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.
Homemade caramel corn is easy when you start with microwave popcorn. This makes a smaller batch than most recipes.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Juniper berries have a wonderfully piney taste - most like rosemary if you looking for a comparison - but more resinous and with citrus overtones.
Mexican rice (or Spanish rice) is a staple in Mexican restaurants and one of my favorites.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
This recipe makes two servings of rich, lemony Hollandaise sauce.
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).
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.
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.
Roasted cauliflower has a completely different character from raw or steamed cauliflower and offers a wonderfully nutty undercurrent of flavor.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"Tzatziki" is the Greek name for this yogurt-based sauce recipe, but variants on it are found throughout
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.
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.
If you're wondering about the different kinds of salt and what to buy, read this explanation first.
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 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.
My favorite trick for dealing with dinner delays is serving hors d'Oeuvres in advance. These are bite-sized finger foods, requiring nothing more than a platter and cocktail napkins to serve. If you're on schedule they're a great beginning and if you’re late they can extend your guests' patience for as much as an hour.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Basting with butter gives this thick, tender steak an irresistible crust and perfectly done interior.
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.
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 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.
A vinaigrette is basically just oil, acid, and flavorings. If you get the proportions right you can make custom vinagrettes for any meal.
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.
Learn about the multitude of ways to thicken sauces useful for cooking. You have common options like cornstarch and different ones like arrowroot.
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.
These crunchy, sweet and spicy nuts not only make a great snack but are also a delicious addition to salads and even desserts.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
I adapted this recipe for a Meyer's Lemon pie from a combination of a lime icebox pie and a lemon chiffon pie. Meyer's lemon are rapidly growing in popularity - they're sweeter and, to my mind, more lemony than the common lemon - but they're still not easy to find around here so when I do spot them I buy them. You'll find the pie is luscious after you first few spring grilling meals.
Stewed apples are dead easy to make and absolutely delicious. 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.
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.
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 Apple-Ricotta Coffee Cake is delightfully moist and delicious with very nice textural contrasts between cake, apple, and strusel. Makes one 9-inch cake.
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.
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.
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 fried chicken calls for marinating the chicken overnight in buttermilk and then pan-frying. It's great both hot and cold. 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.
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.
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 creamy, rich quiche makes a delicious meal for two. With three filling variations, it will suit any tastes.
It's possible to roast turkey for two people producing a delicious holiday meal. It's a matter of knowing how to scale.
A few well-chosen pieces of bakeware make scaled-down desserts for two a breeze.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As far as reward to effort ratios go, this red "table salsa" is about as high as it gets. I used to roast,
These six pieces of kitchen equipment and cookware make cooking for two easier and more efficient, and they won't break the bank.
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.
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 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.
These Italian-style stuffed bell peppers combine spicy sausage, rice and vegetables in a savory main dish for two.
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.
This recipe for blue cheese dressing is for blue cheese lovers only, it will knock your socks off.
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.
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.
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.
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 neighbor is throwing a Super Bowl Party this year and he asked me if I'd cater it for him â he also
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.
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.
The classic patty melt, with Swiss cheese, grilled onions and rye bread, needs no condiments. When made correctly, it's perfect without them.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Stir Fry is one of my favorite recipes for leftovers. In this case leftover roast chicken was transformed into an Asian meal in 30 minutes. Serves 2.
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.
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.
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 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.
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).
Delicately spiced crab and cream cheese fill crisp wonton skins in this popular Chinese-American restaurant appetizer.
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.
Rich, buttery shortbread topped with a gooey almond and raspberry filling makes these bar cookies irresistible.
Learn how to best store that bunch of parsley, and find eight delicious ways to use it up before it goes bad.
A light coating with caramelized sugar and butter gives these toffee nuts an irresistible crunch and flavor.
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.
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.
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.
Cognac and cream sauce are the perfect finish to pepper-crusted steaks in the classic French bistro dish.
I began my recipe for meatballs with a recipe by Marcella Hazan and then adjusted it through two or three iterations to my taste.
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.
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.
This slight twist on classic Eggs Benedict substitutes crisp buttery bread for the traditional English muffins.
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.
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 smoked salmon bruschetta can be prepped hours in advance and refrigerated, but are quick enough to make and serve in 15 minutes.
Broccoli with blue cheese dressing is one of my favorite week-night,go-to recipes. Quick, easy, and absolutely delicious. Serves 2.
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.
With a little fruit and an easy-to-make topping, this peach crisp is the perfect end to your dinner for two.
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.
Welsh rabbit (or Welsh rarebit) is a sort of English version of fondue combining melted cheddar and beer with either English muffins or toast. Serves 2.
Athenian Chicken isn't really Greek. Or perhaps, more accurately, I didn't get the recipe from a Greek cookbook but just made it up. However, it's certainly Greek-inspired (I do love the hearty flavors of Greece). The dish cooks quickly enough that you don't lose the essence of fresh herbs and the feta adds a wonderful kick.
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.
This tomato sauce for pasta or pizza is simple to make but packed with flavor.
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.
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.
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
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 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.