cooking meals in one lovely pot

Brisket

Commentary

Difficulty Rating: Easy.
Good for: Texans.

Pottymouth: Stop stop stop!  You’re smushing our brisket!
Potbelly: I’m cutting it across the grain, like the recipe says.
Pottymouth: You’re killing it!  It’s dying!
Potbelly: This is how we do it in Texas.

What we did with our abundant time, while waiting for our dinner to cook itself …

Potbelly: Moved Pottymouth’s clothes off the couch and watched basketball with his brother.
Pottymouth: Watched our new pistol shrimp dig itself a burrow under a rock in our aquarium.  Played (semi-safely) with our new blender.

Photojournal

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Brisket

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Ingredients

1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
2 cups beef broth
3 lb beef brisket (we asked for flat cut, which has less fat)
2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp ground allspice
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
Optional: 6 ears of shucked corn, butter, and paprika

Pots: Dutch Oven.
Non-Pot (Prep + Post) Time:  25 min.
Let the Pot Do Its Magic Time: 3-4 hours.

We used a recipe in the Williams-Sonoma cookbook One Pot of the Day.  It was a bit vague in places, so we’ve clarified in spots.  And added suggestions.

Preparation

In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, vinegar, tomatoes, and broth.  Set aside.  Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

Season the brisket on both sides with salt and pepper (about 1.5 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper in total).  In the Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium-high heat.  Add the brisket, fat side down, and brown, about five minutes.  Flip and brown for another five minutes on the other side.  (Note: due to the size limitations of our Dutch oven, we had to cut our giant brisket in half and brown each piece separately.)  Transfer browned brisket to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 tbsp fat from the pot.  Add onions and saute until softened (about 3 minutes).  Add garlic and saute for 1 minute.  Sprinkle in the allspice and flour.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.  Pour in the broth and bring to a boil.  Add the remaining 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper.

Return the brisket to the pot, turn off the stove, and transfer the pot to the oven.  Cook for 3-4 hours, then remove.  (If the brisket is very fatty, skim the fat from the surface of the cooking liquid).  Let cool for a few minutes.

Remove the brisket from the liquid and place on a cutting board.  Slice across the grain.  Serve with the cooking liquid and onions spooned on top.

To make easy corn at the same time:
Run a pat of butter over 6 ears of corn.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Wrap each ear individually in aluminum foil.  When 45 minutes are left in the brisket cooking time, add the foil-wrapped corn to the oven.  Remove with the brisket.

Serves 6-8.  (Or, in our case, 3, with enough bbq leftover brisket sandwiches to satisfy the fat, gluttonous, meat-happy trolls that live inside of us.)

Chinese Tea Eggs

Commentary

Difficulty Rating: Easy.
Good for: Utter deliciousness.  And a week of snacking.  Or a party.

Pottymouth’s mother: Wow, these tea eggs are pretty good.
Potbelly’s mother: Hey, you guys made some good tea eggs.
Pottymouth’s father: Those tea eggs aren’t bad!
Potbelly’s brother: Hey …
Pottymouth + Potbelly: Stop being surprised!!

What we did with our abundant time, while waiting for our dinner to cook itself …

Potbelly: Prepared for massive family dinner gathering by cleaning things and picking up cake from a Chinese bakery.
Pottymouth: Prepared for massive family dinner gathering by making a mess and pasting funny stickers on the wall.

 

Photojournal

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Chinese tea eggs

 

Ingredients

12-15 large eggs
3 black tea bags (any type or quality is fine)
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 star anise
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Pots: One big ol’ regular pot
Non-Pot (Prep + Post) Time:  15 min.
Let the Pot Do Its Magic Time: 3+ hours.  (We suggest placing in fridge overnight after it cools, for extra deliciousness.)

Preparation

Place eggs in a big pot and fill with water so that it just covers the eggs.  Bring the water to a boil, then simmer on low for 7 minutes.  Drain the water and run cold water over the eggs for a minute.  One by one, tap each egg very gently with the back of a spoon until the shell is cracked all around (but still on; see photo above).

