Cooking for one

A few of us were talking at the pool about cooking when you are eating alone.  Some don’t like to, others do.  I view cooking for just myself as an opportunity to eat exactly what I want.  I do bother to set the table and sit down to dinner, maybe with a book or magazine.  Keith and Samantha had a swim meet last Thursday and were going to be late so elected to have the swim meet buffet.  I didn’t want to make something that would make Keith sorry he missed it and was late getting home so I wanted something fairly simple.  I decided on a short cut Tuna Nicoise salad.  I love it but Keith’s not a huge fan.  When I make it for more than just myself, I usually cook green beans, use cooked potatoes, etc.  The shortcuts were that I skipped the green beans, used leftover dressing from the salad the week before and bought the potatoes from prepared foods.  All I did was hardboil an egg and quick sear the tuna.

Here is the full recipe without the shortcuts:

Tuna Salad Nicoise

  • 1 minced shallot
  • 3 – 4 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB sherry vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • salad greens (I used a mix of mache and green leaf)
  • fresh tuna steak (4 – 6 oz per person)
  • hard boiled eggs (1 per person)
  • roasted potatoes (I used red potatoes that I sliced and tossed with olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper and roasted last night in the toaster oven)
  • blanched green beans
  • black olives (optional)
  • anchovies (optional)
In a small jar, combine shallot, olive oil, vinegar and mustard.  Shake to combine.  Wash and dry salad greens.   Brush tuna with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Sear in a non-stick pan until desired doneness (I like mine rare so will only quick sear on each side.)  Toss salad greens with dressing and plate.  Top lettuce with tuna, sliced egg, potatoes, green beans (and olives or anchovies if you like or whatever else you happen to  have on hand).  Enjoy.
Here is my shortcut picture:IMG_3353


Dinner for one

My husband and daughter are participating in a Parent – Child campout tonight.  I graciously volunteered to stay home and take care of the dogs.  I adore my husband and my daughter but I don’t get much time alone so one evening of peace and quiet is a special treat.  While I know that for many people, this would involve ordering carryout or purchasing something from the prepared food section of their local grocery store, for me this is a rare opportunity to have something I like, even if nobody else in the house likes it.

When I was single, I cooked for myself almost every night.  I often fixed my protein (a chicken breast, or piece of fish) and used Prepared foods from the store as the source of my vegetable or side dish.  Other favorites were omelets (as documented in a recent post), pasta (very easy to fix for one) and the occasional eccentric dinner (a dozen steamed clams).

After much consideration, I decided to make a Cornish Game hen.  My husband is not a fan and it’s a perfect single serving dinner.  I fixed a salad on the side.  Here is how I fixed my baby chicken and a picture of my dinner:

Cornish Game hen

  • 1 Cornish game hen per person
  • 1/2 lemon halved per hen
  • kosher salt
  • poultry seasoning
  • butter

Wash hen inside and out and dry.  Sprinkle inner cavity with salt and poultry seasoning and stuff with 2 lemon quarters.  Top with butter and roast at 375 for 50 minutes.  Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil for 15 minutes.  Eat!