Sunday Supper with Perfect One-Dish Dinners

From La Petite Soiree, hosted by Kristen of Dine & Dish, Stephania of Clever Girls Collective, Jane from This Week for Dinner, and Helene of Tartelette, I picked up the new cookbook from Three Many Cooks, Perfect One Dish Dinners by Pam Anderson. The cookbook was a generous gift, but at the moment, I am swimming in new books I hardly have time to get through.

However, Maggy, one of Pam’s daughters, proposed a Sunday Supper blog fest, in which several of us would make a recipe or an entire menu from the book to share with our friends or loved ones. This is a challenge I can get around, especially since the book makes it so easy with prepared menu plans for every occasion.

I decided to start with a Sunday Supper of Braised Lamb Shanks with Tomatoes, Aromatic Vegetables and White Beans. I served it with a salad of butter lettuce and fennel (almost one of the recommended side dishes). The lamb shanks were easy to put together, especially since I had shanks from my Sierra Farms Lamb order this summer. I used carrots from our Two Small Farms box, as well as tomatoes from Mariquita Farms. The only short-cut I took was using canned white beans, but it would be easy enough to pressure cook a pound of cannellini beans to add to the recipe.

The recipe was very easy to follow – utilizing a large roasting pan, the entire dish was made in one pot, although I used both the stove and oven. My family enjoyed the dish, and leftovers the next night were even better!

The second dish I tried was One-Pot Penne with Turkey-Feta Meatballs. As usual, I made the dish my own, skipping the cheese, adding in my favorite whole grain cracker (instead of saltines) and using fresh, crushed tomatoes. It was an easy dish to put together mid-week, good for working parents. My family did not love it, mostly because the pasta was overcooked (my Italian friends are no doubt slapping their foreheads, thinking to themselves, “well, duh, Gudrun, if you are going to cook it in one pot, and not in boiling water, then you are going to run into trouble”). Next time, I would break out a second pot to cook the pasta al dente, the way we prefer. Husband does the dishes anyway, so who cares. Wink.

I did not try any of the optional side dishes, but one of the great benefits of this book is how they put together whole menus, so you can easily chose an entire dinner to put together for a Sunday Supper, or even a mid-week family dinner. My one complaint with the book, which is small (but I like to appear balanced) is that it would be nice if the ingredients were given in cups and pounds, instead of amounts. For example, in the lamb shanks dish, the recipe called for 6 large lamb shanks, without any weight recommendations, which made it hard to know if the four I used were over or under recommended weight. And with the onion, it called for one large, but a large onion can vary in size, so in this instance, a cup measurement would have been more helpful.

That said, this is a great book for any level cook, and would be most beneficial to beginning cooks and any busy cook (or mom!) looking to expand their repertoire and menu planning. With photos to follow and easy to read text, it is a book that would also make a great gift for your favorite cook this holiday season!

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