Last week, we decided to have some fun in the Local Root store. We've been wanting to install our own test kitchen, but lack of space has prevented it - so the store manager did the only thing he could think to do: he went out and bought a portable induction burner! The first project we decided to tackle with the new burner was testing a pressure cooker from our Kuhn Rikon line. We started carrying this line a couple of months ago, but hadn't given them a try ourselves, so we gave one a go with a recipe from one of our cookbooks, Modernist Cuisine.

Pressure Cooker Fun

The recipe we picked was for Barley with Red Wine and Mushrooms. We went with something simple so as not to complicate the process, and got to work. The pressure cooker we used is the one pictured above, a Kuhn Rikon 5 Qt. Duromatic Saucepan. I found it to be the perfect size, and can see it being suitable for a wide variety of cooking projects.

Pressure Cooker Fun

We prepped the materials right in the store, using some Local Root merchandise in the process. Here, we used a Rosle Medium Grater to grate Gruyere cheese, and a Rosle Can Opener with Pliers Grip to open up our beef broth.

Pressure Cooker Fun

We also used a Friedr Dick 8" Chef's Knife to chop up shallots, and we did so on an Epicurean Kitchen Board (natural color).

Pressure Cooker Fun

We used Paderno measuring cups to portion our ingredients...

Pressure Cooker Fun

Pressure Cooker Fun

...and a Le Creuset Spatula for stirring, and releasing pressure from the pot! Since it was our first time using this contraption, we played it extra safe and didn't let our hands get too close at the end.

Pressure Cooker Fun

And here's what we found when the pressure was gone and we opened it up. Perfectly cooked barely and mushrooms!

Pressure Cooker Barley

Pressure Cooker Barley

All that was left was to stir in the cheese, and serve. We used a Revol France Belle Cuisine Cocotte for the final presentation.

Pressure Cooker Fun

Overall, a really successful first attempt - and the barely tasted amazing! I found it to be well cooked - slightly al dente, and the mushrooms kept their shape and integrity well. It was surprisingly flavorful, and enjoyed by all. A special afternoon snack in the store, for sure!

Have you ever used a pressure cooker?