Title: Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers
Author: Pam Anderson
Release Date: September 20, 2010
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Rating: 4.75 out of 5
The idea behind Perfect One-Dish Dinners is that delicious meals can be made simply and easily, in just one dish. There’s no need to undertake the stress of a multi-course meal with numerous side dishes in order to impress. Though the subtitle addresses get-togethers, these are meals that are easy enough to make for a regular dinner, but beautiful and delicious enough to serve to company.
The book is divided into four sections: Stews for All Seasons (with recipes like Pork Stew with Potatoes and Prunes and Osso Bucco with Dirty Polenta), Worldly Casseroles (with recipes like Doable, Delicious Paella and Quick, Creamy Lasagna), Roasting Pan Complete (with recipes like Balsamic Glazed Chicken Breast and Roast Chorizo-Stuffed Adobo Pork Loin), and Big Summer Salads and Grilled Platters (with recipes like Lemony Seafood Pasta Salad and Grilled Antipasto Platter). The book also includes suggested appetizers, sides, and desserts to accompany each main dish.
Perfect One-Dish Dinners is beautifully presented. The pages are thick and glossy, and there are absolutely beautiful pictures of each main dish. It’s very well constructed and easily sits flat when you’re cooking. It’s superficial, but good presentation in a cookbook is really important to me; I love looking at vibrant colors and mouthwatering pictures. This cookbook excels in that department.
The first dish I made out of Perfect One-Dish Dinners was Chicken Biryani American-Style. I appreciated the information that I could make most of the dish up to two hours ahead. The entire cookbook contains useful tidbits like that, which serve to make everything just a little bit easier. The dish was simple to make and the instructions were very clear. It tasted absolutely delicious – I made it hoping to have leftovers for the next day, but my husband and I managed to eat it all for dinner because it was that good.
You might be looking at my picture of this dish and thinking, “Hmm…that is NOT chicken.” And you’d be right. When I opened the chicken to make this dish, it smelled questionable. I am very wary when it comes to spoiled meat and always err on the side of caution. Luckily, I always keep frozen shrimp on hand, so I made the dish with shrimp instead of chicken. It was absolutely delicious, and made a great summer/fall dish. I imagine the chicken would make it a heartier winter dish and can’t wait to try it.
The next dish from Perfect One-Dish Dinners I tried was Salsa Verde Chicken with Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings – YUM. Again, it was very easy to make and tasted incredible (and I actually followed the recipe this time!).
I can’t say enough great things about Perfect One-Dish Dinners. The dishes were simple to make, yet impressive in their creativity. The recipes are clear and simple, and they utilize many fresh ingredients, which is great. I usually don’t make casseroles because their central ingredient often seems to be a can of cream of something soup, which is a big turn-off for me. Anderson presents beautiful and delicious meals that are also healthy and easy to make. Whether you’re new to cooking or someone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, this is a cookbook you should definitely take a look at.