cover image Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One

Solo: A Modern Cookbook for a Party of One

Anita Lo. Knopf, $28.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-451-49360-6

In this marvelous debut cookbook, Lo, who was chef and owner of the restaurant Annisa in New York City for 17 years, recalls, “I’ve been dumped almost as many times as I’ve been in relationships,” then lays the groundwork for a clever compilation of recipes fit for anyone, not just for the lonely-hearted. Single-serving, one-dish meals include a Japanese-inspired ochazuke made with leftover cooked rice and Korean jap chae noodles that Lo learned to make while training as a chef in Seoul. Recipes include New Orleans–style barbecued shrimp, and grilled chicken breast with cumin, limes, and served with chilaquiles (a Mexican breakfast dish of leftover tortillas). Along the way, Lo entertains with sometimes self-deprecating stories, like the one about the Icelandic artist who broke up with her after they found a dead body on a date (and the Valentine’s Day dish the experience inspired—roasted arctic char with lentils and dates). “Don’t Waste It!” tips suggest ideas for leftovers (the unused coconut milk from Thai curry chicken can then be used in caramelized bananas), and a chapter on desserts includes cakes and pies, as well as fresh grapefruit enhanced by elderflower syrup and mint. A section on ingredients and equipment provides a form for logging ingredients and dishes kept in the freezer. Lo’s quirky tone and charming illustrations make this a winner. (Nov.)