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KateBChi's Profile

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Special Dinner In Chicago? Where to go?

As for Goosefoot the BYOB is actually a plus for me as I like bringing my own wine on some occasions but no liquor license is a serious negative for an SO who likes his pre dinner cocktail. I didn't know Elizabeth discontinued the communal seating. That was the only off-putting element for me.

2 days ago
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Special Dinner In Chicago? Where to go?

Restaurant taste is such a personal thing. Many restaurants listed by others are highly regarded and highly rated by professional critics. I personally would never turned down a free (for me) invitation to Alinea but I get the feeling that the bloom has gone off the rose so to speak and adopted a wait and see attitude about going when my SO suggested it for a special occasion. Of the finest of the fine dining spots Grace is number one on my wish list. Off my wish list is Sixteen because, for the expense, I found it all show and little substance and really only enjoyed a handful of the dishes. We were treating another couple for dinner and none of us walked away with any thoughts of returning. If you are spending upwards of $250 for dinner you have a right to expect a lot. Sixteen was 4 thumbs down with my SO, who treated, silently thinking "way down!"

I have tried for years to like North Pond, if only for its gorgeous setting in Lincoln Park, but it has never delivered for me. It is among some very experienced and informed critics favorite restaurants but I always leave feeling like "we ate here again, WHY?"

Naha has great luxurious food in a great setting that never seems crowded and is easy to converse in, sometimes in the middle of the week though the place is literally a dead zone with only two or three tables also occupied. it can make you want to whisper rather than talk. On the other end of the conversation spectrum is the relatively new Davanti Enoteca. I really enjoyed the food but unless you sit at the bar conversation is not comfortably possible.

Boka under it's new chef is hit and miss for me but I have only been twice. The first time our appetizers were excellent. My SO ordered the odd sounding rye pasta with carroway and chestnut and he was practically licking his plate. I ordered the always reliable (from the Chef's tenure at the Lobby) ricotta gnocchi/gnudi and it was delicious. My main was the scallops which were good but not something I need to order again. The SO went for the Roasted Chicken from The Lobby days, now available for one, and he didn't like it at all finding it dry and its accompaniments lack luster. This from a guy who ordered it every single time we ate at the Lobby!
Second visit came after a partial evolution to the spring menu. It should be noted that the menu here is extremely limited but the rye pasta was off the menu and I wanted a different starter than gnocchi. I don't remember exactly what I had on a blustery cold April night except it had fava beans, fiddlehead ferns and some grilled squid or octopus. The protein was good but nothing else complimented it or screamed "freshness and spring". It was as if the spring ingredients were an afterthought and I couldn't identify what the saucing was except to say it was bland and flavorless. My duck main also resided in the uninspired camp. SO was lucky with his gnocchi and not unhappy with his grilled short ribs. In sum we wont be running back but wont be running away.
Very anxious to try Elizabeth and Goosefoot but the BYOB at Goosefoot and Elizabeth's unconventional dining experience mean I will have to convince some friends to go with out my SO..

Good Luck!

2 days ago
KateBChi in Chicago Area

J. Towers recipe for chilled champagne sabayon. My favorite but not home so don't have cookbook. Help

Jeremiah Towers "New American " recipe for chilled sabayon (zabglione) has been staple for me for many years but I can't find it on the internet and I can't remember the ratios and some directions. I can't pull a copy off my shelf because I am away from home and need to serve it with some perfect berries recently obtained away from home. There are dozens of similar recipes but this one ha never failed me. Help

Apr 11, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Home made butter anyone?

If you have a food processor you can make it in under 10 minutes. For 2 cups cream (not ultra-pasteurized preferred) add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt and place in food processor. Process for about 4 to 6 minutes or until the mixture sounds very slushy. The butter should mass in the bowl surrounded by some buttermilk. Drain the buttermilk and dry with paper towels and place in a crock or decorative mold. If you want you can add herbs or other flavorings and mix the drained butter briefly in the food processor.

Apr 04, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Cicchetti

I went on a Friday a few weeks back and I found it casual nice. I was wearing jeans, sweater and boots and I didn't feel underdressed. The place has a very casual feel to it.

Apr 04, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Visit to Chicago (And question on Tru)

100% yes. I am a fiend for their vegetable as well as seafood offerings. I was actually chagrined when recommending favorite dishes that it was pointed out to me that not a single one contained pork (other than as a sausage or pancetta flavoring element).