Return the eggs to the empty pot, then add the tea bags, soy sauce, star anise, sugar, and salt.  Add just enough water to barely cover the eggs.  Bring the liquid to a boil again, and simmer for at least 3 hours.  (More is fine.)

At this point, they are ready to eat, but we highly suggest letting the pot cool, then sticking it in the fridge overnight for extra intense flavors.  When you want to serve them, just bring the pot back to a simmer, and use a slotted spoon to retrieve the eggs.  If waiting one day is impossible, then simmer the eggs on the lowest heat setting for as long as possible before serving.

Delicious as a snack or appetizer.  Or peel, slice in half, and add to a noodle soup (try this Taiwanese beef noodle soup) or a rice dish.

 

Braised Lamb Shank & Roasted Potatoes

Commentary

Difficulty Rating: Medium.
Good for: Impressing ladies.

Pottymouth: Do I look different today?
Potbelly: Uhmm… uhmm… uhmm… I’m cooking you lamb!

What we did with our abundant time, while waiting for our dinner to cook itself …

Potbelly: Maintained the fish tank and watched the NBA All-Star game.
Pottymouth: Do I look different today?

Photojournal

Ingredients for Braised Lamb Shank with Roasted Potatoes

Braising Lamb Shank in the Dutch Oven

 

Braised Lamb Shank with Roasted Potatoes

The source recipe was from Williams-Sonoma.  We made some minor tweaks to it, both through intent and ignorance.

Ingredients

3 lamb shanks bought from the local butcher
0.25 cup vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
handful of baby carrots
4 large garlic cloves (see note below)
1 cup red wine
2 cups diced canned tomatoes (drained)
2.5 cups beef stock
2 tsp. minced rosemary
1 tsp. minced thyme
2 bay leaves
1.5 lbs red potatoes
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
3 tbsp fancy olive oil for flavoring
salt & pepper

Pots: Dutch Oven + Baking Pan
Other Tools: Immersion Blender
Non-Pot (Prep + Post) Time:  40 min.
Let the Pot Do Its Magic Time: 3.5 hours.

Preparation

0) Preheat oven to 400 deg F.
1) Salt & pepper lamb.
2) In Dutch oven, warm up vegetable oil in medium-high heat.
3) Brown the shanks (5-10 min total) in the Dutch oven.  Add oil as necessary.  If your Dutch oven is not roomy enough, you could use a different pan for easier browning.
4) Remove the shanks and drain the Dutch oven.
5) Add carrots and onions into the Dutch oven and cook for 5-9 min.
6) Add garlic and cook for another 2 min (saute).
7) Add wine and bring liquid to a simmer.  Simmer until liquid reduced by half.
8) Add tomatoes, stock, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, and shanks.  Bring to boil.
9) Transfer to oven and cook until meat is almost coming off of the bone (1.5 – 2 hours).
10) Move shanks to a large serving bowl and loosely cover with foil.
11) Increase oven temp to 450 deg F.
12) Oil a baking pan.
13) In a large bowl, stir together potatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
14) Place potatoes on pan and place in oven.  Cook until tender. (30-35 min)
15) Remove bay leaves from the Dutch oven and skim out any fat (Ours had no fat… )
16) Take leftover stuff in Dutch oven and puree until smooth.
17) Stir vinegar into puree and season with salt and pepper.
18) Pour the sauce over the shanks in the bowl and garnish with parsley.
19) Cut the potatoes in half, place in large bowl, coat with the fancy olive oil, and garnish with parsley.

Serve lamb shanks with potatoes on the side and delicious red wine.  Any excess sauce can be served in a sauceboat.  Enjoy!

Serves 2 with leftovers.  

Note: Garlic clove does not mean the entire head of garlic!

(Pottymouth’s editor’s note: I believed this last statement to be hugely unnecessary until the time that Potbelly made a gazpacho that made my eyeballs fall out.)

Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Commentary

Rating: Easy.
Good for: A damp spring day, after you have stepped in a puddle and your socks are wet.

