One Pot Wonders: A Recipe for Savings


If time is money, then get rich off the hours of dishwashing you’ll save with these single pot suppers.

Don’t let a sink full of dirty dishes wash your night down the drain. Instead, pick a pot and conjure up a marvelous meal, with no hidden bowls or surprise sides. It’s everything you need for dinner, all under one lid.

Spring Chicken Pot “Pie”
Don’t let your stoneware gather moss. Moving seamlessly from searing stovetop to ambient oven, the classic cooking vessel allows you to create layers of flavor, without stacks of dishes.

1 can prepared biscuits
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken thigh, cut into large chunks
¾ pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into large chunks
salt and pepper
1 10-ounce bag frozen pearl onions, thawed
1 small leek, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups chicken broth
½ cup half and half
1 10-ounce bag frozen peas and carrots, thawed
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt half of the butter in a dutch oven, over medium heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper, add to the pot and brown, about 3 minutes. Push chicken to one side of the pot and add the remaining butter, along with pearl onions, leeks and carrots. Cook until vegetables are limp, 3-5 minutes. Add flour and stir entire contents of pot, continuously, for 1 minute. Add wine and reduce for another minute before stirring in broth and half and half. Bring to a simmer and stir in the peas and carrots and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

2. Place biscuits evenly over the surface of the stew. Bake, uncovered, until biscuits are brown on top, about 12 minutes. Lower heat to 350 degrees, cover, and continue baking until biscuits are steamed through, about 5 minutes more.

Left to clean: One Dutch oven, one liquid measuring cup, one dry measuring cup, one wooden spoon, one cutting board and one knife.

Tip: Use a wok cooking technique to save a step and a dish. Instead of removing and returning ingredients to the pot, simply squirrel cooked ingredients around the sides of the pan to create some real estate for the next item.

Next recipe: Udon Noodles

Udon Noodle Pot
Noodle bars are bubbling up all over the place. With a stockpot and a few signature ingredients, your kitchen could be next.

12 ounces Udon noodles, dried or fresh
1 tablespoon hot sesame oil
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausage, removed from casing and rolled into ½-inch balls
1 cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups sugar snap peas
2 bunches baby bok choy, thinly sliced
4-6 scallions, thinly sliced, whites and greens separated
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
¼ cup mirin
3 cups prepared Dashi broth (or seafood broth)
8 ounces small (31-36 count) peeled, deveined shrimp

1. Cook udon in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to package directions. Drain noodles and toss with hot sesame oil, in the colander.

2. In the same pot, heat peanut oil over medium-high heat; add sausage meatballs and cook, turning, until golden on all sides. Add mushrooms, snap peas, shredded bok choy, scallion greens and garlic and cook, stirring (once in awhile), until vegetables are beginning to brown. Add the soy sauce and mirin, and cook 30 seconds more, before adding the broth. Bring to a simmer, add the shrimp and cook-through, 2-3 minutes.

3. Stir Udon back into the pot and continue cooking until noodles are reheated. Garnish with scallion whites.

Left to clean: One stock pot, one colander, one liquid measuring cup, one dry measuring cup, one measuring spoon, one cutting board and one knife.

Tip: Clean as you go. Rinse and reuse equipment as you’re cooking, instead of reaching for the clean stuff.

Next recipe: Sunday Supper

Sunday Supper Crock Pot
Use one old favorite to reinvent another. Slow cooking tenderizes notoriously leaden meatloaf and a bed of pub fries puts otherwise discarded drippings to noble use.

2 russet potatoes, cut into thick wedges
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 egg
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 ½ pounds ground chuck
¼ cup grated onion
3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup tomato juice
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar

1. In the slow cooker combine egg, celery salt, ground beef, onion, breadcrumbs and tomato juice and mix with hands. Turn mixture out onto counter and form into a round loaf. Rinse out the cooker insert use it to toss potato wedges with oil, salt and thyme. Return insert to slow cooker and arrange potatoes in an even layer.

2. In a rinsed measuring cup, stir together ketchup, Worcestershire and brown sugar with a measuring spoon. Spoon sauce evenly over loaf; cover crock and cook on high for 1 hour. Switch temperature to low and cook for about 6 hours, or until the loaf’s center reaches 160 degrees.

Left to clean: One slow cooker insert, one grater, one liquid cup measure, one dry cup measure, two measuring spoons, one cutting board and one knife.

Tip: Get your hands dirty. A cook’s hands are their best, cheapest and easiest to clean tools!

Bonus Tip: Soak it up. Don’t waste elbow grease scrubbing cooked-on crust. Fill dirty pots with hot, sudsy water and walk away. Problem dissolved!

Related Stories:

From Dinner to Lunch: The One-Two Punch

Glam Your Dining Room on a Budget

Eating Differently During the Recession

For more delicious, cheap recipes, check out our Food & Drink section.

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