Mar 20, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Visit to Chicago (And question on Tru)

Those are the perfect times for eating at Purple Pig! I've never had to wait at all during those hours even on weekends.

Mar 20, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Visit to Chicago (And question on Tru)

I recently had "the experience" at Tru. My SO doesn't like extended tastings so all of our previous experiences at Tru were the prix fixe or ala carte (when they offered it). I really enjoyed the extended tasting menu but I don't think that it is essential to have it. We've been going there for years without trying it till now. You're experience may vary if extended tastings are your thing. I'd definitely do both again but I still am unhappy with their desserts.

I like Hot Doug's but it's seriously out of the way location and waits kinda kill the experience for me on most days. If I were visiting without a car it would not make my list of places even if I were a confirmed encased meat junkie.

I like Blackbird and Avec and even love some of the things on their menus but the food just doesn't grab me the way some other places do. If you can be flexible with lunch times I'd go to The Purple Pig. It's in the general area of the other restaurants you have reserved (near north and near west loop) and I love the food.

Mar 20, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Are there such things as greengrocers, butcher shops and fish shops in the States?

In big cities there are many specialty shops. In smaller cities and towns, at least where I live in the Midwest, a specialty butcher shop is more likely than a fishmonger. Outside of farmers markets shops devoted to fruits and vegetables exclusively is fairly uncommon. The business model of one stop shopping exists for a reason in the USA. Most people don't like to trek hither and yon to buy one thing at the butcher, another at the baker, something at the fishmonger, produce at the green grocer or cheeses at the cheese makers shop.

That's not to say that they don't exist but they are more niche like than a place most frequent everyday. For example I live in Chicago. The stores that I frequent and consider specialty butcher shops, for example, all carry more than just meats but they all have a trained and experienced butcher on duty at all times. For me these include Gepperth's, Butcher and Larder, Paulina Market and, with limitations, Publican Quality Meats. All of these places sell "other" things but they are manned by people who know their stuff. They are the people I call when I want, as I did last week, a primal cut of beef brisket (not a flat cut) in order to make corned beef but at Paulina market I can also get the pink salt/curing salt/ Prague powder/sodium nitrate needed to corn the beef for nearly a week

For seafood the stores that I frequent include Dirk's Fish, The Fish Guy (although I haven't been there in a long time) and Isaacson and Stein but I frequently buy fish at many other places. These places will have or can get within a day's notice the odd seasonal oyster, real Dover sole, fresh sea urchin or whatever you want.

Exclusive green grocers are probably rarer still. In Chicago we have Stanley's but it is discount fruit and veg that have a VERY short shelf life as in if you buy it today you'd best use it today. Many ethnic shops carry or concentrate on fresh fruit and vegetables including the unusual and rare but they invariably sell "other" stuff to stay in business.

Mar 03, 2014
KateBChi in General Topics

Bagna Couda ideas?

Roast some favorite vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) when cooked to desired doneness combine the vegetables and Bagna Cauda sauce. Add some buttered bread crumbs a a squirt or two of lemon and you are good to go.

Feb 24, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Need Your Help with Finger Food Menu

It's been quite a few years since I read "A Movable Feast" but I read it in Paris with a game for anything friend and my major recollections are the excursions we made to really experience the memoir. First was a delightful afternoon on the Rue Mouffetard shopping for cheese, lots of then only in France type cheeses like eppoisses and triple cremes, wines, freshly baked baguettes and salami like sausages along with fruit and roasted chicken. I also recall getting dressed in my then finest Paris bought dress and ordering the "perfect" martini at the Ritz which I thought shockingly expensive on my student college age budget. The last was going to a cheap bistro (I don't remember the name) that served impeccably fresh oysters with my first mignonette sauce.

That's the kind of food I'd serve if I was hosting a reunion with my friend from long ago. Lots of French cheese, cured meats, marinated olives, pickled vegetables, toasty baguettes, maybe some pate and a fruit jam like membrillo. There'd be freshly shucked oysters with mignonette sipped whole from the shell and definitely lots of French wine (the inexpensive variety) and a perfect martini ala Ritz.