Pottymouth: Watch out for the sweet potatoes getting too soggy!
Potbelly: Soggy slow-cooker food is the bane of one-pot cooking.
Pottymouth: Also, you may want to try out a variety of sweet potatoes.  For this, we used Japanese sweet potatoes (light golden on the inside) and garnet sweet potatoes (bright orange).  Cooking times can vary a little with different potatoes, so … watch out for the sogginess.
Potbelly: The kiss of death.
Pottymouth: Ours went slightly over the edge, so we adjusted the timing accordingly.
Potbelly: To save you from the sogginess.
Pottymouth: What are you talking about?  You weren’t even here when I was cooking this!
Potbelly: Yes, but I can imagine it.

What we did with our abundant time, while waiting for our dinner to cook itself …

Pottymouth: Made a list of 19 books to take on a long trip away.
Potbelly: Flew home from a work trip.  Arrived to lovely stew.

Photojournal

Ingredients for Slow-Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Cooking Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew

Sweet Potato and Chicken Stew

Ingredients

6 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or about 1.5 lbs)
2 pounds sweet potatoes, any variety or mixed, peeled and cut into long wedges
1/2 pound button mushrooms, sliced
8 shallots, peeled and halved
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed with the side of a knife
1 cup white wine
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1.5 tbsp white wine vinegar

Pots: Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker.
Non-Pot (Prep) Time:  25 min.
Let the Pot Do Its Magic Time: 4 hours in dutch oven, or 5 hours (on low) in slow cooker.

Preparation

Throw everything except the sweet potatoes and vinegar into the pot of your choice!  (So easy.)   Cook on low heat for 3 hours.  

Add the potatoes.  If using a dutch oven, cook for one more hour.  If using a slow cooker, cook for 2 more hours.

Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar.  Ladle into big bowls.

Serves 6.  

Edamame and Shiso Potato Salad

Commentary

Difficulty Rating: Easy.

(Pottymouth has a monologue today because Potbelly is out of town, doing something secretive with airplanes.)

A friend gave me a jar of shiso leaves because she has a shiso plant that is growing out of control.  I put it in my purse and forgot about it, and when I found it again, it was doubly exciting.  Like the unknown depths of my purse (there is probably a little dirt in it) had grown an herbal bounty.

Shiso (perilla) is an Asian herb that tastes so good.  It is slightly bitter, and sorta like basil, and sorta like cilantro, and very hard to explain.  Find it at Japanese and Korean supermarkets.  (Of course, you can also replace the shiso  in this recipe with your favorite fresh herb.  Fresh dill, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, maybe.  But it won’t be as thrilling.)

I used the same pot to boil the three main ingredients in this potato salad.  Follow the boiling times carefully!  This is not one of our usual entries, where you can go read a book or stare at your saltwater aquarium while the food makes itself.

Photojournal

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Ingredients for Shiso and Edamame Potato Salad

Shiso and Edamame Potato Salad

Ingredients

2 lbs red potatoes
4 eggs
10 oz. package of frozen, shelled edamame
1 anaheim pepper (or jalapeno for a spicier salad), seeded and finely chopped
1 large shallot (or 2 small), diced
12 Japanese shiso leaves (the smaller variety) or 8 Korean shiso leaves (the larger variety), finely chopped (reserve 1 or 2 leaves and slice into ribbons for garnish)
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Pots: Regular pot.
Non-Pot (Prep) Time:  15 min.
Let the Pot Do Its Magic Time: 20 min.

Preparation

In a very large bowl (it will later contain your whole salad), place the shallots in the vinegar and leave to soak.

Fill a pot with water and 2 tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes and eggs.  After approximately 12 minutes, remove the eggs and transfer to a bowl of cold water.  Then remove the potatoes.  (They should be firm, yet able to be pierced with a fork without much force).

Add the edamame to the boiling water and let it cook for 6 minutes.  While the edamame is cooking, coarsely chop the potatoes.  Then remove and strain the edamame.

To the large bowl of shallots and vinegar, add the anaheim or jalapeno pepper, chopped shiso, dill, mayonnaise, 2 tsp salt, and pepper.

