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.
Seven recipes for hearty soups and stews make one-bowl dinners easy and delicious.
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).
When I was in college my roommates and I used frequently make a dish we called "Grunt." (Hey, we were
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.
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.
It's possible to roast turkey for two people producing a delicious holiday meal. It's a matter of knowing how to scale.
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.
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.
Using leftover corn is easy with these six delicious recipes, whether you've got fresh ears or frozen kernels.
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.
The recipe for a Mufaletta Olive Salad mixture is the key to a great muffaletta 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.
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.
Sweet Potato Pie is an old Southern favorite. It looks like and is usually flavored like pumpkin pie and I've had it many times in my life. This recipe intrigued me because it included buttermilk.
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.
Roast duck is my most favorite of Thanksgiving/Christmas feasts. It's not too much food for a single person and perfect for two (because the leftovers are so adaptable). And a single duck will feed four if you're willing to share.
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 Stuffing (or dressing if you prefer) for Two includes apples and Italian sausage is packed with flavor and created specifically to go with Apple-Brined Turkey. Serves 2 with leftovers.
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 don't know why it took me so long to roast Brussels sprouts. Lord knows I've roasted almost every other vegetable you can imagine. Nevertheless I did finally get around to it and I've been kicking myself ever since for not doing so before.
Whole grain mustard and Creole seasoning spice up this unusual bean soup, which is hearty enough for a main dish.
Mexican rice (or Spanish rice) is a staple in Mexican restaurants and one of my favorites.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Cioppino, a savory tomato-based fish soup, is a specialty of traditional San Francisco seafood restaurants. This recipe starts with a complex vegetable base that goes from simple to special depending on the types and variety of fish and shellfish you want to add.
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.
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 recipe makes two servings of rich, lemony Hollandaise sauce.
"Tzatziki" is the Greek name for this yogurt-based sauce recipe, but variants on it are found throughout
I was nine or 10 when I got the assignment: make sausage balls. Those first balls were made with Bisquick, ordinary country sausage, and cheddar cheese. These are a bit more sophisticated.
Roasted cauliflower has a completely different character from raw or steamed cauliflower and offers a wonderfully nutty undercurrent of flavor.
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.
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.
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 hearty chowder for two uses both fresh and smoked salmon for subtle but delicious flavor and rich texture.
Larger image .) Serves 2 with leftovers. :*** Broth *** 1 turkey leg or thigh or 2 cups low-sodium chicken
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.
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.
Corn and leeks flavor this easy soup, while bacon and shrimp make a delicious topping.
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.
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.
Back when I used to be invited to parties instead of hired for parties my specialty was finger foods. Two-bite morsels perfect for piling on a small paper plate and requiring no utensils to imbibe.
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.
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.
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.
If you're wondering about the different kinds of salt and what to buy, read this explanation first.
A combination of slow-cooked onions and crisp browned onions gives this soup a nicely complex texture. Chicken and beef stock provide deep flavor.
Cranberry Mousse is light, luscious, sweet, tart and a wonderfully different take on a holiday meal tradition. Serves 2 to 3.
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.
Savory, succulent braised turkey is a welcome change from the usual roasted version, and this delicious dish for two can be made a day or two ahead of time. Great for busy holidays!
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.
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.
Tomatillos and poblanos form the base for the sauce in this delicious, spicy Mexican-style chicken and bean stew.
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.
This creamy, rich quiche makes a delicious meal for two. With three filling variations, it will suit any tastes.
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.
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.
Basting with butter gives this thick, tender steak an irresistible crust and perfectly done interior.
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.
A few years ago a friend told me that I HAD to buy a serrated peeler. She told me it would change my life in the summer. Seems like a big responsibility to lay on a mundane tool, but she was right.
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.
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.
Sure, you can go out to dinner on T'day and avoid the trouble of making your own feast. Or you could just make it a private celebration and be thankful for each other. Page 2.
I've spent many Christmases alone or with just a friend or two, and as with all other holidays I absolutely dispute the idea that just because there are only one or two is no reason not create a feast. A smaller feast? Yes, but that makes it even harder to justify going out to eat instead of cooking. My friend, Q, absolutely relishes the excuse to cook an over-the-top menu for him and his sweetheart.
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.
