Tuesday, October 14, 2014

One Pot From the Editors of Martha Stewart Living: Cookbook Review

I was very happy when my review copy of One Pot: 120+ Easy meals from your skillet, slow cooker, stockpot and more from the Editors of Martha Stewart Living arrived in the mail.  This book is packed with recipes that enable you to add all of the ingredients to one cooking vessel and make a complete meal for your family with much less of the effort, wasted time and cleanup of multiple dishes and bowls that normally go into your dinner preparations.

I really enjoyed the fact that they presented each cooking vessel in a chapter of its own and that at the beginning of the chapter they highlight the unique ability of each type of pot or appliance to deliver you a great meal.  They also offer instructions on how to choose one that will work for you if you don't own one and tips and tricks for cooking in it.

The book is divided into chapters which focus on Dutch ovens, skillets or saute' pans, slow cookers, roasting pans or baking dishes, pressure cookers and stockpot or saucepans.  I found I owned one or the other (or in most cases both) of all of these categories of cooking vessels with the exception of a pressure cooker.  I honestly might be getting us a pressure cooker for Christmas after reading some of the recipes and seeing it used again and again on the Food Network and on shows like Top Chef to speed up cooking times of proteins and dishes that would usually take much longer.

All of the recipes in this book are accompanied by a photograph showing you the delicious results of your kitchen time.  By focusing on 120 recipes they were able to present a gorgeous, full page photo of each dish and dedicate several pages to each different type of cook wear without the paper bound book being huge or heavy.  Sometimes when a book is filled with hundreds of recipes they lack the time and attention needed to make each dish feel special.  All of the recipes in this book feel like they could be an easy weeknight meal or an appropriate special occasion dish.

I feel the authors did a bang up job in highlighting each chapter's pot or pan and that along the way they give you great confidence in cooking in that vessel and also in creating your own dishes in this easy cooking method.  I was able to make a wonderful one pot soup inspired by ingredients I had on hand after reading through these recipes.  The launching point of the Poor Man's Wedding Soup from my earlier blog post came from my desire to make the Sweet Potato and Sausage soup featured in the book but not having several of the ingredients in my pantry.  Once you get the hang of the one pot method, you can easily adapt the recipes or make substitutions with other similar vegetables or ingredients.  That made this book even better and it has also inspired me to pick up the makings of the Turkey Skillet Pie recipe to try this week.  These recipes make dinner approachable and I am very thankful to have such a great collection of recipes that don't have huge amounts of prep time or expensive, difficult to find ingredients.  I have several of Martha Stewart's cookbooks, but I find them to have a lot of labor intensive dishes so this book was a welcome surprise.

The only small complaint I have about the book is the inclusion of the chapter on desserts.  If they were truly one pot desserts as I expected them to be, I would have been over the moon, but sadly they were not.  Although the sweet treats included were simple to put together, I would have much rather seen ten extra recipes that focused on one pot dishes.  I actually went out and purchased a different cookbook in my curiosity to find true "one pot" deserts and will be reviewing it shortly!

Overall, this book is most certainly what I would call a go to collection for dinner and I find it very inspiring.  I look forward to trying my hand at several of the dishes in this collection.  Thank you Blogging for Books for providing me with this copy for review.

I hope all of you are inspired to get cooking!  You can check out a excerpt from One Pot that include three dutch oven recipes on the Random House site, including recipes for Chicken and Dumplings, Beef Stew with Noodles and Carnitas Tacos.  Happy eating folks, and much love to all of you.

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