Archive for the ‘ One Pot Meal ’ Category


Sausage and Lentil Stew

Let’s be honest — this dish isn’t going to be winning any beauty pageants anytime soon.  With it’s reddish-brown color scheme and thick, chili-like texture, this isn’t the type of recipe that turns many heads on Foodgawker or Tastespotting.  So, like a friend who’s just set you up on a blind date with an aesthetically challenged individual, I implore you to move past its humble appearance and try to get to know the soul of this comforting dish.

For me, this is cold weather fare at its best.  A warm, stick-to-your-ribs type meal that’s like a hug from a loved one.  Creamy lentils and sausages combine to produce a dish that is both high in protein and rich in savory flavor.  The best part? It’s cheap and simple to make.  In fact, you probably already have everything to make it your kitchen.  All you really need is a handful of lentils, a few sausages from the fridge, a leftover glass of wine, and you can have a filling and satisfying meal at a moment’s notice.  This is hearty food that reheats well and makes great leftovers.

If looks don’t matter, you might have found your new soul mate.

Continue reading lentil stew recipe . . .


Pappardelle with Lamb Ragu

My friends were teasing me the other night for my frequent use of the word “unctuous” in some of my previous posts. I sure wish I had used a bit more restraint, because if there was ever an adjective to describe this lamb ragù, it would be just that. This is the kind of hearty pasta dish that I crave during the cold winter months. Not only does it fill your home with the warm, inviting scent of spice-braised lamb, but the resulting sauce is as fine as any you will find coming out of a restaurant kitchen. The best part? It can be made a full day ahead of when you plan on serving it.

This recipe is an adaptation of one I’ve made in the past from chef Andrew Carmellini of Locanda Verde in New York. Where the Food and Wine recipe calls for the use of ground lamb and a quick simmer, I opt to slow-braise chunks of lamb shoulder or stew meat over a few hours for a more rustic finished sauce. Either way you decide to go, you’ll find that the combination of the savory lamb ragù, creamy ricotta cheese and herbaceous mint is a truly spectacular one. It’s definitely worth your time to seek out pappardelle if you can find it at your local grocery store or Italian deli. The long, ribbon-like noodles are quite sturdy when cooked properly and provide the perfect companion for thick, meat-laden sauces like this one. If you’re a fan of lamb in any capacity, give this recipe a try — I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Continue reading pappardelle with lamb ragù recipe . . .


Coca-Cola Braised Beef Brisket

I’ll be the first to admit that I was bit skeptical the first time I came across a menu item that featured store-bought soda like Coca-Cola.  Convinced that the ingredient was completely superfluous and included solely for the sake of novelty, it wasn’t until I dug into a plate of tender, fall-of-the-bone, Dr. Pepper braised beef short ribs at the Roaring Fork in Scottsdale, Arizona, that I realized it was no gimmick.

I’d like to say that braising meat with the addition of soda brings a flavor to dishes that is unparalleled in complexity and nuance, but after using it as a medium in other dishes, I’ve found it simply contributes a unique, savory sweetness.  This flavor profile seems especially well suited for a tough, fatty cut of meat like brisket.  Long, slow simmering renders what is otherwise a notoriously chewy cut of beef into an unctuous, meltingly-tender meal that is perfect for the cold months ahead.  In the end, it’s amazing how a tough, budget cut of beef and a handful of cheap pantry ingredients can come together to create a dish that is as satisfying and filling this one. I know it looks like the cover image of a Hungry-Man TV dinner, but trust me, this stuff is comfort food at it’s best.

Continue reading beef brisket recipe . . .


Green Chile Mac & Cheese

Mac and cheese recipes are a dime a dozen on the net.  If you have a food blog and are even remotely tolerant of dairy, odds are you’ve posted a favorite recipe or unique rendition.  From bacon and blue cheese to truffles and lobster, there are countless offerings out there that claim to offer the ultimate mac and cheese experience. Whether it’s topped with breadcrumbs and baked in the oven or fresh from the stove top, oozing with a gooey melted cheese sauce, I’ve never met a version I haven’t liked.  That being said, in my mind one version stands out among the rest as a truly extraordinary and distinctive twist on the original: green chile mac and cheese.

I first had green chile mac and cheese on a trip to Scottsdale, Arizona for Spring Training with my Dad where we dined at chef Robert McGrath’s flagship, Roaring Fork restaurant.  After amazing, back-to-back dinners we decided to buy the cookbook and attempt to replicate his signature riff on the comfort classic.  Needless to say, the results were a near perfect match.  Simple to prepare, this dish gets it’s deep, smoky flavor from the addition of a puree of roasted poblano chiles.  Add in some heavy cream, a confetti of red bell pepper, sweet corn kernels and a healthy dose of piquant pepper jack cheese and you have a mac and cheese dish worthy of a little excitement.

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Split Pea Soup

While my Mom is good at cooking many things, my Dad and I both agree that she is especially great at making delicious, comforting soups.  From minestrone and lentil to chicken tortilla and roasted butternut squash, she would be the first to point out that, “it’s kind of hard to screw up soup”.  Ever the modest chef, my Mom’s casual approach to cooking is something I look to emulate in the kitchen on a daily basis.  With a propensity to sweat the small stuff when it comes to recipe components and cooking techniques, it is while making soup that I feel the most at ease.  In fact, I’ve found that soup making can be one of the most relaxing of kitchen tasks.  Throw a bunch of quality ingredients in a pot, simmer low and slow until the flavors come together and you have a simple and satisfying supper with leftovers for the week.

A hearty and warming soup, split pea with ham is one of my all-time favorites for the Fall because of its earthy flavor, rustic texture and tender shreds of smoky pork.  There are countless way to make this comfort classic, but I am particularly fond of adding bit of cream sherry at the end of cooking for a unique, sophisticated sweetness.  This is a very simple soup to prepare and certainly one falls into the category of dishes that are difficult to screw up.

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