Quick and Easy one-pot Meals

You know how it is – sometimes you really crave something home-made but its getting late and you don’t want to spend time in the kitchen.
This is what I did on Sunday night. Ten minutes of prep and about 45 mins or an hour in a hot pre-heated oven.

Chicken thighs
An onion roughly chopped
Several whole peeled garlic cloves
Some chopped bell peppers
A few quartered tomatoes
A can of chopped tomatoes
Some halved button mushrooms
A big handful of black olives
A goodly splash of decent red wine – at least a glass worth
Whatever herbs you have at hand – I use herbes de Provence
Coarse ground black pepper

Chuck everything except the chicken into a pyrex oven dish (available from Ikea at the moment, cheap).

Wash and dry the chicken, and rub liberally with the paprika – don’t stint!

Lay the chicken on top of the veggies, drizzle with good olive oil and scatter some black pepper over it.
Chuck it in the oven, spooning some of the liquid over the chicken after about 30 minutes.

It’s done when the chicken juices run clear when you stick it with a fork. Don’t futz around with it too much – you want the chicken to be nice and brown on top.

Serve with rice or couscous.

Let’s hear yours. Only proviso is that it must be a one-pot thing.

That’s quick and easy? I’d hate to see what you do when you have time.

It’s quick and its easy. Takes less time than making a sandwich, practically, apart from the oven time.

It’s quick and its easy. Takes less time than making a sandwich, practically, apart from the oven time.[/quote]

You’re talking about a real oven, open the door, bake a pie kind of oven?

It does sound good. And healthy too.
EDIT: Here’s mine. But I don’t recommend it.
Open three packages of instant noodles and put the noodles in a skillet with water so that they get soft and most of the water is either evaporated or absorbed. Open one of the powder packets that came with the noodles and mix in about half of it. Done.

I gotta tell ya, it IS bloody good. Don’t know about healthy though, on account of the wine thing – you open the bottle before you start and try to leave a glassful for the sauce. The rest gets drunk while you chop, so… but hey! wine’s health food, right?

Yup. Kind of. There’s an oven you can get easily here, probably in any department store with a kitchen department. About the size of a large microwave but its a convection oven big enough to roast a chicken. They cost about NT$3,000 AFAIR.
And you can indeed bake pies in it.



WOW! For only 3k?? Someone give me the name of a store with one of these!

WOW! You baked those yourself? Bloody hell!

All of a sudden I’m hungry… gotta go. :slight_smile:

I erm “supervised.” Yes, that’s it. Supervised. :wink:

In truth, I made the smoked salmon mini-quiches in the first pic. The real pies are my wife’s creations.

3C (the electronics store) has them.

The best ones (over 1600 watts) are only about 3000NT. For that price you should get one with a rotisserie.

2 very simple, very plain dishes (unfortunately, both are probably more suited for cooler weather):

[ul]One broiler chicken, whole, and without giblets
One bunch fresh coriander
One thick index-finger’s length of fresh ginger root
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste (add these when the time seems right)[/ul]
Clean the chicken well, inside and out
Rinse the coriander well, trim bottoms
Clean well and chop the ginger into thin disks

Place the coriander and the ginger in the bottom of a large pasta pot.
Add chicken.
Cover with water until 7/8ths of the chicken is submerged.
Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 50-60 minutes, or until the chicken falls off the bone.

Serve with rice, vegetables, and drink of your choice. (Taiwanese guests will love the stock served plain, as soup) (and reserve any left-over stock, it makes the base of an excellent chicken soup)

[ul]One 45cm kielbasa, or the equivalent in outdoor-market sausages (savory or spicy, not sweet).
One of those big ass Taiwanese carrots, julienned or sliced (sliced is easier).
4-6 scallions, chopped roughly
Chicken bouiilon (to taste)
2L bottled water
400-450g of dry, white navy beans (lentils work well, too, but you may need more water)
Salt, freshly ground pepper, and savory spices to taste (sandman’s herbes de Provence will probably do just fine)[/ul]
Wash the beans carefully and thoroughly; rinse well; allow them to drain. Soak the well-washed beans overnight (or all day) in a glass or plastic container, in the bottled water.

In a large pasta pan, layer the ingredients just as listed above:
Sausages (uncooked) on the bottom, then the carrots, etc., finishing with the beans on top.

Add water to cover the lot.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 35-45 minutes.

Serve in wide-rimmed bowls, sop with good bread, and crack good, cold beers as needed.

Swing by Wecare or Yamazaki on the way home and buy some good crusty bread.

Put on some good blues music.

Chop a couple of small potatoes into lumps and drop them into boiling water. I leave the skins on.

Open a bottle of champage, pour yourself a glass, and put the bottle in a bucket of iced water. Refill glass as necessary. (If drinking cheap bubbly try adding a small dash of cranberry juice to make it more palatable.)

Cut up some peppers (capsicum). I use a combination of red and green, but you can use either or, and the yellow ones are not bad either. One pepper in total is fine, but you can get by with less or add more if you like. Generally I keep the pieces quite large, like 1cm square.

Chop one large onion quite finely.

If you’re feeling spicey also cut up some chilis. They come in a variety of sizes and strengths, and it’s not always easy to guage the effect they’ll have on the end product. An easier way is to use dried chili flakes, or even the little packets you get from Pizza Hut.

Some people also add mushroom. It’s rare for me.

Lately I’ve taken to adding a tomato, so chop that up at this time as well.

This process needs to take about fifteen minutes, ie until the potatoes are cooked thouroughly. Have a drink while you’re waiting, or (if you’re me) stomp back into the lounge demanding loudly to know who the hell put Dionne Warwick into your mp3 collection.

