One Pan Meal

One Pan MealMeals that can be created with a minimum of dishes dirtied are always good things. They tend to be simple, filling meals that are satisfying to consume.

One of my favorites is not only simple, it’s also incredibly inexpensive. It involves three, yes three, ingredients — potatoes, sausage, and sauerkraut. I try to have at least two meals a day that contain fermented foods. Lunch is easy, as I always have a fruit smoothie blended with yogurt. It should be somewhat obvious at this point that I’m a fan of pairing fermented grapes with dinner. Sometimes, a bit more of those helpful, little organisms that exist within fermented foods are desired. Not only can they give a dish more of a tang, more of a flavor profile, they can also make your gut happier. That’s when a good sauerkraut, kimchi, pickle, etc. is needed.

beerSince I’ve been suggesting perfect pairings to go with my weekly dish-of-choice, I thought I’d share what I drink with my humble — though incredibly satisfying — one pan meal. Beer, specifically Lost Coast’s Great White, my all-time favorite brew, is a perfect choice. It’s citrus-y with a spicy finish, pairs well with all of the flavors of the dish, and is light enough to not bog down the stomach.

Just as I’ve found that I can eat fermented bread, I’ve found that I have no issues with beer. Here’s where you’d hear both a big, relieved sigh and a mighty, “Yahoo!” if I was hanging out with you irl.

 

A Super Simple One Pan Meal

serves 3-4 people

2 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
2 bratwurst or other sausage of your choice
16 fl oz sauerkraut

Heat up a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook bratwurst until they’re beginning to brown slightly. Add potatoes and cook until potatoes are soft, up to 30 minutes. (If you purchased pre-cooked brats, cook potatoes first, then add sausage and brown.) Once potatoes are cooked, lower heat to how, add sauerkraut and keep in pan just long enough for it to warm. Serve right away.

Put a Bird on It

I just got back from a business trip in Portland, Oregon. Unfortunately due to luggage restrictions/items I needed to bring, I had to leave the camera at home. Since I didn’t get any Portland photos, I did the next best thing — I’m sharing one of the awesome velvet paintings my friend, Chris, has created for me. Chris lives in Portland, ergo, Portland photo! Erm, sort-of, right? Anyway… let’s move on.

Portland is a foodie paradise, and even more, a beer-lover’s dream. I consumed way more beer than was good for me, but I had to pack so much consumption into such a short space of time, you really can’t blame me.

The first evening found us at Deschutes Brewery. There, I had the great presence of mind to order a Hop in the Dark. I was a bit skeptical — a dark ale with hops? The resiny flavor played nicely with the chocolate sweetness of the malt. Who knew the two could be such great friends?

My next stop was dinner. While I’ve been told the restaurant at Deschutes is dynamite, I was overruled by my group, so we moved on. After being disappointed that all of the food trucks were closed, we continued to what appeared to be (at least on the outside) a hole-in-the-wall eatery with some nice, outdoor seating. I have to say, the Dan & Louis Oyster Bar makes a spectacular salad. I enjoyed a half salad of the Dungeness Crab Louis with a marionberry vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was spectacular. I can’t recommend it enough. I’m going to need to replicate it, in fact. Dinner was washed down with a Fish Tale Organic Amber Ale, a beer I know quite well and just wanted to enjoy.

There was no hesitation when it came to our next stop, plus it was just down the street. It’s almost a requirement to get a unique concoction at Voodoo Doughnut when you’re visiting the City of Roses. I had their Bacon Maple Bar. It was… weird — keeping Portland as it should be, I guess. I ate the whole thing, odd or not.

Then it was on to a nightcap at Rogue. By this time my head was spinning, what with all of the, um, sugar and socialization, so I opted for an old favorite — Dead Guy Ale. I did indulge in a sample of Rogue’s ode to Voodoo Doughnut, its Bacon Maple Ale. I’m sad to admit that it was the first Rogue creation I haven’t enjoyed. The liquid smoke flavors coupled with the maple sugary-ness just weren’t my thing.

After a full day of learning, my next dinner excursion was at The Original. Holy mother of … really, there should be a special reward for places that make food this delectable. I intended to get the beef stroganoff and had ordered my beer accordingly, but I was wooed by the braised pork shank. I was completely under the spell of the so-tender-it-was-falling-off-the-bone meat drizzled in a brown butter sherry sauce. I have no words. Recalling how staggeringly good that meal was makes me want to weep. Fortunately, the sauce allowed my equally amazing beer to compliment the meal. The Original had Fort George Bourbon Barrel Cavatica Stout on tap. What a gorgeous beer! Black, malty, sweet, and smooth — I wish I had purchased a case.

And that was it, a short adventure filled with brewed and culinary pleasures. I gained a lot of knowledge on new, awesome techniques in social networking, gained some new friends and colleagues, and most definitely gained some pounds. It was great. Stay weird, Portland, and stay yummy!

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