A vinaigrette is basically just oil, acid, and flavorings. If you get the proportions right you can make custom vinagrettes for any meal.
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.
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.
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.
Broccoli with blue cheese dressing is one of my favorite week-night,go-to recipes. Quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. 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.
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.
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 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.
This is a wonderfully festive recipe: a real treat for Christmas, a birthday, or an anniversary and it couldn't be any easier. If cranberries aren't in season you have make a different sauce for it for ideas. Serves 2.
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.
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.
This recipe for shrimp and grits is my take on a low-country classic: Savory, spicy, and luscious. 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.
This recipe for parmesan crisps couldn't be any simpler. And because it's so simple, the quality of the ingredients is essential.
This recipe for blue cheese dressing is for blue cheese lovers only, it will knock your socks off.
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.
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.
A coulis is a sauce made from fruit that is cooked down into a thick syrup and then strained. This is sweet and tart and is marvelous on roasted poultry as well as pork.
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.
The classic reuben sandwich may seem so obvious no recipe is needed. But sometimes it's worthwhile stating the obvious.
These six pieces of kitchen equipment and cookware make cooking for two easier and more efficient, and they won't break the bank.
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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.
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.
Stewed apples are dead easy to make and absolutely delicious. 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 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.
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 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.
Ginger-scallion sauce gives a spicy Asian twist to this hearty chicken noodle soup recipe.
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.
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.
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.
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 fried chicken calls for marinating the chicken overnight in buttermilk and then pan-frying. It's great both hot and cold. Serves 2.
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.
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.
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.
Learn about the multitude of ways to thicken sauces useful for cooking. You have common options like cornstarch and different ones like arrowroot.
There are cultures (often Jewish) that raise potato pancakes to great heights of culinary esteem. But my mother wasn't Jewish. She was just a girl who grew up in the Great Depression and simply because, even then, potatoes were cheap that didn't mean you could waste the leftovers and so I ate potato pancakes as a kid.
Sure, you can go out to dinner on T'day and avoid the trouble of making your own feast. Or you could just make it a private celebration and be thankful for each other. Page 3.
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.
A few well-chosen pieces of bakeware make scaled-down desserts for two a breeze.
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.
Sure, you can go out to dinner on T'day and avoid the trouble of making your own feast. Or you could just make it a private celebration and be thankful for each other. Page 4.
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.
Spicy curry paste and coconut milk form the base of this Thai-inspired noodle and shrimp dish. It's an easy and delicious one-dish dinner for two.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 slight twist on classic Eggs Benedict substitutes crisp buttery bread for the traditional English muffins.
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.
Manhattan clam chowder is really more a soup than a chowder because it doesn't contain cream or milk and isn't thickened. My favorite chowder is still New England clam chowder. Nevertheless I do like the tomato-based clam soup but had somehow never gotten around to making it until my father spent a month in a hospital and my mother and I have been trying to figure out how to eat more.
The combination of roasted red peppers and slow-cooked onions gives this soup a deep, intriguing flavor. It's perfect as a small appetizer or delicious first course for two.
This is my favorite cornbread recipe. It has a touch of sugar, which accents the spice of the peppers, compliments the pork cracklings, and highlights the corn's sweetness.
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 rib eye steak with pan sauce features a red wine reduction and blue cheese. It's extraordinarily good and deadl easy to make.
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 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.
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 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.
I fell in love with Fettuccine Carbonara when I was in college and waiting tables at a restaurant. I got the recipe from the chef and it became a regular in my repertoire. This recipe is much truer to the traditional dish.
Sure, you can go out to dinner on T'day and avoid the trouble of making your own feast. Or you could just make it a private celebration and be thankful for each other. Page 5.
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).
There are few desserts more sensual than chocolate mousse and the espresson in his recipes adds a delightful twist. Serves 2.
Sure, you can go out to dinner on T'day and avoid the trouble of making your own feast. Or you could just make it a private celebration and be thankful for each other. Page 6.
I first had this Cuban Chili (the proper name is picadillo) a Cuban restaurant in Sacramento. This is a hearty dish, perfect for a snow day. It only takes about 45 minutes and is easy to make.
Slow cooked celery, tomato and onion give this unusual soup tons of flavor. Topped with crisp bacon, it makes a great lunch or light dinner.