For the month of November, we’ll be pulling together the items you’ll need to have as seamless a Thanksgiving as possible. We spoke to chef Alex Raij, who co-owns the restaurants El Quinto Pino, Txikito, La Vara, and Tekoá, about the most powerful tool in her kitchen arsenal.
Everyone in Spain has a Fagor pressure cooker. You can cook everything quicker and get deep, precise, perfect flavors and textures with one tool. The Innova is the most straightforward pressure cooker that Fagor offers: It doesn’t have any of the fancy features of plug-in models, but it works consistently, and you can use it on either induction or gas, which is not the case with a lot of pressure-cooker brands.
Beans and greens come out super creamy — only this pressure cooker can collapse cell walls like that. The best risotto takes only seven minutes. You can cook the most succulent boiled chicken you have ever had, and get a chicken broth in just 40 minutes that’s perfectly clarified because the pressure cooker automatically stratifies your stock. Even when I make chickpeas, I’ll save the broth because the clarity of flavors in the pot liquor from the pressure cooker is the best. Because of the Fagor’s design, the water reaches a boiling point and stays there, so nothing is boiling over and polluting your broth.
A pressure cooker is not a slow cooker. Slow cookers encourage poor technique — you’re not engaged, and you don’t use your intuition. When you’re using the Fagor, you have to pay attention the whole 40 to 50 minutes because it’s basically a pan with a pressurized top on it. You’re not just dumping a few ingredients into a pot and leaving. It’s an easy way to put really healthy, tasty food on the table that has bold flavor and is immediately satisfying. Sometimes when you cook for your family you’ll make a loveless meal because you’re in a hurry. We’ve all done it. I think this pressure cooker is free love, even if you’re rushed.
As told to Priya Krishna
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