This is also a good moment to throw some poppadoms into the radar range. (I know the daughter of the inventor of the microwave oven, btw.)

Now the fun bit.

Pour away the water and dump the tatties onto a plate. Rinse the pot.

Start by quickly frying the peppers in lots of oil. Cook 'em up, let the juice flow out into the oil, and then put them to one side. Takes a minute or two only.

If you’re going to add meat now might be a good time to fry it. I usually use prawns, and add them later because they cook very quickly.

Either way, the objective is to fry the onion, chili, and meat together in the juice from the peppers, and have everything cooked at the same time.

** important: don’t add all the onion. Keep 10-20% of it back for later. **

Now stir in a big dollop of curry paste. You can get Sharwoods or Pataks at one or two supermarkets, but I use the ‘Meat Masala’ from mad Jobi at Trinity Superstores.

Mix it around, and then pour in some water - just enough to cover everything without turning your dinner into soup. Put the tomato and shrooms in if required.

You should be munching on poppadoms by this time, and you’re probably due another drink. Also, remember to pay attention to your significant other. The timing is quite flexible, so no need to worry about getting everything ‘just so’.

Turn your attention to the potato. You could just drop the pieces straight into the curry, and some people do. I prefer to mash them up using a fork. Turn 'em into sludge, then fork it into the curry and stir.

The potatos sludge makes a nice thick sauce that is a lot more satisfying than cornflour. And, contrary to popular belief, potato does not make you fat - not if mixed with alcohol anyway. Have another drink to be on the safe side.

Now cook this mess for as long as you think is necessary. It’s basically ready to eat, but if you leave it for a while the tomato and potato break down more. It all depends on what you like.

This is also a good time to add some citrus or other fruit flavour. A squirt of lime makes a huge difference. My favourite is a spoonful of orange marmalade. Apple is also feasible. The great thing about curry is experimenting with new stuff to put in.

A few minutes before you eat you should add the remaining onion and the fried pepper. The onion makes it a bit zingier, the peppers have been held back because they lose their colour, flavour, and texture if you cook them for too long.

That’s it. Go sit on the balcony with a cold drink and a bowl of curry, eat it with fresh bread. put the leftovers in the fridge and the flavour gets even better overnight.

[quote=“Alleycat”]3C (the electronics store) has them.

The best ones (over 1600 watts) are only about 3000NT. For that price you should get one with a rotisserie.[/quote]

bless you sir


My favorite TV dinner: 4 eggs in a bowl. Cover with Bisquick, add some rosemary, italian spices and oregano. Stir into a froth if you can, if not ok. Pour in pan on stove on low flame. Add chopped tomatoes, button mushrooms, a small baked potato, maybe some ham and peppers if you like. Maybe some spaghetti sauce and parmesan cheese or cheese slices. Wrap it over when the bottom’s just a little brown. Flip once, and you’re done. It’s like an omlette, but the Bisquick makes it more cake- or bisquit-like.

Eggs are a great food. Just make an omelet so quick so easy. Except I don’t need to eat so many eggs. I need to learn how to cook noodles. They’re not supposed to glow in the dark are they?

One for hot weather

I’ve recently started cooking more - I was a cook-two-meals-a-day kinda guy before I moved to Taiwan (but then I was only working 4.5 hours a week).

[color=blue]I don’t usually bother much with salad, but here’s something I threw together last weekend, mainly because I was looking for something to put kidney beans (impulse buy at Wellcome) into. It’s a bastardised version of something I remember my mum doing with couscous.

Don’t asked me quantities, I tend to cook by eye.

Ingredients, and…
Boiled brown rice (or couscous)
Kidney beans (soaked overnight then boiled - without salt - for 50 mins; or a can)
Red, green and yellow pepper (chopped)
Tin of tuna
Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil based dressing
salt ‘n’ pepper
Lemon juice and some fresh herbs (eg, coriander, mint) could be good

… what to do with them
Cook the rice
While its still hot, mix it with the dressing
Leave to cool, then put in the fridge
Surf the web, sink a couple of cold ones, and if you really must, watch drivel on TV (the GIO still has a lot more channels that it should axe), open the tin of tuna, and chop the peppers
Add everything else and mix
Scoff [/color]

The rest of the kidney beans will go into tonight’s chilli con carne, another one-pot classic.

Some fantastic ideas here – please keep 'em coming. Should the thread get too long, I’ll go through it and flounder the non-recipe posts, but for now, just keep posting – the chat keeps it more fun.
On another note, two recipes now call for couscous. They used to have it at City Super but there was none on Sunday. Anyone know where it, or tabbouleh or bulgur wheat can be had?

Some people have divergent ideas on the meaning of quick and easy. If I have to look up the ingredients to see what the heck they are, I’m not going to make it. I need The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cooking for Dummies. Instead of one-pot, think on-pot.
What’s wrong with boiling some noodles and dumping in a can of chicken soup? Done. Serve with crackers.

[quote=“Richardm”]Some people have divergent ideas on the meaning of quick and easy. If I have to look up the ingredients to see what the heck they are, I’m not going to make it. I need The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Cooking for Dummies. Instead of one-pot, think on-pot.
What’s wrong with boiling some noodles and dumping in a can of chicken soup? Done. Serve with crackers.[/quote]
Sorry to say Richard, but your posts will be first up against the wall come the revolucion. :wink:
And I’m NOT going to edit the thread title to “Quick & Easy One-Pot Meals For People Who Enjoy Cooking.”

Sandman - your “Sandman Coq Au Vin” sounds good but those pies look awesome! Did your wife come up with the pie crust designs? Very creative.

Has she made any meat pies? If you used boneless chicken and browned it first, you could probably use your same chicken recipe to make a nice pie.