Cooking for Two: Most Popular Articles
Leftover pork is far easier to deal with if you plan in advance. These recipes are quick, easy, delicious and quickly reduce a pork roast to fond memories.
The key ingredient to a muffaletta sandwich recipe is the muffaletta Olive Mix (you'll find a link to that recipe here). Ideally you want to make the sandwich an hour or two before eating it so the juices from the olive mix can soak into the bread, which makes this a perfect picnic sandwich.
The recipe for a Mufaletta Olive Salad mixture is the key to a great muffaletta sandwich.
When I was in college my roommates and I used frequently make a dish we called "Grunt." (Hey, we were
This recipe for mushroom duxelles produces an intensely flavored sautéed mushroom and shallot mixture. I was introduced to the concoction when I first made Beef Wellington, a classic use of this semi-paste. Makes 1 cup.
Soaking mushrooms, piling them into a pan, and boiling with a little water is the easiest way to cook them, and results in deeply flavored, beautifully browned mushrooms.
This recipe for individual Beef Wellingtons looks like a million dollars and tastes like heaven. It's also surprisingly easy to make, albeit time-consuming, but can easily be completely prepped a day in advance. Serves 2.
Gyros are a classic Greek sandwich. Traditionally made of slices of marinated pork, packed on a spit, and then roasted in front of a fire, the gyro is one of the world's great sandwiches. Makes 4.
The problem I have with brownies is I can't quit eating them. This recipe still makes more brownies than I need but isn't outrageous for two people.
Roasting rutabaga concentrates and highlights it's natural sweetness. In this recipe I season the rutabaga with a dried Italian Herb mixture, which also highlights the sweetness. Serves 2.
I have a confession - I love my microwave, especially for corn. Mostly (almost exclusively in fact) I use it for warming up food I've already cooked. But corn is an exception.
Gastriques are a sort of classic French sweet and sour sauce. The primary flavor (and some of the sweetness) typically comes from fruit (peaches, berries, mangoes and so on) and the sour from vinegar.
Peach cobbler may be my favorite dessert. Each year I look forward to locally-grown peaches more than anything else and when they finally appear at the farmers' market I always buy too many.
Grilled swordfish steaks take 30 minutes to marinate and 10 minutes to cook. So take off your coat, squeeze some lemon juice on the steaks, and relax with a cocktail. No muss, no fuss, mighty good eating.
My guess is that everyone who has ever hard-boiled an egg has at some point over-cooked them (resulting in that sulphurous green layer around the yolk) or under-cooked them and ended up with a soft center. It's actually easy to cook eggs perfectly every time, but it's not straightforward. So here's the trick.
This paprika mahi-mahi is a perfect weeknight meal - it only takes 8 - 10 minutes to cook. The Spanish smoked paprika provides a nice smoky flavor that accents the fish's sweetness.
Crunchy on the outside, juicy and flavorful on the inside, panko-fried shrimp make a delicious appetizer, a great addition to main-dish salads, or an unusual taco filling.
Carpaccio is an Italian recipe for a raw beef appetizer dressed with a lemony mayonnaise. My Carpaccio recipe uses a balsamic vinaigrette and is a great summer meal.
Cabbage is one of those few things that actually cook well in the microwave. It's a dish I've always loved and using the microwave means making it is a breeze. It's a great quick and easy side dish. Serves 2.
Gremolata is a combination of lemon zest, garlic, parsley, and olive oil. Traditionally an addition to Osso Buccoit is also great as a garnish on grilled or roasted lamb, pork chops, beef, and even roasted potatoes. Serves 2.
Biscuits are one of the most popular quick breads and are found all over the United States. This recipe makes six big puffy biscuits, that's two each for supper and one each leftover for breakfast.
We're taught that food should never be held at temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. That's because most bacteria will quite happily reproduce in that range. But note, the temperatures at which bacteria is killed varies according to the microbe.
