Sunday lunch should be easy. I keep thinking back to the days when my mother would wake up an hour earlier than she usually did to cook Sunday lunch so that when we came back from church, the food was ready.
By the time afternoon came she was already tired and still had to cook dinner. Needless to say, Sunday lunch is no longer a big deal for our family – it’s just too much effort.
Enter one-pot wonders. Not only are they easy to make, they are hassle free and you can leave them to cook while you’re busy with other things – like catching up on weekday TV?
So how about trying out the two one-pot wonder recipes below? Although one-pot dishes may not always be the most attractive meals to serve to guests, when feeding a large number, practicality trumps aesthetics.
Choose the most attractive ovenproof casserole you have to prepare the dish in or, if your serving dish is not ovenproof, transfer it from the preparation pot to an attractive dish before serving.
SAUSAGE AND VEGETABLE CASSEROLE (Serves 6)
3 medium sweet potatoes
9 baby turnips
2 red onions, cut into wedges
3 cloves of garlic, cut in half
30ml olive oil
salt and pepper
2 x 500g pork sausages
250ml chicken stock
15ml red wine vinegar
200g spinach, chopped
400g tin of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Heat the oven to 200°C. In a large roasting pan, combine the sweet potatoes, turnips, red onion, garlic and olive oil.
Season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and place sausages on top of the vegetables.
Bake for 20 minutes. Remove and stir in the chicken stock, red wine vinegar, spinach and beans. Return to the oven and bake for a further 10-15 minutes.
SPARKLING WINE CHICKEN CASSEROLE (Serves 8)
12-14 chicken pieces
salt and pepper
30ml olive oil
5 red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1 onion, finely chopped
15ml fresh thyme leaves
750ml bottle of sparkling wine
200g baby rainbow carrots
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an ovenproof casserole and brown the chicken skin-side down until crispy, about 5 minutes each side. Remove and set aside.
Add the potatoes and cook on high heat until golden, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the onion and thyme and fry for 2-3 minutes. Pour in the sparkling wine and simmer for 10 minutes. The sparkling wine can be replaced with a good white wine or even white grape juice.
Add the chicken and the carrots to the potatoes and cook in a preheated oven at 200°C for 40 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Stir in the peas, return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Remove and serve.
And for dessert …
Crème brûlée! Breaking the sugary topping and dipping your spoon into smooth, velvety custard is a heavenly way to end a meal.
Classic Crème Brûlée (Serves 6)
1 vanilla pod or 5ml vanilla essence
8 extra-large egg yolks
100ml castor sugar
Sifted icing sugar, for topping
Using a sharp knife, split the vanilla pod down the middle and scrape out the seeds.
Put the seeds and pod in a saucepan with the cream. Heat until just boiling.
Remove from heat and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.
Beat egg yolks and castor sugar until light and fluffy.
Remove vanilla pod and pour cream slowly over the mixture, whisking all the time.
Strain the egg and cream mixture into a clean ovenproof bowl over simmering water.
Cook until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a wooden spoon. It should take 4-5 minutes.
Skim off any excess froth from the mixture. Place 6 ramekins (150ml volume) in a large roasting dish.
Divide the mixture evenly between the dishes, filling them up to the top. Pour boiling water into the roasting dish so it comes halfway up the ramekins.
Bake at 150°C for about 20 minutes. The custard should still have a slight wobble when cooked.
Remove from the oven and cool.
Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 3-4 hours.
Afterwards, dredge with sifted icing sugar.
Take a blow torch, hold it so it hovers over the surface of the sugar and heat until the sugar caramelises.