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Entertaining guests with a delicious home-cooked meal is a cheap way to get together and a great opportunity to experiment with some interesting ingredients. The joy of cooking is always in the play of texture and flavour, but sometimes it can take a lot of effort to produce.
But instead of reaching for the takeaway menus when you don’t have the time or energy to spend the afternoon in the kitchen, you should instead go for a simple one pot. With less washing up, and most of the cooking time requiring only a modest amount of attention, the humble one pot can provide flavour without much effort.
To begin with, you need to make sure that you have what you need in the kitchen. A big wok will serve plenty of people a decent stir fry meal and a large ceramic casserole dish is the perfect vessel for stews, casseroles and even ratatouille. For some really beautiful ceramic cookware, have a look at StoneFryingPans.com.
You should also look at your selection of knives. The sharper your knife, the easier it is to cut and you can move much faster. A dull blade is actually less safe than a sharp blade as it may slip and cut you by accident.
Have a look at this video to master the basics of knife work.
One pots are all about preparation and then, with the exception of stir-fry, can be left to cook and will be ready when you are. Stews are an obvious choice and you can serve them with a simple mashed potato. Alternatively, you could go vegetarian for a change and choose something like ratatouille which can be served with a delicious crusty loaf for rustic charm.
Chili is a great one pot meal and the longer you leave it to simmer gently, the better the flavours will develop. It’s also a great idea for the dinner table as you can serve baked potatoes (cover a potato in oil and salt and bake on a high temperature for around an hour), fajitas, tacos and tortilla chips. Instead of you doing all the work, get your guests to build their own meals and just put all the dips and extras on the table to dig into.
One of the best things about one pot meals is that the vast majority can be made ahead of time and frozen in portions. This is ideal for if you happen to have some leftovers or if you really are short of time and need a fast solution. Cooking ahead and freezing in portions is a brilliant way to eat cheaply, especially if you live alone as it is always far easier to cook for four than one.
So there you have it. One pot meals are the future of entertaining and eating well!