Gourmet Cooking for One or Two: Incredible Meals that are Small in Size but Big on Flavor

Gourmet Cooking for One or Two: Incredible Meals that are Small in Size but Big on Flavor

by April Anderson
Gourmet Cooking for One or Two: Incredible Meals that are Small in Size but Big on Flavor

Gourmet Cooking for One or Two: Incredible Meals that are Small in Size but Big on Flavor

by April Anderson


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Easy and Satisfying Gourmet-Level Meals Just for You

Gourmet Cooking for One or Two provides must-have comfort food–inspired recipes full of the flavors you’d expect in a large casserole, soup or stew, but scaled down to just one or two servings. Now you won’t have tons of leftovers that, despite the best intentions, get tossed or end up in the back of the freezer. You can cook elevated dishes—usually reserved for big occasions—just for you, any night of the week.

You’ll find updated classics, simple one-pan dinners and 30-minute single-serving dishes suit- able for chefs of any level. Try Molasses-Braised Short Ribs with Pan-Seared Onions, Steak House Dinner, Two-Slice Sun-Dried Tomato and Sausage Lasagna or Spinach Pork Roulade with Arugula Prosciutto Salad. Forget takeout, grocery store salad bars and frozen entrées. This book proves that cooking for yourself can be just as special as cooking for a crowd!

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781624146190
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Publication date: 11/06/2018
Pages: 176
Product dimensions: 8.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

April Anderson is the founder of the blog Girl Gone Gourmet. Her recipes have been featured on CountryLiving.com, Chowhound.com, Self.com and Buzzfeed.com, among others.

Read an Excerpt


Upated Classics to Serve Yourself

(and Not a Crowd)

Classics are classics for a reason: they are timeless and beloved. But recipes for such endearing dishes are packaged with an assumption that they are to be shared, so they are often scaled to serve many, sometimes for a special occasion or holiday. For those of us cooking for ourselves, are we to wait for a reason to justify making our favorite time-honored dishes? I think not.

As is my way, I haven't just scaled down some favorite classic recipes, I've played around with them too. Some, like the Chicken Noodle Casserole, stay true to their humble roots with only a few tweaks here and there. Others, like the Chicken Meatballs with Spring Green Spaghetti or the Blue Cheese Beef Enchiladas with Apple Walnut Salad, boldly venture off the beaten path.

There are a few quick and easy dishes, several that are more involved and a few in between, but all of the recipes in this chapter maintain some level of familiarity that invoke the feel-good vibes of the original classic.

Chicken Noodle Casserole

This casserole, with its tender vegetables, chicken and pasta baked in a creamy sauce, is what happens when you take the best of chicken pot pie and marry it with a classic chicken noodle casserole.

Serves 1

2 oz (60 g) penne pasta
4 tsp (20 ml) olive oil, divided
1 (4-oz [115-g]) boneless, skinless chicken breast, ½"(1.3 cm) thick
1 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning Black pepper
¼ cup (38 g) finely chopped onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
1/3 cup (37 g) diced carrot
1 tbsp (14 g) unsalted butter
1 tbsp (8 g) all-purpose flour
¾ cup (180 ml) 2% milk
2 tsp (2 g) fresh thyme leaves
¼ cup (38 g) frozen peas
1 tbsp (11 g) shredded Parmesan
1 tbsp (8 g) fine bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Boil the pasta for half the amount of time listed on the package, drain it and set it aside.

In an 8½-inch (22-cm) skillet, heat 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, place it in the pan and cook it on both sides for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it's cooked through. Turn off the heat and let the pan cool before you move on to the next step. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and shred it into bite-size pieces.

In the same pan, heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrot and cook them for 5 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the 1 teaspoon of salt and the butter and stir until the butter has melted. Sprinkle the flour over the top of the vegetables and stir until the vegetables are coated. Slowly pour the milk into the pan, stirring continuously, until the mixture is smooth. Add the thyme, shredded chicken and peas and stir. Adjust the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook the mixture for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it starts to thicken.

