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Cooking In Real Time: One Pot Wonders

Prepare dinner and dessert, beef stroganoff and a flourless chocolate cake, and only clean three dishes.

Oh, the joy of using just one pot to make something luscious! One skillet cooks your main course: pasta, meat, veggies, and sauce all at once. The efficiency of this is quite pleasing -- and less dirty dishes is always a good thing!

One Pot Beef Stroganoff

1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 large clove garlic, pushed through garlic press
12 oz. sliced fresh mushrooms
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
¾ lb. very lean ground beef
1 2/3 cup beef stock
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
6 oz. medium egg noodles, uncooked
1 cup low-fat or regular sour cream

Choose a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid – a 12-incher is perfect. Coat it with cooking spray. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic, and mushrooms until soft. Add ground beef and pepper; cook until no longer pink. With lower fat ground beef, there shouldn’t be any grease to drain.

Add the stock and Worcestershire sauce; simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the noodles and push them down into the sauce. Cover and cook 8-10 minutes, until noodles are tender.

Turn off heat, mix in sour cream and heat through. Serves four.

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You can even have a lovely, impressive dessert that mixes up in one pot, in just about 10 minutes total.

One Pot Flourless Chocolate Cake

1 stick unsalted butter (not margarine)
4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup white sugar

3 large eggs at room temperature
8 oz. (approx. 2 cups) ground almonds or hazelnuts
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract

We should probably call this a torte, since it doesn’t contain flour. But that might put you off from making it, and that would be sad.

Because this comes together so quickly, prepare your ingredients first. Measure out your almonds and sugar, get out the eggs, butter, and extract. Preheat oven to 350º.

Using an 8-inch round cake pan, place the pan on a 10-inch square piece of foil. Trace around the bottom of the cake pan with a paring knife. Cut away the excess and you should have an 8-inch foil circle.

Coat the cake pan with cooking spray. Place the foil circle in the cake pan, smooth the edges, and coat the foil with cooking spray. Set aside. Now we can make the torte!

In a large saucepan on medium low heat, melt butter. When it’s about halfway melted, add the chocolate chips. Use the best possible chocolate, such as Trader Joe’s, Callebaut, or in a pinch, Nestle’s.

Using a whisk, stir the butter and chocolate until they are melted. Remove from heat, whisk until smooth, then whisk in the sugar. Don’t worry that the mix looks grainy.

Add the eggs one at a time, whisking vigorously. If your eggs are not at room temperature, allow the mixture to cool a bit. Chocolate scrambled eggs aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Add ground nuts and extract; beat with a wooden spoon until well mixed. Immediately pour batter into pan. Bake 30 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If there are still very moist bits sticking to the toothpick, bake a few more minutes.

Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Invert onto a pretty plate and peel off the foil. Dust with confectioner’s sugar or melt 4 oz. semisweet chocolate chips and spread over the torte.

There you are: dinner and desert, and only three pans to wash!

''Pecko Angeleski January 25, 2012 at 05:56 PM
What is the Paleo Recipe Book? Check and learn more at http://www.cookingchef.info/

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