I love my knives. I love my cast iron pans. I love my lettuce spinner and my Vitamix and my juicer.
I guess on any given day any of those tools could be my favorite.
But today I was reminded how much I love one tool in particular, and I want to share it with you.
I love my pressure cooker.
For making people-friendly, planet-friendly food, there is no better tool.
My pressure cooker cooks beans from start to finish in under an hour. Can your favorite pot or pan do that?
Here's how I do it, using a method I learned from Madhur Jaffrey.
First Step: Sometimes I quick-soak my dried beans. Sometimes I don't. I try to do it every time I make beans, but I don't always have time. For a quick-soak, pour boiling water over your beans and let them sit for about an hour. Then rinse well.
Second Step: Put your quick-soaked beans into your pressure cooker and cover with an inch or two of water.
Third Step: Add a few drops of peanut oil or other high-heat oil. (I avoid canola because it comes from a genetically modified seed. Grapeseed oil or coconut oil would be good options.) The oil keeps the water from foaming up and clogging your pressure release valve.
Fourth Step: Bring your pressure cooker to full pressure and then reduce the heat to keep it at full pressure until the beans are cooked. For chickpeas like those I cooked tonight, this takes about 15 minutes. Check out this handy guide for cooking times of other types of beans.
Fifth Step: After 15 minutes at full pressure, turn off the heat and let the pressure reduce on its own. This will take at least half an hour if not a bit longer.
Last Step: Drain and rinse your beans. They're good to go!