Later On

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Archive for the ‘GOPM’ Category

Repeat of Pork, Apple, Red Cabbage and Black Rice GOPM

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I remade this GOPM, altering the recipe to accommodate lessons learned. Here’s what I did this time:

As usual, I list the layers in the order in which they were put into the pot (from the bottom up, in effect).

Rub 2.25 qt Staub cast-iron round cocotte (or other ≈2 qt cast-iron dutch oven) with olive oil, then add the following, all of which are 0 WW points except as indicated:

1/3 cup black rice (aka “Forbidden Rice”) (7 WW points)
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp = 1 WW point)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
6 oz boneless pork sirloin, cut into chunks (3 WW points)
1 Honeycrisp apple (or other apple), cored and cut into chunks (don’t peel)
light sprinkling of ground cinnamon
6 oz boneless pork sirloin, cut into chunks (3 WW points)
3/4 cup chopped or shredded red cabbage

1.5 Tbsp olive oil (6 WW points)
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (1 WW point)
2 tsp tamari sauce

Put the lid on, put into pre-heated 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, remove, let sit 15 minutes and enjoy.

Total the way I made it is 20 WW points, and for us this is 4 servings, thus 5 WW points per serving.


The rice was more nearly cooked, but still a little al dente. Next time I make it I’ll try it with pot (Scotch) barley. Regular white rice would probably work well.

I found in the earlier recipe that the pork as it cooked welded itself together into a solid chunk, so this time I split it into two layers, and with each I spaced out the pork pieces somewhat, with the apple layer between the two pork layers. This worked out very well and the pork remained in small chunks.

I didn’t use ginger, but that was fine. There was still more liquid than I expected. I might skip the tamari next time.

Written by Leisureguy

20 April 2018 at 6:42 pm

Instructive GOPM failure: black rice, pork, apple, and cabbage

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Not an absolute failure, but the rice was greatly undercooked and the pot had too much liquid. However, I figured out the problem and will repeat the dish to verify that my analysis is correct.

Here’s the recipe I followed, listing the layers in the order in which they were put into the pot (from the bottom up, in effect).

Rub 2.25 qt Staub cast-iron round cocotte (or other ≈2 qt cast-iron dutch oven) with olive oil, then add the following, all of which are 0 WW points except as indicated:

2 shallots, chopped <- the problem: rice should go in first—see comment below
6 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 Tbsp = 1 WW point)
1/3 cup black rice (aka “Forbidden Rice”) (7 WW points)
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper
12 oz (3/4 lb) boneless pork sirloin, cut into chunks (6 WW points)
sprinkling of dried thyme
1 Honeycrisp apple (or other apple), cored and cut into chunks (don’t peel)
light sprinkling of ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chopped or shredded red cabbage

1.5 Tbsp olive oil (6 WW points)
1 Tbsp Enzo apple balsamic vinegar (1 WW point) or 1 Tbsp sherry or red-wine vinegar (0 WW points)
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (1 WW point)
juice of 1/2 lemon

Put the lid on, put into pre-heated 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, remove, let sit 15 minutes and enjoy.

Total the way I made it is 22 WW points, and for us this is 4 servings, thus 5.5 WW points per serving, which counts as 6 WW points.

If the rice is added first, it is on the very bottom, where it gets hotter and where the liquids accumulate to cook it. By putting the rice atop the shallots, it did not rest in liquid but was steamed—and for not long enough.

I’m going to make it again, but put the rice in first. I think that’ll do it.

UPDATE: Better, but not perfect. Still perfectly edible and healthful.

Written by Leisureguy

19 April 2018 at 11:26 am

Chicken and barley GOPM

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Tonight’s Glorious One-Pot Meal has these layers in order of placing them (i.e., bottom layer listed first):

Rub inside of pot and lid with olive oil (just a coating). I used my 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte. Everything is zero points except as indicated.

6 scallions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup “pot barley” (aka “Scotch barley”: it looks like steel-cut barley, not pearled barley) – 6 WW points
1/2 cup celery chopped small—maybe a little more
1 large carrot, diced
1 1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar poured over that
Half a large chicken breast, marinated* and cut into chunks
3/4 Japanese eggplant, cut into chunks
1 Meyer lemon, ends cut off and discarded, diced
2 bunches broccolini, chopped
12 yellow cherry tomatoes, sliced

1 1/2 tablespoons Enzo Clementine-infused olive oil – 6 WW points
1 tablespoon Enzo apple balsamic vinegar – 1 WW point
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – 1 WW point
good pinch of Maldon salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper

Shake that well in a little jar, then pour over the contents of the pot.

