Three Decadent One-Pot Wonders To Make Tonight
It is unfortunate that the joy of cooking is not followed closely by the joy of cleaning-up. This is especially so on weeknights when no one remembered to run the dishwasher last night and only one clean pot is left in the cupboard. At moments like these, one-pot meals are given a hero’s welcome.
One-pot meals used to be the centerpiece of the dinner table. The aroma of its contents would fill the home and its hungry occupants would eagerly await the reveal of the dish that had been simmering in its rich broth all day.
The rush of modern life however has relegated the grandeur of the one-pot meal to a slapdash meal of ingredients that are hastily pulled together. But the truth is that one-pot meals can be quick, easy and decadent. Here are woman with drive’s top three picks that should be a go to in every home.
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It has a reputation for being finicky and even snooty but risotto is a dish that belongs in the back pocket of every home chef. Once you understand how to stir it to perfection, it will make frequent appearances on your weeknight menu especially if you want to impress unexpected dinner guests.
The beauty of a risotto is that its creamy base allows for the flavours of fresh, simple food to shine. So use one or two seasonal vegetables rather than a ton of ingredients. Also hold back on the salt in the early stages of cooking to make room for salty cheese later on. A splash of white wine will elevate this dish from home-cooked dish to gourmet.
The key to a good risotto is having everything ready beforehand, including the serving bowls. Risotto is perfect the minute it is done so make sure those bowls hit the table while the steam is still rising.
And if you want to create more than one meal from this single dish, scoop out a portion just before it is done and pop it in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, put in the pan with a little stock and cook it fresh.
Is there anyone with the heart – or stomach – to turn down a pot of thick, hearty stew? We think not! Stews are the chiefs of winter dinners for their ability to make us feel warm and satisfied long after we turn out the lights.
The best thing about a stew is that there are no right or wrong ways to make it. All you need to know is what works best with the main ingredient so you get the biggest explosion of flavours in one pot. For instance, lamb is marvelous with ground cumin, coriander, dried apricots and fresh ginger. Pork is a winner with apples and onions and beef is brilliant with bay leaves, rosemary and olives. Making a vegetarian version? Pair your greens with herbs like basil, parsley and mint.
To give your stew a little more body, add grains, beans or potatoes. And for that touch of decadence, sprinkle breadcrumbs or croutons or drizzle flavoured oils over it.
Yet another classic that has found it way from the pots of Asian restaurants to those on our own kitchen stove. Southeast Asian curries are vibrant in both colour and flavour, and the spices that swirl in its depths give each one its trademark taste.
The plus side to making a curry at home is that you can play around with the intensity of the spiciness so that it has just the right fiery kick. The only real effort that goes into cooking a curry is a trip to the Asian grocery store – which by now should be a stone’s throw from almost every Australian suburb!
Then choose from a mouth-watering range of Indian, Thai, Burmese and Malaysian curries. Keep it deliciously simple with chicken or vegetables or go exotic with fish head or duck. Whatever your choice, just be sure to cook enough to last you more than one meal. If you did not already know, a curry always tastes better the next day!
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