressure, the recipe will instruct you to use this procedure but count only 5 minutes.)

Serves4 to 6

Cooking Methodbroiling, pressure cooking

CostInexpensive

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Courseappetizer, side dish

Dietary Considerationegg-free, kosher, peanut free, soy free, vegetarian

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy

Type of Dishgratin, vegetable

Ingredients

  • 1 medium cauliflower
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 5 ounces Gorgonzola cheese (or other blue cheese), diced
  • ½ cup pine nuts (3 ounces)

Instructions

  1. Add 1 cup of water (or the minimum amount required by your cooker to reach pressure) to the pressure cooker base. Cut the florets from the cauliflower and cut them into l-inch pieces; reserve the stems for another use. Place the florets in the steamer basket and lower it into the cooker. Sprinkle with the salt.

  2. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook at high pressure (see Notes) for 3 minutes/all cooker types. When the time is up, open the cooker with the Normal Release method (see Notes).

  3. Turn on the broiler. Lift the steamer basket out of the cooker, tumble the florets into a heat-proof serving dish or individual ramekins, and sprinkle with the bread crumbs, cheese, and pine nuts. Place under the broiler until the cheese is bubbling and just starting to turn golden (about 5 minutes).

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