Add the pasta to the pan and stir to combine. Transfer it all to a 20-ounce (590-ml) baking dish. In a small bowl, combine the cheese, bread crumbs and the remaining 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the casserole. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until it's bubbling around the edges. Rest the casserole for a few minutes before serving.

Spinach Salad Steak Tacos

Inspired by a classic spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette, these steak tacos are an easy way to eat more veggies. The recipe makes two large-size tacos to feed one hungry person. To save half, store the leftover components separately in the fridge to assemble for lunch or dinner the next day.

Serves 1

1 slice thick-cut bacon
6 oz (170 g) sirloin steak, seasoned with salt on both sides
¼ tsp Dijon mustard
¼ tsp balsamic vinegar
1 pinch of salt
1 pinch of black pepper
2 cups (60 g) roughly chopped spinach
2 large white mushrooms, sliced
2 (8" [20-cm]) flour tortillas, charred in a dry pan
¼ cup (33 g) crumbled feta cheese
6 thin slices red onion

In an 8½-inch (22-cm) skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat until it's crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the bacon to a small plate lined with a paper towel and set it aside. Transfer half of the bacon fat from the skillet to a medium-size bowl, leaving the extra fat in the pan.

Adjust the heat to medium-high. Cook the steak on one side for 5 minutes. Turn it over and cook on the other side for 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and cover the pan while you make the spinach salad.

Whisk the reserved bacon fat with the mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper until combined. Add the spinach and mushrooms to the bowl and toss them with the dressing.

Transfer the steak from the skillet to a cutting board. Slice it against the grain into ¼-inch (6-mm) slices. Roughly chop the bacon for garnish. To assemble the tacos, divide the spinach salad between the flour tortillas. Top each with the steak, feta cheese, bacon and a few slices of red onion.

Chicken Meatballs with Spring Green Spaghetti

This dish is all about lightness. The simple green pea sauce with fresh herbs and lemon cooks fast and is a wonderful accompaniment to the savory chicken meatballs. Top the pasta and meatballs with some crispy bacon and cheese for a spring-inspired twist on traditional spaghetti and meatballs.

Serves 1

¾ cup (114 g) frozen green peas, thawed
1 large clove garlic, roughly chopped
¼ cup (38 g) roughly chopped yellow onion
2 tsp (2 g) finely sliced fresh chives
1 tbsp (2.5 g) chopped fresh parsley Juice of 1 lemon
¼ tsp kosher salt
1/3 cup (80 ml) water, as needed

1 tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp 2% milk
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp kosher salt
1 pinch of black pepper
1 tsp fine bread crumbs
4 oz (115 g) ground chicken
1 slice thick-cut bacon

For Serving
2 oz (60 g) spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 tbsp (30 ml) reserved pasta water, as needed
1 tbsp (11 g) grated Asiago cheese

To make the sauce, place the peas, garlic, onion, chives, parsley, lemon juice and salt in a blender. Cover and puree, adding up to 1/3 cup (80 ml) of water to thin it to a sauce-like consistency. Set the sauce aside.

To make the meatballs, combine the mayonnaise, milk, garlic powder, salt, pepper and bread crumbs in a medium-size bowl. Add the chicken and use your hands to mix the ingredients just until combined. Divide the meatball mixture into 4 equal parts and roll each into a ball.

In an 8½-inch (22-cm) skillet, cook the bacon until it renders its fat and is crispy, about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel and leave the fat in the pan. Place the meatballs in the pan and brown them in the bacon fat over medium heat, turning them every 2 to 3 minutes until they are browned on all sides. While the meatballs cook, finely chop the bacon and set it aside for garnish.

Once the meatballs are browned, add the sauce to the pan and stir to coat the meatballs. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook the meatballs until they are cooked through and the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat in the sauce. Add up to 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the reserved pasta water as needed to thin the sauce to the desired consistency. Serve the meatballs and pasta with the bacon and cheese sprinkled on top.