This Mexican-inspired shrimp cocktail is not a true ceviche -- instead, the shrimp are lightly poached in lime-infused water and marinated in lime juice while they cool. The combination of shrimp, crunchy vegetables and spicy sauce is delightful and refreshing.
Juniper berries have a wonderfully piney taste - most like rosemary if you looking for a comparison - but more resinous and with citrus overtones.
This recipe for blueberry ice cream is simple and delicious. A great treat that can be made with either fresh or frozen blueberries. Makes 1 qt.
With these Chinese-American restaurant favorites to make at home, you'll never miss take-out.
Spreading mayo on fish before grilling it may seem odd, but mayo is mostly oil flavored with lemon juice, salt, and sometimes mustard and herbs - exactly the sort of ingredients you might ordinarily coat fish with before grilling it. Serves 2.
Mexican rice (or Spanish rice) is a staple in Mexican restaurants and one of my favorites.
With a little fruit and an easy-to-make topping, this peach crisp is the perfect end to your dinner for two.
I'm all about cooking once and eating several times - I think it makes huge sense for one or two-person households. This recipe combines the flavors of chicken, bacon and herbs to make a satisfying meal - or two
Roux is a French word and refers to a combination of a lipid (fat or oil) and flour and is a key ingredient in, probably, thousands of dishes involving some sort of sauce.
Savory, creamy Maryland-style shrimp salad with crunchy celery and scallions makes a great sandwich filling for a light dinner or lunch for two. It's also delicious over salad greens.
This recipe makes two servings of rich, lemony Hollandaise sauce.
Fresh tomatoes and olive oil are the stars in this classic Andalusian gazpacho, which is as easy as it is delicious.
"Tzatziki" is the Greek name for this yogurt-based sauce recipe, but variants on it are found throughout
Whether you're cooking them slowly or quickly, a little knowledge about onion types and browning reactions is all you need for delicious, perfect onions every time.
This recipe for Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits was different from the others in adding cold butter to the mix to make them more flaky. The trick works. And fair warning, if you double the recipe you'll simple eat twice as many.
Muffaletta bread is essentially an Italian bread shaped it into a round flat loaf, it comes out of the oven about 8 inches in diameter and about 1 1/2 inches high. It turns out these dimensions are the perfect amount of bread for a mufalletta.
Cuban sandwiches are marvelous things consisting of roast pork, ham, salami), dill pickles, Swiss cheese, and yellow ball-park mustard; built on a bread similar to Italian; and then grilled. Serves 2.
With ingenuity and planning, an experienced cook can use most cuts of meat and poultry and come up with a great dinner for two, but some cuts are better choices for couples than others. Here are five of my favorites cuts, plus great recipes that will get you started with them.
This jerk seasoning spice mixture recipe is great on fish, shrimp, pork, and chicken. It will keep in a sealed jar out of the light for six months so I always keep some on hand.
Unlike slow-browned onions, these savory sauteed onions retain their shape and more onion flavor. They're delicious on sandwiches or as a topping for steaks or chops.
Cuisinart Cookware is a high-quality cookware choice. As a cooking instructor I've had long-time experience with other name brands and I chose Cuisinart Multiclad Pro.
This recipe for Potatoes O'Brien is a wonderful way to use leftover boiled or baked potatoes. In fact, it's worth cooking a few extra potatoes just to have the leftovers. Serves 2.
Crisp roasted Cornish game hen, served over seared hearts of romaine, is topped with a tangy lemon-anchovy sauce. Reminiscent of a warm Caesar salad, it's an elegant yet satisfying dinner for two.
This recipe for fried chicken calls for marinating the chicken overnight in buttermilk and then pan-frying. It's great both hot and cold. Serves 2.
While cooking a thick steak makes a great dinner for two, what do you do with the leftovers? Three great recipes provide a variety of ways to use up the rest of that delicious steak.
I like fajitas, but pork fajitas are my favorite and around here I can only get them if I make them myself. So that's what I do. This recipe works as well with beef and chicken so no need for multiple recipes.