Feb 22, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking
1

Restaurant recommendations near Waukegan and midway

Not at all. There are literally thousands of restaurants between Great Lakes and Midway. Most of these have carnivore and seafood offerings but your question is amazingly broad. Your route covers most of the north eastern suburbs plus about 3/4s of the entire city of Chicago. It includes almost all of Chicago's fine dining destinations, the Indian and Pakistani enclaves on Devon, the south Asian restaurants around Argyle,, anything in Logan Square, Wicker Park, Buck town,near north, the west loop restaurant nirvana around Randolph, the Gold Coast etc etc etc.
You will be driving past most of of the north end of the city all the way to the mid south area of the city. You'd be hard pressed to find a much richer variety of places anywhere in the U.S.
Some points to consider. What time in the afternoon are you planning on leaving Waukegan? Driving down I94 on a late Friday afternoon can be very slow going but if you want to do a city restaurant you'll need to grin and bear it and then pull off anywhere from the expressway and just about all of Chicago is at your finger tips. How much do you want to spend? You've got Alinea which starts at about $300 per person all the way down to taquerias that can run you a few bucks per person. Get off the expressway near Randolph and eat at any of the west loop spots that are always popping up in the best of Chicago lists.
You might want to avoid fighting the traffic and eat in the suburbs, evanston, wilmette and all the others offer both fine dining, fine casual and down and dirty joints.
You specifications, seafood and meat, are just too broad to allow for any meaningful responses.

Feb 20, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Italian Dinner from Michael Whites "Classico e Moderna"

Got this cookbook for Valentine's Day from SO with the understanding that within the next two weeks I would make a full on dinner from it. I have never eaten at Marea or Ai Fiore or any of his restaurants but some of these recipes look/read so terrific that I am quite inspired. A few recipes really called out to me but I am not sure how well they mix together. I was wondering if anyone who either has the cookbook, is familiar with some of the dishes from his restaurants or just loves great Italian food might offer some guidance.

A dish I have never been satisfied with in my kitchen is Veal Saltimbocca as it never tastes quite as good as my memories of it from time spent living in Rome. This recipe is fast and simple but I think it might be a winner and if it works would be a great addition to everyday type dinners. With that in mind I am vascillating between a first course of fusilli with red wine braised octopus and bone marrow or Parmesan sformato with some wild mushrooms added or the tuna crudo with oyster cream and crispy sunchokes. I am afraid the fusilli with octopus might be too filling with the saltimbocca. I am planning on making the baby stuffed pepper recipe to serve as a contorni with the saltimbocca (baby red and yellow stuffed with bread crumbs and Parmesan). I haven't made a sformato in quite awhile but one of my favorites is a Parmesan version. The tuna would work I think but the SO never "wants" a crudo but will eat it.

I don't normally make dessert but a full on dinner sort of requires something sweet at the end but am inclined to try the panna cotta with fruition di bosco since it is something I can make the night before.

Thoughts, alternatives, suggestions appreciated.

Feb 15, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Pommes Anna Pre-prep

Love pommes Anna. I'd be a little reluctant to have the sliced potatoes sitting in acidulated water for 10 to 12 hours. That's probably going to leech out a lot more of the starch than is needed to bind the potatoes together. This is not something I would do simply because I don't have any experience with it but you do need a starchy potato to make this work. I have had success with preparing ahead of time; slice, season, sauté with tons of butter then bake ahead of time. Normally I bake at 450F. When prebaking I proceed as normal then let cool. Refrigerate till shortly before serving and allow to come to room temp before putting back into preheated 475 to 500F for 5 to 10 minutes.

Feb 12, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Best 'sleeper' vegies I'm missing out on?

Seriously? You want your grocery store to hand hold you through vegetable prep, selection and uses? That's kinda why those weird things like cookbooks, innumerable cooking magazines and web sites with veggie recipes exist. There are literally tens of thousands of places on the internet, in bookstores and in libraries that offer in depth information about everything you asked for. I'd rather pay a competitive price for my fresh produce than pay for the added cost of providing "touch screen" iPads /notebooks and glossy photos with cooking advice. Some upscale places do offer such things plus cooking classes and menu ideas. You can go to those places or do your homework at home.
I don't want Jewel or a super Walmarts or Costcos advice on how to cook my vegetables. That I can do on my own. I just want them to sell me good quality vegetables at a reasonable price. That's not to say it is wrong for a store to offer such options, places like Whole Foods and many other places do, but to expect it...?
Your best bet is to avail yourself of the resources available to any net savvy individual or take a trip to your library if the cost of buying cooking magazines and books is too dear.
If you want to branch out from "tomatoes, onions, carrots" (I don't know what you mean by "etc.") than look into the possibility of researching a fresh vegetable before you go to the store.
What you consider "exotic" or "ethnic" is just confusing. Are eggplants, broccoli, cauliflower, artichokes, turnips, potatoes, spinach, kale, celery root, radicchio, chard, asparagus, fennel considered exotic? Not where I live. Sun chokes, parsnips, zucchini blossoms, some wild mushrooms, cardoons and rutabagas may require some pre-shopping thought but they, "exotic" or otherwise, are basically (if not served raw) cooked by roasting, braising, sautéing, frying or deep frying, coated in batter, grilling, steaming or boiling. Served with a sauce or not. Roasted with olive oil or some other fat and seasoned and maybe spritzed with lemon or other citrus or vinegar.

