This cookbook caught my attention at work because it solved a problem I’d been having in the kitchen. Overeating, is a tricky and very tempting issue especially when you’ve made something particularly delicious. Since I am often cooking for two (or even just one) the idea of having fewer servings to begin with (and not having to divide up 3/4 of a tsp in a regular recipe- Eek!) was an attractive one. The fact that you only dirty one pan per recipe (this includes sides) was simply icing on the cake.
Still I waited a week or so to see how it fared. When two other design fellows with a variety of cooking experience picked up a copy (and the other two expressed their interest in the book) I decided it was time to give it a try. I picked up a copy on my way home (without even looking inside–crazy I know). I was lucky, it’s a great book, the photos are gorgeous, the meals lean towards the healthier side and provide high and low carb alternatives (so you can choose for yourself) and the cooking times are astoundingly short. You don’t have to have a cast-iron skillet to cook these either (though it is recommended- we used a large non-stick skillet without any issues).
Naturally I was eager to give the book a try and made my intrepid eater of a boyfriend pick a recipe for dinner. We chose the Prosciutto-Wrapped Salmon with Corn and Poblano Succotash (recipe in link) since he loves fish and I have an unhealthy obsession with Salmon. I will say this, ask the seafood counter to descale the salmon for you (they should do this without issue), we forgot and well… let’s just say it made life interesting for a few minutes.
Since I have a natural (in my opinion) aversion to spicy foods we swapped out the poblanos for sweet miniature peppers and it was delicious (just make sure you go light on the cayenne–a pinch tastes great, more gets hot fast). The total recipe time is 20 minutes and that’s actually pretty spot on. The only prep work we had to do was descale the salmon (which we wouldn’t have had to do had we paid more attention to the ingredients list) and chop the peppers/onions.
Then you simply wrap up your salmon, brown it in the pan (one minute each side, maybe a bit longer in a non-stick skillet), pull it out and make the succotash in the same pan. Then at the end you plop the salmon down in the middle of the succotash, cover it up and let it cook through.
The end result is both colorful and absolutely delicious. Not to mention we didn’t feel guilty eating it all since it was only meant for two.
If you’re constantly cooking for two I’d definitely recommend this book, it has a wide breadth of recipes (Creole, Indian, Thai, American comfort, etc) and with its short cooking times it’s perfect for weeknight meals. And I can say from experience they taste pretty darn good. If you’d like a few other “cooking for two” options there’s also a great series from America’s Test Kitchen.