With more than 350 superb yet simple recipes for all occasions—and loaded with time-and-money-saving strategies for buying, storing, and recycling food in quantities that won’t get wasted—Going Solo in the Kitchen is for solo cooks who don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen but who are tired of take-out, and who want to eat food that’s delicious, nutritious, and inexpensive.
Whether it’s a quick one-dish meal of Sautéed Beef with Mushrooms, a satisfying soup supper such as Vegetable Bean Soup with crusty bread, a summer night’s dinner of Avocado, Papaya, and Shrimp Salad, or a Sunday splurge of Chicken Breast Baked with Garlic (with enough leftovers for a sandwich at work the next day and a cold chicken salad later in the week), here is food that will lure beginners and seasoned cooks alike into the kitchen, putting a variety of flavors and a wealth of taste into every meal.Just because you are your household, don’t assume eating solo limits you to having pizza, pancakes, or meat loaf in restaurants; buying them already prepared; or having to file extra portions in the freezer or the dustbin. As Jane Doerfer proves in Going Solo in the Kitchen, with no more effort than when cooking for two or more, one person can eat well and dine beautifully.
Doerfer’s main strategies are to use fresh ingredients and to make friends with supermarket staff who can accommodate her needs in the land of large families. She gives detailed advice on storing foods–cooked chicken, for example, tastes better and has better texture when stored in liquid (like a sauce or broth), while potato salads and other prepared dishes keep better longer when left unsalted until just before serving.
Solo cooks do have advantages: you can eat what you want, as often as you want it, and the cost of a steak or lobster dinner is only for one.
Doerfer offers variations for recycling in case of leftovers. Her description of how to cut up a whole chicken is graphically clear (see “Chicken Management”) and will save you money.
The recipes and techniques Doerfer offers will brighten the lives of solitary diners who love variety, good food, and home cooking. She provides recipes for everything you might want, from Chicken Noodle Soup to elegant Halibut with Asparagus, Cream Scones, perfectly cooked rice, and fresh, hot berry pie, made in just the right way for one. –Dana Jacobi