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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The recipe for a Mufaletta Olive Salad mixture is the key to a great muffaletta sandwich.
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
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.
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.
Soaking mushrooms and then piling them into a pan and cooking with a little water is not only the easiest way to cook them, but also results in deeply flavored, beautifully browned mushrooms with no oily taste.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
My personal preference for Easter dinner is lamb. Somehow it just seems to be the perfect main course for celebrating spring. But here in the South where I live the most popular dish is a glazed ham.
Mexican rice (or Spanish rice) is a staple in Mexican restaurants and one of my favorites.
"Tzatziki" is the Greek name for this yogurt-based sauce recipe, but variants on it are found throughout
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.
These Italian-style stuffed bell peppers combine spicy sausage, rice and vegetables in a savory main dish for two.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Juniper berries have a wonderfully piney taste - most like rosemary if you looking for a comparison - but more resinous and with citrus overtones.
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.
I'm sure these egg cups are an old idea, but I've never seen recipes for them. They're delightful little cupcakes arranged on a hot plate at brunch buffets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 recipe makes two servings of rich, lemony Hollandaise sauce.
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.
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.
Seven delicious ways to use up the other half of that avocado -- plus tips on storage that will keep it green and fresh.
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.
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.
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Basting with butter gives this thick, tender steak an irresistible crust and perfectly done interior.
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.
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 recipe for Red Lobster Cheese Bisucuits 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fried asparagus may seem an odd sort of recipe, but it is in fact absolutely irresistable. And as a once-year-treat it's not that unhealthy. Serves 2.
This traditional Greek Easter bread is mildly sweet, mildly orange-flavored and outrageously good. If you go to Easter services, make it the night before and bake it the next day after church. Serve with brie and hard-boiled eggs.
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.
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.
A vinaigrette is basically just oil, acid, and flavorings. If you get the proportions right you can make custom vinagrettes for any meal.
Shrimp Fra Diavolo is a classic, slightly spicy Italian dish (but feel free to kick up the spice if you wish). It's perfect for a weeknight dinner but fancy enough for company. Serves 2.
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.
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.
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.
This recipe offers most of the satisfaction of a glazed ham without having to spend a month eating it. The flavor profile is a tasty balance of salty, sweet, hot, sour and savory and so it touches effects every almost every taste bud in your mouth. Serves 2.
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.
Potatoes Savoyarde is a classical French dish - a gratin - perfect with any meat prepared almost any way.Serves 2.
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.
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.
Learn about the multitude of ways to thicken sauces useful for cooking. You have common options like cornstarch and different ones like arrowroot.
This simple red wine sauce is a great finish for all types of meat and poultry. It is versatile and goes well with any type of meat.
A 1 1/2 pound hunk of cured ham is good for a couple of meals and a couple of sandwiches. So it's a great and easy start to several meals. This menu is a delicious example of one.
Roast duck is a bit of trouble to make but well worth the effort for a special occasion such as Christmas or Thanksgiving. It's also far more flavorful than either turkey or chicken and is a great size for two people.
This Avocado Ranch Salad Dressing is adapted from a recipe I found in a magazine some years ago. It proved to be a great hit with my clients and although I'm not a huge avocado fan (I neither avoid nor seek it out) I love this dressing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When I was a kid growing up in Knoxville, Tennessee fresh shrimp was as rare as, well, shrimps' 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.
Roasted cauliflower has a completely different character from raw or steamed cauliflower and offers a wonderfully nutty undercurrent of flavor.
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.
I set out to create a quicker and easier recipe for cassoulet. And although this version doesn't have the depth and complexity of the traditional cassoulet, it's still an excellent meal in it's own right.
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.
My father invented this salad dressing, which is actually based on Dale's Steak Sauce. It has a tremendously hearty flavor but the consistency is light enough to dress baby greens.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Eating on a budget doesn't mean eating poorly. Some of the finest dishes ever created were developed by people trying to economize.
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 blueberry ice cream is simple and delicious. A great treat that can be made with either fresh or frozen blueberries. Makes 1 qt.
Most people are at least aware of fondue, the melted Swiss cheese dish. But there's a second one – raclette. Like fondue it was developed by cowherds as a campfire meal when they took their dairy animals to high pasture and it is also melted cheese. But it calls for a cheese specifically named raclette and instead of bread you use potatoes.
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 recipe for shrimp and grits is my take on a low-country classic: Savory, spicy, and luscious. Serves 2.
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.
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.
Deviled eggs are a popular component of cookouts and picnics - not to mention being a great snack at any time of year. They can be made a day or two in advance, are perfect for eating with your fingers, and are almost universally loved.
