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One Pot Wonders

Life is an intricately woven web that can become tangled and messy before you know it.  No one wants overcomplication, confusion or entanglement as part of his or her life. To make this metaphor complete, think of your life as the web, and food as the threads that complete it.  To simplify the threads in your life, here are some simple and mouth-watering one-pot meals that will surely take your taste buds over the figurative edge without taking your fragile life over the literal one.

The first one-pot one stop meal I would like to share is a beef and shallot stew supplied by “Real Simple.” This hearty meal takes simple ingredients and marries them together in a melodious fashion that will surely keep your life stress-free.

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Source: Real Simple

Beef and Shallot Stew

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds chuck meat, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces, or 4 pounds precut stew meat
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bottle dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 pounds shallots, peeled
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  2. Season the beef with the salt and pepper.
  3. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or ovenproof pot over medium-high heat. Add some of the beef to the pot and brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining beef.
  4. Spoon off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Add the wine and cook, stirring and scraping the bottom, for 3 minutes.
  5. Return the beef to the pot along with the shallots and broth. Bring to a boil. Skim any foam. Add the thyme. Cover and transfer to oven until the beef is tender, about 2 hours. Spoon into individual bowls.

First Tasty Tufts Tip: When choosing meat, choose the beef that has the most marbling, as the more marbling the meat has, the more flavor the meat packs.

Second Tasty Tufts Tip: Remember that you are cooking this luxuriously simple meal for about two hours, enough time for even a less expensive cut of meat to become fall-off-the-bone tender. Thus, if you have cost constraints or just want to be cost-aware, do not feel pressured to buy the most expensive highest-quality meat.

If you are not much of a red meat eater, here is a chicken recipe from “Real Simple” that takes on the classic flavors of coq au vin and will surely transport you to France while still getting the kids to soccer practice on time.

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Source: Real Simple

Chicken Riesling

Ingredients

  • 12 chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced
  • 10 ounces pearl onions, peeled, or 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
  • 6 endives, ends trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2 cups Riesling wine

Directions

  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and fry until crisp. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Spoon off and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Add some of the chicken to the pot, skin-side down, and brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  4. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the endives and wine, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
  5. Nestle the chicken among the endives. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 40 minutes. 6.) Divide the chicken, endives, and sauce among individual plates and sprinkle with the reserved pancetta or bacon.

First Tasty Tufts Tip: For the vegetables in this recipe, use a paring knife for a more clean and precise chop.

Second Tasty Tufts Tip: Do not fret if you do not have a paring knife, the ingredients all get tossed into one pot for a harmonious marriage that will be sure to keep yours harmonious, too.

If you are not a meat eater at all, here is a delicious vegetarian one-potter, melding together the robust flavors of lentils and squash, and it just might hold your life together, too.

Squash raita

Source: BBCgoodfood.com

Squash, lentil & bean one-pot with fig raita

Ingredients

  • 400g piece butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chunkily diced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili flakes
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 100g dried red lentils
  • 2 tsp agave syrup or brown sugar
  • 2 tsp red or white wine vinegar
  • 400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 dried figs, finely chopped
  • 150ml pot fat-free natural yogurt
  • ½ small bunch parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Fry the squash and onion in the oil for 5-8 mins until the onion is softened.
  2. Stir in the cumin and chili flakes for 1 min.
  3. Add the tomatoes plus a can-full of water from the tomato can, the lentils, agave or sugar and vinegar.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 mins, then stir in the beans and cook for a further few mins until the lentils are tender and the beans heated through.
  5. Meanwhile, mix the figs, yogurt and parsley together. Season the stew, and then serve in bowls with fig raita on the side.

 

 

 

One Tasty Tufts Tip: Add in a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg for a full-bodied comfort that will keep your life running as smooth as pumpkin pie.

My most important Tasty Tufts Tip that will ensure the least amount of complication and the most amount of food loving in your lives is to invest in a crock-pot or pressure cooker. Any one-pot meal ingredient can be tossed into this magical machine before heading to class or work, ensuring a mouthwatering aroma and a delicious meal ready to be served when you arrive home.

Crock pot

Source: Walmart Images

Here is a link to 36 more quick and easy one-pot meals that will help keep your life intact like an Otterbox case does for an iPhone:  http://www.mrfood.com/One-Pots/36-Quick-and-Easy-One-Pot-Meals.

-Jay Sheintop

Cover Photo Source

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