Blue Cheese Beef Enchiladas with Apple Walnut Salad

Some things are just meant to go together, and one of my favorite combos is beef and blue cheese. These decadent enchiladas have a rich blue cheese sauce that contrasts with pops of bright flavor from the apple that's in both the enchiladas and the fresh spinach salad served on the side. The recipe makes three enchiladas that easily stretch for two meals, so save the leftovers to reheat the next day.

Serves 2

1 tsp olive oil
4 oz (115 g) ground beef
¼ cup (38 g) finely diced yellow onion
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup (151 g) finely diced Granny Smith apple
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp dried oregano
½ tbsp (7 g) unsalted butter
½ tbsp (4 g) all-purpose flour
½ cup (120 ml) 2% milk
½ cup (56 g) crumbled blue cheese, divided
3 (8" [20-cm]) flour tortillas

1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil
2 tsp (10 ml) apple cider vinegar
1 pinch of kosher salt
1 pinch of black pepper
4 cups (120 g) roughly chopped spinach
½ cup (90 g) thinly sliced Granny Smith apple
2 tbsp (16 g) chopped walnuts Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

To make the enchiladas, heat the olive oil in an 8½-inch (22-cm) skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until it's no longer pink, using a spatula to break it up as it cooks. Add the onion, garlic, apple, salt and oregano. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Transfer the beef mixture to a clean plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the flour and stir to combine it with the butter. Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously, until smooth. Cook for 5 minutes, adjusting the heat to keep it from boiling, until it starts to thicken. Add ¼ cup (28 g) of the cheese and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until it's melted into the milk and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

To assemble the enchiladas, divide the beef mixture evenly among the tortillas. Roll the tortillas and place them seam-side down in a 20-ounce (590-ml) baking dish. Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the tortillas, cover the dish with foil and transfer it to the oven. Bake the enchiladas for 20 minutes, or until they are hot and bubbling.

While the enchiladas bake, assemble the salad. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Add the spinach and lightly toss it in the dressing until it's evenly coated. Add the apple and walnuts and toss again to combine. Serve with the enchiladas, garnished with the remaining ¼ cup (28 g) blue cheese.

Chicken Fritters with Corn Salad

It's hard not to eat these fritters straight from the pan — each crispy bite has a touch of pepper Jack cheese and buttermilk-battered chicken. But taking a few minutes to make the cold corn salad with bell pepper, fresh cilantro and simple sour cream dressing takes what might otherwise be just an appetizer and makes it dinner.

Serves 1

½ cup (83 g) frozen corn
1/3 cup (60 g) finely diced red bell pepper
1 tbsp (9 g) chopped red onion
¼ cup (8 g) thinly sliced baby spinach Juice of ½ lime
1 tsp chopped cilantro
1 pinch of kosher salt

2 tbsp (15 g) sour cream Juice of ½ lime
1 pinch of salt

2 tbsp (16 g) all-purpose flour
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 pinch of black pepper
2 tbsp (30 ml) buttermilk
1 (4-oz [115-g]) boneless, skinless chicken breast, finely chopped
¼ cup (33 g) grated pepper Jack cheese
1 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 tsp (10 ml) vegetable oil

To make the salad, combine the corn, bell pepper, onion, spinach, lime juice, cilantro and salt in a medium-size bowl and set aside. There's no need to thaw the frozen corn first; in the time it takes to prepare and cook the fritters, the corn will have thawed.

To make the dressing, combine the sour cream, lime juice and salt in a small-size bowl and set aside.

To make the fritters, combine the flour, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, pepper, buttermilk, chicken, cheese and cilantro in a medium-size bowl. In a 10-inch (25-cm) nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Scoop half of the chicken mixture and place it in the pan. Press down on it with a spatula to form a patty approximately ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. Repeat with the other half of the chicken mixture. Adjust the heat to medium and cook the fritters for 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they are golden brown. Transfer the fritters to a plate lined with a paper towel.

To serve, spoon the corn salad onto a plate with the fritters on the side. Drizzle the sour cream dressing over the top or use it as a dipping sauce for the fritters.