*Marinade for chicken breast
2 quarts water
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
5 smashed cloves garlic

I put an entire chicken breast in that (two halves) after pounding them flat and let them sit for an hour or two, then removed them to a dish and refrigerated. I used one of the halves in Lentils Monastery WW Style last night and the other half here.

Because eggplant, lemon, and tomatoes contain a lot of liquid, I’m thinking that the barley might not absorb it all. We’ll see.

This amount is 4 servings for us, though only 2 for Elizabeth Yarnell, who is a triathlete. So for us this is 3 WW points per serving and 1 serving is a meal.

UPDATE: The Younger Daughter suggested adding 2-3 tablespoons grated ginger. Great idea, IMO. The question is where to put it. Choices I see are:

  1. With the other aromatics in the bottom layer.

  2. Over the chicken layer.

  3. In the pour-over.

This will require experimentation.

UPDATE AGAIN: No excess liquid. Worked out very well. I’m already planning the next: pot/Scotch barley again (or perhaps black/Forbidden rice), and two boneless pork chops (total weight 1 lb) cut into chunks, cabbage (savoy, or red, or plain—or Napa), along with onions, garlic, celery. Maybe a carrot. And the layer between pork and cabbage some chopped apple…


Written by Leisureguy

14 April 2018 at 4:48 pm

Oriental pork GOPM

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Layers from the bottom up:

1/2 c pearled barley
1 large bunch scallions, chopped including green part
1 carrot diced
1/3 c parsley chopped fine
1/3 c chopped celery
2 pork chops, bone removed and cut into chunks
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1.5″ section of fresh ginger root, grated
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped (should have gone with the whole pepper)
1 packet of sugar snap peas, probably a little over a cup, chopped


2 tsp soy sauce
1.5 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1.5 Tbsp Bragg’s Ginger and Sesame Vinaigrette
good couple of dashes of Red Boat fish sauce

In 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, remove and let sit on stove top 15 minutes, serve.

Nice and orientalish. I just realized that I could include in the pour-over things like Hoisin sauce.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2017 at 6:37 pm

Time for more Glorious One-Pot Meals

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As regular readers know, I like a glorious one-pot meal, a description that serves as the title for Elizabeth Yarnell’s book. The blog now has quite a collection of various GOPM recipes, usually made on the fly.

Fair warnings about the book:

  1. The recipes are extremely bland. Crushed red pepper can help, but the idea and approach are so simple that you will quickly be making up your own recipes to use what you have on hand.
  2. She and her husband are, I assume, triathletes. She says a 2-qt GOPM serves two. For normal people it will serve four—and indeed she for some reasons uses four servings of rice in her recipes. I don’t use rice at all, but rather pearled barley, and I use 1/3 cup of the uncooked barley for the 2-qt pot.

Although Yarnell recommends enameled cast-iron, I find that plain cast iron works well, and the Stansport 2-qt cast-iron dutch oven is $20 at Walmart. You can easily remove the two wire handles (and easily replace them if you every want to hang the pot over a fire). Season it first. I highly recommend Larbee (leaf lard and beeswax) or Crisbee (palm and vegetable oil and beeswax) as the best I’ve found—and I recommend the puck over the stick and unscented over scented. See FAQ and instructions.

The enameled pot might be easier to clean, but plain cast iron cleans up readily with hot water and the Ringer, a piece of chain mail used as a scrubber. I wouldn’t use it on an enameled pot, but on plain cast iron it works like a charm, partly because it is flexible so you can feel when there is a spot with something stuck, so you know where to scrub. I clean the pot using just hot water, no detergent. Reseason the pot as needed. You can always start over by putting the empty pot in a self-cleaning oven and running a cycle. Rinse it out well, reseason, and it’s as good as new.

Friday will see another GOPM.