As far as reward to effort ratios go, this red "table salsa" is about as high as it gets. I used to roast,
I first had chicken wings in Buffalo, and they couldn't have been simpler. The wings were fried but not battered and tossed with hot sauce and butter.
The best thing about this recipe for herbed broiled trout is how delicious it is. The second best thing is how quick and easy it is.
What do you do with leftover pork roast? Make a pork pot pie. At least that's what I did not long ago. I'd eaten the roast as a roast (it was seasoned with herbs and garlic) a couple of times. I'd made a sandwich and done a stir-fry, and I wanted something different to polish it off.
These luscious, incredibly fudgy brownies are a chocolate lover's dream. The small batch is just enough for two.
Basting with butter gives this thick, tender steak an irresistible crust and perfectly done interior.
Bechamel is one of the mother sauces of classical French cooking. Bechamel is simply butter, flour, and milk and a bit of salt and pepper. It's often included in lasagna and pastitsio as is, but the French usually modify it in some way. Adding cheese produces Mornay Sauce, add crawfish (or shrimp or crab) and you have Nantua sauce, Soubise features onions sweated in butter, and you can make a cream sauce by substituting cream for the milk.
This pork dry rub recipe isn't particularly hot and, unlike many rubs, it doesn't contain any sugar because I also use it for grilled pork and the sugar will burn while grilling. Try this on smoked pork butt, pork ribs (smoked or grilled), and grilled chops.
My recipe for gazpacho is somewhat untraditional, but it rich, lucious, and packed with the bright flavors of summer - everything one could ask for in a gazpacho recipe.
There is a surprising amount of lore associated with cooking dried beans - or perhaps it's not so surprising. But most of what your mother told you was wrong or at best only partially right. Here's the down-low on delicious beans.
Pork medallions are one of my favorite meats and this recipe highlights their rich dense flavor and firm texture. And properly cooked it's is as tender as good steak. Serves 2.
Don't hard boil your eggs. Steaming results in easy-to-peel hard-cooked eggs with tender whites and no green ring around the yolk.
Patty Pan Squash. Cooking for Two. Page 8.
When I was a kid growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee fresh shrimp was as rare as, well, shrimp teeth. But every now and then some aspiring entrepreneur would hire a truck down on the Gulf coast, load it up with shrimp fresh off the boat and packed in ice chests, and drive up here overnight. Then they'd set up in a parking lot somewhere and sell out of the truck. Whenever my mother spotted one of these trucks she'd stop and buy three to five pounds, and boil them up in beer and Old Bay seasoning.
A vinaigrette is basically just oil, acid, and flavorings. If you get the proportions right you can make custom vinagrettes for any meal.
My problem with ricotta is I can't buy less than a pint of the kind I prefer, but usually only need a cup - so what to do with the remaining cheese? Blueberry ricotta muffins, of course. These are wonderfully moist and have a good shelf life (2 - 3 days before they begin to go stale).
Learn about the multitude of ways to thicken sauces useful for cooking. You have common options like cornstarch and different ones like arrowroot.
This is a wonderfully cool and refreshing recipe for cucumber soup with a nice touch of exotica from the curry. Serve as a first course at dinner – particularly with fish – or with a sandwich for lunch.
This flaky pie crust recipe is enough for a 6-inch pie or deep tart tin or for two 4-inch pie dishes. It's perfect for desserts or savory recipes like quiche or meat pies.
Horseradish sauce is the classic topping for a slice of prime rib. But it's also excellent on any steak or on lamb. I don't know if there are still places selling deep-fried battered mushrooms, but when I first had fried mushrooms, in Ruby Tuesday as I recall, this sauce was served for dipping.
This tutorial for making individual Beef Wellingtons looks like a million dollars and tastes like heaven. It's also surprisingly easy to make, albeit time-consuming, but can easily be completely prepped a day in advance.
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Roast leg of lamb is one of my absolute favorite meals. I love lamb anyway, but roasting seems to bring out the best in it. This particular recipe is adapted from several Greek recipes and features traditional flavors like lemon, garlic and rosemary. Serves 2 with leftovers.
