Cooking for Two: Most Popular Articles
Using leftover corn is easy with these six delicious recipes, whether you've got fresh ears or frozen kernels.
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.
When I was in college my roommates and I used frequently make a dish we called "Grunt." (Hey, we were
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.
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.
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.
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.
The recipe for a Mufaletta Olive Salad mixture is the key to a great muffaletta sandwich.
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.
A cross between French toast and cinnamon toast, this delectable breakfast treat is soft and moist in the center with a sweet, crunchy topping.
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.
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.
Delicate smoked trout and corn in a light cream sauce flavor fresh pasta in this simple but delicious dish.
As far as reward to effort ratios go, this red "table salsa" is about as high as it gets. I used to roast,
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.
Mexican rice (or Spanish rice) is a staple in Mexican restaurants and one of my favorites.
Juniper berries have a wonderfully piney taste - most like rosemary if you looking for a comparison - but more resinous and with citrus overtones.
Corn and leeks flavor this easy soup, while bacon and shrimp make a delicious topping.
These Italian-style stuffed bell peppers combine spicy sausage, rice and vegetables in a savory main dish for two.
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.
Skillet-roasted corn is tossed with grated Mexican cheese, jalapenos and scallions and dressed with lime juice and mayonnaise in this savory, unusual warm salad for two.
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.
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.
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.
With a little fruit and an easy-to-make topping, this peach crisp is the perfect end to your dinner for two.
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.
Frozen (IQF or Individually Quick Frozen) shrimp are one of the best ingredients you can buy when you're cooking for two. They thaw and cook quickly, and they're so versatile you never have to feel you're eating the same thing.
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.
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.
I don't grill shrimp very often. It takes 20 minutes to get the charcoal right and then less than 10 to cook the shrimp. But then I insist on cooking with charcoal. If I used gas it would be quicker. Still it's really hard to beat a few shrimp off the barbie. When I grill the rest of the meal, though, it seems more worth the effort.
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.
"Tzatziki" is the Greek name for this yogurt-based sauce recipe, but variants on it are found throughout
If you're wondering about the different kinds of salt and what to buy, read this explanation first.
When you're cooking for two, it can be a challenge to use up leftover bell peppers, but it's easy with these delicious recipes and great techniques.
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 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.
Seven recipes for hearty soups and stews make one-bowl dinners easy and delicious.
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.
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
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.
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.
Seven delicious ways to use up the other half of that avocado -- plus tips on storage that will keep it green and fresh.
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.
While cooking a thick steak makes a great dinner for two, what do you do with the leftovers? Five great recipes provide a variety of ways to use up the rest of that delicious steak.
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.
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.
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.
Is there anyone who doesn't love French fries? Crisp brown on the outside, silky smooth inside, packed with potatoey flavor, these French fries are a revelation. The trick is frying them twice.
This fresh, crunchy salsa is mild and slightly sweet from the corn. It's delicious on tacos and quesadillas, or eaten with chips.
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.
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.
Tomatillos and poblanos form the base for the sauce in this delicious, spicy Mexican-style chicken and bean stew.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This recipe makes two servings of rich, lemony Hollandaise sauce.
Peppers, onions and tomatoes enhance this spicy, creamy corn dish for two.
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.
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.
Pastisio can be described as Greek lasagna. It's typically made with lamb, not pork or beef, and it features penne (or a similar) pasta instead of flat noodles, but the concept is the same. The flavor, however, is very different. Serves 4.
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.
A few well-chosen pieces of bakeware make scaled-down desserts for two a breeze.
Fork-tender short ribs in savory red wine sauce are complemented by a trio of vegetables in this hearty braised dish reminiscent of the French Boeuf Bourguignon.
Beef Enchiladas are one of my favorite ways of using up leftover beef - or chicken or pork for that matter. But they're also great made from scratch.
Tabouleh is great at any time of the year, but is best with fresh local ingredients so I particularly look forward to it as a summertime treat.
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 vinaigrette is basically just oil, acid, and flavorings. If you get the proportions right you can make custom vinagrettes for any meal.
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.
Basting with butter gives this thick, tender steak an irresistible crust and perfectly done interior.
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.
Crisp, cheese-crusted bread encloses sliced chicken, Caesar mayonnaise and savory romaine salad in this fabulous sandwich.
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.
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.
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.
Fried potatoes and onions with bacon and a balsamic glaze make a great side dish for steak; they're also great for breakfast topped with poached eggs.
The classic patty melt, with Swiss cheese, grilled onions and rye bread, needs no condiments. When made correctly, it's perfect without them.
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.
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.
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.
These six pieces of kitchen equipment and cookware make cooking for two easier and more efficient, and they won't break the bank.
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.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes using beef for two people.
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.