Written by Leisureguy

28 June 2017 at 4:18 pm

Posted in Daily life, Food, GOPM

First GOPM in a while: Lamb with broccolini

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I use the 1.5 qt cast-iron Staub pan, but you could probably use a 2-qt cast-iron dutch oven. You would just use a few more of each ingredient—e.g., more scallions, 1/3 cup pearled barley instead of 1/4 cup, a whole diced carrot instead of a half. Since you build the dish a layer at a time, you can just add enough more of whatever to make a layer of the depth you want.

In the 1.5 qt pan, I added these ingredients, a layer of each, beginning with the scallions:

3 scallions, chopped (green and white)
good pinch of salt
several grindings of pepper
1/4 cup pearled barley
1/2 large carrot, diced
10 oz lamb flank (1 package), cut up
4 cloves garlic, minced
chopped mint
chopped broccolini
halved cherry tomatoes
salt and more pepper

I had to mash it down a bit to get all to fit. One bunch of broccolini was plenty and I had some stems left over.

Put the following in a small glass jar, shake well, and pour over:

1.5 tablespoon Crosse & Blackwell Mint sauce
1.5 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sherry
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
a dash or few of mint bitters

Cover, put in 450ºF oven and let cook for 45 minutes.

Remove, let pot stand, still covered, for 15 minutes.

Serve and eat. It was quite tasty.

Update: I just remembered I have mint bitters (one by the Fee Brothers). Next time I’ll add a dash or two of that to the pour-over.

Written by Leisureguy

8 April 2017 at 6:49 pm

Lamb sausage one-pot meal

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I’m really pleased that I finally realized that the 2-quart cast-iron dutch oven holds four meals and not two (unless you are physically quite active). I noticed the meal tonight (1/4 of the pot) was reasonable in size and quite filling, not to mention extremely tasty.

Pour a little olive oil in the empty 2-qt cast iron pot, then with your hands coat the sides and also the inside of the lid. Then layers, from the bottom up:

4 chopped shallots
a little chopped celery (perhaps 1/4 c)
3 chopped domestic white mushrooms (about the size of a squash ball)
1/3 c hulled barley (I think next time I’ll go to 1/2 c)
1 lb lamb sausage (Istanbul sausage from Whole Foods: spicy)
minced garlic
chopped fresh fennel (this time the fronds, not the bulb: bulb next time)
1/2 medium zucchini, diced
4 slices Italian eggplant, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
about 16 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
crumbled feta cheese (sheep and goat milk)
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 lemon, ends cut off and then diced

If you make one of these one-pot meals, you’ll notice that it doesn’t take much quantity to create a layer.

You might wonder why I count this as a low-carb recipe, given the 1/3 c hulled barley. But 1/3 c hulled barley = 12g, which amounts  8.8g total carbs, of which 2g is dietary fiber, so roughly 7g net carbs for four servings: <2g per serving. That’s low carb.

The lemon contributes 12g carbs – 5g dietary fiber, for 7g net carbs: again <2g per serving.

The pour-over:

2 Tbsp Bragg vinaigrette
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp smoked paprika

Shake well in a little jar and pour over the top.

There was a little extra liquid, but it is quite tasty, so no problem. But I’ll cut back on the added liquid. I imagine the tomatoes and lemon contribute a fair amount of liquid.

We each ate 1/4 of the pot, so the remaining 1/2 pot will be dinner for tomorrow—and a very tasty dinner it will be.

I’m very glad to get back to these meals. I like how they make improvisation easy, how they have a lot of vegetables while you can easily limit the amount of starch and protein, and how very tasty they are.

You really should try it. Cover and cook 45.0 minutes at 450ºF, and then let sit 15 minutes.

I will note that the problem with the Lodge 2-quart cast-iron dutch oven is that it is low and squat, which doesn’t work so well with layering the food. Still, $22.50 isn’t bad. Le Creuset is a better shape, but $200 seems steep.

But check this out: Macy’s has the Martha Stewart Collection Collector’s Enameled Cast Iron 2 Qt. Round Casserole in blueberry for $30 (on sale). Right now that looks like your best bet. (Price varies by color, note.)

The $20 Stansport (formerly Texsport) 2-quart dutch oven is perfect, and it is available at Walmart. I recommend you remove the two wire handles, which is easy; you can reinstall them if you at some point want to hang the pot over a fire. This one is not enameled, so before the first use you should season it: rub inside (including underside of lid) with fat (beef fat, or just a piece of bacon), then leave it in a 300ºF oven for half an hour or so. I find that seasoned and unenameled cast-iron pots are easy to clean, particularly if you use the Ringer, a scrubber made of chain mail. Just use that with hot water, and reseason as needed.

