The Cooking Chronicles: Two Pot Meals

Donna Hay’s a bit misleading in her section on “one pot meals” in No Time To Cook. In actuality, some of the dishes require two pots – the first for the main and the second for the accompanying starch – whether it be a rice cooker or a pot to boil pasta. I know it’s not a big stretch – it’s just one more dish to wash, after all – but for whatever reason, it’s a bit of a disappointment to me when I realize that the recipe isn’t a true one pot meal.

Chicken Poached in Coconut Curry

This was one such dish that required two pots. While I’ve poached chicken in coconut milk before, this was the first time I threw in potatoes and snap peas for a whole meal. It was also the first time I used kaffir lime leaves (the recipe I linked to leaves them out). I picked up a whole bag at Lucky 97 for just 99 cents – and given how they come back to life simmered in hot liquid, and actually do lend a tangible citrus tang to the curry, they are worth seeking out.

Chicken poached in coconut curry

Sausage and Arugula Penne

A pasta recipe from Ricardo Larrivée also caught my eye (and yes, required two pots) – I loved that there were less than ten ingredients called for. And we’ve cooked often with white wine, but not red, so this was a good opportunity to experiment with a red-wine based sauce.

Sausage and arugula penne

We had ended up using the remainder of a bottle of red we had sitting around, which Mack thought probably wasn’t the best choice of wine variety – he thought it overtook everything else in the dish. I didn’t mind it so much – between the tomatoes and wine, the thin but flavourful sauce was a nice change of pace from the hearty, chunky tomato sauce we make more often.

I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before another two pot meal sneaks into our rotation!

7 thoughts on “The Cooking Chronicles: Two Pot Meals

  1. Thanks for the tip on where to buy kaffir lime leaves, I have also found them at T & T in WEM but it’s hit and miss. I was amazed at how much flavour they add too and I will have to try out the recipe for the curry.

    Do you watch Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network? I was wondering what names you would place on a list of Edmonton’s best Diners, Drive-ins and Dives?

  2. LeQuan – thanks! I agree – I love coconut milk too.

    Rachel – I’m sure tofu would work great in the recipe.

    Bianca – indeed, with good ingredients, a dish can’t be bad!

    Heather – I was surprised that it made such a difference. It may take me years to use up the bag of leaves though! And yes, I do watch “Triple D” – my favourite diner is Route 99, but I’m not sure they’d make it on the show – I love their food, but they’re not exactly a scratch cooking kind of place. Blue Plate Diner, another one of my favourites, would be another choice. New York Bagel Cafe might make it in, for their artful presentation, High Level Diner for the history, as may Barb & Ernie’s, for their repuation and, well, Ernie. What do you think?

  3. Hi Sharon,

    I know what you mean about a year’s supply of Kaffir, I have tried drying them and freezing them and both work just fine. (Like Bay leaves I remove them before serving though, I wonder if there is any recipe you would actually consume them in? They are kind of bitter..) oh and I’ve put the leaves in potpourri too, they give off that amazing citrus scent if you bruise the leaves a bit.

    Oh I like all of your suggestions for DDD.
    There is one place I think I would put on the list and it is for when you have to have some good BBQ and that is Smoky Joe’s Hickory Smoke House in the West end. I remember this place from when I was a teenager and they have great smoke house flavours and I think they would be a great feature on Triple D. Have you ever been for dinner or lunch at Smokey Joe’s?

  4. Heather – yes, I remove them before serving too. Hm, great idea with the potpourri! I didn’t even think of that.

    You know, I’ve read quite a bit about Smoky Joe’s…they’re definitely on my list the next time we’re out in the west end (watching DDD makes me wish we had more such smoke houses!).

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