In an ideal world where time to plan a meal you'd step outside and money aren't issues, and choose the freshest ingredients from your organic garden, grab a few eggs courtesy of your free-range chickens, and maybe step into the smokehouse to select a ham to go with it all. Then you'd hand all of the ingredients to your chef and he would cook it for you while the rest of your staff set the dining room table.
In a world where time isn't an issue, you'd visit your local farmer's market daily to pick up the freshest produce and eggs; stop by the butcher shop or fishmonger's for your meat entrées; swing by the organic dairy for the day's butter, cream, cheese, and milk; and run into the artisan bakery for your bread and pastries.
In today's world, cooking according to season more than likely refers to using the ingredients you have on hand and cooking them based on the amount of time you have available to prepare them. Making sure that you have ingredients on hand to use usually includes having cans of food in the pantry, frozen vegetables in the freezer, and other food staples in the refrigerator. In other words, if it's in your pantry, freezer, or refrigerator, it's in season.
The recipes in this book were created for use in today's world, with an emphasis on making the main entrée in one pot — if not the entire meal. The One-Pot Meal Philosophy is meant to show you ways to serve great-tasting food in ways that save you time and effort.
While every effort was made to create foolproof recipes for this book, it's impossible to anticipate every factor that can affect cooking times. For example, a slow cooker sitting on a kitchen counter next to a drafty window on a windy, sub-zero winter's day is going to take longer to come to temperature than one sitting in direct sunlight in the summer. Regardless of the cooking method, ingredients at room temperature will cook faster than those just out of the refrigerator or freezer.
Convenience isn't a constant either. A slow cooker isn't conducive to making a meal in a hurry, the oven isn't always practical in the summer, and, when there are other chores to be done around the house, the stovetop isn't always convenient for even the most masterful multitasker. That's why the one-pot meals in this book are made using a number of methods. Different methods will suit your needs at different times.
That doesn't mean that there is only one correct way to fix each dish. For that reason, this book also includes sidebars that have bonus recipes, tips, and suggestions on how to alter some of the recipes.
Also worth noting is that exact measurements for salt are seldom given in this book. These recipes use as little salt as possible during the cooking process, giving you the freedom to add as much or as little seasoning as you like at the table. Unless otherwise indicated, when a recipe calls for salt, sea salt was used to test the recipe.