Monday, September 21, 2009

Cookbook Review: Glorious One-Pot Meals

Name: Glorious One-Pot Meals
Author: Elizabeth Yarnell
Publisher: Broadway Books, 2005
Pages: 223
No photos or drawings

The first thing I can say about this book is WOW! What an incredible technique even without the recipes.

Elizabeth Yarnell developed her revolutionary infusion cooking method to avoid often mushy slow cooker results and to make cooking and cleaning up after dinner a breeze. All it takes is a Dutch oven and a few basic fresh or even frozen ingredients layered - never stirred.

One pot meals are meals that can be layered into a dutch oven (caste iron or enameled cast iron) and baked in the oven and come out as a full meal of a protein, starch, and veggies. It is not to be confused with cooking a variety of things separately and adding them to a pot to finish or combine and served. It also isn't cooking something for a while and then opening the pot and adding more ingredients and then adding something else a while later. It is truly ONE pot and ONE step cooking.

The vegetables emerge crispy, the meats tender and the flavor is incredible.

Glorious One-Pot Meals has a long introduction and an even longer "What you need to know" chapter before the recipes begin. The technique is described in detail and timing charts are provided and suggestions for substitutions too! The recipe chapters are broken out into Fish, Seafood, Meal, Poutltry and Vegetarian. Every recipe is a full meal for 2 people. There are instructions in the first 2 chapters on how to double or quadruple the recipes.

I like being able to put everything together and then sit and relax with my husband or company while it cooks. I like having really great meals/recipes for just 2 people. I love the variety of the ingredients. Elizabeth Yarnell uses many different flavors, many different proteins, quite a variety of vegetables and grains.

I had many dishes in my menu last week from this book and each one was superb. Tonight we are having Adobo Pork.


Adobo, or roasted pork, is a staple in Latin America and some parts of southeast Asia. This is just one version of the Latin American-style dish, made easier as a Glorious One-Pot Meal. Replace the rice and broth with 3/4 cup quinoa and 1 cup of broth for a more authentic South American meal.

Ancho chiles are actually dried pablano chiles, which are rich in flavor and popular for cooking. They've been described as looking and tasting like prunes, though certainly with more of a bite. Anaheim chiles are a milder substitute.

You can use boneless frozen pork chops without increasing the cooking time. However, if they are frozen with the bone in, you may need to allow ten extra minutes in the oven. You can also substitute flank steask, or chicken pieces with good results. (ANOTHER wonderful thing about this cookbook is the ability to substitute things that are on sale, that you may have in the pantry or replace something you don't like.)

You can also add slices of fresh tomatoes to this recipe. Layer the sliced tomato on top of there is still space in the pot after adding the green pepper. (Serves 2)

Canola oil spray
1 cup Arborio rice (I will be using Quinoa)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons broth (beef, chicken or vegetable) or water
2 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1/4 large onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1/2 to 3/4 pound center-cut and deboned pork chops, 1 inch thick
One 15 ounce can corn drained
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into 1-inch strips

Preheat oven to 450°F

Brush inside and lid of a cast-iron Dutch oven with canola oil.

Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Tip the rice into the pot. Add liquid, reserving 1 tablespoon, and stir to make an even layer.

In a small bowl, stir-together the remaining 1 tablespoon of broth with the chiles, onion, oregano, cumin, pepper, allspice, vinegar, and orange and lime juices.

Place the pork chops in the pot and pour half of the mixture over them. Add the corn and bell pepper and pour in the rest of the spice mixture.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Serve immediately.


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