The one-pot meal is often a whole lot more interesting in concept than in execution. Who doesn’t love the ease of tossing a bunch of ingredients in a single saucepan or Dutch oven, whipping up a complete meal, and then having a cleanup session that consists of washing exactly four items (a pot, a spoon, a cutting board, and a knife)? The major drawback to one-pot meals, however, is that eating soups and stews all week is a snooze. Enter Molly Gilbert’s new Sheet Pan Suppers, the cure for those days when we need the convenience of one-vessel roasting, baking, or broiling to create a fresh, flavorful, homemade meal.
We admit that we were pretty skeptical when we saw the title of this book. Something about the idea of “one-sheet” food doesn’t exactly make our mouths water, and it’s a bit of a misnomer, as some recipes have steps that require multiple mixing bowls and other prep tools.
But we quibble. Fact is, Molly, the chef and blogger behind the up-and-coming Dunk & Crumble blog has won us over with her cheeky voice and her desire to make dinner as fuss-free as possible. “Do I care about taking time in the kitchen to cook entirely, 100 percent from scratch? Of course I do . . . sometimes,” she writes in the introduction. “Other times it’s seven o’clock and I’ve just come home from work and care about nothing but getting a passable meal near my face quickly, instead of throwing my hands up and eating cheese and crackers for dinner.” Sister, we can relate.
Sheet Pan Suppers actually contains recipes for breakfast, dinner, dessert, and, our favorite, hors d’oeuvres and snacks. We like the mix of from-scratch, superflavorful recipes, and others, for time-crunched days, that utilize pre-prepared components, like store-bought polenta or canned beans. And there’s no standing over the stove and stirring or wiping up oil spatters with these dishes. You just chop and combine ingredients, set them on the pan, and pop them in the oven—leaving you free to concentrate on other tasks while they’re cooking.
Sheet Pan Suppers features old standbys like nachos (Molly’s feature barbecue chicken), but we like the more creative combos, such as Baked Feta and Chunky Mango Chutney; zesty little Falafel Bites that are a low-cal, baked take on the fried favorite; Roasted Arctic Char and Asparagus with Pistachio Gremolata; Apple, Prosciutto, and Radicchio Pizza; and Shakshuka, an Israeli specialty of eggs poached in spicy tomato sauce and topped with tangy crumbled feta and fresh parsley. There’s even a recipe for an addictively tasty, decidedly non-low-cal breakfast pastry that’s a takeoff of the popular in-a-box treat that rhymes with Shop-Smarts. And the Pumpkin Brioche Pudding? We’ve been eagerly anticipating the arrival of spring, but now we’re looking forward to harvest season just so we can serve this recipe at lunch and dinner parties.