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liuzhou

Cooking for One

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BTW, Anna N, I wasn't really replying to you when I posted about my own experiences upthread. It was a response to Jaymes' urging of *anyone* who cooks for one to try it in her initial post. So, I took the bait and related my experience with a microwave steamer not dissimilar in nature, why I put it aside and what I did instead and what I used. So, in effect, I wasn't too sure I'd try this Lekue product - but nevertheless mentioned that the one I used might work with other things - and by extension the Lekue product too.

In that sense also I wasn't dissing you, Jaymes. I merely responded to your urging and don't believe I said anything about what you yourself should or should not do or suggesting that you did not steam things in other ways. Peace.

Nor did I take it that way.

In fact, I even had to go back and reread your other post to find out what you're talking about in this one. And as to my thinking that "everyone" (or whatever) should try this silicone steamer (or something similar), it was mainly a figure of speech; however it sounds as though you already have.

Regarding the tray, most often I do use it, but sometimes not. Depends upon what I'm going for.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Good to read in more detail about your reasons for liking the Lekue microwave steamer, Jaymes.  Thanks for the background info too.  I can imagine your grandkids tire you out somewhat but I'm sure you get much pleasure from being with them.  As for those fish fillets you commonly cook in that steamer, do you do it with or without that little tray?  If not, then would it be more of a poaching than a steaming?

 

BTW, Anna N, I wasn't really replying to you when I posted about my own experiences upthread.  It was a response to Jaymes' urging of *anyone* who cooks for one to try it in her initial post.  So, I took the bait and related my experience with a microwave steamer not dissimilar in nature, why I put it aside and what I did instead and what I used.  So, in effect, I wasn't too sure I'd try this Lekue product - but nevertheless mentioned that the one I used might work with other things - and by extension the Lekue product too.

 

In that sense also I wasn't dissing you, Jaymes.  I merely responded to your urging and don't believe I said anything about what you yourself should or should not do or suggesting that you did not steam things in other ways.  Peace.

Well huiray that just proves my ego is too big! But I am in agreement with both of you. There is much to be said for using what you have on hand and there is something to be said for trying a new way. Any way that food can be quickly prepared and clean up minimized gets my vote on those days when even Louis singing "What a Wonderful World" is less than convincing. Other times I feel happy that I can make a much more complex meal and still deal with the cleanup. Peace of course.

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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So single for 3 nights again as Johnnybird is travelling for work.  Treated myself to a Marie Callender's chicken pot pie - really good pastry, much better than I can make and I enjoyed it thoroughly!  Some beets roasting in the oven to make a salad later (John can't stand beets at all!) and I have some frenched lamb chops to cook(ditto) . I have ground bison thawing to make sloppy joes for lunch tomorrow with some mixed peppers and a soft, pillowy roll to soak up the juices and some good mixed greens to top with some dilly pickled beans I made yesterday.  Thinking about adding some beans and spices to any leftovers to make a chili.  Going to get some oyster crackers and have canola oil and powdered ranch dressing to make a terrible snack to add to the chili.  Ohhhhhhh maybe some thin spaghetti for Cincinnati chili and I do have some red onions and cheddar....

Thursday John will be back and I'm thinking a shrimp and udon bowl for dinner.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Don't forget the cinnamon and touch of chocolate for the Cincy chili!

 

YUM.  I now have an urge to go get a large 4-way (onions) at one of the outlets here.

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I've fallen in love with all sorts of dumplings lately.  Ravioli freezes perfectly.  Pot-stickers too.  Make a big batch, freeze spread out on parchment until hard, toss in a big ziplock and store in the freeze.  I made the duck and foie gras ravioli out of the Scarpetta cookbook a few weeks ago (by the way, I'm completely in love with that book.  If I could just get a damn reservation, I'd be in the restaurant in a flash).  Froze them, and also the marsala sauce (in icecube trays).  So I come home from work, boil and salt a pot of water, toss in the ravioli.  Nuke the sauce.  Grate a little parm on top.  3 minutes of effort for a huge payoff at the end of a long crappy work day.

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Don't forget the cinnamon and touch of chocolate for the Cincy chili!

 

YUM.  I now have an urge to go get a large 4-way (onions) at one of the outlets here.

Absolutely!!!  My go to recipe is from the Stern's book Real American Food.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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I've fallen in love with all sorts of dumplings lately.  Ravioli freezes perfectly.  Pot-stickers too.  Make a big batch, freeze spread out on parchment until hard, toss in a big ziplock and store in the freeze.  I made the duck and foie gras ravioli out of the Scarpetta cookbook a few weeks ago (by the way, I'm completely in love with that book.  If I could just get a damn reservation, I'd be in the restaurant in a flash).  Froze them, and also the marsala sauce (in icecube trays).  So I come home from work, boil and salt a pot of water, toss in the ravioli.  Nuke the sauce.  Grate a little parm on top.  3 minutes of effort for a huge payoff at the end of a long crappy work day.

