Book Reviews

‘One Pan Perfect’ – Donna Hay

There is one recipe in particular in Donna Hay’s inspirational book ‘One Pan Perfect’ which for me perfectly sums how I feel about it.

Each of the delicious sounding recipes is headed by a brief introduction. On page 154 I came across this introduction for her One Pot Balsamic Pot Roast Chicken: ‘My sticky Set-and-Forget roast chicken will become your new family favourite. All the juicy flavour without the fuss – yes please!’

And that is how I feel about this book – many of the recipes will become family favourites, full of flavour and with very little fuss. Exactly what we as a family like to eat, and to cook, and basically only one pan used. What’s not to like!

The actual recipe sounds great. It involves one large ovenproof saucepan, one chicken, balsamic vinegar, stock, brown sugar, oregano, garlic, salt and black pepper, potatoes, parsnips and a drizzle of olive oil and about an hour’s oven cooking.

Family favourite recipes

‘One Pan Perfect’ is basically divided into four main categories covering both savoury and sweet dishes, ie, One Tray, One Dish, One Pan and One Pot – augmented by pages on Kitchen Basics, Flavour Starters (savoury and sweet), a Glossary and an Index.

By the way, Kitchen Basics is an excellent introduction and well worth taking time to read as it contains lots of tips, tricks and short cuts.

Who’s for Fritters?

Another must-try recipe for us is Donna’s One Tray Chickpea and Cauliflower Fritters. With one cauliflower hater in the family this might be the way of getting her to eat this vegetable without realising what it is.

The cauliflower is grated and mixed not only with chick peas but also with other tasty additions such as herbs, spice and lemon rind. Its pretty healthy too because the fritters instead of being deep fried are brushed with oil and baked in the oven. They are then served with a tasty sounding yoghurt dressing.

The veggie member of the family has spotted the One Pan Pan Baked Tomato and Parmesan Feta. He is planning on cooking pasta to go with it – though the recipe recommendation of some good crusty bread, also appealed to him.

I, on the other hand, am looking forward to the One Dish Pancetta-wrapped Roast Pork with pear and fennel.

And for those with a sweet tooth

For friends and family members with a sweet tooth there are lots of yummy looking sweet treats – including an enticing Rhubarb Almond Pudding Cake. We grow our own rhubarb, and it yields prolifically so that recipe is a ‘must’.

And I have to say the picture of the Raspberry, Yoghurt Scroll intrigues me. I am wondering whether the scrolls would work as a ‘tear and share’ with morning coffee.

Another Donna Hay masterpiece

If we are allowed a little niggle we would have liked there to have been more of a line space, or perhaps a bold type-face sub-heading to differentiate the main ingredients from those used for a sauce, dressing, filling or topping.

Nevertheless, ‘One Pan Perfect’ is another cookbook masterpiece from Donna Hay – it’s great. And great photography of the dishes too.

More Information

One Pot Perfect. Donna Hay. ISBN: 978-1-4607-6048-2. UK £25; US $40; CAN $50. Fourth Estate Harper Collins Publishers.