Written by Leisureguy

29 July 2016 at 6:40 pm

A 1-person, 1-meal Glorious One-Pot Meal

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When The Wife got into doing GOPM cookery, she didn’t want to make two meals at once, so I got her this 1.25-quart Staub cast-iron saucepot. It’s $119 at link (I paid $80, but Staub was just being introduced at the time). You can also get it from Amazon for $249 if you want.

It’s the same thing: layer the food, cover the pan, cook in the oven at 450ºF for 45 minutes, let cool for 15 minutes, and you have a meal. I’m cooking my lunch now.

For me the appeal comes from several factors:

  1. Only one pot to clean.
  2. Easy to improvise recipes
  3. Easy to assemble meal and—more important—fun to assemble meal
  4. Easy to balance the meal: a little starch, a little protein, lots of fresh vegetables
  5. Cooking requires a timer but no attention
  6. Inevitably extremely tasty

This one by layer from bottom up:

1 shallot, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 Tbsp hulled barley
1.5 Tbsp Crosse & Blackwell mint sauce
1 mild Italian sausage (about 3.2 oz: 5 sausages to the pound), cut into pieces
1/2 bunch chopped mint leaves (the rest of the mint)
1/2 medium zucchini, chopped
2 slices Italian eggplant, chopped
1 Roma tomato, diced
1/2 lemon, end cut off, diced

The pour-over:

2 Tbsp Bragg Sesame and Ginger vinaigrette
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

It’s cooling now.

UPDATE: It was very tasty, but I’m thinking that 1 quart of food for a meal, while perhaps fine for runners and triathletes and such, is too much for a sedentary person like myself. A pint is more like it.

So I’m going to use the 1-qt Staub pan for two meals for us, and the 2 quart for 4 meals, 2 of which we eat on the spot, the other two as leftovers.

Written by Leisureguy

27 July 2016 at 12:31 pm

First Glorious One-Pot Meal in quite a while

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I was making Glorious One-Pot Meals (GOPM) quite regularly for a while, but what with one thing and another got out of the habit, although I do like them a lot. For no particular reason other than recipe fatigue, it occurred to me to get back into it because they are extremely easy to improvise once you get the pattern down.

Glorious one-pot meals are built in a 2-quart cast-iron pot, and my favorite is the Staub 2.25-quart round cocotte though the Texsport 2-quart cast-iron Dutch oven works well and is much less costly (around $22, if you can find it). (The Staub runs $190, but I bought it when it was being introduced and got mine for $100.) Elizabeth’s Yarnell’s book calls for a 2-quart Dutch oven (and for some reason she likes Le Creuset, but I find the Staub, which costs less, much better in several ways), but it turns out that 2.25 quarts is a convenient size. (Staub 2.25 quart round cocottes are somewhat hard to find: they seem to have moved to one a pint larger, 2.75 quart. I prefer the 2.25 quart, but the other will work.)

Some people who hear “one-pot meal” think of using a slow cooker, but GOPM is pretty much the opposite: instead of cooking a long time at low heat (typically 8-12 hours at 200ºF), GOPM is cooked for a short time (45 minute + 15 minute rest) at high heat (450ºF). Thus meats that require long slow cooking for tenderness (e.g., oxtails, short-ribs, shanks) would not be suitable in a GOPM.

The ingredients are layered in the pot: reading from the first (bottom) layer up, a typical dish will have:

  1. aromatics (onion, spring onion, green garlic, celery, leeks, shallots, carrots, whatever)
  2. starch (rice, barley, quinoa, egg noodles, cut pasta, tiny potatoes, whatever)
  3. protein (marinated tempeh, chicken, fish, beef, lamb, pork, whatever)
  4. vegetables

After layering the ingredients, about 4-6 Tbsp of liquid is poured over the contents—the “pour-over.” Then the pot is covered and put into a 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, whereupon it is removed to sit for 15 minutes, and—voilà!—dinner for two.

Here’s a more detailed explanation and template.

In her book Yarnell provides a variety of recipes, which are helpful in getting the idea, but the recipes themselves are almost unbearably bland—plus for some reason she always puts in enough rice for 4 servings, not 2: she uses 1 cup of uncooked rice, and one serving is 1/4 cup uncooked rice, so she should use 1/2 cup. I asked why, and it turned out to be simple ignorance on her part. (She is extremely active, so probably burned up the extra carbs without noticing it.) I tend to use 1/3 c rice (or barley) in the pot: a little less than 2 servings, but I follow a low-carb diet.

The meals have always been extremely tasty and they are quite easy (and rather fun) to prepare: you layer the foods, pour over the liquid, and an hour later dinner’s ready.

Here’s the one I made tonight that’s in the oven now. I first rub the interior of the pot (including the bottom of the lid) with olive oil before I begin. The layers, from the first (bottom) layer up:

3 large chopped scallions
2 ribs celery with quite a few leaves, chopped
1/3 c pearled barley
0.67 lb lamb stew meat (actually, little lamb flank steaks that I cut into squares)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c chopped mint
1 medium yellow crookneck squash, diced
4 good slices eggplant (plan was 1 Japanese eggplant, but store didn’t have)
12-15 pitted Kalamata olives, halved
5 oz crumbled feta cheese
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 lemon, ends cut off and discarded, then the lemon diced

The pour-over:

2 Tbsp Crosse & Blackwell mint sauce [update: next time use 1 Tbsp]
2 Tbsp Bragg’s vinaigrette salad dressing (Sesame & Ginger, in this case)
1 Tbsp red wine [update: next time skip this]
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard

I put all that in a little jar, shook it well, and poured it over the top. I might have added smoked paprika if I had thought of it.

I am looking forward to this. I do have more than half an eggplant left over, so I’ll probably make another meal using the rest of the eggplant.

I totally made up this recipe, just thinking of a general lamb/Mediterranean theme.

BTW, in an earlier post you can find Yarnell’s patent for her method.

UPDATE: Extremely tasty. A little more liquid than I like, but very little. I would leave out the 1 Tbsp red wine in the pour-over next time, and perhaps use just 1 Tbsp mint sauce.

Written by Leisureguy

25 July 2016 at 6:03 pm

Dinner tonight

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We’re still meatless. It makes it easier that you can simply skip the whole aisle/section.

Greek eggplant with rice

Modified from Glorious One-Pot Meals

Layers from bottom in my 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte:

Olive oil
1/2 c white rice
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
allium: e.g., 1 med onion, or 2 large shallots, or 1 leek, or 1 bunch scallions: chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped small
4-5 Roma tomatoes, diced
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
6-8 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Small pitted black olives
1/4 c pine nuts
1 medium eggplant, diced
3-4 oz feta cheese, crumbled (I’m using a French goat-milk feta)
1 15-oz can garbanzos/chickpeas, drained and rinsed

She splits stuff up and does two layers. Not for me.

Pour-over will be something like:

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar
2 Tbsp red wine
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin

Shake well, pour over. 450ºF for 45 minutes.

I got to reading about Calrose rice, quite interesting in itself and I’m definitely buying some, but it also took me to the wide variety of interesting rices from Lundberg. I can’t wait to try a lot of those.

UPDATE: Extremely tasty. Definitely will make this again. For the allium, I chopped two good-sized spring shallots, including the green part. Cut pine nuts to 1/4 cup and half that (2 Tbsp) would probably be enough.

Written by Leisureguy

2 July 2013 at 5:01 pm

Exceptional good Andouille GOPM

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Last night’s was especially good. I took my 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte (and you can use any 2-qt cast-iron dutch oven), poured in a little olive oil, and used a small pastry/barbecue brush to spread the oil over the interior of the pot and the inside of the lid. Then I added the following in layers, from the bottom up:

1/2 c pearled barley
2 Tbs sherry vinegar
1 bunch scallions, sliced, including all the green part
2 stalks green garlic, sliced thinly, including all the green part (could substitute regular cloves of garlic)
2 pork Andouille sausages, cut into chunks
1 good-sized yellow crookneck squash, diced
3 medium tomatoes, diced (including pulp and seeds)
1 small handful pitted Saracena olives (about a dozen)
2 Meyer lemons, cubed (including the skin, but I cut off the ends)

Pour-over: In  a small jar, I put:

2 Tbsp Penzey’s Country French Vinagrette dressing, mixed according to instructions
2 Tbsp ponzu sauce
1 Tbsp Red Boat fish sauce
2-3 Tbsp bourbon
2 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp smoked paprika

Shake well, pour over the top, cover, put in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes. Remove, take off lid, and let sit 5 minutes.