Paninis are among the world's most awesome sandwiches. They tend to be simple consisting of a couple of slices of coarse bread, some meat, and some cheese that are pressed together. Traditionally they were grilled over a charcoal fire, but these days they're more often made using a panini press.
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.
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.
Broccoli rabe should be part of your recipe collection. I discovered this italian vegetable (also known as broccoli rape, broccoli raab and rapini) a few years ago and fell in love with it's somewhat bitter flavor with notes of both broccoli and cauliflower.
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.
Mushrooms, rice and cheese make these vegetarian stuffed peppers a hearty dinner for two; Italian spices give them a delicious kick.
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.
If you cook for two, it may seem impossible to use an entire head of celery before it goes bad, but these delicious recipes make it a breeze.
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.
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This version of the popular Chinese-American stir fry dish includes a savory black pepper sauce that coats the succulent beef and seared vegetables.
Patty Pan Squash. Cooking for Two. Page 8.
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.
Learn about the multitude of ways to thicken sauces useful for cooking. You have common options like cornstarch and different ones like arrowroot.
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.
A light coating with caramelized sugar and butter gives these toffee nuts an irresistible crunch and flavor.
This wonderful apple cake is easy to make, packed with flavor, and perfect any time of year. I particularly like Braeburn apples in this recipe. Serves 9.
With these Chinese-American restaurant favorites to make at home, you'll never miss take-out.
This recipe for shrimp and grits is my take on a low-country classic: Savory, spicy, and luscious. Serves 2.
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.
I first developed a pear vinaigrette for a cooking class. It was excellent, but when I posted it some weeks later one of my readers, Wendy Tien, immediately turned it around made it Asian. I had no choice but to try her ideas and although dramatically different from my original recipe it was also delicious - two recipes for the price of one!
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.
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).
This creamy, spicy, Creole Crab Dip make a delightful hors doeuvres served on crackers or endive. It's also quick and easy to make.
A spicy pepper and onion mixture gets topped with mild cheese in these stuffed portobello (or portobella) mushrooms for a great vegetarian entree.
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.
Using up a quart of plain yogurt is no problem with these delicious recipes.
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.
Potatoes Savoyarde is a classical French dish - a gratin - perfect with any meat prepared almost any way.Serves 2.
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.
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.
Although I'm eating the last of summer's peaches, corn, and tomatoes I'm looking forward to the fall vegetables and fruits and some of my favorite recipes and eating them.
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 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.
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.
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.
This wine-braised Boston butt is based on a French daube (stew). Like a daube, I marinated the meat for 24 hours in red wine, chopped vegetables, fresh herbs and spices. The meat is then slowly cooked in the marinade at low temperature.
Thanksgiving with all the fixings is an effort, but you can rein in that effort by spreading it over two or three days and working on it together. This menu is geared for two with a day or two's leftovers (and will serve four if your neighbors have been dropping you hints).
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.
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.
An empanada is a meat pie, usually fried, and may be filled with beef, pork, chicken and seafood. In some places they're appetizer-sized, but big ones – five to six inches across – are meant for munching on as you wander the streets.
Traditionally Alfredo was just butter, cheese, and pasta. Today the dish usually involves less butter and some heavy cream – which is a bit healthier and results in sauce that has a more appealing mouth feel
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.
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 pot roast isn't particularly spicy (although you can certaily kick it up) but it does have incredibly deep, rich flavor. Serves 2.
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.
Nothing can compare to fresh corn picked and eaten the same day. As a kid I was even known for eating it raw off the stalk (and because of my tooth-gap their was little doubt about the perpetrator).
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.
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 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.
You've almost certainly heard this before and heard the reasons, but I'll repeat it because so few people seem to believe it: A dull knife is a dangerous knife. A dull blade requires more force and provides less control than a sharp knife.
Sometimes it's really hard to find time to cook for myself and to work up the gumption to care about cooking. It's not unusual for me to order a pizza or buy a burger once a month, but I did it three times in April. However, I still managed to make the rest of my meals myself.
This tomato sauce for pasta or pizza is simple to make but packed with flavor.
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.
This recipe for blue cheese dressing is for blue cheese lovers only, it will knock your socks off.
Eating on a budget doesn't mean eating poorly. Some of the finest dishes ever created were developed by people trying to economize.
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.
Delicately spiced crab and cream cheese fill crisp wonton skins in this popular Chinese-American restaurant appetizer.
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.
Deep frying intimidates many cooks, but with the right equipment and a few pointers, anyone can become a top-notch fry cook.
The classic reuben sandwich may seem so obvious no recipe is needed. But sometimes it's worthwhile stating the obvious.
Seven exceptional recipes using cooked chicken will make your lunches and dinners so delicious you'll look forward to leftovers.
Whole grain mustard and Creole seasoning spice up this unusual bean soup, which is hearty enough for a main dish.
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.