Cooking a three course meal in the time it takes to order a takeaway
I wanted to treat my other half, but I didn't want to spend the entire night in the kitchen...
Sometimes, you just want the full shebang of a three-course meal. Maybe it’s for a date night, maybe you’ve got friends or family round, maybe, you just want to treat yourself because you. deserve. it.
At the same time, you might not want to spend the entire day slaving away in the kitchen making said meal for yourself, your friends or your significant other.
If you’re short on time but big on appetite, a pressure cooker could solve all your problems. First up, I promise the modern day pressure cooker is so far removed from the ones of decades past. We’ll definitely leave those there, where they belong!
The Tefal Cook4Me+ is also a few steps further ahead than a ‘normal’ pressure cooker: it’s a smart pressure cooker. The digital screen on the front can offer you recipe inspiration (there’s 100 tucked away in the machine already, or 300 more on the app) as well as talking you through the whole process with a step-by-step method.
Each one is even split into sections, 'starters', 'mains', 'desserts' etc. – extra helpful if you’re planning a three-course extravaganza.
Last weekend, I fancied an easy three-course meal for me and my other half. I didn’t want a takeaway, and wanted to show I was putting in at least some effort. But after a ridiculously busy week, I also wanted minimum fuss (please don't judge me)!
We're also in the middle of doing up our house, so I'm currently trying to cook/live in a 70s kitchen with no oven or hob... *To the Tefal Cook4Me+*
On the night's menu was butternut squash soup, followed by a chicken and chorizo risotto, with molten chocolate pudding for dessert. Here's how I got on.
Starter: Butternut squash soup
It's meant to be getting warmer, but the weather doesn't seem to have got that memo. This time last year I had a tan from working in the garden in 25 degree heat, and this year I'm still making and eating soup. But that's ok, because soup is delicious, and the perfect starter. It might not be 25 degrees right now, but you can get it on the table in 25 minutes... that's an alright compromise, right?
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 75g onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 325g butternut squash, peeled and chopped
- 75g potato, diced
- 325ml vegetable stock
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare all your ingredients: Chop the onion, crush the garlic, dice the potato.
- Add 2 tsp oil to your Cook4Me+.
- When instructed, cook the onion and garlic for 2 mins.
- Add the rest of your ingredients – butternut squash, potato, vegetable stock, salt and pepper.
- Pressure cook for 15 minutes.
- Puree your soup in a blender.
- Check your seasoning, and serve in bowls with chunky bread.
Main course: Chicken and chorizo risotto
Everyone loves risotto, and everyone knows the worst/most annoying part of making a risotto is the constant stirring. It's not a dish you can walk away from and leave while you get on with other things. Well it wasn't, until you decided to make the super smart decision and make your risotto in your Tefal Cook4Me+. It honestly makes risottos an absolute doddle: not only do you not have to stir, they take less than half the time to cook as well. This one can be on the table in 16 minutes, with very little effort from you.
- 50g chorizo, diced
- 125g chicken thighs, diced
- 75g red onion, finely diced
- 150g risotto rice
- 30g sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 300ml chicken stock
- 50g yellow pepper, diced
- Prepare your ingredients: Chop the red onion, chop the garlic, dice the chicken thigh, chop the chorizo.
- Add oil to your Cook4Me+. Brown the chicken, chorizo and onion for 2 mins.
- Add rice and stir thoroughly.
- Add remaining ingredients – sun-dried tomatoes, paprika, garlic, yellow pepper, chicken stock.
- Pressure cook for 8 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy.
Dessert: Molten chocolate puddings
Chocolate fondants are always a crowd pleaser. Plus, there's the added jeopardy of making sure you get that perfectly ooey, gooey chocolate centre (seriously, how many people have tried and failed to make them on Masterchef?). Just make sure you find a heat proof ramekin to use for these ones! Get ready for the compliments to roll in.
- 50g plain chocolate (70%), broken into pieces
- 25g unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- 50g caster sugar
- 30g plain flour
- 2 heatproof 8cm ramekins
- 300ml cold water
- Prepare the ingredients. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl in the microwave (I usually do 20/30 second blasts and see how it's getting on).
- Once cooling a little, beat in the eggs, sugar and flour using an electric mixer.
- Fill your ramekins, cover with foil and secure with string.
- Put the ramekins in your steaming basket and pour water into the bowl.
- Pressure cook for 12 minutes.
- Serve with gooey centres (and maybe a blob of vanilla ice cream if you're feeling a bit extra).