Extremely tasty.

Written by Leisureguy

6 June 2013 at 9:35 am

Daily life, some reflections, and a GOPM recipe

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Let’s get the recipe out of the way first, since that’s fresh in my mind. This one turned out exceptionally well, saith The Wife. As always, I give the recipe as I made it from what I have. If I used a Meyer lemon, I’ll write that, but obviously you can substitute as you wish. I used sherry vinegar because sherry vinegar is what I happened to have. If I had apple cider vinegar, I would have used that. Recipes generally have an unrealistic level of specificity, IMO.

Rub the inside of a Staub 2.25-qt round cocotte (I used the red one) with olive oil. Note—and this is very important—do NOT buy a Staub round cocotte from I bought mine there—it was $110 and quite obviously superior to the $135 Le Creuset—but tonight their prices are, literally, insane. Depending on the color, the price varies, all over the place, but is uniformly HIGH—Jeff Bezos must be having trouble reaching profit goals. $170, $285, and $460, depending on color. That is crazy. The link above is to a store that is not having a nervous breakdown, pricing-wise.

The layers, from bottom up:

1/2 cup Lundberg Organic White Basmati rice — I buy Lundberg because their rice is lower in arsenic and they address the problem directly. It’s also what Whole Foods has in the bulk bins.

1 quite large leek, quartered lengthwise and sliced
2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1 Tbsp sherry vinegar (meant to put it on the rice, forgot until this layer)
1 medium zucchini, diced
1/3 large eggplant, diced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
3/4 bunch asparagus, cut into segments
1 organic Eureka lemon (probably would have used a Meyer lemon if available), diced after ends removed


2 Tbsp Penzeys Country French Vinaigrette (mixed according to instructions)
2 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
2 Tbsp Amontillado sherry
1 Tbsp Red Boat fish sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard

Shake well in bottle, pour over.

Cover cocotte and cook in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes.

The rice formed a sort of rice cake in the bottom. All very tasty—and I put it together in 15 minutes.

I am pleased at some progress on the project of converting daily common chores into sources of enjoyment (cf. shaving).

In pondering this, I recently recalled the story in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which you surely have read more than once, of the episode of whitewashing the fence: a horrible chore that was so bad that whitewasher’s coevals felt free to mock him. Tom neatly turns the tables, making the practice—indeed, art—of whitewashing something so desired that others pay him for the privilege and perform the chore with thorough and genuine enjoyment—genuine enough so that they pay for the privilege and in no wise feel cheated.

I suddenly realized that what I’m saying is that we can do this to ourselve—we don’t need a Tom Sawyer, we can be our own Tom Sawyer.

We have no dishwasher, so dishes are washed by hand. I do this, and dishes build up—you know the story. Then recently I decided that I would not have a dirty dish dormant in the kitchen. At the earliest possible moment—i.e., as soon as either of us finishes eating from a dish—I grab the dish and wash it and put it in the rack to dry. At first this took time, but the more I did it, the less time it took: there was never a backlog, so I would be washing one bowl or two, for example. That’s easily and quickly done. When I found dry dishes in rack, I immediately put them away. Dirty dishes became rare, so I would wipe off counters, put things away. Soon even that was rare. A dirty dish became a kind of prize. And keeping the kitchen clean was easy: the effort involved at any time was tiny, and I practically can do it as I walk through the kitchen.

As I thought about it, I realized I had also discovered something else: a natural and unique time to tackle it. The time was as soon as I had something to clean. That is, as soon as something was dirtied, I cleaned it. “As soon as” is quite specific and easily identifiable. “Later” is vague, amorphous, and no particular time. “Later” omits a starting bell, whereas with “as soon as” sounds the bell clearly.

Written by Leisureguy

23 May 2013 at 9:23 pm

Cloven-hooved one-pot

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Tonight’s GOPM features flesh of the cloven-hooved, in this case lamb Merguez sausage and pork chops.

