Preparing Sheet Pan Meals

200 Best Sheet Pan Meals
Quick & Easy Oven Recipes
One Pan, No Fuss!

Review by Adrianne Morrison & Linda Kissam
Bonus recipe: California Fish Tacos with Cucumber and Pineapple
Photos courtesy of Robert Rose, Inc.

Grab your sheet pan and start baking your meals? Or, is this called roasting? We “bake” chicken and cakes, and we “roast” chicken and vegetables in the oven, right? So can we combine them into one pan and make a meal? Camilla Saulsbury says, “Yes!” and shows us how in her new cookbook, Sheet Pan Meals.

The author is a freelance food writer, recipe developer and cooking instructor. Her focus is translating food and flavor into fresh, innovative recipes for the home kitchen.

Camilla presents innovative recipes to prepare fairly common dishes in a non-traditional way. Her first 25 recipes are “extra-simple pantry meals” suitable for novice cooks. The balance range from breakfast to desserts all prepared in a sheet pan.

We think those learning to cook will enjoy this book and find the introductory pages contain useful cooking basics. The recommendations for shopping and filling your pantry will land you in ready-to-cook status. Once you run through the “25 Extra-Simple Pantry Meals,” $24.95 US) you will be all-set to move on through the recipes.

This cookbook will appeal to those who are tired of the same-old-weeknight-meals and want to change-it-up. Using a sheet pan instead of their usual cooking methods is a fun, new way to turn-out some good tasting dishes. Change is good! Fun shower or wedding gift when bundled with some pantry items and a pair of really nice pans.

Because the book is really a collection of recipes for main meals, sides and desserts –not all full “meals,” no instructional photos and very few “finished meal” photos we give it a collective 3.5 stars out of five. The photos that are included in the book are beautiful, just not enough of them for our taste. We like visual inspiration. You may feel different.

Adrianne

Photo by Adrianne Morrison

A number of the recipes are simply vegetable dishes or dessert/sweet items. Others that include a meat and vegetable, or assorted vegetables are more representative of a meal. What I am trying to say is that not every recipe is a “true” meal.

Camilla guides us defining what cooks well together and when to add ingredients to the pan for varied time requirements. Many are not “put all ingredients in the pan, cook x minutes – Wala! You have a meal.” Rather, they are tasty ways to use your baking sheet for more than just cookies.

I tried the “California Fish Tacos with Cucumber and Pineapple” (see recipe and photo below) and used the “Tips” and “Variation” sections for substituting tilapia and mango for my tacos. I enjoyed the suggestion to use diced cucumbers in the tacos and plan to add these to future taco bars. Tonight, I plan to make the “Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Feta.” Here’s an example of the pan being used solely to cook the potatoes—the balance of the recipe creates the topping for the potatoes. Sounds good, for sure, but not a “One Pan, No Fuss” meal.

Footnote: TheKitchen.com explains, “Roasting involves cooking foods that already have a solid structure before the cooking process begins (think: meat and vegetables). Baking involves foods that lack structure early on, then become solid and lose their “empty space” during the cooking (think: cakes and muffins). Interesting. I actually thought these terms were interchangeable, but another distinguishing factor is oven temperature: Over 400 degrees = Roasting; Under 375 degrees = Baking.

Linda

I guess I never thought of a sheet pan as a method for preparing meals, sides or desserts. Think of this format as an alternative to one-pot meals. Where was this book when I was beginning to learn to cook or when I taught after school Home Ec to urban teens?

So upfront I give author Saulsbury kudos for her ingenuity. I am still in the mind set of “show me how to create this recipe” so I missed instructional as-you-go- photos that many of today’s cookbooks include. I did like the simple list of ingredients, short steps to completion and easy clean up.

Pretty much if you are in place where you have a sheet pan and an oven, you are ready to be a home chef. You can make an entire Thanksgiving Day feast on a single sheet. No fuss, no massive cleanup. That makes this book a recommend in my mind. Give it a spin by trying this recipe.

Recipe

California Fish Tacos with Cucumber and Pineapple
pg 23, extra simple pantry meal
Courtesy of 200 Best Sheet Pan Recipes by Camilla Saulsbury © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.

While pork, beef and chicken tacos are more familiar — and I’ve never met a meaty taco I didn’t like — why not give fish tacos, a popular favorite from my home state of California, a try? They are as easy as can be when made on a sheet pan. Topped with succulent pineapple and crunchy cucumber, they are a dazzling departure.

Makes 4 servings

  • Preheat broiler, with rack set 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) from the heat source
  • 18- by 13-inch (45 by 33 cm) rimmed sheet pan, lined with foil and sprayed with nonstick cooking spray

4 skinless cod fillets (each about 4
   6 oz/175 g)

1 tbsp  olive oil – 15 mL

1 tsp   chipotle chile powder –  5 mL

1⁄4 tsp salt –  1 mL

1 cup   diced fresh pineapple  –  250 mL

8       6-inch (15 cm) corn tortillas – 8

1 cup   diced cucumber   –  250 mL

Suggested Accompaniments

Fresh cilantro leaves

Lime wedges

Guacamole

  1. Place fish on prepared pan, spacing evenly. Lightly brush both sides of fish with oil, then sprinkle with chile powder and salt. Broil for 3 minutes.
  2. Open oven door and scatter pineapple around fish. Close door and broil for 1 to 3 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily when tested with a fork. Flake fish into small pieces.
  3. Fill tortillas with fish, broiled pineapple and cucumber. Serve with any of the suggested accompaniments, as desired.

Tips

Other mild, lean white fish, such as orange roughy, snapper, tilapia, tilefish or striped bass, may be used in place of the cod.

Thawed frozen diced pineapple may be used in place of the fresh pineapple.

 

Resources

200 Best Sheet Pan Meals
By Camilla V. Saulsbury
$24.95

Image credit: Colin Erricson

See other great cookbooks by this publisher here http://www.robertrose.ca/books

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