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Book review: Foolproof One-Pot by Alan Rosenthal

18 February 2021 by
Book review: Foolproof One-Pot by Alan Rosenthal

In the depths of a seemingly never-ending winter lockdown, the words "one pot" and "comfort food" go hand in hand. Foolproof One-Pot proves that one-pot dishes can be so much more than simple stews and soups, taking readers on a culinary journey around the world. Satay-style roast tempeh and vegetables with coconut gremolata or braised celeriac with miso, shiitake mushrooms and cavolo nero with sesame chilli drizzle couldn't be further from the meaty winter casseroles one might associate with one-pot meals.

That said, the book does have its fair share of recipes for meat lovers, mostly in its ‘low & slow' chapter, including the more traditional sticky braised beef brisket with pears, IPA and maple, as well as a reimagined coq au vin, which tick those comfort food boxes. Meanwhile, the spiced pulled lamb shoulder wraps with apple and radish salad is further afield yet again.

This is chef, caterer and food writer Alan Rosenthal's third book and it is certainly not his first foray into one-pot cooking, having launched a brand of premium grab-and-go stews and an accompanying book back in 2008. In this book, recipes are split into ‘throw it together', ‘on the hob', ‘absorption', ‘low & slow', ‘pot bakes' and ‘desserts'.

The seasoned traveller states: "Whether it's a slow-cooked stew, a layered fragrant pilaf or a richly spiced dhal, there's always something reassuring and, somehow, deeply familiar and accessible about a one-pot dish. It's a style of cooking that's akin to reconnecting with an old friend; something you do perhaps only once or twice a year, but when you do, it's as if you've had no time apart and you wonder why you've not seen each other for so long."

While most certainly aimed at the home cook, this book is a collection of simple recipes taking you on a trip from Turkey to Korea via Thailand, Andalucía, and West Africa. The mix of cuisines could provide chefs with some much-needed inspiration during furlough, while the bold imagery demonstrates that one-pot cooking can be as beautiful to plate up as it can be to eat.

Foolproof One-Pot by Alan Rosenthal (Quadrille Publishing, £12.99)

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