What our readers are saying about the Cooking for Two series:
"I can cook for a crowd when the family gets together and now I can still eat well when cooking for two. Thank you!" --
"I just want to say how much I LOVE your book. Thank you so very much for injecting the fun back into the preparation of the every day evening meals." --KHenderson
"I love this cookbook! I love the explanation of the work that went into re-designing the recipes for two, but I love the results even more!"
-- CW, Atlanta
"My new favorite cookbook. This is a great book for empty nesters like us, or my college kids." --KS, New York
"Perfect for the couple that doesn't like leftovers."
--AA, Boston, MA
Have you written off beef pot pie, casseroles, roasted chicken dinners, and pies and cakes just because you're cooking for two and think these are crowd-only dishes? Do you love enchiladas and chili but don't want to be stuck eating leftovers for a week? Have you ever tried scaling back a recipe, only to be disappointed with the results? In Cooking for Two 2010, the second installation in this annual recipe collection, the editors at America's Test Kitchen have selected the test kitchen's favorite recipes of the year and reengineered them from the ground up to serve two. Inside you'll find more than 150 test kitchen recipes cut down to sizeâ€”from casseroles, pasta, and roasts to skillet dinners, stir-fries, and even dinner from the grill. Breakfast, sides, and desserts are here, tooâ€”perfectly portioned so you're not faced with waste.
So what did we learn while remaking our recipes to serve two? Some were easy enough to scale down, but many required innovative solutions. Take Risotto. Switching out the Dutch oven for a small skillet provided the perfect amount of surface area for our rice, so it cooks up creamy but not mushy. Ever heard of Beef Pot Pie for Two? Rather than using traditional beef stew meat, we turned to quick-cooking blade steak, which boasts just the right amount of beefy flavor and remains moist and flavorful after a short spell in the oven. And instead of a pie plate, we baked the pot pie right in the skillet that we used to sautÃ© the beef, after topping it off with our own flaky, buttery crust.
Preparing lobster for four or more can be a pricey propositionâ€”but when you're cooking for two, it's an affordable splurge. Our no-bib-required Lazy Man's Lobster combines the sweet meat with a creamy sauce and bread crumbs; baked briefly, it's the ultimate special-occasion dinner.
And just because there are only two at the table doesn't mean dessert is off-limits. Scaling baked goods can be trickyâ€”dividing baking soda and baking powder doesn't guarantee success. But with smart strategizing and hours of tinkering, we pulled off a host of dessertsâ€”cakes, pies, cobblers, and more. Lemon Pudding Cake depends on a very specific ratio of dry to liquid ingredients to achieve its custardy bottom layer and its cakey topping; nailing the ingredient amounts and bumping up the quantities of lemon zest and juice gave us the rich creamy pudding, delicate cake, and bold citrus flavor we were after. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake is usually light on tropical flavor, but scaling down this cake fixed the problem. Because conventional pineapple rounds don't fit as well into our 6-inch cake pan, we turned to chunks, which fit perfectly and delivered more pineapple-y punch. Scaling issues aside, finding just the right size baking vessel was the source of much of our testing, so we've included a guide to bakeware and cookware essential to the cooking-for-two kitchen.
Leftover ingredients are often unavoidable when it's just two for dinner. Instead of letting that half a bell pepper or half a can of coconut milk litter your fridge, turn to our "Use It Up" recipes sprinkled throughoutâ€”recipes like Pepper Relish (perfect with crackers for a quick appetizer), velvety Coconut Pudding (a creamy finale for a spicy main course), and Vanilla Sugar (great in your morning coffee).
In short, Cooking for Two 2010 is the answer to "What's for dinner?" when you don't have four to six at your table. Inside you'll find many weeknight classics along with dressed-up special-occasion dishes to please youâ€”plus one. Our recipes may be scaled down in size, but they deliver big on flavor.
Cooking for Two (2010)
Over 150 recipes
302 pages, hardcover
Color photos throughout
Item number CG02