TOP CHEF Wonderful One-Pot Meals
Recently, on Top Chef (season five, episode six), Martha Stewart judged the cheftestants on their ability to prepare a one-pot meal in under an hour. Unfortunately, she was way off the mark with her final decision. She chose the herb rubbed filet mignon with cauliflower puree as the winning dish. Although I’m sure it was delectable, it certainly was not a one pot meal! Using one pot for one ingredient, then cleaning it out and using it again and again for each remaining ingredient, plus adding a food processor into the mix (to puree the cauliflower) is NOT considered a one-pot meal. Hosea Rosenberg should have won that challenge with his one-pot Paella. He simply used one pot, one time, to make one delicious dish. The cheftestants that used their pot more than once should have been disqualified. Martha, Martha, Martha! What the heck were you thinking? We may need to send you back to the “big house” for that culinary catastrophe.
One pot meals are a great cooking option for many folks because it cuts down on kitchen clean up. How many of us can honestly say we love washing pots and pans? I’m venturing to say, not too many. As a matter of fact, one of the biggest complaints I hear from clients (besides a lack of time to get into the kitchen and cook for themselves), is they hate dealing with the cleanup after cooking. Nothing elicits heartburn quicker than staring at a sink full of dishes piled ten feet high. Ugh!
Have no fear. Wonderful one-pot meals make it possible to enjoy fully-balanced delicious dinners (and lunches, too) without all the muss and fuss. Check out these yummy recipes that are truly ONE POT meals for you to enjoy!
Sable & Soba Noodle Dashi
5 cups water
1 packet (3 grams) bonito flakes
1 strip kombu (5-6 inches)
2 carrots, cut on thin diagonals
2 inches ginger, peeled and minced
1/3 cup shoyu or tamari (wheat free)
2 tbsp. mirin
3-4 oz soba noodles (1/4 package)
2-3 shitake mushrooms , sliced thin
8-12 ounces sable fish fillet (black cod), cut into quarters
3-4 bok choy leaves, chopped
3 scallions, minced
Combine water, bonito flakes and kombu in a 3-4 quart soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Remove kombu and bonito flakes from the pot and discard. Add carrots, ginger, shoyu and mirin. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add soba noodles and shitake mushrooms, cook 4-5 minutes. Add quartered pieces of sable and chopped bok choy. Cover and simmer 5-7 minutes. Serve in individual bowls with each getting one piece of fish. Garnish with minced scallions. Yields 4 servings.
For more Wonderful One-Pot Meals check out my December’s Recipes.