I took an Italian approach with the beans and after par-boiling them I sautéed them with garlic, pancetta and anchovies. Serves 2.
Aged cheddar flavors this classic macaroni and cheese, while cream cheese gives the sauce an ultra-smooth texture.
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.
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.
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.
The difference between recipes for cottage pie and shepherd's pie is the meat used. Cottage pie is made with beef and shepherd's pie is made with lamb. Serves 4.
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 recipe for Tequila Chicken calls for marinating in a spicy mixture of tequila, orange juice and lime juice.
Although these mixtures can be found, pre-mixed, in the spice section in most supermarkets it's nice to be able to make your own in case you happen to run out or in case you want to make them using fresh herbs or because you want to tweak the herb balance.
Broccoli with blue cheese dressing is one of my favorite week-night,go-to recipes. Quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. Serves 2.
Creamy risotto is enhanced with the addition of smoked salmon and asparagus for an easy, delicious main dish 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.
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.
This pot roast isn't particularly spicy (although you can certaily kick it up) but it does have incredibly deep, rich flavor. Serves 2.
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.
Here in Knoxville veal shanks are few and far between - which makes the traditional osso bucco difficult to make. So I more often make it using a lamb shank which serves two perfectly.
The classic reuben sandwich may seem so obvious no recipe is needed. But sometimes it's worthwhile stating the obvious.
This recipe for blue cheese dressing is for blue cheese lovers only, it will knock your socks off.
The classic patty melt, with Swiss cheese, grilled onions and rye bread, needs no condiments. When made correctly, it's perfect without them.
In this recipe the leeks are topped with garlic flavored butter, lemon zest, and buttered bread crumbs. Sreves 2.
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.
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 recipe for Asparagus Parmesan is a great way to use leftover steamed or simmered asparagus. Serves 2.
This artichoke bruschetta makes a great appetizer. Use the best olive oil you can get then simply spread it on a piece of bread. Serves 4 - 6.
This rhubarb mousse is light, tangy and a completely different approach than the usual pies. Makes 6 servings.
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.
My favorite form of eggs is the soufflé, but I have a serious soft spot in my heart for fried eggs, over easy, at breakfast. Served with bacon, hash-browns, and well-buttered whole wheat toast to soak up the yolk. Here are 10 of my favorites.
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.
These deliciously spiced caribbean jerk burgers bring a taste of the islands to your backyard. Makes 4 burgers.
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.
Frying is the way I learned to cook bacon and I still do when I want the bacon grease to oil the skillet for scrambled eggs or the griddle for pancakes. But when I want more than a slice or two or want perfect bacon I roast it.
This Apple-Ricotta Coffee Cake is delightfully moist and delicious with very nice textural contrasts between cake, apple, and strusel. Makes one 9-inch cake.
Of all the breads you can make at home, one of the fastest pita sandwich breads are the easiest. Here's a pita recipe and six favorite sandwiches using it.
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.
Salmon in parchment seals all the flavors in and gently steams the fish producing a luscious and sophisticated meal. Serves 2.
This creamy, rich quiche makes a delicious meal for two. With vegetables and cheese, it's a great brunch or light dinner, or you can add meat for a heartier entree.
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.
Deceptively simple, this Italian recipe for milk-braised pork chops surprises with it's rich complex flavors. It takes a while to cook but couldn't be easier to make. Serves 2.
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.
I guarantee this is the best garlic bread you've ever eaten - loads of garlic flavor but mild and mellow with a great crunch.
Stewed apples are dead easy to make and absolutely delicious. 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.
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 easy recipe makes a small amount of lemon curd -- perfect for two!
One of my favorite meals is baked pasta. It's a great way to clean out the leftovers hanging around in your fridge - just cook up some pasta (ideally something like penne, macaroni or rotini) then cut up and toss in that leftover chicken leg, leftover cauliflower, and two-day old spinach. Serves 2.
I came up with this recipe for seafood about 15 years ago and was really pleased with it. I like it best with bay scallops, which are not only smaller than sea scallops but they're also sweeter.
This recipe for what I call a middle-eastern meat loaf can be made with lamb or beef. It's the inclusion of feta, mint, and parsley in the mix that gives the loaf it's distinct character. Serves 2 with some leftovers.
This Caribbean-inspired recipe for braised pork in a citrus marinade is delicious on it's own. But the leftovers are perfect for the famous Cuban sandwich from southern Florida. Serves 2 with leftovers.
Fall and winter seasons for soups, stews, and braises. These are cooking methods that involve cooking in liquid but many make the mistake of boiling meat.
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 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 Bacon/Cheese Quick Bread is an outstanding complement to almost any soup or stew. Lightly toasted, with a nice tart orange marmalade, it's an excellent light breakfast.