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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. I was a little less crazy about the Beef Stroganoff, but it was a reasonable foundation that I felt just required some doctoring from the spice cabinet.
Your taste of course will vary from mine in assessing individual recipes, but as always you will need to adjust spices and flavors to suit your own preferences.
All in all, One Pot is a very good introduction to the art of one pot cooking (and thus one-pot clean up!). If you have not worked with a pressure cooker before, here is a nice opportunity to try one out (buy a newer model, they are so much more safe than the old ones we used to use!). Likewise having a good roasting pan will make your efforts so much more pleasant for entertaining or just filling your house with wonderful aromas and good healthy foods.
I have probably rambled long enough about this now. I have a new Korean stone bowl that just arrived, and I have a date with some hot pot recipes!
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.
Desserts: Rustic Apple Tart, No-Churn Coffee Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream, and Fruit Skillet Cake.
This is a cookbook that anyone can use day after day. These are simple, easy meals. Easy enough for weeknights, but filled with enough flavor for the weekends! I have over 200 cookbooks and this will definitely be at the top as one of my most used.
Two recipes in this book, One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, . . ., are worth the price of it. Those two are the Beef Stew and the Chicken and Dumplings. I like other recipes in the book too but the beef stew and chicken/dumplings call for cutting the meat into bite sized pieces. That way it cooks quicker and the big pay off is that virtually every bite has meat in it. Who would have thought of that other than Martha, huh!!?? All the recipes are cooked in one pot/pan/skillet and most are at least as quick as any other recipe if not quicker. I make the ice cream from the recipe in this book all the time (you do not need an ice cream freezer which is the beauty of the recipe).
I have a case full of cookbooks and this is one of my favorites. Who can complain about easy recipes that turn out like a top chef culinary concoction? Recipe books are like everything else, subject to opinion. In my opinion, this is a great cookbook! There are photos of each dish so that the cook can see what the finished dish looks like. Great One Pot cookbook!!
I've already made several of the dishes--so yummy. My mom came to help out after I had my baby and made 2 of the recipes, and loved them, as well. She is a picky eater and was worried about the amount of ginger in the recipe, but really liked it (I love ginger, and added more ginger the next time I made it). These recipes are fairly easy, not a lot of ingredients for most, and seem sophisticated. A great cookbook to add to the collection.
Silly me, I thought I was getting a companion book to my Instant Pot! That said, the book has some great recipes and you can make them in a variety of formats. I'm sure I will make good use of it in the future.