Reader question: I have a question which I hope you can take the time to answer. We don’t eat “dry ingredients” and I am therefore confused about the use of liquid. If not using “dry ingredients, I can not use liquid? Or is it wiser to put in the onions? Or are the onions just for flavor and onions always go first in the pot? Many thanks if you can address my problem. ~ Mary O., Syracuse, NY
Hi Mary. I hear that you are saying you do not eat grains and want to know if you need to add liquid to a Glorious One-Pot Meal recipe that does not include grains. I understand your confusion, but you should know that the only time you need to add liquid to a GOPM is when you include a dry grain that needs to hydrate to cook. Then, you only add just enough liquid to hydrate the grains according to the table in the front of the cookbook. So YES, you are correct that you do not add liquid to a GOPM if you are not using a dry grain. GOPMs do not have to be stews or soups just because they are one pot meals.
One of the great things about the infusion cooking method used for Glorious One-Pot Meals is that every single ingredient called for in a recipe is substitutable. Think about GOPMs like a puzzle where you choose any item from within each category to build your meal, with the categories being: oil, aromatics/herbs/spices/condiments, carbs, protein, and various colors of veggies.
As to your questions regarding onions: If you like onions, by all means, use onions. Not only do they give flavor, but onions offer myriad health benefits ranging from treating respiratory system ailments to colon health and cancer prevention. But you never have to use onions – or anything else – in a GOPM.
I like to place onions and other aromatics like leek, shallots, garlic, and ginger, in the bottom of the pot because then they come into contact with the thin film of oil coating the inside of the pot (always the first step in any GOPM recipe!) and emerge with a sauteed effect, which I like. That’s the only reason they go in the pot first. You can always add onions higher up in the layers, and they will cook and be tasty, but they will not get that same sautéed effect.
Please feel free to use the comments below if you have any other questions.