Try maultshauen....same principle then served in a beef broth as a soup.


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Single again for a few days .... cool and rainy so it was basic comfort food for dinner last night.  Bison meatloaf and baked macaroni and cheese with a nice salad.  Breakfast is a western sandwich with a fruit salad of blackberries and apricots with a key lime yoghurt dressing.  For dinner I picked up some lamb chops and will make a vegetable stew with Indian eggplants, cherry tomatoes, green beans, garlic and onions.

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Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Some things I love having stashed for quick meals or snacks that can be made in large batches, then frozen in one or two person portions for small households:

 

Empanadas

Lasagna

Egg or spring rolls

Pasta sauces

Meatloaf

Pulled pork

Stuffed crepes (ham, Swiss cheese, and bechamel made with whole milk freezes well )

Enchiladas and enchilada sauce/mole

Pancakes

Cornbread

Biscuits

Burritos

Pizza dough and sauce

Baked pizza

Leftover plain rice or other rice dishes

Muffins

Cake

Cookies

 

Freezing leftovers from big batches really cuts down on waste for our two-person household and allows me to put better food on the table with a lot less effort. My rule of thumb is if Stouffer's, TJ's or someone else who sells decent frozen prepared food offers it, it's worth a try at least.

 

Dinner can be as simple as some frozen pancakes (I make savory ones with veggies too) popped into the toaster, then buttered and/or some syrup added, if you're really tired or rushed. Maybe with a simple side veggie or fruit salad, or a quick fried egg.

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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Hello Crepes,

 

How do you make savoury pancakes with veggies? Do you mean that the veggies are in the batter, or the pancake is wrapped around some veggies?

 

Thanks.

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Well, I am late here, but I also cook for one.

 

Nowadays I'm a vegan and that does simplify the game; I buy a lot of produce and have no problem finishing it all :biggrin:. But I have cooked all sorts of things in the past.  

 

  • Rely on the simplicity of food in its whole state; a tomato, an egg, a carrot, a crottin de Chavignol, a small trout, a bread roll; they are already 'for one'. 
  • Shop in produce markets, cheesemongers, fruiterers, bakeries, fishmonngers, dry goods stores, butchers, not in the supermarket; then you can buy your food in whatever quantity you like. You can get a single slice of cheese.
  • Cook on a cycle of ingredients. For example; day 1 - spanakopita (spinach, feta, pastry); day 2 I have leftover pastry; make baklava; I bought honey and pistachios for my baklava, so day 3 I make honey-roast veg; now I have some left-over veg so on day 4 I make soup and top it with the rest of the pistachios, etc.
  • Eat the same ingredient more than once in a row. It's nice to let one ingredient predominate for a few days and experiment with different ways of preparing it. Sometimes I pick a themed section from a cookbook and make several recipes centred on the same food for a few days. Then I have a little cluster of recipes for clams or whatever that I wouldn't have otherwise.
  • Change your sauces; they are very easy to prepare for one, if you're prepared to accept the freezer; you can make a healthy quantity of stock and freeze it in portions, then use it as the base for infinite variations. Then your food can involve the same main ingredient twice in a row but be served in a different way.
  • Use dry goods. If you have a pressure cooker you can buy your chickpeas in whatever quantity is sold and get a handful done quickly whenever you wish.
  • Freeze things before you cook with them if you dislike eating reheated dishes; chicken parts, sausage, blanched vegetables, herbs, milk... many things can simply be divided up for freezing and used as and when.
  • Use cooking equipment suitable for small quantities of food; this will reduce wastage, as there is often an instinct to use more of an ingredient that necessary if large vessels are employed.
  • Reduce recipes by slightly more than indicated; a recipe for four will often contain more than a strict four portions.

 

 

After reading three pages of replies, I would say this is the best answer by a long country mile! I wish I had seen this advice years ago. You have certainly nailed how to cook for one and you can see how important it is as a topic from the number of replies here. I used to hate cooking for one.  I wasted lots of food and at the same time over ate and just wanted to avoid eating the same food twice in a row at all costs.  You answer is brilliant because it addresses the core problems of cooking for one.  Thinking back, I was under a lot of work pressure and working long hours.  Convenience took first place.  If I wasn't eating fast food or takeaway food I was shopping in the supermarket.   Your point about the 'cluster of recipes' would be the hardest thing for me as eating the same thing twice in a row would be the worst thing for me.  Also, I didn't understand the point about chickpeas. You must be using a really small pressure cooker? :)

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