Emeril Lagasse and his signature "Bam!" were the likely catalyst that sparked the celebrity chef revolution.
Lagasse changed the television cooking show from the video instructional manuals of Julia Child into a talk/entertainment/cooking hybrid and paved the way for the likes of Rachael Ray, Paula Deen, and other megawattage hosts.
Lagasse's first love, however, is cooking. The author of 15 cookbooks, Lagasse has written books on his beloved Louisiana cooking, grilling, and the farm-to-table movement. Now, Lagasse takes on the rest of humanity -- people who have little time to make multiple-step meals.
In his new book, Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders, Lagasse presents 130 comfort food dishes designed to be made in few steps without multiple pots (and mess).
We especially liked Emeril's big-pot dishes, with simple-to-follow
recipes for Tuscan white bean soup with brocolli rabe, artichoke soup
with poached oysters, and Congee, to name a few. We also got a kick out
of Emeril's take on Matzo Ball Soup, which proved to be pretty
authentic, down to the chicken fat.
We tried the recipe for Pasta e Fagiole, with a tiny substitution of fresh spinach for the kale. The recipe was simple, and in about a half-hour, we had a steaming bowl of goodness on the table, though honestly we used two pots -- one to cook the pasta while we were cooking the stock and tomatoes in the other.
Sizzling Skillets and Other One-Pot Wonders is available on Amazon.com and retails for $24.99 paperback, $18.99 for Kindle (we found it for as little as $16.99 on the site).
Here's a recipe for Emeril's Chicken and Rice soup, from Emeril Live:
Chicken and Rice Soup (Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 chicken (3 pounds) boned, skinned, and visible fat removed, diced, (save the bones and carcass)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 cups assorted chopped fresh vegetables, such has beans, zucchini, yellow squash, or cabbage, small dice
- 1 1/2 cups torn spinach leaves, cleaned and stemmed
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 3 quarts chicken stock
- 1/4 pound long grain white rice, uncooked
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In a large sauce pot, heat the olive oil. Season the chicken with Essence. When the oil is hot, add the chicken, bones and carcass and saute for about 5 minutes, or until the meat and bones are brown. Remove the bones and carcass. Add the onions, celery, carrots, green onions, garlic, parsley, basil, and bay leaves. Season with Essence. Saute the vegetables for 4 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables, spinach, and crushed red pepper and saute for 1 minute. Add the stock and rice, bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Reseason if necessary. Serve hot.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings