One Pot Meals: Meatballs, Tomatoes and White Bean Rice

A few years back, I invested in a nice enamel coated cast iron dutch oven.  Well, actually, first I bought a cheap-o one from a large box store, then I upgraded to the Martha Stewart Collection dutch oven from Macy’s and I gotta tell ya – investing in the better quality one was totally worth it.  I found that food tended to stick to the bottom of the cheaper one, while the Martha Stewart pot cooked more evenly, and cleaned up much easier.

Anyway, I decided I was going to make every recipe in the Martha Stewart One Pot: 120+ Easy Meals from Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Stockpot, and More cookbook.

I had really, really good intentions, but it just didn’t happen.  Life gets in the way, and then suddenly you realize you never accomplished some of those little goals you set.  Or maybe that’s just me…

Anyway, get the book because it is full of fabulous one pot recipes.  The first one I made was the Chicken and Dumplings and it was delicious.  But remember, you don’t need recipes to whip up good meals in your dutch oven.  Experiment – throw your favorite veggies and proteins in there, add some broth, and see what happens.  If you intend to use rice or pasta, you’ll need to be a little more careful on liquid ratios to ensure your starches cook up right without getting too mushy or ending up too dry.  I’ve discovered when making rice dishes, one cup of white rice with 2 cups of liquid, plus your other ingredients typically works out.  Basmati and Jasmine rice bake up fluffier, where white rice gets a little stickier.  To prevent that, rinse your rice in cold water to get some of the starch out of it.  Also, remove the lid for the last 10 minutes and give it a stir, then let it rest for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven before serving.

I have posted a few other one-pot recipes.  Check out my One Pot Greek Lemon Chicken and Rice, One Pot Spanish Chicken and Rice, One Pot Chicken and Kale Pilau, and my Cassoulet recipe.  The recipe below is easy to make vegetarian, too.  Use vegetable broth and vegetarian meatballs, and increase the amount of beans.

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One-Pot Meatball, Tomato, and White Bean Rice

1 batch Gluten Free Meatballs (see below), or
¼ cup thinly slice yellow onion
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long grain white rice (not cooked)
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 can diced tomatoes with liquid
1/3 cup sliced Kalamata olives
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Freshly chopped basil for garnish
Prepare one batch of my Gluten Free Meatballs, set aside.  In an enamel coated cast iron Dutch oven,  heat olive oil over medium heat, then add onion slices and cook until translucent and just beginning to turn golden on the edges.  Add the rice and stir to coat with oil and mix in with the onions.  Add the salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano, stir, then pour in the broth.  Once the broth comes to a low simmer, add the tomatoes, olives and beans.   Stir, then nest the meatballs in the mixture and bring to a low boil, cover with the lid and place in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.  Remove the lid, gently stir once, then return to oven to cook another 10 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked but not mushy.

Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.  Goes great with a nice crusty bread and a little Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese!

Gluten-Free Meatballs

1 lb lean ground beef
1/3 cup gluten free crisp rice cereal
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix together everything except for the egg in a large mixing bowl (your hands work best, but a fork will do).  Once the seasonings and cereal is evenly distributed, work in the egg until fully incorporated.  Let the mixture chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.  Using a meatball scoop or a spoon, form the meat into 1” balls.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, and cook the meatballs over medium heat, moving the around the pan until lightly browned on all sides (this takes approximately 8-10 minutes).  Meatballs go well with marinara sauce and pasta, in gravy with mashed potatoes, or in a tangy glaze served with mini sausages at a party.

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