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The Amazon Book Review
Introducing The Amazon Book Review, our editors' fresh new blog featuring interviews with authors, book reviews, quirky essays on book trends, and regular columns by our editors. Explore now
For more than twenty years, the food editors and chefs in the kitchens of MARTHA STEWART LIVING have been producing bestselling cookbooks, including Martha Stewart’s Cakes, Meatless, Martha Stewart’s New Pies and Tarts, and Power Foods.
MARTHA STEWART is America’s most trusted lifestyle expert and teacher and the author of more than eighty books on cooking, entertaining, crafts, homekeeping, gardens, weddings, and decorating.
I have to admit that I am a little obsessed with all the various one pot styles of cooking. Starting probably way (way!) back in college, when I literally had only one pot to cook in, I made an infinite varieties of what came to be known as "stoop" (ie not quite stew, not quite soup). Now, thankfully, while I can afford more than one pot to cook in, I still am partial to only using one for a meal. Maybe it is the comfort of all that goodness cooking together, or maybe I am just too lazy to do a lot of cleaning up after dinner. Either way, needless to say, I have a lot of practice in this cooking method.
I will start off by saying that One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals is a worthwhile addition to my somewhat overburdened and sagging cookbook shelf. While my all time favorite I think will continue to be my handful of tagine recipes given to me decades ago by a family friend, or the timeless and always wonderful The Clay Pot Cookbook, One Pot gives some really nice approaches in a variety of styles that are accessible to almost any level of expertise in the kitchen.
Since being given One Pot, I have worked my way through several dozen of the recipes (did I mention I really like one pot recipes? lol). Most were just about dead-on as recipes go. The Kale and Tuscan Bean Soup was a particular favorite for my husband, who is not usually one for either anything Tuscan nor bean- (he has had an anti-Tuscan bias since I made him watch The English Patient, and the bean problem, well, you know..) The Mac and cheese varieties (yes, tried all of them!), were of course universally loved by my grandson and his friends, and the adults did not exactly shy away from it either.Read more ›
Let me begin this review by saying that I have four recipes from One Pot: Salmon with Kale and Cabbage, Baked Rice with Sausage and Broccoli Rabe, Pork Chops with Cabbage and Bacon, and Sausage with Acorn Squash and Onions. They have all been very good, the pork chop recipe was incredible.
One Pot is divided into 7 sections: Dutch Oven, Skillet and Saute Pan, Slow Cooker, Roasting Pan and Baking Dish, Pressure Cooker, Stockpot and Saucepan, and Desserts. I like this method of organization because I frequently choose or look for recipes based on the technique or equipment that I am wanting to use. Each section opens with a small introduction to the equipment used. For example in the Dutch Oven Section, it goes into materials used in their construction and ideal size.
I have marked practically the entire book to try, but here a three from each section to give an idea of the scope of the recipes (plus they are all recipes that sound good to me!)
Dutch Oven: Chicken and Dumplings, Carnitas Tacos, and Pork Stew with Potatoes and Rosemary.
Skillet and Saute Pan: Shrimp with Tomatoes and Orzo, Mushroom Cheddar Frittata, and Skillet Macaroni with Bacon and Gouda.
Slow Cooker: Garlic Chicken with Barley, Pot Roast with Sweet Potato and Prunes, and Spiced Chicken Stew with Carrots.
Roasting Pan and Baking Dish: Spatchcocked Chicken with Herbs and Lemon, Spiced Cod with Couscous, and Mexican Style Lasagna.
Pressure cooker: Beef Barley and Vegetable Stew, Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme, and Irish Beef Stew with Stout.
Stockpot and Saucepan: Warm Quinoa and Chicken Salad, Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup, and Pasta with Farm-Stand Vegetables.Read more ›
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This book was so much more than I expected. As the mother of 3 young children, I'm always looking for ways to simplify dinner time, because it's the most hectic time of day. I thought this cookbook would be perfect, as I love stovetop meals that only take one pot, making clean up SO much faster and easier. What I wasn't expecting was a whole variety of recipes - not just stovetop meals. The book includes slow cooker meals, pressure cooker meals, Dutch oven, roasting, etc. It really is a great guide to all things one pot!
The photos are beautiful, in true Martha Stewart fashion. And there is a photo of every recipe, which is always a plus for a cookbook. If I could choose one criticism, it would only be that some of the recipes are too sophisticated for some people in my family. But I made the Skillet Turkey Pie and we all loved it. I think this book will be a welcome addition to my library.
The one-pot meal has always been a staple for those of us who do not have enough time for the fancy mid-week meals but want something that is still hearty and full of flavor. What's great about this book is that it hits on various tools for the one-pot cooking, each which have their strengths and weaknesses: dutch over, slow-cooker, roasting pan, pressure cooker, etc... Having cooked with almost all of the methods mentioned (except for pressure cooker since it scares me to death!) it is great to see recipes which are tuned to the cooking method, since there are so many cook books which attempt to do every recipe using one method, which can result in mediocre meals.
The Texas red chili recipe was spot on, and will be a regular winter staple.
For the many busy parents, and those who like to simplify cooking, this is a great read.
For those who are getting into cooking, check out my listmania list of great kitchen tools.