This one used to be part of my repertoire, something I learned from my mom in the 1980s. It’s actually something that was popularized back when *she* was a kid back in the 50s and 60s. It takes 30-50 min to make, but most of that time is just rice being cooked (the difference in time is if you’re using white vs. brown rice)… actual prep time at the stove is closer to 10 min depending on how much you want to chop vs just throw in.
We rediscovered it one night when, anxious to make something the kids wouldn’t complain about, we dug out the complete I hate to cook cookbook by Peg Bracken and stumbled upon Doc Marten’s Mix which I’d seen mentioned in the comments of a recent frugal girl post (indeed, I’d dug out the book precisely because the comment jogged my memory). This is a simple one pot recipe where you fry sausage and green peppers/onions/celery (the New Orleans version of mirepoix), add rice, then water, and cook until the rice is done.
But this simple technique is not limited to Doc Marten’s mix. It’s anything where you saute veggies and possibly meat, add a cup of rice, two cups of water, and then cook as if it was rice. I used to have a weeknight chicken cacciatore recipe on rotation (from my mom), which was sauteed chicken, onions, then put in one cup rice, then whatever kind of canned tomato produce we had and water to make 2 cups (or a bit more) of liquid and cook until the rice was done. There’s another version where I used pork sausage and sage and onions and apples. And you can do ground beef and tomatoes and onions and chili seasoning. Or frozen mixed veggies and soy sauce with eggs (for a not at all greasy fried rice when you didn’t have any already cooked rice lying around).
The kids had thirds of the doc martin’s mix and gushed about it even though there were peppers and onions and celery in it. (Our kids’ pickiness is often unpredictable.) They were willing to have seconds the next day. It was unheard of. (DC2 has since gotten over hir most recent picky stage, but DC1 is still in the middle of it.)
I’m not sure why I forgot this was something I used to do. Probably because we’ve been doing so much cookbook cooking rather than cooking based on memory and inspiration. And it just isn’t a technique that’s “in” right now, so it’s not showing up in our books.
What are your favorite weeknight one pot meals?