Rub 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte with olive oil, then add these layers in the order listed, bottom layer first:

1/2 c white rice (we’re using Lundberg these days)
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
3 spring onions, sliced thin with most of green part
2 green garlic, sliced thin
1 lamb Merguez sausage, sliced into disks
1/3 bunch of celery, sliced thin (keeps meat from sticking together)
1.5 pork chops, cut into chunks
1/4 c pine nuts
good shaking of Penzey’s Old World Seasoning
1 yellow squash, diced small
1 bunch asparagus, cut into short sections
slices of Meyer lemon (including peel) to cover

The pour-over:

1 Tbsp Red Boat 40º fish sauce (on the Worcestershire sauce analogy—still feeling my way)
2 Tbsp Penzey’s French Country Vinaigrette
Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon I had around
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1-2 Tbsp smoked paparika
1-2 Tbsp Amontillado sherry
1 tsp dried thyme

Shake vigorously and pour over the top. Cover, put in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, and there’s your dinner, if you’re The Wife.

Written by Leisureguy

16 April 2013 at 6:56 pm

Meat and Potatoes GOPM

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Last night’s GOPM was sort of interesting. It does require some work and refinement, but it is promising. Wipe out the 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte with olive oil, leaving some on the bottom. Then the layers:

Russian Banana fingerling potatoes, cut in halves or thirds if bigger than very small
1/2 large Spanish onion, chopped
several cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, cut into large dice or small chunks
1 boneless rib-eye steak (8-10 oz), cut into bite-size pieces
sprinkling of Penzeys Old World Seasoning
6 or so Brussels sprouts, sliced
1/2 head cabbage, chopped small
2 Roma tomatoes, diced

The pour-over was:

4 Tbsp beef stock (from the corned beef)
2 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

Then cover and cook in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes.

It was tasty, but there was a fair amount of liquid in the bottom: sort of a stew. Potatoes don’t absorb the liquid the way (say) rice or quinoa do. I could add some quinoa to the bottom layer and/or use less liquid. Perhaps:

2 Tbsp beef stock
1 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp horseradish
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

The above version also reflects The Wife’s request to drop the vinegar and to add horseradish.

I got the rib-eye steak thinking of prime rib (same meat, only thicker). However, it did seem somewhat dry, though tender. I think I might try a different cut—perhaps a tri-tip.

Written by Leisureguy

21 March 2013 at 9:24 am

Baby-Lima-Bean GOPM

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Exceptionally tasty. Turn oven to 450ºF to preheat. Wipe out 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte with olive oil, then layer from the bottom.

1/2 c White Basmati Rice from Lundberg
2 Tbsp red vinegar
small handful of green garlic, like scallions, chopped including the green
1 small heart of celery chopped
1 huge mutant carrot cut into largish cubes
good sprinkling Penzeys Old World Seasoning
1 spicy Italian pork sausage, cut into coins (by no means a solid layer)
4 boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1/2 lb frozen baby lima beans, unthawed
5 Roma tomatoes diced

Pour over:

2 Tbsp Country French Vinaigrette
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp Amontillado sherry
2 Tbsp smoked paprika

Shake well, pour over top, cover, and bake in oven for 45 minutes.

Written by Leisureguy

12 March 2013 at 7:06 pm

Chicken GOPM with what was on hand

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I had half a boneless skinless chicken breast, and yesterday afternoon I decided to marinate it, so I poured a lot of ponzu sauce over it in a covered storage dish (the glass kind with clamp-on lid) and shook it from time to time during the evening and today. Then I rubbed the inside of the 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte and lid with toasted sesame oil and put in layers of food I had on hand:

1/2 c pearled barley
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
thickly sliced frozen leeks from Trader Joe’s (not thawed)
several cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
the marinated chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 good-sized carrot, diced
1/2 small head of Savoy cabbage, cored and chopped
2 Roma tomatoes diced


1.5 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
2 Tbsp ponzu sauce
2 Tbsp sherry
1 tsp Colman’s mustard (the dry powder)

Shake well, pour over, cover, and put in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes. Very tasty.

Written by Leisureguy

17 February 2013 at 6:50 pm

GOPM thinking of stuffed cabbage

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As I’ve mentioned, a GOPM works well if you have a theme of some sort in mind. This theme was stuffed cabbage.

Wipe out 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte with olive. Layers as follow, from bottom up:

1/2 c converted rice
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1 medium leek, sliced thinly (good amount of white on this one)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 spicy Italian pork sausage and 1 lamb Merguez  sausage, cut into thick slices
2 medium tomatoes, cored and diced
1/4 Savoy cabbage, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, cored and diced


2 Tbsp Country French Vinaigrette
2 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
1 Tbsp Amontillado sherry
1 tsp horseradish
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp smoked paprika

Shake well and pour over; cover and put in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes.

Very tasty.

Written by Leisureguy

2 February 2013 at 11:49 am

Two GOPMs: One with red quinoa, one with pearled barley

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A friend from Victoria, BC has been visiting, so I made a couple of GOPMs: each was made in the 2.25-qt Staub round cocotte. Layers are listed from the bottom up:

Red Quinoa GOPM

Wipe out cocotte with olive oil. Layers:

1/2 c red quinoa (no rinsing required)
2 Tbsp Sherry vinegar
3 good-sized shallots, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
3/4 lb chicken breast, cut into chunks
1/2 c Kalamata olives, halved
1 Japanese eggplant, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
8 brussels sprouts, sliced thinly
1 Meyer lemon, not peeled but diced


2 Tbsp French Vineaigrette
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp Amontillado sherry
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Squirt of gochujang sauce

Cover and cook for 45 minutes in 450ºF oven.

Pearled Barley GOPM

1/2 c pearled barley
2 Tbps apple cider vinegar
2 monstro scallions, sliced thinly (see second photo in this post)
8 cloves garlic, minced
3 stalks celery, chopped
6″ length of monstro carrot (see same post as above0, diced
1 pork tenderloin, 3/4-lb, cut into thick slices
Dijon mustard brushed onto pork
1/4 red cabbage, chopped
3 Tbsp dried currants


2 Tbsp French vinaigrette
1.5 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
1.5 Tbsp sherry
1.5 Tbsp sweet vermouth
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Cover and cook for 45 minutes in 450ºF oven.

Written by Leisureguy

22 January 2013 at 8:41 pm

Chinese-themed GOPM

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It’s easier to make a GOPM with a theme in mind. Here’s tonights:

Wipe out 2-qt Staub round cocotte with olive oil. Add in layers, bottom up:

1/2 c converted rice
2 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
3 lage shallots, chopped (had planned on leek, but leeks awful)
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
4 boneless, skinless chicken legs, cut into chunks (3/4 lb)
probably 3 Tbsp hoisin sauce, spread over the chicken
1/3 c roasted unsalted peanuts
fill pot with broccoli florets
1 Meyer lemon, sliced thinly and not peeled

The pour-over:

1.5 Tbsp sesame oil
1.5 Tbsp rice vinegar
1.5 Tbsp ponzu sauce
1.5 Tbsp sherry
2 tsp gochujang sauce or 2 tsp Dijon mustard, your choice.

Shake vigorously in a little jar and pour over. Cover pot.

It will cook 45 minutes in 450ºF oven.

I’ll update with The Wife’s verdict.

UPDATE: The Wife and I agree: very good indeed. The lemon came out terrific, as did broccoli, chicken, etc. I’ll be making it a second time tomorrow or the day after.

Written by Leisureguy

15 January 2013 at 5:57 pm

Plan for tomorrow’s pork GOPM

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Tune in late tomorrow to find out what actually happened. UPDATE: Recipe now updated to actual.

2.25-qt Staub round cocotte, sprayed with olive oil, then wiped out with paper towel. Add the following in layers, listed from bottom to top.

1/2 cup rice pearled barley (just thought it would go better)
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
chopped onion or shallots or sliced leek
4 cloves garlic, minced (added)
boneless pork chop cut into chunks
freshly ground pepper
dried cranberries
sliced spicy linguiça (and sliced chorizo: had some left)
1/2 head green cabbage, finely chopped
1 Pink Lady apple, diced (including core and seeds)


1.5 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp gochujang sauce
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp Amontillado sherry

I used a tiny whisk to break up the gochujang sauce so it would mix in better.

Cover, put in 450ºF oven for 45 minutes, remove, and let sit 10 minutes, then serve.

Written by Leisureguy

10 December 2012 at 7:40 pm

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