Not because I didn’t know how to cook, but because, like many of us, I thought cooking a normal meal for myself took too much of an effort, and didn’t quite make sense. Especially when I don't have my audience to eat with me. Most of my weekends are kept for elaborate meals. Spending time cooking and dining with my favorite person. But sometimes, I am catch dining alone. Like this weekend, where he went back home to Hong Kong and I am off to Japan tomorrow for Whisky brewery visits. Plus it's a Public Holiday over here today. 48 hours of alone time. That's three meals alone to tackle!
How often do you cook for yourself? Alone?
I read this book recently and thought I should share with you - Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant : Confessions of Cooking for One and Dining Alone by Jenni Ferrari-Adler. It's a collection of 26 food writers like Nora Ephron, Laurie Colwin, Jami Attenberg, Ann Patchett, and M. F. K. Fisher delighting readers about dining alone. Reflecting on their secret meals and recipes for one person when no one else is looking. Part solace, part celebration, part handbook, Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant offers a wealth of company, inspiration, and humor - and, finally, recipes that require no division or subtraction. Many of us (amateur and professional, the latter group more so) actually detest spending time to cook a proper meal for themselves. Now, more often than not, when I have time, I'll try to cook something nice for myself, on a nice plate with napkins and proper wine glass - with huge glass of wine of course. After cooking for myself a few times. By this, I mean proper meals, not microwave, but actually picking up the skillet and turn on the stove. I find solitary meals are very enjoyable. And it's a great feeling to know that you've fed yourself very well. As the famous beauty ad saying "Because you're worth it!" If, sooner or later, we all face the prospect of eating alone, then Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant provides the perfect set of instructions. I hope this book inspires you to cook for yourself too. Please enter to win this. I will be giving away this book to 3 person winners. Use the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to enter. The book giveaway will be given to a random user anywhere in the world. picked by the widget; Contest ends November 12.
Recipes for one must be quick and tasty with the least items to wash up. This pasta breakfast is one I've kept falling back to with moments where I had big night and waking up famish. You can swap the asparagus with any veg you have on have. Brussel sprouts, thinly sliced, zucchinis, infact any vegetables or fresh herbs you have on hand will do; or even swap cream for creme fraiche. Just don't skip the bacon and garlic.
Pasta with Asparagus and Bacon
I am still learning to portion cooking for one and for the happy fact that I can cook in pyjamas. So there's a lot of pasta in the skillet. That's okay, at least I know I got dinner covered.
Another simple pasta for one: Pasta with Fennel, Arugula & Lemon
Serves 2 or 1 hungry me
1 bunch of asparagus, sliced thinly
4 bacon rashers, sliced into small strips
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced (I doubled the garlic from 2 to 4)
6 ounces pasta (tagliatelle, linguine, spaghetti etc.)
1/4 cup creme fraiche, to taste
zest of one large lemon, juice of ½ the lemon reserved
1/4 cup reserved pasta water
Sea salt and pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano to finish
Bring a large pot of liberally salted water to a boil.
Snap the woody bottoms off the asparagus stalks and throw them away (or keep them in a freezer for asparagus soup later). Slice the asparagus as thinly as you can at an angle.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Add the asparagus slices, give it a stir and let it cook, let the side brown nicely undisturbed for 5 minutes, then add the bacon and continue frying until the bacon is browned and fat rendered. Give it a stir, turn the heat down to medium, add the garlic, and another splash of oil if the pan looks dry. Cook this for another minute or two. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil. Heavily salted and start cooking the pasta.
Turn of the heat and to the asparagus and bacon, add the creme fraiche, lemon zest and stir to coat. Loosen the sauce with lemon juice it another toss.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4-1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the noodles to the creamy asparagus pan and toss to coat, adding a pinch or two of salt, pepper, and pasta water as needed.
Serve each portion with a generous grate of the parmesan.
If you like, like I did, poached an runny egg and crack it over the pasta.
- till next post. ss.
Use the Rafflecopter widget below for your chance to enter. The book giveaway will be given to a random user anywhere in the world. picked by the widget; Contest ends November 12.
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Labels: asparagus, bacon, breakfast, cooking for one, easy cooking, giveaway, Pasta