Feb 12, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking
2

Delivery in Old Town

As a start I would go to Diningin Chicago. They have at least 100 restaurants that deliver to Old Town. They also have some restaurants that deliver catering menus. I doubt that you will want individual orders per diner and from different restaurants but that option is available.

Another way to go is to pick an old town restaurant like Vinci which serves very decent Italian and they also offer catering menus (check their website for details and pricing). Vinci delivers through Diningin but their catering menu is not offered on the diningin website. Perhaps arrangements can be made with diningin but you will pay much less if you could arrange to pick it up directly from the restaurant.
Good Luck!

Feb 09, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area
1

EAST WHITTIER WOMANS CLUB COOK BOOK 1960

The most famous/infamous Quaker from Whittier was Richard Nixon who lived there from age 9 and attended Whittier College.

Feb 08, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Need a Valentines weekend itinerary!

Gonzo has very good advise but the weather is literally so awful this year that I might be leery of traveling beyond artic chill walking distance of your hotels. In this weather Purple Pig (one of my favorites) may be too far unless you are a taxi cab champion procurer . Near, maybe two block away, from Knickerbocker is Pelago at the Rafaello hotel which has very good Italian, house made pasta, great seafood and some terrific meat dishes. This area is hotel central and we frequent Allium at The Four Seasons which is dedicated to upscale comfort food. Sometimes they run special themed meals on weekdays that can be amazing. In September 2013 they had a fried chicken special on Tuesdays that featured perfect fried chicken, wonderful biscuits, awesome mashed potatoes and gravy and a few other touches I can't remember. Their spiced Spanish sausage cantimpalitos "bites" are literally addictive. A lot of people like Bar Toma which is close to both hotels. I really like the pizzas I have had there but it is a Neopolitan style and wetter in the center than some like which is fine for me but not for everyone. They are quite amenable to modifying the pizza to fit individual tastes. I am a big fan of the four cheese with the addition of Calabrian chile peppers.

Feb 05, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Best dinner (food) in Chicago

I ate at The Lobby yesterday. The food was phenomenal. No drastic changes but some great tweeks. I don't know if they have new full time chef but somebody with great skill is putting their own perspective on the food. We were in love with the Eleven Madison Park take on roasted chicken served under Chef Wolin. It was still listed on the website so we went hoping to get it before it was off the menu. The restaurant still does a roasted chicken for two but it is markedly different in several ways and differently wonderful. Chef Wolin had a 30 minute wait time for the chicken which was presented whole in all of it's burnished glory. It was then returned to the kitchen, carved then plated. Shortly after delivering the roasted breast a small pot of dark meat in gravy, sometimes with mushrooms, sometimes not was delivered. The meat was stuffed under the skin with buttery brioche and usually accompanied by prunes and seasonal vegetables.
Under whomever is cooking now it is a more expensive option and deservedly so since it now includes sautéed foie gras and black truffles. They call it chicken two ways for two. It came, to us, as two courses. The first being the dark meat which was served "pot pie" style. You need to forget what you know about pot pies however because the dark meat is entombed in crispy puffed pastry served with a delicious gravy/jus reduction and the most amazing slightly sweet picked cauliflower and gastrique painted on the bottom of the plate. It was also served with thumbnail sized pieces of fresh, sautéed foie gras. This was amazing! The pickling vinegar used for the cauliflower and the gastrique was the same I think, my guess quince vinegar. The roasted breast was also delicious and moist with crispy skin but is had truffles stuffed under the skin and no brioche. The skin wasn't quite as crispy as under Chef Wolin and I did miss the brioche which made a fancy savory bread pudding but otherwise it was pretty amazing in its own right.

Our starters were also pretty amazing. I had the potato/ricotta gnocchi. It is different from the gnocchi I tried under Chef Wolin and different from most potato based gnocchi I have tried, almost a cross between a gnocchi and a gnudi. Quite delicious! I didn't taste my SO's potato leek soup with lightly smoked Article Char but he was devouring it so covetously that I feared intruding.