To be honest, these Oven-barbequed Ribs won’t be as good as if they’d been smoked slowly over charcoal, but if you live in an apartment or the weather stinks they’re a great option. Serves 2.
Chicken Picatta is a variation on veal picata, but it's just as good when made with chicken breasts, something I almost always have in the freezer. Serves 2.
These Italian-style stuffed bell peppers combine spicy sausage, rice and vegetables in a savory main dish for two.
This is a common weeknight dish for me - and I usually use frozen spinach because I almost always have a bag in my freezer. It's a common Italian side dish made with a variety of greens.
This version of the popular Chinese-American stir fry dish includes a savory black pepper sauce that coats the succulent beef and seared vegetables.
You know the Patty Melt: hamburger patty, grilled rye bread, Swiss cheese, and (often) 1000 Island dressing. When done well it's crisp and juicy, sweet and slightly salty, rich and savory.
This cheese-laced potato gratin for two is easy to make but packed with flavor.
Tikka Masala is reportedly the most popular restaurant dish in England. It's an easy dish to make and if you discount the time it spends marinating in the refrigerator it's also quick to make, meaning you can serve it within 30 minutes. Serves 2.
Eating on a budget doesn't mean eating poorly. Some of the finest dishes ever created were developed by people trying to economize.
Slowly braised lamb shanks are almost impossible to beat on a cold wintry day. Savory and richly-flavored, this recipe will almost make you glad the weather is bad. And although there's some prep up front, most of the cooking process is trying to ignore the marvelous odors that permeate your home. Serves 2.
Steak seasoning is a great way to boost the flavor of an inexpensive steak. You can buy mixtures at the store, but making your own enables you to customize it.
I was so pleased with the Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers I recently made, that I cast around for another variation and I hit on using ground pork instead of ground beef.
If I want fresh herbs I have to buy them - at $2 a package. And when I do I almost inevitably end up with 3/4 of the package going bad before I can use it. Such are the problems with cooking for two. But in fact, fresh herbs are not always superior to dried herbs.
These wonderful fried chickpeas aren’t so much fried as sautéed and are one of my favorite snacks. They take 10 minutes to make and about 30 minutes to eat with a glass or two of wine or a cocktail, which seems fair.
Beef Stroganoff -- tender beef and mushrooms in a savory sauce enriched with sour cream -- is a classic. This version uses leftover steak for an easy and delicious dinner for two.
Reducing recipes isn't hard but it can seem more difficult than it has to be. Learn tips and tricks to reduce a recipe for four, six, or more to serve two.
These deliciously spiced caribbean jerk burgers bring a taste of the islands to your backyard. Makes 4 burgers.
This traditional Mexican Corn Saute is a favorite with my clients - especially in the summer when all the ingredients are fresh. But I also make it using frozen corn and canned tomatoes. Serves 2.
If you've never had pasta made from scratch, you'll be amazed at the silky texture. With a pasta roller, pasta for two is easy and fun to make.
Growing up, my ice cream preference is for things like orange sherbet, lime sherbet, and pineapple sherbet. Instead of a sherbet this is a real ice cream.
This recipe for Florentine Pork Chops is based on the Florentine Biftecca alla Fiorentina. There's no spinach involved, but it's still mighty good. Serves 2.
This recipe for shrimp and grits is my take on a low-country classic: Savory, spicy, and luscious. Serves 2.
Egg salad has long been one of my favorite sandwich fillings. In fact, as a kid I never like peanut butter and jelly, but loved egg salad. This version has a nice kick. Makes 2 cups.
This pickling spice mixture is based on the recipe published in Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing, by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. A truly great book.
This soup is best made with fresh tomatoes in season, but it’s also pretty good made with canned tomatoes in the dead of winter. Serves 2.
These strawberry conserves would be equally good on either pancakes, French toast, or biscuits. They require a bit of advance planning but almost no effort whatsoever. Makes 1 pint.
