Eat This Week: One-pot Meals

Nov 8, 2017

salmon2It seems as if the snow and time change have put the squeeze on the dinner hour—although there’s just as much time as there has always been, darkness descending an hour earlier makes it feel later than it actually is. We’ve been streamlining dinner by doing it all in one dish—steelhead trout or salmon fillets roasted in their own parchment packets with a few veggies, herbs or thin slices of lemon, or on a rimmed baking sheet alongside seasonal veggies that cook to tender-crisp in the ten minutes it takes to cook the fresh fish. If the veggies take longer, I stick them in the oven first, then when they’re ten minutes away from being done, push them aside and slide on the fresh fish filet, which cooks in about 10 minutes per inch of thickness if the oven is at around 425˚F — the perfect temperature for roasting vegetables.

meatballs2There are few meals as satisfying as a big pot of red sauce, full of meatballs, bubbling away on the stove. DIY meatballs are surprisingly fast—some good ground chuck, mixed if you like with some ground pork, breadcrumbs or bread soaked in milk, grated parmesan and an egg to help bind everything together. You mix and shape them as the simple sauce simmers, then plunk them in and let them cook. Or to streamline the whole process, you could simply squeeze fresh Italian sausages from their casings at 1-inch intervals directly into the pot, creating flavourful sausage meatballs that also infuse the sauce. Boil some pasta, warm some bread, and dinner’s ready. (OK, this is not quite one-pot. But the sauce itself is—I often make a larger batch than we need, and freeze the rest, or serve the saucy meatballs in soft, split buns.)

I also love doing a quick cassoulet in the winter—fresh sausages laid out over tinned beans and baked in the oven, perhaps with a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme tossed on top. It’s so easy, and smells so wonderful, and makes us all feel cozy and well-fed.

Here’s to quick and easy, but also hearty and delicious—real food.

Have a great week, everyone!

 

Shopping list:
lean ground chuck
steelhead trout filets
Spolumbo’s sausages
good canned tomatoes
canned white beans
dry pasta
fresh herbs (rosemary and thyme)
olive oil

Links:
Roasted Salmon with Asparagus
One-pot Meatballs
Quick Cassoulet

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