Read Glorious One-Pot Meals Online

Authors: Elizabeth Yarnell

Glorious One-Pot Meals (6 page)

Fish Florentine

Legend has it that when Catherine de Medici of Florence was wed to Henry of Aragon, she brought a Florentine chef with her to prepare the foods she adored. The Florentine style of cooking leans toward simple preparations of fresh foods to make consistently appealing meals. Traditionally, this dish uses a flaky white fish such as sole, cod, or halibut, but it does wonders for a salmon fillet or even orange roughy.

Pack as much spinach as possible into the pot as it will cook down significantly Don’t be afraid to push down the leaves with the heel of your hand. Just be sure that the seal around the lid is tight when the pot goes in the oven.
SERVES 2

Olive oil spray

2 packed cups roughly chopped fresh spinach

½ to ¾ pound fish fillets (sole, cod, halibut, salmon, etc.)

1 lemon, ½ thinly sliced, ½ cut into wedges

3 to 6 garlic cloves, sliced

2 or 3 tomatoes, thickly sliced

Grated Parmesan cheese, optional

Bread crumbs, optional

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Spray the inside and lid of a cast-iron Dutch oven with olive oil.

Line the bottom of the pot with about half the spinach. Add the fish and spray lightly with olive oil. Cover with a single layer of lemon slices and garlic.

Layer the remaining spinach and arrange the tomato slices on top, leaving just enough room for the lid to fit securely. If desired, sprinkle lightly with Parmesan cheese or bread crumbs.

Cover and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Serve immediately with the lemon wedges and, if desired, sprinkle with grated Parmesan.

Fish with Herbes de Provence

The term
herbes de Provence
refers to the mix of herbs commonly used in southern French cooking. These include basil, thyme, chives, oregano, sage, rosemary, lavender, and dill, and can be used in almost any combination. You can purchase a premixed jar of herbes de Provence and use that in place of the herbs designated in this recipe. Any white fish tastes great in this dish. Try this with cod, sole, roughy, or snapper.
SERVES 2

Olive oil spray

1 lemon, thinly sliced

5 garlic cloves, sliced

½ to ¾ pound white fish fillets

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried

3 or 4 fresh chives, minced

3 or 4 medium red potatoes, sliced into ½-inch rounds

8 to 10 mushrooms, sliced

2 cups fresh or frozen cut green beans, or 1 small zucchini, sliced

1 tablespoon drained capers, optional

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Spray the inside and lid of a cast-iron Dutch oven with olive oil. Arrange a third of the lemon and garlic slices in the bottom of the pot. Add the fish in a single layer (cut the fillets into pieces, if necessary) and top with another third of the lemon and the rest of the garlic. Sprinkle most of the herbs over the fish, keeping some in reserve.

Add the potatoes, mushrooms, and beans in layers, sprinkling with the remaining herbs, until the pot is full. Top with capers, if desired.

Cover and bake for about 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Serve immediately, garnished with the remaining lemon.

Fish with Hong Kong Sauce

When my husband and I were in Hong Kong on what would turn out to be our engagement trip, we became devotees of a local diner that served this ketchup-based sauce over almost anything. We Americans tend to recoil at the thought of serving the lowly condiment ketchup with anything besides hamburgers and French fries. In this recipe, ketchup is used as a subtle accent, so for the best and freshest flavor, choose a high-quality organic ketchup.

This Glorious One-Pot Meal is fabulous with a fillet of salmon or tuna, but you can use chicken or beef instead. It’s hard to resist this mouthwatering sauce. Substitute any vegetables you wish; just try to provide a rainbow of green, red, and yellow vegetables to maximize nutritional value.
SERVES 2

2 teaspoons sesame oil

¼ medium onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup white rice

1 to 1½ teaspoons Asian chili paste

½ to ¾ pound fish fillets or steaks

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon white wine or sherry

3 tablespoons ketchup, preferably organic

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger, or ¼ teaspoon ground

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

cups fresh or frozen cut green beans

10 to 15 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut into thirds

¾ cup shredded red cabbage

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Use a paper towel to wipe the inside and lid of a cast-iron Dutch oven with the sesame oil.

Spread the onion and garlic in the pot.

Add the rice to the pot with 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon water and ½ teaspoon of the chili paste. Stir to make an even layer of the rice. Place the fish on top, skin side down. Lightly season with salt and pepper and add the wine.

In a small bowl, mix the ketchup, ginger, about ½ teaspoon salt, the sugar, cornstarch, ½ to 1 teaspoon chili paste, and 3 tablespoons warm water. Whisk well to dissolve all of the ingredients, especially the cornstarch.

Layer the green beans and asparagus over the fish. Drizzle half of the ketchup mixture evenly over the top. Cover with the cabbage and pour the rest of the ketchup mixture over all.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Serve immediately unless the rice is still crunchy. If this is the case, remove the pot from the oven and let it sit with the lid tightly closed for an additional 5 minutes to allow the steam to penetrate the grains. Fluff the rice with a fork before serving.

Mediterranean-Style Trout

Eat in the light, clean, Mediterranean tradition for meals that are low in fat but high in flavor. Vary this recipe by using other vegetables such as eggplant, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and mushrooms or by replacing the fish with chicken, strip steak, or even seitan (a wheat product found near the tofu in the refrigerated section of the health food store). This recipe has an elegance that will impress your guests.

I like to use an oval Dutch oven with fish fillets simply because they tend to fit better. However, to make a long fillet fit into a round pot, simply cut the fillet into two or three pieces and lay them side by side.

You can easily skip the wine in this recipe and still have a great-tasting meal, but if you do use wine, try a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc that you would happily drink rather than a “cooking wine.”
SERVES 2

Olive oil spray

1 cup Arborio rice

½ to ¾ pound trout fillets

1 tablespoon drained capers

tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

2 to 5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 cup fresh or frozen pearl onions

¼ cup sliced kalamata olives

1 cup fresh or frozen cut green beans

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 or 3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped

⅓ cup white wine

Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Spray the inside and lid of a cast-iron Dutch oven with olive oil.

Rinse the rice in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Tip the rice into the pot. Add 1 cup of water and stir to make an even layer. Set the trout in next, skin side down. Sprinkle the capers, half the parsley, and all the garlic over the trout.

Scatter the onions and the olives on and around the trout. Add the green beans and lightly season with salt and pepper.

Add the tomatoes, sprinkle with the rest of the parsley, and again lightly season with salt and pepper. Pour the wine over all.

Cover and bake for 45 minutes, or until 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven. Serve immediately.

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