Peel and coarsely chop the eggs, which will have cooled a little.  Gently toss the eggs, potatoes, and edamame in the large bowl, coating these ingredients with the mayonnaise mixture.  Garnish with the ribbons of shiso.  Serve immediately for a warm salad, or let the salad chill in the fridge.

Serves 6 as a side dish.  

Indian Butter Chicken, Slow-Cooked

Commentary

Difficulty Rating: Medium.  (There is one pre-pot step here, and you might need to locate an Indian grocery store, or at least a good international aisle.)
Good for: An exciting meal after eating too many potatoes this week.

Potbelly: We used expired Greek yogurt in this recipe.  But it tasted really good.  Maybe even better than non-expired yogurt.
Pottymouth: But we disclaim any liability about your expired yogurt.
Potbelly: Also, this chicken is delicious, but it is a bit more tomatoey than you might get in an Indian restaurant.
Pottymouth: But we kind of like that.  It’s probably also a little healthier.  If healthiness makes you crazy, try adding a bit of heavy cream at the end.
Potbelly: We also made an okra curry dish(in a regular pot) that paired well with the chicken.  You will see it in one of the pictures.  Maybe someday we will post a recipe.

What we did with our abundant time, while waiting for our dinner to cook itself …

Pottymouth: Took care of a funny baby with a mohawk (not ours).
Potbelly: Watched Pottymouth take care of a baby and read some articles online about basketball.

Photojournal

Indian Butter Chicken Ingredients

Sauteeing Chicken and Onions

Pre-Slow-Cooked Indian Butter Chicken

Slow-Cooker Butter Chicken

Ingredients

6 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or about 1.5 lbs)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
15 green cardamom pods
2 tsp curry powder
1 tbsp curry paste
1 tsp cayenne powder (optional, for a kick)
2 tsp tandoori masala spice mix
1 tsp garam masala
1 can coconut milk
1 cup plain yogurt
1 can tomato paste

Pots: Slow Cooker.
Non-Pot (Prep) Time:  30 min.
Let the Pot Do Its Magic Time: 4-5 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low.

Preparation

Stir fry the chicken, onion and garlic in the oil and butter, on medium heat, until the chicken turns white on the outside and the onion is tender.  Pour the contents of the pan into the slow cooker.

Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 7-8 hours, stirring gently a few times.

Serve with naan or basmati rice.

Serves 6.  

Shrimp, Corn, Leek and Fennel Chowder

Commentary

Rating: So Easy We Could Cook It On a Trampoline

Pottymouth: Maybe next time I should add another bottle of clam juice.
Pottymouth’s sister: It’s not supposed to taste like clam chowder, you know.  It’s not clam chowder.
Pottymouth: But I like clam chowder.
Pottymouth’s sister: It’s still pretty good.
Pottymouth: If it had clams, it would be pretty good.

What we did with our abundant time, while waiting for our lunch to cook itself …

Pottymouth: Replied to a gazillion emails.
Potbelly: Regretfully absent from lunch.

This recipe is closely based on a Real Simple recipe, though we made a few adjustments, like using raw shrimp for added freshness.  

Photojournal

ingredients

cooking leeks

shrimp and corn chowder

Ingredients

2 tbsp butter
2 leeks (white and light green parts), chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 8-oz bottle of clam juice
3 cups whole milk
1 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 lb raw, peeled, deveined medium shrimp
1 10-oz package frozen corn
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 lemon
1 loaf of crusty bread

Pots: Stove Pot.
Non-Pot (Prep) Time:  15 min.
Let the Pot Do Its Magic Time:  30 min.

Preparation

In a pot, heat the butter over medium heat.  Add the leeks, fennel, salt, and pepper.  Cook for approximately 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender, then stir in the flour.  Pour in the clam juice and milk and bring to a boil.  Add the potatoes and shrimp, then reduce heat.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the corn and simmer for another 3 minutes.  Stir in the parsley.

Serve in bowls with parsley, a slice of crusty bread, and a wedge of lemon (give it a squeeze into the bowl).

Serves 4.  


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