Just bought your book (Version 1. Didn’t realize there was a revised edition). Anyway, this seems like a dumb question but the book doesn’t make it clear to me if I always top up recipes with vegetables to fill the dutch oven. For instance, in the “Glorious Macaroni Cheese”, there are veges already layered in the pot. Do I still fill it to the top with other veges? Are all recipes topped off to fill the dutch oven with veges in this way? Like, for instance, ‘Fish Chowder’ or ‘Fish Florentine’. Thanks for your time. ~Peter K., Australia
Hi Peter. Thanks for writing! I’m tickled to hear that you recently purchased the 2005 edition of Glorious One-Pot Meals – that went out of print in 2008; now it is definitely a collector’s item.
Your question might be cleared up in the 2009 edition of the cookbook as every recipe in that book benefited from an excellent professional editor courtesy of Random House, but let me see if I can help you out.
Glorious One-Pot Meals seem cook better if the cast iron Dutch oven is filled to the brim. Most of the recipes begin with a layer of grains, then call for protein, and then finish with vegetables. The Glorious Macaroni and Cheese recipe does the same thing, beginning with pasta, only for this one the cheese is interspersed with the veggies, because, after all, it’s cheese.
If you have extra room in your pot, I always recommend filling it with more vegetables than may be called for in the original recipe. Why? Because… why not? Some recipes only call for, say, half of a bell pepper; might as well use it up if you have the space in the pot. Besides, it’s usually a good thing to have more vegetables in one’s life.
Must you always top off your Glorious One-Pot Meal recipes with additional veggies? No, of course not. The Dutch oven doesn’t have to be filled to the brim for the infusion cooking method to work. As long as you follow your nose as to when your meal is ready, you’ll never go wrong.
Be sure to check out the Glorious One-Pot Meals category on this blog for more tips and info on GOPMs, and here’s a video demonstration of one of my favorite recipes, Cajun Fish, to give you a clearer picture of how it all works. Happy cooking!