Instantly French! is the Reason to Buy an Instant Pot
Little known fact…
The pressure cooker might seem like a fad, but it was actually invented by a French physicist, Denis Papin, in the 17th century. French home cooks have long embraced the traditional pressure cooker as a way to get dinner quickly on the table, and most people grew up familiar with the whistling sound of their mother’s pressure cooker. Who knew?!
I have to admit that I was skeptical about the Instant Pot craze for a while before the irresistible Amazon Prime Day deals prompted my purchase. Having read the explosive horror stories, my brand new pressure cooker sat in the box for a while as I wrapped my head around using it. My concerns were inflated; as long as you respect a few simple safety rules, this device is a winner.
Safety aside, the next question was what to cook. Visual temptations abound on social media, linking to recipes. I tried a few good recipes and a few marginal ones, but honestly, I wasn’t bowled over. Having grown up in New Orleans, the bar is high for GREAT FOOD, so I am willing to go the extra mile. When I lived in Washington DC I learned classic techniques of French Cuisine, just to apply them in healthy ways to cooking at home. I have the utmost respect for French culinary techniques because they serve as a solid foundation for all cooking, but I’m now wondering why the long way is even taught when this culinary HOV lane has been around for centuries. I didn’t realize how big I had hit the jackpot when I discovered the only French cookbook specifically for pressure cookers. I pre-ordered a copy.
The cookbook did not disappoint… Instantly French! is reason alone to buy a pressure cooker. This is easily my all-time favorite cookbook. Everything that I have tried is extraordinary, like eating out at a fine restaurant. Think Michelin 3 star. Seriously. The author, Ann Mah, reduces all of the time-consuming, mess-making French technique to quick and easy, doable recipes with results that would impress the toughest food critic you know. All in one pot! The time-save is remarkable and the mess, non-existent.
Shown above is braised pork with apples, a rich wintry stew that comes together in no time.
Gourmet Recipes for busy people
The photography in her book is beautiful, and representative of the outcome when you cook her recipes. No photography or editing tricks here.
I have cooked her coq au vin (chicken in red wine sauce), fricassee de poulet aux champignons (chicken with mushrooms and cream), poulet a la moutard (chicken in mustard sauce), beef bourguignon, porc a la normande (braised pork with apples), potage aux cinq legumes (five vegetable soup), cardes, tiges, racines et feulles (ribs, stems, roots and leaves- soup),soupe de poulet a la vietnamienne (Vietnamese chicken noodle soup), lemon goat-cheese cheesecake, and the best rice pudding I have ever eaten. My copy is flagged with numerous post-it notes, tagging the next recipes I will try as this book continues to surprise and delight. Not one of the above recipes cooked for more than 25 minutes- the soups cooked for as little as 5 minutes, and as much as 10.
This cookbook is a game changer for food enthusiasts who have a full life and/or a career. Fine meals in minutes are sure to spoil you. The only problem is that you will have a hard time eating out after eating this well at home. But that’s the way that eating at home should be. Instantly French! covers the categories of a menu, with first courses, soups, chicken, fish and shellfish, pork/veal/lamb/beef, and vegetables.
Demonstrating the incredible versatility of the appliance, this cookbook ends on a sweet note with desserts:
This is the one cookbook that I can’t get enough of. Instantly French! is reason alone to buy an Instant Pot. Purchase your copy of Instantly French! here.
photo credit: Katia Grimmer-Laversanne
About the author
The talented Ann Mah also writes for New York Times Travel section. She has lived in Paris since 2008 and written extensively about French cuisine – but didn’t know about the French obsession with pressure cookers until she received an Instant Pot as a gift. It occurred to her that the multicooker was a fantastic tool for classic French recipes – and the cookbook was born!
Maximum flavor with minimal time
Thanks to Mah, anyone can cook fine French cuisine. Dishes that once seemed like long weekend affairs or were too labor intensive to muster on a weeknight are now ready in a flash: WITH fresh ingredients, WITHOUT messing up the kitchen, in record-breaking time. Here is the exciting news- not only is Mah kind enough to create these phenomenal recipes for her new cookbook, but she has generously offered to give away one free copy of Instantly French!
How To Own Instantly French! For Free.
If you would like to win the free copy, go to the review post on my facebook page, like it and tell me in the comments why you would like a copy of the book. One winner will be selected and direct-messaged on Monday, October 22 via facebook. The book will be mailed to the lucky winner directly by the publisher. US addresses only.
*all French food photos credit to: Ashley McLaughlin