Roasted sweet potato puree in a half an hour, with most of that being hands off time. Sounds like a miracle? It's not a miracle, it's science!
This is one of the neatest tricks I learned from Modernist Cuisine at Home. Browning occurs at much lower temperatures in an alkaline environment. The Maillard reaction normally occurs at temperatures above 350°F. According to MC@H, browning occurs at 230°F in an alkaline environment. We can easily reach that temperature in a pressure cooker, and the result is sweet potatoes that are browned all the way through.
I'm using this technique with sweet potatoes, but it works with almost any vegetable. I've used it with carrots (via ModernistCuisine.com) and winter squash (via SeattleWeekly.com and Seattle Food Geek). In the book (MC@H) they make a range of vegetables - from leek and potato onion soup to roasted red pepper puree.
Now, one question I had - Modernist Cuisine pressure cooks the vegetables for 20 min. Everyone else (for example, my Cuisinart Electric PC) recommends 6 minutes, max. Why the extra time? To give the vegetables time to brown all the way through. Yes, that's right, the interior of the vegetables will brown as well as the exterior.
If you own a Pressure Cooker, you need to try this technique out.
Recipe: Pressure Cooker Sweet Potato Puree
Adapted From: Modernist Cuisine at Home
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I use an Instant Pot electric PC)
- Potato masher (or food processor)
- The silicone mini-mitts from the video
Pressure cooker sweet potatoes with a spicy kick from pureed chipotle en adobo.
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter
- 2 pounds (3 large) sweet potatoes, peeled and rough chopped ½" thick
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or 2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- ½ teaspoon chipotle en adobo puree or dried chipotle powder
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup water
- Cook the sweet potatoes: Melt the butter in the pressure cooker pot over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, sprinkle with the salt and baking soda, add the chipotle and brown sugar, then stir in the water. Lock the lid and bring the pressure cooker up to high pressure. Lower the heat to maintain high pressure, cook at high pressure for 16 minutes (20 minutes in an electric PC), then quick release the pressure.
- Puree the sweet potatoes: Mash the potatoes in the pot using the potato masher - they should be very soft, and puree easily. (Or, dump everything from the pot into a food processor and run for 30 seconds.) Taste and add more salt or sugar if needed.
Video of this recipe: Pressure Cooker Sweet Potatoes
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Side Dish
- Cuisine: Amercian
- No pressure cooker? You won't get the roasted flavor that the pressure cooker offers, but you can do a regular sweet potato puree. Skip the baking soda, and using a regular pot, follow the instructions to "lock the lid of the pressure cooker." Then, cover the pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a paring knife. Continue with "puree the sweet potatoes".
- This recipe scales up easily; use ½ teaspoon baking soda per 2 pounds of vegetables. That's the right proportion to get the alkaline environment for pressure browning.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
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