Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson

Perfect One-Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson

I love making one-dish dinners for my family like chicken n’ dumplings, lasagna, or chili. These dishes may take longer to prepare or cook, but in the end they are delicious and well-loved by kids and adults alike. Pam Anderson’s new book, Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers, combines making homey comfort food with socializing. What a great idea! Anderson scripts the whole meal for you, providing simple, yet delicious, menus to accompany the main dishes. 

The main recipe categories are stews, casseroles, roasting pan, and summer salad/grilled platters. For each main dish mentioned, there is also a suggested appetizer, salad, and dessert. There are even “instant alternatives” for the occasions when you don’t have the time or right ingredients to make the suggested recipe. Each section is rounded off with a helpful wine and beer suggestion.

Most of the recipes serve six people and seem very approachable both in terms of the ingredient list and the cooking steps. I definitely want to try the Chicken Pot Pie with Green Apples and Cheddar Biscuits, which is accompanied by Perfect Spinach-Artichoke Dip, Mixed Greens with Shredded Carrots and Dried Cranberries topped with Balsamic Vinaigrette, and a Giant Linzer Cookie for dessert. This may be a little fancier than what we typically prepare for our weeknight dinner, but I can imagine preparing it for a nice Sunday meal, or picking and choosing different parts of the menu to make at different times.

Other recipes on my must-make list include: Jerk Chicken Chili, Coq au Vin Blanc with Spring Vegetables, Carnita-Style Beef with Roasted Peppers and Onions, and Braised Salmon with Fingerling Potatoes, Shallots, and Asparagus -- perfect for using the bounty of our asparagus patch, pushing up in late spring. The three varieties of enchiladas all sound wonderful, and I know we’ll be making the Grilled Steak and Potato Platter with Chimichurri sauce in the summer.
 
Pam Anderson, the guru behind this book, is also the author of The Perfect Recipe and a number of other cookbooks. Her blog is full of delicious recipes to make as well: http://threemanycooks.com/.