This outstanding recipe for a Mediterranean Pork Roast is juicy, packed with the flavor of garlic and rosemary, and dead easy to make. Serves 2 with leftovers for sandwiches.
This creamy, spicy, Creole Crab Dip make a delightful hors doeuvres served on crackers or endive. It's also quick and easy to make.
Chiles rellenos -- stuffed, battered and fried poblano chiles -- are a Mexican dish usually reserved for special occasions.
Thousand Island Dressing (1000 Island) is one one of America's favorite salad toppings - but it's also great on burgers and reuben sandwiches. Makes 2 cups.
This recipe for a basic cheese souffle is a starting point for dozens of variations on savory souffles an includes a link to a photo tutorial.
Sun-dried tomatoes and garlic accent this easy shrimp and pasta dish, which gets a flavor boost from peppery arugula.
This refreshing Thai-inspired pickled cucumber salad is easy to make and lasts for days in the refrigerator.
I consider marinara sauce to be a kitchen staple, so I make this recipe in larger quantities than I need and then freeze it in freezer bags in one-cup amounts. Makes about 4 cups.
This simple red wine sauce is a great finish for all types of meat and poultry.
An old southern favorite, this recipe for pork cutlets leaves out the traditional white gravy and it's load of calories, opting instead for a fresh and bright squirt of lemon juice. Serves 2.
This recipe for smoked salmon bruschetta can be prepped hours in advance and refrigerated, but are quick enough to make and serve in 15 minutes.
Yogurt chicken (chicken marinated in yogurt) is a popular dish throughout the middle-east. It's often baked, but is excellent grilled. Serves 2.
Spicy peanut dressing gives this cold noodle, chicken and vegetable dish a delicious kick.
Delicately spiced crab and cream cheese fill crisp wonton skins in this popular Chinese-American restaurant appetizer.
Such soups are particularly welcome at cookouts, barbeques, and even picnics where you're outside in the summer heat. With the hottest part of the summer approaching I thought a collection of recipes for cold soups might be a nice addition to the menu. So I've posted a few of my own recipes.
I consider a Dutch oven an essential piece of cooking equipment. There is no pot better suited to making stews and braises - from pot roast to chicken curry - and it's also useful for making stocks, soups and even bread.
This recipe for pork burgers is, without doubt, one of the best recipes I've ever come up with. They're amazingly good combining ground pork with bacon, onion, and parmesan cheese.
This recipe for a Moorish spice mixture is intended for for pork, but I've found it's also great on chicken and lamb. Best of all, it keeps well so it's always handy.
Casseroles are great most any time of year. They're usually fairly easy to make, they are often best when made with leftovers, they can be made in advance and cooked later and many of them freeze well. But I tend to like them best in the winter.
Creating meals for two needn't be difficult, but a little planning goes a long way toward making it easier to do with better results.
Steak au Poivre is an old French bistro classic. Jacques Pepin, America's most famous French chef, turns the dish on its ear by substituting tuna steak for the traditional filet mignon. Serves 2.
This basic recipe for the topping on a fruit crisp dessert can be adapted for use with almost any fruit. Make extra topping and store it in the freezer for last minute desserts.
Salting zucchini slices to draw out moisture deepens the flavor and results in a beautifully browned exterior.
When you're cooking for two, it can be a challenge to use up a pound or more of bacon before it spoils. These ideas will give you plenty of inspiration to use all the bacon.
Salads are great year round, but their lightness and cool refreshing taste is particularly welcome in the heat of summer. Use the vinaigrettes on delicate salads and the heavier dressings on more substantial leaves.
One of my favorite party types is the tapas or meze party. These consist of lots of small bites and needn't be limited to traditional Spanish tapas or Greek mezes. But even for dinner parties and pot-lucks a selection of small bites is always welcome.
We tend to think of mayonnaise as a sandwich spread, and in doing so we miss some of its best applications. Instead, think of mayonnaise as a recipe for a cold hollandaise sauce and all sorts of options open up.