Creamy Pumpkin Spinach Fettuccine

If you've only ever thought of pumpkin as an ingredient used in desserts, then this pasta might seem a little strange. But I can promise that it deserves a place in your savory recipe repertoire, and there's no better way to give it a try than in a creamy pasta dish. The sauce starts as a basic Alfredo to which the pumpkin and spinach are added. From there, just toss the sauce with the hot pasta and dinner is served.

Serves 2

2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, smashed
¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream
¼ cup (60 g) pumpkin puree
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ cup (40 g) frozen chopped spinach
¼ cup (45 g) shredded Parmesan cheese, plus 1 tsp for garnish
3 oz (85 g) fettuccine, cooked according to package directions
2 tbsp (30 ml) reserved pasta water, as needed
1 tsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

In an 8½-inch (22-cm) skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the cream and adjust the heat to medium. Whisk the butter and cream together until combined. Discard the garlic.

Add the pumpkin and salt and stir until combined. Add the spinach and stir for 2 to 3 minutes until it's thawed and warmed through. Add ¼ cup (45 g) of the cheese and stir for 1 to 2 minutes until it melts and the sauce is smooth. Add the cooked pasta and toss it in the sauce until it's evenly coated. If needed, add up to 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of the reserved pasta water to thin the sauce. Sprinkle the parsley and remaining 1 teaspoon of cheese over the top of the pasta to garnish.

Strawberry Balsamic Oven Ribs with Potato Salad

These tender oven ribs, coated in spices and brushed with a sweet and tangy sauce, made with fresh strawberries and balsamic vinegar, require two things: time and patience. Your effort will be well rewarded when you help yourself to a serving of ribs with a scoop of creamy potato salad on the side.

Serves 2

1 (3-lb [1.3-kg]) rack baby back pork ribs
2 tsp (10 g) kosher salt
1 tbsp (8 g) chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground black pepper

Potato Salad
12 oz (340 g) Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1" (2.5-cm) pieces
¼ cup (55 g) mayonnaise
2 tsp (10 g) Dijon mustard
1 tbsp (3 g) chopped fresh parsley Salt and black pepper

2 tsp (10 ml) olive oil
¼ cup (38 g) chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz (225 g) strawberries, stems removed and quartered
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp (13 g) brown sugar Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp (15 ml) balsamic vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire baking rack in the center.

To make the ribs, first turn them meat-side down on a cutting board. Using the tip of a knife, loosen a part of the thin membrane that runs along the length of the ribs. Once you've separated a couple of inches, hold the membrane and pull to remove it from the ribs. Discard the membrane.

In a small bowl, combine the kosher salt, chili powder, brown sugar, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the ribs and place on the baking sheet. Cover with another sheet of foil, leaving space around the ribs so the heat can circulate. Transfer to the oven and bake for 3½ hours.

To make the potato salad, place the potatoes in a 3½-quart (3-L) saucepan and cover them with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, parsley and salt and pepper to taste in a medium-size bowl. Drain the potatoes, spread them in an even layer on a baking sheet and cool them to room temperature. Transfer the cooled potatoes to the bowl with the dressing and gently stir until evenly coated. Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a 3½-quart (3-L) saucepan. Add the olive oil, red onion, garlic, strawberries, red pepper flakes, brown sugar, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and salt. Stir and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook the sauce for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the strawberries have broken down and released their juices and the mixture is thickened.

Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium-size bowl. Pour the sauce into the strainer and, using a spatula, press on the solids to extract all of the liquid. Discard the solids and place the sauce in the refrigerator.

Once the ribs have baked for 3½ hours, uncover them and brush half the sauce over the top of the ribs. Return them to the oven for 15 minutes. Repeat with the remaining sauce and bake them for 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 190°F (88°C) and the meat easily pulls away from the bone. Let the ribs rest for 5 minutes on the baking sheet. To slice, run the knife in between the bones to separate the ribs. Serve with the potato salad.