Ate at Tru last week and did the full "experience". We normally do the shorter menu but decided to go all out this time. Very glad we did! Some dishes were absolutely delectable. I still don't get their desserts though. Every time I eat there I hope that the desserts will hit me like Gail Gand's desserts did back in her day as pastry chef but so far I feel like the pastry chef and I are from different planets. Nothing strikes my fancy but my SO liked them a lot (he ate most of mine)

Feb 04, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Dinner w/ crisped duck confit--adding foie gras (pate? warm?) somewhere in menu too much?

Moi aussi! I'd reside at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and Alain DuCasse would be my BFF and personal chef for at least one month of the year. I'd spend at least two months in the French Alps skiing and après skiing. I'd go to Brittany and wallow in shellfish. I'd flit between places in Provence and...and... But I am stuck in the wasteland, you know, the culinary hell that is Chicago where we only drink bilge water and dream of chicken fried steak

Feb 02, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Dinner w/ crisped duck confit--adding foie gras (pate? warm?) somewhere in menu too much?

My mistake. I agree that it is a classic combination and if health could stand it I'd eat it as often as possible.

Feb 01, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Dinner w/ crisped duck confit--adding foie gras (pate? warm?) somewhere in menu too much?

Yea, rarely a week goes by when I don't have that hot mess of duck confit and fried potatoes plus a slab of sautéed foie gras for lunch. It gets so same old, same old that I make the duck confit every other Saturday and D'Artagnon is literally on my speed dial. My friends sometimes have it for lunch and dinner but I like to add the odd fonduta with fresh white truffles just to stave off monotony.

Feb 01, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Dinner w/ crisped duck confit--adding foie gras (pate? warm?) somewhere in menu too much?

Duck confit and foie gras ravioli in a concentrated duck consommé is one of my favorite things to make as a starter for a very special occasion. Don't know if that fits as a starter for your birthday. You could skip the stock if you don't have the time to make it and the ravioli and just make a simple butter sauce. Last time I made a sauce for this it was butter, finely minced shallots, some port wine and a little veal stock with a little bit of diced foie gras to finish. Quite tasty!

Jan 31, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Deep Fried Treats - Oddball Ingredients to Bathe in Boiling Oil

I don't know about odd ball but if you want seriously delicious than think croquettes, arancini and the like. Croquettes can be, basically, anything you like. A combination of favorite proteins and cheeses bound together with mashed potatoes, shaped and dredged in fine bread crumbs and fried. Served with a sauce or not. Arancini use a binder of (usually leftover) risotto again stuffed with whatever protein and a piece of cheese in the center then rolled in bread crumbs and deep fried. Lovely stuff and you can make them as "oddball" as you like.

Jan 31, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking
1

Hosting my professor - need heavy apps suggestions!

Gougeres are easy and friendly to make ahead of time and people always think them complicated. Make them as cheesy as you want, mix and match cheeses, depending on the wines. Make and bake than freeze and pull them out of the freezer and re-bake as needed. You can even stuff them ala Judy Rodgers (RIP) with whatever strikes your fancy.
If you have a pan for making mini-muffins (mine are silicone) I like to make crustless quiches in a variety of flavors. You can go French (bacon, onion and gruyere aka Lorraine), Mexican (quesadilla cheese with chorizo and rajas), Spanish, Italian or whatever appeals. Great finger food always works with wine

Jan 28, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking

Dinner for One on a Monday

I hesitate to make this suggestion since you didn't like Blackbird but the new Nico Osteria on Rush (yea, THAT part of Rush in the Viagra Triangle) has some pretty great dishes on its menu. We almost left when we got seated because the tables were too close together and the place was really loud and boisterous but after a judicious relocation from a table to a bar counter and a slow start in service we had a very good meal. My SO swore we would never return until he got his fritto misto (a really nice mixture of fried vegetables; Brussels sprouts, artichokes etc. and fish; scallops and yellowtail with a caper aioli). I had a terrific salad with chicory, radicchio, apples, pork belly, candied walnuts and Parmesan with a slightly sweet vinaigrette. Both of our pastas were terrific and house made. We had ordered an additional course but realized after we got our starters that it would be too much food and our waitress happily cancelled it.
I think dining alone here would be just fine unless you want quiet and a good book.

Jan 22, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Is North Pond worth the $$$ ?