This recipe for blue cheese dressing is for blue cheese lovers only, it will knock your socks off.
At some point every summer I end up grilling squash. If you're already planning steaks or chops on the grill it's so easy to brush some summer squash with olive oil, season it with herbs, and toss it on the grill while the steaks finish cooking.
This version is odd because the best of the lobster rolls I had in New Hampshire and Maine vaguely reminded me of a bahn mi. So I quick-pickle a bit of shredded carrot and a scallion for the veggie component – it really brings out the luscious sweetness of the lobster.
Broiled trout is a great dinner option. Quick and easy, it's perfect for a weeknight meal and because trout is usually farm-raised it doesn't cause harm to declining wild fish stocks. Serves 2.
This recipe for Lavender Ice Cream has a lovely floral flavor - it really is like eating sweetened flowers, and honey adds to that.
Cuban bread is similar to what American's consider Italian bread except for the high fat content, which produces a moister and more richly flavored loaf. It's particulary well-suited for sandwiches. Makes 2 loaves.
This recipe for beet salad with feta presents a great collection of tastes: sweet, salty, and tart, with peppery notes from the arugula.
Minute Steak Medley is a fun, easy, quick and cheap weeknight meal. It consists of a couple of quickly cooked cube steaks and an assortment of sauces.
This spicy fried rice for two is a great way to use small amounts of leftover meat or vegetables.
I was looking for something different to do with fresh strawberries during their local season and hit on the idea of a strawberry quiche.
Cooking in parchment is an old technique; and doesn't actually involve genuine parchment (lambskin). It's typically done in parchment paper and can even be done in aluminum foil or even a brown paper bag. But parchment paper makes a beautiful presentation and isn't that hard. The food is essentialy steamed in an envelope, locking in flavors and juices.
Braciole is a recipe for herbs and cheese, rolled up in meat. This recipe uses beef and is astoundingingly good on a winter's night. Serves 2.
Crisp battered fish, avocado cream and spicy cabbage are layered in these delicious Baja-style fish tacos.
A friend of mine recently posted a recipe for a schnitzel sandwich. A pork cutlet is breaded and fried pork cutlet and served in hamburger bun. I had to try it and I'm glad I did.
If you're wondering about the different kinds of salt and what to buy, read this explanation first.
Learn how to best store that bunch of cilantro, and find ten great ways to use it up.
Greek Fried Cheese, a great appetizer, is one of several Greek cheeses dredged in flour, fried in olive oil, and drizzled with lemon juice.
This rhubarb mousse is light, tangy and a completely different approach than the usual pies. Makes 6 servings.
Stock and broth, whether beef, chicken, pork, seafood, or even vegetable, are essential cooking ingredients. Although it takes time, it involves very little hands-on effort.
This breakfast casserole features the major breakfast food groups - eggs, sausage, and potatoes. With some coffee and juice to wash it down, you're ready to take on King Kong. Serves 2.
A friend of mine gave me this is an unusual recipe for carrot salad. I think it's particularly good with grilled meats.
This is a recipe for mititei, a Romanian sausage that can be made with beef, lamb, pork, or a combination. They're delicious grilled and served with mustard.
This mushroom sauce is an easy and an ideal complement to roast beef, steaks, lamb, duck, and even meatloaf (if you forgo topping the meatloaf with ketchup). In fact, it's mighty good just poured on a toasted English muffin.
This silky frozen chocolate pie combines the best of cheesecake, mousse and ice cream for an unbeatable dessert.
The Philly Cheesesteak is an iconic American sandwich and deservedly so. Consisting in it's most fundamental version as grilled, sliced steak with Cheez Whiz on a hoagie roll (a five-minute effort), more sophisticated versions are also common. You can find two recipes here.
You could also accurately call polenta Italian cornmeal mush. In fact that would be more accurate because grits are usually coarsely ground and cornmeal is much finer. You can get crazy with additional ingredients and produce a side dish that can stand alone (see recipe).