SOLO SUPPERS: Simple Delicious Meals to Cook for Yourself

Joyce Eserky Goldstein, Author, Judi Swinks, Photographer
Joyce Eserky Goldstein, Author, Judi Swinks, Photographer , photos by Judi Swinks. Chronicle $19.95 (156p) ISBN 978-0-8118-3620-3
Reviewed on: 06/23/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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For many single folks, dinner options often are limited to ordering in or fixing some scrambled eggs and toast. And when the urge to cook a full meal does strike, soloists are habitually left with loads of leftovers. Enter Goldstein, a chef, author and teacher who cooks for herself a few nights a week. She presents this good-looking collection of recipes for "when you are alone and want a satisfying home-cooked meal." Goldstein (The Mediterranean Kitchen) explains how to go food shopping for one (a "challenging" task, she admits), how to transform leftovers into appealing new dishes (e.g., put leftover chicken in a salad, soup or risotto), how to stock a basic pantry, and how to keep wine (buy half bottles or use wine preservative spray). The author follows these clever tips with a slew of terrific recipes from sauces to pastas and grains to seafood and meat and even desserts for one. Most recipes are for average-size portions for one person, and feature Italian, Asian, Mexican, Spanish and even Middle Eastern influences. Goldstein acknowledges that not all the recipes are quick or meant for beginning cooks. But they are generally simple and revolve around fresh ingredients and smart combinations. Standouts include the comforting Chicken and Bread Soup, healthy and hearty Farro Salad, dependable Orecchiette with Broccoli and Chickpeas (to which one might add crabmeat or sausage), simple Asparagus with Eggs and Parmesan Cheese, and succulent Roast Chicken with Garlic, Lemon, and Herbs. (Sept.)

Forecast:Goldstein's book could do well in cities, where there are high concentrations of single chefs and an abundance of fresh ingredients. According to the publisher, over 30% of Americans are single or cook for one.

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