I know that your question was directed to Gonzo with whom I frequently agree on matters of taste and I have never been there for brunch but the food will be good because the restaurant is good. It just isn't really good IMHO. It doesn't merit an expensive dinner but it might merit a brunch. There are many breakfast/brunch places that I love that are far more reasonable in price. If I were asked (and I wasn't) North Pond wouldn't be in my top 20 list of places to eat in Chicago

Jan 19, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Is North Pond worth the $$$ ?

I had dinner there in December after a long hiatus because I wasn't wild about the food and was unhappy with the service. It is a lovely restaurant but it was a fight to get a table by the fireplace that my friend had specifically requested when she made the reservations almost a month earlier (wedding anniversary dinner). The food was fine but, as every time it have been there, it was pretty boring.
A lot of people whose taste I respect really like this place. But it doesn't work for me and I say it isn't worth the money if you are going for anything other than the pretty, romantic location and competently prepared food

Jan 18, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Who's been to Eataly?

I'm working my way through their house made pastas and a few of their condimenti and sauces. I really like the ravioli quadrutti (pork, veal, prosciutto & mortadella I think) and the ravioli cacio e pepe (Romano cheese and pepper stuffed). I liked but didn't love the agnolotti del plin (brassato beef and something else) but my SO thought it delicious when I served in homemade brodo (Lynn Rosetto Kaspers recipe from "The Splendid Table"). I wasn't thrilled with the pasta to stuffing ratio but he said he would happily eat a bowl every night for the rest of his life. The tajarin is also excellent. Of the condimenti/ sauces I tried and loved were the Roi brand "pomodori secchi tritati" Or sun dried tomato paste. This stuff is great and will not be limited to pasta dishes. I just moistened it with pasta cooking water and it made a great sauce. I almost never purchase bottled pesto but had a hankering for some and bought a bottle of the Niasca Portofino "pesto ligure" and this stuff is great! A very little goes a long way.

Jan 16, 2014
KateBChi in Chicago Area

Single people-- how do you shop for a variety foods for your dishes, and keep them tasty?

I think, in large measure, it depends on how much time you want to spend on yourself. There is no right or wrong answer to that. For me cooking is is certainly a solo activity but the prime motivation is to make other people happy, feel nurtured, loved etc.... My SO is frequently away on business so I cook for one a fair amount. For labor intensive things I make and freeze but in containers suitable for both one and two people. I also make food for my parents that I know they would never get on their own. Some of that gets frozen into singleton bags.

I truly understand the limitations of a small freezer and if I had my druthers mine would be three times the size it is. You just can't freeze everything! Choose wisely. I freeze stocks, pasta sauces (the slow cooking ones) soups and dishes like osso buco. If you've ever spent 5 hours caramelizing onions for a classic onion soup you know that it is something you may not be able to justify making for yourself but if you are making it for a dinner party or friends than why shouldn't you freeze some individual portions for yourself?

Buy fresh produce in season. I love roasted vegetables at this time of year they take very little time in the oven and can be as simply prepared as you like with just olive oil, salt and a spritz of lemon. I like to make little Bagna Cauda sauce with most fall and winter vegetables. This takes a few more minutes but it is the kind of thing I could make in my sleep. Drizzle on the roasted vegetables and top with some toasted buttered breadcrumbs and that might be a whole meal.

I also have a lot so staples that I keep on hand when I am feeling lazy and a few quick meals that always satisfy. Things like linguine with white clam sauce. Five minutes to steam and shuck the clams and another 15 To finish the sauce and cook the pasta. Soft tacos with quesadilla cheese, diced potatoes and chorizo finished with some purchased salsa and maybe a slice of avocado. A simple ripe avocado with a spritz of lemon and salt and maybe a dash of hot sauce is nice. Eggs and cheese are your friends when cooking for one and the ways to combine them are endless.

I also like to indulge in things my SO doesn't like. When he's away dinner can be steamed artichokes with Bernaise sauce or something wickedly spicy. It's also fun to make and freeze certain treats that you can eat as many of as you like. I usually have some gougeres in the freezer. They are my fail safe emergency appetizer for friends and family but on my own I can pop a few in the oven and bake just for me. I also like them baked and stuffed per the Judy Rodgers recipe with bacon and lightly pickled onion. The same goes with pate choux gnocchi, I'd never go to the trouble just for myself but I always make a lot extra and use when I want them.

Jan 11, 2014
KateBChi in Home Cooking
1