This past week at my annual winter soups cooking class, the enthusiastic students managed to down three main course potages along with a basket of warm breads and a colorful salad. The menu included a pureed tomato and garlic soup served with Gorgonzola brushette, a hearty French smoked sausage and vegetable mélange, and a spicy chicken, black bean, and chipotle chili. Although the class declared all delicious, it was the chili that drew them back for seconds and even thirds. At the end of the night, I asked the group if they would use these recipes in the days ahead. “Yes,” they answered, “for Oscar Night this Sunday!” “Which one?” I asked. “That spicy chili,” they replied.
My husband and I are empty nesters and have been for more years than I want to recall. Consequently, I’ve had to become adept at cutting recipes for four or six down to serve two. Imagine then my excitement when I spotted Carla’s Snyder’s newest cookbook, One Pan, Two Plates. Finally, I could dispense with the culinary math I go through on weeknights for here was a book with more than 70 special cooked-from-scratch meals prepared imaginatively with fresh ingredients designed for twosomes.
The Lamb Kebabs with Harissa, Chickpeas, and Summer Squash were a huge hit with my spouse who loved the spicy meat and vegetables
countered by cooling lemon-scented sour cream. Pan Fried Artic Char with Garam Masala, Broccolini, and Yogurt was another winner. My favorite, though, was Catfish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw—an uncomplicated dish that boasted big bold flavors and nicely balanced contrasts of texture.
Perpetually rushed, I appreciate that each recipe has a tag giving the prep as well as the start-to-finish times. Other bonuses include market notes on where to find unfamiliar ingredients and tips for wine pairings. Oh, and you won’t have a sink full of pots to deal with after cooking from this book—every recipe calls for only one large pan! Continue reading