This rather thick cookbook by Parisian chef Stéphane Reynaud lives up to it’s promise of simple French cooking at home by using just one knife, one pot and one dish. The recipes are ridiculously simple with barely any dishes to wash.
Ranging from dips to main meals and desserts, Reynaud proves that delicious meals can be easily achieved with just 20 minutes in the kitchen.
Keeping with the theme of simplicity, the hardcover cookbook, running more than 300 pages, uses predominantly big fonts and accompanies each recipe with a full-page colour photo. Despite the thickness of this tome, the pages easily stay open on the relevant recipe page.
The recipes themselves list the ingredients in one column, with the equipment, temperature setting and prep/cooking times on the right. Beneath these two columns are the cooking instructions which often comprise no more than six or seven steps. Useful icons sit to the side of the instructions so you can see at a glance which steps are for preparation and which steps involve the cooking.
There’s no fuss or fanfare in the presentation of this ingenious recipe book. Reynaud writes no introduction to the book nor to the recipes. He’s just straight into the food after the table of contents, dividing the recipes into pre-dinner, meat, veggies, cheese, fish & more, a few eggs, and desserts. There are 160 recipes in total, each using just one pot and one knife, amply demonstrating that it’s the herbs and spices, more so than the cooking method, that makes a difference.
My sample efforts were very different in taste from each other, so it’s good to know that Reynaud’s One Knife, One Pot, One Dish does not equal just one taste.
Veggie Lentils (page 240)
Oh la la! I loved this dish. Reynaud’s name for this casserole doesn’t do it justice. It’s a healthy, filling mixture of lentils, carrots, zucchini, tomatoes and olives, with the latter giving it a bit of zing. It looks good in the pot and it taste even better. With just 10 minutes prep time and 20 minutes simmering on the stove, I’ve not doubt I’ll be serving this one up many more times in the future.
Beef Ribs (page 44)
This is a hearty dish that’s ideal for our current cold weather. With meat, potatoes and onions being the three main ingredients, the flavour comes from the sauce it’s cooked in, using soy sauce, maple syrup and ketchup. There’s not a lot of preparation to do for this recipe but it takes about 5 hours on the stove top – or a bit longer using a slow cooker. I swapped the ribs for a beef brisket, which was a mistake I won’t make again. Perhaps that’s why I would have liked a bit more flavour in the final result. I will experiment in the future with the balance of ingredients in the sauce too, perhaps adding more of both the maple syrup and soy sauce for a stronger taste. In the meantime, the leftovers will go well with some vegetables or salad on the side. Hummus, I discovered, also works well as a dipping sauce.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 9
Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: April 2018
RRP: $39.99 hardover