Excerpted from "Gourmet Cooking For One Or Two"
by .
Copyright © 2018 April Anderson.
Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Title Page,
Copyright Notice,
Updated Classics to Serve Yourself (and Not a Crowd),
Chicken Noodle Casserole,
Spinach Salad Steak Tacos,
Chicken Meatballs with Spring Green Spaghetti,
Blue Cheese Beef Enchiladas with Apple Walnut Salad,
Chicken Fritters with Corn Salad,
Creamy Pumpkin Spinach Fettuccine,
Strawberry Balsamic Oven Ribs with Potato Salad,
Chicken with Red Wine Sauce and Cauliflower Mash,
Two-Slice Sun-Dried Tomato and Sausage Lasagna,
Turkey Chili–Topped Mashed Potatoes,
Salmon Cakes with Garlic Dill Sauce,
Chorizo-Stuffed Pepper with Creamy Cilantro Dressing,
Mushroom Pancetta Bolognese,
Crispy Oven Chicken Drumsticks with Pancetta Green Peas,
Deviled Egg Shrimp Rolls,
Summer Squash Tortellini Bake,
Scaled-Down Comfort Food,
Creamy Lemon Chicken Ziti,
Black Bean Skillet Nachos,
Balsamic Pot Roast,
Baked Eggs in Tomato Spinach Cream Sauce,
Steak House Dinner,
Chicken Parmesan Burger with Oven Fries,
Southwest Shepherd's Pie,
Risotto with Roasted Butternut Squash,
Risotto Balls with Mixed Green Salad,
BBQ Turkey Meatloaf with Zucchini Fries,
Molasses-Braised Short Ribs with Pan-Seared Onions,
Three-Cheese Mushroom Manicotti,
Tarragon Chicken with Roasted Parmesan Green Beans,
Smothered Veggie and Bean Burrito,
Kielbasa with Creamy Horseradish Pasta,
Little Meatballs with Parmesan Garlic Rice,
Braised Chicken with Smoked Cheddar Mac and Cheese,
30-Minute Single-Serving Dinners,
Pappardelle with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto and Sautéed Fennel,
Chicken Gyro Salad,
Sausage-Stuffed Mushroom Caps,
BLT Chicken Pasta,
Ginger Beef Lo Mein,
Baja Turkey Burger,
Roasted Pepper Baked Penne with Peas and Ham,
Summer Berry Chicken Salad,
Poblano Black Bean Rice and Chicken Bowl,
Turkey Lettuce Wraps with Cucumber Salad,
Crispy Fish Tacos with Radish–Citrus Slaw,
Mediterranean-Inspired Chicken Pasta,
Italian-Style Tostadas,
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Cutlet with Avocado Tomato Salad,
Shrimp and Veggies in Citrus Sauce,
Steak and Peppers with Summer Herb Orzo,
Artichoke Pasta with Chicken,
Simple One-Pan, One-Pot and Sheet-Pan Dinners,
Skillet Zucchini Parmesan,
Pork Chops with Savory Apple Bacon Hash,
Pan-Seared Sausage with White Beans and Broccolini,
Eggs in Spicy Tomatillo Sauce,
Spinach Pork Roulade with Prosciutto Arugula Salad,
Potato, Bacon and Brie Frittata,
Beef Stroganoff with Toast,
Saucy Baked Ravioli,
Shrimp Puttanesca with Lima Beans,
Skillet Eggplant with Sausage, Kale and Orzo,
"Milk Can Dinner",
Sheet-Pan Cod with Roasted Red Potatoes,
One-Pan Chipotle Macaroni Beef,
Skillet Chorizo Rice with Sweet Potatoes,
Pecan-Encrusted Salmon with Roasted Asparagus,
Two-Serving Soups, Stews and Chilis,
Tuscan-Style White Bean Soup,
White Cheddar Soup with Pear and Almond Salad,
Cilantro–Lime Chicken Rice Soup,
French Onion Chicken Soup,
Smoky Bacon Mushroom Soup,
Roasted Cauliflower Soup and Cranberry Turkey Grilled Cheese,
Sweet Potato Soup with Shrimp and Corn Garnish,
Pinto Bean Chili with Avocado Quesadillas,
Red Wine Beef Stew,
Spicy Sausage Pepper Soup,
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